Sons of Anarchy: Smoke ‘em if You Got ‘em Review

The truth is coming dangerously close to bringing these characters down in another finest hour for Sons of Anarchy.

Last episode may have seen Gemma groveling in the dirt, begging Juice not to kill her, but this episode shows her hoofing it through the desert in her (ruined) suede high heel boots. Girlfriend just has a knack for survival. Juice, on the other hand does not.

I hate to say it, but in terms of character development this season, Juice, Gemma, and Wendy are shooting for the moon. Meanwhile, Jax and Nero are basically tooling around in the dirt. Sure, Jax has turned into a low, down, dirty, dog in his unmoored quest for vengeance. But his thirst for blood is not new, nor is it surprising. I guess he got all his character growth out of the way last season, what with killing Clay and agreeing to go to prison for Tara. And I stand by my previous assertion that Nero has basically degraded into an abused housewife. Look, we all agree that Gemma is a sexy mamma-jamma, but at this point Nero should acknowledge that the relationship is way more trouble than it is worth.

Where does that leave us? With Gemma continuing her downward spiral (and emoting like a motherfucker), while Juice flails around like baby bird that fell out of the nest. He could not bring himself to kill Gemma, just steal her car. Which he then tries to sell to the Mayans (along with Sons intel) for safe passage into Mexico.

Our poor bald headed baby bird. If there is one thing all the MCs share, it is a general distaste for snitches.

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The Mayans turn Juice over to the Sons of Anarchy in return for a cut of Lin’s drug and gun trade, to be further divvied up with Marilyn Manson’s Nazis. On a related note, Manson appears to have hired an acting coach; he was not nearly so wooden this episode. Although, I would have liked it better if his character had been called upon to service Lea Michele’s cameo character. But then, I am a bad person.

Anywho, after running amok with the Grim Bastards, duking it out with the Nazis, gunning down bangers and leaving their bodies in August’s backyard, the Sons finally get Juice back. The question is what will they do with him?

The assumption being Jax will kill Juice. I am dubious. If I were to rely on my shitty psychic powers, I would guess that Nero will pull a Hail Mary pass. Nero knows that Juice is in deep shit for confessing prior sins to him. Nero knows that Gemma has been helping Juice, and that she is terrified of Jax finding out. Is it so far out of the realm of possibility that Nero swoops in and pulls a long overdue favor from the emotionally abusive son of his girlfriend and asks him to spare Juice’s life? No.

Although it would be satisfying to watch Juice die and then spend the next six episodes watching Gemma slowly collapse under the weight of her guilt for killing Tara; without the benefit of external interference (i.e. Juice confessing). Imagine if she ended up outing herself to Unser, Nero, Wendy, or even Jax? The first three of which are incapable of keeping their mouths shut. Talk about character development! Even more poignant than Juice coming to terms with his cowardice, Gemma’s inability to keep her shit together would result in some epic unraveling.

God alone knows what will happen when Gemma’s “confession” to the Sherriff gets picked apart by Lin. What lengths will the biker queen go to in order to hold on?

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4.5 out of 5