This review contains spoilers.
4.12 Burnt And Purged Away
Well, it wouldn’t have been possible to get through a full series of Sons Of Anarchy without some terrible “Irish” accents would it?
Fortunately, this season has been fairly terrible accent free until now, whereas last season was just unbearable – it’s that Irish impression where the impressionist (usually North American) doesn’t know that there’s a large difference between a Northern Irish accent and one of someone from the Republic of Ireland. To be fair, it was kept down to a couple of scenes and only slightly marred an otherwise excellent episode.
This week was a much slower episode than the last, and after that very over the top action scene from last week, I bet we were all glad for it. In fact, most of the talk with the Irish Kings was along the lines of “Oi caahn’t beloive you foired an ahr pee gee!”
To translate: they were pretty annoyed about their high spec weapons being used last week, even if it did save Clay’s life. There has been a meeting arranged between the Sons and the Irish Kings at the reservation. Juice wasted no time in letting Potter know. Juice is quite quickly picked up by some suits outside the weed shop and is placed into protective custody.
By the end of the episode, Juice isn’t the only Son to be reintroduced to a nice, comfortable prison cell. As shown last week, one of Otto’s conditions on cooperating with Lincoln Potter was that he wanted to tell Bobby himself that he had been implicated. Otto is one of the most sympathetic characters in the show; he’s the one who has given so much to the club and had nothing but misery in return.
He tells Bobby that all he had asked in return was for his wife, Luanne, to be looked after, and the Sons couldn’t even manage that. At that moment, some police officers come in and take Bobby into custody, all the while Bobby curses Otto and calls him a rat. Given the nature of what Otto has probably implicated Bobby with, I doubt he’ll ever walk as a free man again.
Jax, Clay, and Bobby had discussed earlier that day, that when Jax walked and Clay stepped down, Bobby would become club president with Chibs as his VP. That is definitely not going to be happening now. Especially when Opie was the second choice as club president.Both this week and last week’s episode might as well have been titled The Ryan Hurst Show, as he’s been a tour de force as Opie. Hurst’s portrayal of grief is very physical, his character doesn’t have much dialogue so he manifests it physically. You can’t help but feel for Opie, his father has been killed by Clay, who is a father figure to him. You want him to kill Clay, even if the show might be a shadow of its former self without Ron Perlman.
And well, in the heart stopping conclusion of the episode, he may well have done just that. After cremating his father, and shooting one of Jax’s tyres so he can’t pursue him, Opie goes for Clay. The chase starts with a bit of a laugh, when Jax has to commandeer a hearse before getting in a fender bender and stealing a superbike (I had always thought that no self-respecting American biker would be seen dead on a Japanese superbike!).
Back at the clubhouse we see Clay, waiting. There’s a gun on the table in front of him. He hears a motorbike outside, he looks out of the window, before walking towards the door, ready to face whoever is there. The director concentrates on close ups to build suspense. Suddenly, Opie bursts through the door and knocks Clay onto the table, sending the gun flying out of his hand and out of reach.
I had always thought Ron Perlman was a big man, but Ryan Hurst is absolutely huge, and I can’t imagine there being anything much scarier than him running at you, screaming, with a gun in his hand. Jax arrives on the scene, pointing a gun at Opie, explaining that if he shoots Clay, then Jax will kill Opie. Opie hesitates before shooting Clay twice in the chest. The episode ends with a smash cut, leaving us dying to find out what happens next week.
There’s been a lot of speculation regarding the final few seconds. After Clay is shot, Jax looks absolutely helpless, which makes me think that he won’t shoot Opie. There has been some conjecture that Clay was wearing a bulletproof vest, but I don’t believe this, because he clearly wasn’t in the moments before Opie arrived and there was blood splattering everywhere when he was shot.
So, is this the end of Clay? I wouldn’t think so, given that Juice survived a cliffhanger episode a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t put it past the writers to do the same again. What is pretty clear now, though, is that there’s no way Jax will be able to leave the club. As I’ve been saying for most of this series, the biggest threat the club this series is the club itself.
Next week we have part one of the two part finale. The writers were granted an extra episode this series to fulfil their ambitions. After the misfire (although it had a few great moments) of last series, I have been really pleased with this season of Sons Of Anarchy, and I feel it’s gone back to what made the first two runs so great.
While I can’t wait for the next two episodes, I almost don’t want them to come, because then it’ll be over for another year, and then I’ll have to start counting the days until series five.