This review contains spoilers.
4.7 Fruit For The Crows
We’re seven episodes into this series of Sons Of Anarchy already, and it was at this point last year that I was starting to really doubt the direction that it was going in. Thankfully, I couldn’t be happier with the show this season, as it has certainly had a lot of strong episodes so far, and the narrative feels far more cohesive than the last series. This week’s episode, Fruit For The Crows, was one of the strongest so far, and also one of the most intense.
The episode throws us right into the action, with the Sons in Mayan territory, examining how their drug operation will run. When a car full of masked men pulls up and starts firing shots, things get pretty scary. Alvarez takes one in the shoulder, and later has to be taken to the SAMCRO clubhouse for Tara to remove the bullet. Quite a few Mayan extras are shot, but who cares about those no-names, huh?
Jax shifts into the reckless mode of his that we saw a fair bit in series three, hopping on his bike and chasing the shooters, firing at their car all the way along (with a pistol that didn’t run out of bullets for an unrealistic number of shots), before following them back to an apartment complex.
I was expecting a big bloody shootout between the Sons and the shooters, but what actually happened was far more brutal than I could have imagined. Upon getting into the house, it is found to be filled with young children and a terrified family. As the Sons are trying to resolve the situation peacefully, one of the attackers shoots one of the mothers, and ends up being taken out by Chibs. It is then revealed by the surviving attacker that they were forced by a rival cartel to attack the Mayan warehouse or their families would be killed.
As I mentioned a few episodes ago, I really think that moving into drugs will be SAMCRO’s undoing. The deal with the cartel only resumed two weeks ago, and already the club are in disarray. In fact, this week Bobby makes a challenge for leadership and tells Clay that he needs to step down as his actions are compromising the club. The shift in Clay’s character is an interesting one; he was a vicious, hateful character in the first two series, and then I warmed to him in the third, as his relationship with Jax seemed to blossom. But again, we’re seeing that mean, vindictive side to him frequently. In many ways, Bobby was right – pretty much all the problems the club are having this series are due to Clay’s greed. So, the decision for Clay to step down will go to a vote next week.
Juice’s arc has been one of the strongest this series, and it takes a particularly dark turn this week, and possibly even comes to a close. Juice finally manages to get the sample of cocaine to Roosevelt, only to find out that it was an entrapment arranged by Lincoln Potter, and he’s arrested. As the series goes on, my opinions of Lincoln Potter and Eli Roosevelt have almost completely changed; I had initially thought of Lincoln Potter as some sort of maverick eccentric cop, who would always do what was for the best, but I’ve realised he’s not only pretty corrupt, but he’s also morally bankrupt.
Roosevelt, on the other hand, who I had previously seen as some sort of incorruptible, by-the-book officer, is actually showing a lot of heart, and it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with entrapment or racial blackmail. You can really tell that Roosevelt is hurting with what he is having to do to Juice, and that he would far prefer to be getting on with what is best for Charming. Anyway, as was according to Potter’s plan, Roosevelt spreads the fear to Juice, making him think that he must cooperate. If he goes to jail known as a rat, he’s dead, and if his club think he’s a rat, he’s dead.
The scene that follows, where Juice is given a patch for his bravery when dealing with Miles last week, is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s pretty clear by the embrace between Clay and Juice that Juice views him as a father figure, and it’s not an easy watch by any stretch of the imagination – I confess that I had a tear in my eye.
The episode ends on a very dark note. Juice sews the patch onto his cut, then climbs up a tree with a chain around his neck and jumps. We see him struggle for a moment before fading to the SAMCRO logo, and then hear a snap. Whether this was a twig snapping or Juice’s neck, we won’t know until next week. If this is the last we see of Juice, it is a very tragic ending indeed. But in a way, I wouldn’t want to see it dragged out for the rest of the series in the same clichéd way that a lot of other shows do.
So, very powerful and very moving stuff from Sons Of Anarchy this week. With the end of every episode, I can’t wait for the next one. I had thought this series would be better than the last one, but nothing would ever be as good as the first two, but Sons Of Anarchy has proven that it is still has a lot of life yet.
You can read our review of Sons Of Anarchy season 4 episode 6 here.