This review contains spoilers.
6.10 Huang Wu
With the reopening of the repair shop, Jax showing restraint but not attacking Tara, Nero being back in business, and Katey Segal’s angelic voice guiding us while we check in with the major players, Sons of Anarchy gives the impression that new beginnings are possible as well as the hope that things are finally looking up for everybody now that the truth is exposed. I am sure that most people were expecting a massive confrontation between Jax and Tara and I think it was wise not to jump right into that potential catastrophe. Once again though, remember moments of calm on Sons of Anarchy are pretty much always followed by complete and utter mayhem. How fitting that the opening segment ends with Clay trying to expedite his escape and narratively speaking set the spark in motion for the ensuing chaos to follow.
We also have a very poignant scene this week in which Tara realizes just how much she is now endangering the lives of the people around her. Poor Margaret Murphy, who has been Tara’s only real ally when you think about it, is now in legitimate fear for her life, as is her lawyer Ally Lowen. It appears that Mr. Mayhem now affects pretty much every player in Tara’s life and when she breaks down and cries in her office where she faked her miscarriage perhaps Tara realizes that her sons are next on the list, no matter what she does. More intrigue is added to Tara as she desperately confronts Wendy about being the weak link in her plan and the two share a painful exchange in which Tara realizes that the core difference between she and Wendy is that Tara is wiling to sacrifice her life in order to save her children, and Wendy never could. Tara’s Ophelia-like descent into madness seems to be just about complete as after confronting Jax in the brothel she completely loses it and realizes before driving off that she had basically lost her mind. Now the question is will Tara commit suicide, and if she does will that ‘weight’ on Jax destroy him? Also, how perfect was it that Jax leaves one women behind who has been physically battered, Colette, and then leaves another one behind who has been psychologically damaged beyond repair?
Gemma and Tara get to have yet another wonderful exchange that reveals so much about who these two women really are. Both are extremely powerful women who, under different circumstances, could have very easily been squaring off in a boxing ring or as political opponents. Yet their different ideas about ‘family’ is what puts these two at odds and it always boils down to who is going to control Jax. In case anyone who watches the show refused to believe that Jax has a complicated relationship with Gemma that borders on being Oedipal in its nature, how fitting was it that Gemma, upon meeting Colette for the first time, is immediately confrontational to her and then Nero tells her that “he is working out his mommy issues.” Lastly, with Tara what happens to a person who is willing to be a ‘Judas’ and then gets turned down? Kurt Sutter and his crew do a wonderful job of creating complicated story arcs for their characters and they have done a masterful job with Tara.
You have to hand it to Galen O’Shay as he takes command of every scene that he is in. As disturbing as his complete disregard for human life is – especially if the people he comes into contact with happen to be minorities – his ability to turn off any bit of human compassion that may reside in him and consistently prove to his adversaries that he and the Irish are always calling the shots makes him grow larger in stature as a villain, and a more-than worthy adversary for the club. It also shows us that in this violent criminal world, emotion is what will get you killed and it reminds us of Jax’s biggest achilles heel. Ironically Jax’s ability to be motivated almost solely by his emotional turmoil is exactly what makes us root for him. Although Gemma makes a really good point about her son when she says “my son loves deep, hates deeper.” This emotional turmoil may be the very thing that ruins Jax in the end and it is fitting that this character trait has been present in him ever since we first met the current king.
We had a few nice twists in this episode involving Galen insisting that SAMCRO be involved with Clay’s escape from prison. We have the reintroduction of Henry Lin and the Chinese to the narrative mix, with the Chinese insisting that they get SAMCRO’s gun business as opposed to the Irish. This complicates things for Jax because it will hurt him in being able to follow through on the deal that he concocted with the DA. Of course Galen’s rash action was actually not as bold a move as we had initially thought, because the Chinese wanted to cut the Irish out of the gun business. It is also worth discussing that the gun meet involved three distinct ethnic groups, Irish, Italian and Chinese, trying to get a piece of the ‘American Dream’ by destroying each other in the process. Is the show perhaps making a comment about ethnic and racial tensions that exist not only in America but worldwide? On top of that, the leader of the Italian connection has a great line to Galen about how his tactics undermined the “free market approach” they were tying to partake in. Is it not fitting that this business deal was sealed in blood and negotiated over dead bodies? This potential criticism of the most perverse aspects of capitalism make yet bother strong connection to the narrative themes present Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Godfather.
With the anticipation built up in last weeks episode I have to say that I left this episode not necessarily feeling disappointed but perhaps more eager to watch next week’s instalment because it is time for the mayhem to ensue. As we only have three episodes left, the time for the biggest emotional gut-punches to be thrown is upon us and I can no longer wait patiently to see how the Irish deal goes down and how Clay’s escape will undoubtedly be amongst the shows most memorable sequences. I would be willing to bet that at least one major character gets killed by the end of the season but who will it be is anyones guess because everyone seems to be at risk. The one prediction that I am going to be bold and make is that somehow Clay will make it to the next season. Somehow I just do not believe that Kurt Sutter is done with him yet. Bring on next week!
Read Matthew’s review of the previous episode, John 8:32, here.
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