This review contains spoilers.
After last week’s shocking closing scene, Sons Of Anarchy is a little slower this week, but takes plenty time to make us all dislike Clay even more.
With each episode, it is pretty clear that getting involved with drugs was a huge mistake for SAMCRO, but as Jax says in this episode, they voted for it, so they have to see it through to the end, or else leave the club.However, when the vote was made, they did not seem to know that they were getting into the middle of a drug war between two Mexican cartels. This week, the Niners make a brief return, after being largely absent from this series. It is revealed that while the Sons were in prison, the Niners stepped into the cocaine trade with the Lobos Sonoras.
After a meeting with the Sons turns out to be an ambush from the Mayans and Galindos, the Niners are convinced to betray the Lobos. However, the Lobos somehow know it is a betrayal and fire a rocket launcher at the building. I don’t know where the Lobos get their intel or weaponry, but they seem to be more powerful than any foe that the Sons have faced before. Luis is desperate to make an example of the Niners by killing Leroy and a few others, but Jax steps in and convinces him not to, whilst Clay remains stony silent.
Gemma and Unser discover Piney’s body, as you will remember from last week’s shocking finale to the episode, Clay shot him in the chest. Both Gemma and Unser immediately know who is behind the murder, but decide to keep it to themselves, for the good of the club. Unser likens Clay to a ‘wounded animal’, which is about right. Clay is like De Niro in Goodfellas, killing off anyone who can tie him to the crime, whether it is an old friend or a family member. He is given a phone with one number in it from Luis.
The number is for an assassin that can kill Tara for him. He is told that once he is made the call, the hit cannot be stopped. However, after he has a heart to heart with Gemma, who has spoken to Tara and has promised not to tell anyone about the letters, because she knows that it would push Jax further into the arms of his club, you would think that Clay wouldn’t need to make the call after all, right? However, this is Clay, and as we’ve seen so far in this series, and in the past, Clay doesn’t believe in loose ends.
After Clay looks into his wife’s eyes and promises that he won’t hurt Tara, he makes the call to the assassin. Clay knows that Tara is going to be in Oregon and if all of the Sons are in Charming, then it can’t be traced back to him. However, Clay does not know that Jax is planning to go to Oregon with Tara, so it’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out next week, but I’m pretty sure that if anything happens to Tara, both Gemma and Unser will know who is responsible. Clay isn’t aware that there are still copies of John Teller’s letters around, so it doesn’t stop with Tara.
Elsewhere, Chibs reveals to Jax that Juice has attempted suicide. They agree to keep it to themselves as Juice would inevitable be exiled from the club. Later, Juice is picked up by Roosevelt and gets to see Lincoln Potter’s operation for himself. When he sees the amount of information held on SAMCRO, he loses it and attacks Roosevelt. Later when he is handcuffed and in a cell, Potter tells him that he isn’t all that interest in the Sons, what he really wants is the Real IRA. Potter asks Juice to find out when the Real IRA are meeting with the Cartel and in return, Potter has said that whilst a few key members of SAMCRO will be taken down, the club will ride on.
A few issues with this however, information on such a meeting would definitely be out of a fairly low level gang member like Juice’s reach, and secondly, we know that Potter will feed anyone empty promises to get what he wants. There is nothing stopping him from getting that information from Juice and then removing all the gangs from operation in one fell swoop.
This series is clearly a lot darker than the previous ones, and the cinematography in particular reflects this, with the usual shots of blazing California sun being replaced with a lot of gloomy internal shots in this episode. It works well, and reflects the impending doom felt by both the club and the viewer.
So, another solid, albeit slower episode this week. It gave the viewer a little bit of time to reflect on Piney’s death, while building the groundwork for what should be a stellar episode next week. As we go into the last three or four episodes, it’s clear that there is a huge finale being set up here.
Read our review of episode eight, Family Recipe, here.