Sons Of Anarchy season 3 episode 5 review: Turning And Turning

Sons Of Anarchy's third season really sparks into life, with the finest episode of the new run to date. Here's our review...

3.5 Turning And Turning

Last week’s episode of Sons Of Anarchy was, by quite a long way, the weakest episode of the show’s entire run. It felt directionless, slow, and its only saving grace was the fantastic performance of an 85-year-old man.

Fortunately, the outcome of last week’s episode, has allowed this week’s episode to pick up and put the series back on track.

Last week ended with Gemma collapsing after hearing the news of Abel’s kidnap. This week opens with her waking up in a hospital bed, handcuffed to the rails. If you’ll cast your mind back to last week, Gemma called Agent Stahl to make a deal.

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It’s a relief to see Agent Stahl back in the frame, as she really is an excellent character. You never know what she’ll do next and she’s one of those villains that you love to hate. Fortunately for us, Stahl is one of the central characters this week.

A large chunk of the episode takes place in the hospital. It’s starting to seem a little weird that a hospital would allow a posse of badass bikers to hang out in a hospital so often, but Charming is a small town, so I’ll let that slide.

Gemma was hospitalised by her severe arrhythmia. As a result of this, it meant that she was unable to turn herself in that morning, as arranged. This also means that the deal she struck with Stahl is off, which leaves Gemma with a choice. She can either turn in the Sons or she can plead guilty to two murders and possibly face the death penalty.

Gemma spends the majority of the episode being pretty pissed off that she was lied to about Abel, which is understandable. When she directs her rage at Tara, it is revealed that Tara is pregnant with Jax’s baby.

This is the first time that anything regarding Tara’s pregnancy has been mentioned and, as it is only Tara and Gemma that know at the moment, it may be kept quiet until Abel returns. I’m curious as to where the writers will go with it, as there has blatantly been a lot of strain between Jax and Tara throughout the season and, at times, it is difficult to tell if it is the kind of strain that a couple can ride out or the kind of strain that will buckle a relationship.

Elsewhere, the rest of the Sons have a lead on the drugs that the Mayans want to flood Charming with. It leads them to a warehouse that apparently deals with cleaning products. Tig and Chucky manage to break in and get some photos of some sheets on the wall (it’s never said what they are, but I guess we’ll come back to that in a future episode), before Chucky gets discovered by some Mayans and almost gets a beating. Tig manages to save him and get them out of there. 

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Going back to the drugs that the Sons got last week, Juice takes a beating whilst trying to sell some of them. The beating is administered by the small Lodi gang from earlier in the season, one of the few memorable scenes in the run so far, where the Sons bury the gang leader up to his head and then ride past him at great speed. Anyway, the gang also take Juice’s cut (his jacket, for those new to the show). While Juice doesn’t seem to be particularly injured, it’s clear that he has lost face by having his cut taken from him. No doubt this isn’t the last we’ve seen of the Lodi gang.

So far, it looks like the Sons have taken a bit of a beating this season, and with the majority of them due in jail, it’s only going to get worse. The last ten minutes of the episode then turn the whole season on its head and give it the welcome shot of adrenaline that it has needed.

Throughout the episode, Jax has been doing some investigating, and he has discovered that the Real IRA have been lying to him. He now knows for a fact that Abel is in Belfast. After Stahl leaves Gemma to think about her choice, Jax follows her. I genuinely thought he was going to attack her and end up in jail, which is why what happens next was such a surprise. 

When Jax turns up at Stahl’s house, naturally, she is angry and wonders what he wants. He offers her a deal of his own. It is clear that Stahl’s career has taken a nosedive since she first came on our screens a few years ago, but Jax offers her the chance to get all of this back. He offers her Jimmy O, information on the gun running that the Sons have done for the IRA, and a sworn statement signed by himself. In return, he wants his mother’s name cleared, he wants reduced time for all of the Sons involved in the church raid from season two and, most importantly at present, he wants the bail hearing to be delayed. A delayed bail hearing will allow Jax to go to Belfast and get Abel back.

In the meantime, Jax hands over Jimmy’s right hand man, Moran, whom he beat and kidnapped when he discovered that the Real IRA had been lying to him. It is clear that both Stahl and Jax have a lot to lose. But it is Jax who has more to lose as, if the Sons find out that he has been cooperating with law enforcement, it is all over for him.

It feels like the season has really hit its stride this week. The last few weeks have been building up for a big moment like this. This episode took me back to the episodes from previous seasons where I couldn’t wait to see what happened next week, and I can say with a degree of certainty that next week’s episode is going to be a good one.  I. Really. Can’t. Wait.

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Read our review of the episode 4, Home, here.