Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Episode 13 Review: To Be, Act 1

It’s a dialogue-heavy episode of Sons Of Anarchy this week, but another great one. Here’s Stu’s review of To Be, Act 1…

After last week’s chest puncturing final moments, it was clear that this week’s episode (part one of a two part finale) was really going to be something else.

There were so many questions left unanswered. For example, is Clay dead? Will Jax kill Opie? Those questions are answered as soon as the episode starts. The answer to both is a resounding no. However, Clay has been wounded, perhaps even mortally. Jax also shoots Opie in the hand to stop him from finishing the job. Unser as always, isn’t far behind Jax and helps Jax cover it up. Jax takes Opie to hospital and tells him to lay low for a while, whilst Unser waits with Clay. Jax tells Unser to blame it on a couple of black guys.

The racist undercurrent is never far from SAMCRO this series, and Unser’s half hearted attempt to cover up what really happened backfires. Tig goes rogue, and after what happened in Oakland a few weeks ago, decides that it must have been the Niners. He tries to kill LaRoy, and instead ends up with a gang of angry Niners chasing him down the highway, before the Sons after rescue him and escort him home.

This whole series has circled around the letters that came from Maureen Ashby, and this week, Tara finally gave them up. Gemma is no longer covering for Clay and finally comes clean with everyone, sort of. She isn’t lying when she tells Tara that Clay did try to kill her, and also that Clay killed Piney, but after she gets the letters, she omits just enough of them for Jax to find out that Clay killed his father but not enough to implicate Gemma or Unser.

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The best scene in the entire episode is when Gemma gives Jax the letters and tells him how Clay killed Piney, and also killed Jax’s father. It’s a very quiet scene, with unfussy camerawork, but the dialogue is fantastic, and watching Jax boil over as he finally sees what has been in front of him the whole time. The show is always at its best when it is a sort of “Hamlet with bikers”, and this is exactly how it felt this week. There are pretty heavy hints that Jax is going to be club president after Clay is done away with. It seems like everyone wants it, aside from Jax and Tara – and that’s the problem.

After Jax finds out the shocking truth (which in many ways, he came very close to finding out in series two), he vows that he will kill Clay. Tara immediately has a plan to how he will do it – it seems that Tara knew all along that if Gemma had the letters, she would give them Jax and he would want to kill Clay. Tara gives him a blood thinning agent, and tells him to pull the wires out of his chest in the hospital, and it will then look like he pulled them out himself, and his lungs filled with blood by accident. And in Tara’s head – her and Jax would then ride off into the sunset.

Everyone would love a happy ending for them, but I just can’t see it – or not for a while yet at least. Gemma has expressed her desire for the club to go back to being led by a Teller, as it should be – and be vice president, Jax is clearly the favourite for the job. I think he’s going to feel obligated to do it – Clay, and Opie are both out of the picture, and Bobby’s in jail. The only other member with enough experience (aside from Tig – imagine what a disaster that would be!) is Chibs, and even then, I think he’d prefer Jax to take it over him.

This week is a very dialogue heavy one – setting us up perfectly for part two next week. Jax knows that Clay was responsible for his father’s death, but what he doesn’t know is that his mother was to blame as well – I think if Clay is awake when Jax comes to kill him then he will find out the whole truth, and if that is the case, it could change everything.And so, with one more episode left, I have to wait patiently until next week. It’s going to be a long one.

Read our review of episode 12, Burnt And Purged Away, here.