Right now, Sons Of Anarchy is up there with Requiem For A Dream in scaring kids off drugs. Things go from bad to worse this week, and Clay proves why he is beyond redemption.
To be fair, we’ve thought Clay was beyond redemption a couple of times before, particularly in the first couple of series, but he’s always come around. Whilst I always have faith in Kurt Sutter’s broken glass-sharp writing, I can’t help but feel that he’s written himself into a corner with some of the revelations this week, but hey, that’s probably what he wants us to think.
Following last week’s events, this week’s episode is very Tara-centric. The hit was put in place, but Clay did not count on Jax and the kids going to Oregon with Tara. There are a few very beautiful moments when Jax and Tara get to imagine what their lives would be like without the club, however this is cut short pretty quickly when Tara gets kidnapped. I realise that some of you were probably rolling your eyes, thinking that Tara was being kidnapped again, but this isn’t how it ended up playing out. Jax manages to catch up with the van, and get Tara free, but not before Tara gets her hand jammed in the van door.
Tara has to be taken to hospital and while the doctors continually say that it is too soon to say how severe the damage is, it looks pretty clear that her career as a surgeon is over. What follows is pretty harrowing. Surgery was Tara’s ‘way out’ of the club, and without this skill, she feels that she will be stuck in Charming, and stuck with SAMCRO, forever. She blames Jax, and really, it is quite understandable. Had he not come back into her life, none of this would have happened.
Clay goes from being the villain of the piece to becoming an absolute monster in this episode. After the botched hit on Tara, Clay arranges a meet with the Galindos. They refuse to call off the hit, because Tara knows too much, but agree to deal with it themselves rather than with a third party. They also offer Clay a refund, which he accepts after a little hesitation.
Given that Clay left the house with the majority of the money from the safe, Gemma is immediately suspicious. Also because she knows that Jax is with Tara, and not with Clay like Clay had told her. When Clay returns, Gemma confronts him. Gemma tells Clay that she is going to tell Jax about the hit. Clay becomes very angry and what ensues was pretty hard to watch. At one point Gemma pulls out a gun and fires a shot, but misses, and as a viewer, you really want her to destroy Clay. However, Clay knocks the gun from her hand and beats her pretty badly.
The episode ends when Unser visits Gemma, to find her face severely bruised and swollen. Gemma tells Unser that Clay has gone too far and that she wants him to die “at the hands of the son”. My guess would be that “the son” would be Jax, meaning that Clay should not fear what Tara is going to tell Jax, but what Gemma will. I can’t possibly see how anyone could forgive Clay for what he has done this time, and it will almost certainly flare things up between him and Jax again.
Jax also finally tells Opie that he wants out, and says that he wished that Opie had stayed out when he came back from jail. If he had, Donna might still be alive. With what has happened to Opie, he seems to feel that the club is all that he has. It will be interesting to see how that changes when he finds out that Piney is dead. It seems kind of weird that two weeks have elapsed (probably only a couple of days in the show’s timeline, but still) and no one has really wondered where Piney is. Given that he is a very central character, who has been in practically every episode of the show, it seems odd that no one aside from Gemma has thought to check up on him.
So, a very strong episode indeed this week. I can’t really see where Sutter can from here, and if everything is revealed to Jax this series (and I bet there is a lot more that we don’t know about), there’s no way that the show will last seven series as what was initially planned.
However, saying that, next week’s episode is a 90 minute long one and the network have granted an extra episode in order to wrap everything up, so I think there will be quite a few more twists and turns yet.
Read our review of episode nine, Kiss, here.