“The Separation of Crows” showed the Sons of Anarchy’s world truly being shaken by the fallout from Jax’s rampage. For all of his clever machinations, Jax has met a formidable foe in August Marks, one who also has incredible financial and political resources. The gangland violence that SAMCRO is used to in their tangles with other clubs won’t fly here, and Jax starts the episode demoralized about how to fight it. In the end, he also finds that the terms are not negotiable. Hit the jump if you thought for a moment that Abel murdered those birds.
The spirit of J.T. is still within Jax, regarding the club. The beginning of “The Separation of Crows” showed his hesitation over how the tables have turned. So many dead, and SAMCRO still doesn’t have leverage against Marks. Though Lin is in jail, that’s only part of the overall plan. We haven’t seen Jax on the roof in awhile, and it’s significant that when he’s been up there in the past, it’s been to reflect on the club and where SAMCRO is headed (and of course, for some quality Journaling Jax time).
Chibs essentially tells Jax that they’ve come too far to turn back. It would be worse if the deaths that have happened have happened needlessly, and if Bobby has suffered in vain. Galvanized but still distracted by Bobby’s kidnapping, he allows Happy, Tig and Chibs to get their way about focusing on who ratted out the club to Lin. But Jax’s conversation with Jerry — in which Jerry brings up that old JT versus Clay dichotomy that Jax is trying to avoid thinking about — ends violently, showing that Jax has lost sight as a leader. As the VP of Indian Hills says angrily to them, Jax’s act will have repercussions throughout the organization. Later, Chibs returns with Jax to the roof and counsels caution, but it feels too late.
The worst thing about what happened between Jax and Jerry was how he not only lied about it right after it happened (that he shot Jerry in self defense, and that Jerry admitted to ratting out the club — something he expressly denied, even though he was so blunt about everything else), but that he didn’t confide the truth to Chibs. That deceit to the club is a difficult thing, especially since Chibs seems to know there’s more to the story, but fears what he may find if he presses it — much like Unser and his suspicions about Juice and Gemma’s alliance.
The club’s other allies, like Tyler, are also starting to question the war with Marks, and whether it’s worth it to them. SAMCRO has almost never been the underdog in these fights, which is why it was so easy for Jax to build alliances in the first place. But with Marks showing his strength against the club in quietly brutal and personal ways (unlike Lin’s explosions and SAMCRO’s gun fights), the bystanders may be wondering if they’ve backed the wrong horse.
Instability is currently coursing through every aspect of Sons of Anarchy, and is particularly obvious within the Teller family. Gemma may have gotten it together after confessing her sins to Thomas, but Abel heard that confession, and is being deeply affected by it. He’s acting out in school, which isn’t new for him, but he’s also questioning Gemma to her face. “Do you know what an accident is?” she asks when discussing the harm Abel did to his classmate. “Do you?” he retorts, eyes burning into hers. Although for now, he’s staying quiet about what he overheard.
Unser, too, seems caught up in wondering about the truth, but will always tow the line for Gemma. Where things may start to unravel for him is with Eglee. There’s really been no reason to re-introduce her this season and have Unser bring her up all of the time unless she has a role to play in coming episodes. Unser’s fatherly affection for her may cause him to reconsider his allegiance to the club, and even possibly to Gemma, though, if something happens to her (which at this point, seems very likely).
There are still a lot of things to settle out still on Sons of Anarchy, but despite being a mid-season episode, “A Separation of Crows” kept things very character-driven, with a lot of personal and revelatory moments that the show is not always good about including at this point. It’s finding a way to extend the arcs it set up at the end of last year in believable ways, allowing them to increase in complexity, while also adding new dimension (like Juice being allowed back into the club if he is able to kill Lin, and also plant the false names of the killers with Jarry). Plus, with Jax as unhinged as we have ever seen him, nothing is certain.
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Bobby is the new Otto, it seems — destined to lose all of his body parts until he’s just a raised middle finger.
— For a mid-season episode, Sons of Anarchy is really keeping the suspense high.
— SAMCRO did away with Lin pretty easily, but I’m glad that Marks is proving to be more of a challenge (just narratively, it’s more satisfying).
— R.I.P., Jerry. If he says he didn’t rat out the club, then I believe him.
— “I love you, Philip” – Jax.
— Juice befriends a roach in jail … and then kills it. I still don’t totally trust him about … anything.
— Tyler seems like the weakest gangster we’ve ever seen on the show.
— Heads-up, militias: you can’t hide from Google Earth!
— “Suck my big white dick” – Bobby.
— “It doesn’t matter [what happened to JT]. A long as he isn’t here to see what SAMCRO did to you” – Jerry’s last words.
— A lot of nice shots of the club riding this week. Have missed that.
— When Wendy found Abel up early, I was sure she was going to see he was drawing up some revenge plans against Gemma in crayon.
— “It’s not my place to judge. We all fall down. It’s about how we get up” – Gemma.