Sons of Anarchy, Straw, Review

As the second-to-last Sons of Anarchy season opens, we are back in the saddle.

Sweet Zombie Jesus, I love September. September is the start of fall, and more importantly, the fall line-up. Boardwalk Empire (prayer circle for Gillian), The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and my personal favorite: Sons of Anarchy.

I braced myself for tonight and the 1.5 hour premier of Season 6. Kurt Sutter, SoA brain trust and lucky husband of the uber-talented and mega foxy Katie Sagal, swears that we are nearing the end. This is the second-to-last season. While I will be devastated to see the show end, Sutter knows it is better to go out with the fans wanting more, something that almost did not happen after the castastrophe which was Season 4. But this reviewer is willing to pretend Season 4 never happened. I dreamt it, then awoke to the glory that was Season 5.

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And what, exactly, happened in Season 5? Tough question.

Jax became President of SAMCRO. Tig incurred the wrath of the extremely powerful Damon Pope, who got his revenge by burning one of Tig’s daughters alive and then having Opie brutally beaten to death in jail. Clay was later framed for Pope’s murder by Juice and Gemma who were working for Jax in a bid to make up for their own mistakes (Juice killed a member of the club, Gemma for driving drunk and getting into an accident with Jax’s kids in the car). Clay will have lots of company in jail, Otto is still there (although he is on death row and down to one eye and no tongue), and Tara is locked up in the women’s detention center for giving Otto a weapon which he then used to stab a nurse to death. Of course this makes Gemma pretty happy since Tara was threatening to pack up her family and flee the state.

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By the end of the season, Bobbie had resigned as Vice President because of what Jax did to Clay. Gemma was back on the throne, with a new king (her pimp boyfriend Nero) in tow. Pope’s men had issued a $5 million bounty on Clay in retribution for their leader’s death. And Jax was pretty much screwed, per usual.

Good times.

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Sutter, who likes to keep the conflict dialed up, got Season 6 off at a dead run.

Otto has become the prison bitch for the guards, at the request of the retired U.S. Marshall whose sister he killed. Sutter does like to make Otto suffer, I guess with Opie gone, he has decided to crank the heat up on his own character, and oh my it ain’t pretty. What else? Bobbie has stepped away from Charming and is riding with another charter and contemplating the now defunct Nomads. Chibs has taken his place as Vice President, Happy is Sergeant-at-Arms. Juice gets his sweet, adorable, baby bunny face beaten. Gemma has set herself up as the happy home maker in Tara’s absence (which she swears she had nothing to do with) and is gleefully taking care of her grandsons. Tig has cracked and is still killing people on impulse (golden showers optional).

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Clay has been put in protective custody, courtesy of our U.S. Marshall friend (who, by the way, has a little addiction problem). His choices are pretty simple: help destroy the club or get sent to general population and await retribution from one of Pope’s underlings. Of course, I don’t think Clay is going to be that easy to manipulate. The old dog still has a lot of tricks.

Unlike, say, Tara who is not enjoying her time in lockup. Poor muffin, jail is so beneath her. She refuses to see Jax, and is convinced she has Gemma to thank for her situation until U.S. Marshall guy shows up and drops the same ultimatum on her that he gave to Clay. Tara may be a tough cookie, but she is not very good at playing the game. Between her, Otto, and Clay, I’m guessing she is the weakest link.

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Back at the club, Opie’s old lady, Lyla, makes a reappearance. Persian (ahem, Iranian) sado/masochist porn producers have turned her into a punching bag/ash tray. Yikes! Jax and Nero manage to shut down their production, but not before stepping on Robocop’s toes. Peter Weller as a corrupt cop who hangs out at a donut shop, seriously? AWESOME!

Weller forgives the boys for their incursion, but asks the MC to expand Nero’s operation to cover a brothel in his own territory. The brothel is run by a savvy blonde who quickly catches Jax’s eye. Poor Jax. So conflicted. His mom is a devious bitch, his club is in shambles, and his wife is pushing him away. What is a lonely guy to do? In a brothel … all alone … in a brothel. Just sayin’.

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But for all the crazy going on, there is a common thread, a young boy walks through the episode, and ends up at his Catholic school with one of SAMCRO’s machine guns. Ruh roh.

As awesome as tonight was, and boy did I enjoy being back in the saddle, the crazy naked dance of the inebriated U.S. Marshal and the wackadoodle 10 year old mass murder felt like a wee bit of overkill. Come on Sutter, I know you love to keep the action coming, but tighten it up for mommy!

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Den of Geek Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Stars

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Rating:

3.5 out of 5