This review contains spoilers.
4.6 With An X
This week’s Sons Of Anarchy slips straight in where it left us, with a missing brick of coke (well, I’m sure none of you are missing a brick of coke, but you know what I mean).
Immediately, we’re back in the warehouse with the Sons, the Mayans, and 29 bricks of Columbian cocaine when there should be 30 bricks. The audience knows that Juice took it, but I don’t think anyone was expecting things to go the way they did in this week’s episode.
Juice and the Mayan guy are immediately assumed to be innocent, obviously because they are long term members, which means that the two prospects, Rat and Filthy Phil, are immediately prime suspects. Things get a bit scary when Clay brings in Happy to find out of the truth. Happy is such a great character because, well, he’s never happy. He’s quite a scary character, and this is attributed to the fact that he’s played by a real Hell’s Angel.
Anyway, Happy makes the two prospects play Russian Roulette in hope that one of them will confess. Neither of them do, and both of them fire an empty chamber. We aren’t shown whether or not the gun is loaded – I don’t think it was, to be honest, but no one knows for sure. Juice watches the whole thing, visibly in anguish, but still he says nothing. In a one to one with Chibs, Juice admits that he is uncomfortable with some of the rules, particularly the ‘no blacks’ rule.
When this particular plot arc was introduced, I didn’t really know what to make of it, until someone commented that most American biker gangs have never allowed black members. This is something that is touched upon in Hunter S Thompson’s Hells Angels, and I thought the gangs would have modernised with the times, but they have not. It seems that the laws the gangs were built upon following the Second World War have remained, and Chibs admits that he may not agree with a lot of the rules, but they have to respect them.
Juice knows that one of the prospects will be killed it he doesn’t do something immediately. So, he tells them that whoever stole the coke should just put it back, and makes his excuses to leave so that he can recover the brick. Unfortunately, he is caught by Miles as he is retrieving it.
Fortunately for Juice, in the ensuing scuffle, he ends up with Miles’ gun in his hand, and shoots him the head an unnecessary amount of times. Juice then plants the drugs on Miles, and knows that he cannot be blamed – for now. Juice now has blood on his hands both literally and metaphorically, and he’s shown how far he will go so that his secret will not be revealed to the gang. But even though he got away this time, I can’t shake the feeling that this will end very badly for him.
It isn’t just the issue of race that came up this week. Tara brings up how badly the Sons treat women, after Ima pulls out a gun in the clubhouse. I was pretty appalled by Opie cheating on his new wife with Ima, but Jax’s retaliation of beating her up, before spitting on her and shouting “whore” in her face was just sickening.
The characterisation is very strong this series, and we are seeing new dimensions to some of the characters that have been in the show from the start. Tig was always portrayed as a bad person, and we’ve witnessed him do some very terrible things, but I really liked what I saw from him this week. One of his daughters arrived at the clubhouse, asking for $12,000 to send her sister to rehab.
It was obvious that she was fleecing her dad, and Tig admits that he knew that all along, and when Gemma tells him that his daughter will do it again, he smiles and says “I know”. It was actually a very moving scene, and Kim Coates give a fantastic performance that really makes the audience buy the father’s unrelenting doting.
Clay is sort of shifting back to the Clay we knew in the first two series. His character is quite quickly going back to his ruthless ways, and I think that he (as we knew would eventually happen) is going to end up being the villain of the piece. This week, Clay asked Romeo (great to see Danny Trejo getting a fairly sizable role in the show) to assassinate Tara, as he thinks that she knows about Clay having John Teller killed. I always knew that Clay was cold and calculating, but he was so blasé about arranging the death of his adopted son’s fiancé it was unreal.
Elsewhere, Unser also knows what Tara knows and leaves a threatening note in her car – I would imagine that this is to scare her off to safety.So, things are getting pretty bad for the Sons all around, with one of them dead at the hands of another this week, and I’d imagine this is going to happen a lot this season. What the audience knows about any of the characters is changing, even with Opie, always seen as an all round good guy, cheating on his wife.
I’m starting to think that, by the end of this series, what we know about a lot of the characters will have completely changed.
You can read our review of Sons Of Anarchy season 4 episode 5, Brick, here.