This week, Sons of Anarchy gave the club — and us viewers — some time to mourn, regroup, and refocus. Jax wants to move to club away from “the shit that’s killing us” and try and get back into business with girls instead of guns and drugs. The dealings with Pope have caused the club to reconsider itself, which is certainly a good thing. The “blood for blood” retaliation that they were focused on under Clay has seen its day, and it was a great little moment when Chibs and Jax put their guns down to prevent a “hood war.” As Chibs sagely said, “we’ve got to stop killing each other over a bit of gash.” Speaking (derogatorily) of women, they were at the forefront of “Stolen Huffy” and did not get the good side of anything, but what else is new in Charming? It’s a dangerous place to be a bit of a gash. For more on that and why everyone seems to have a Gemma-sized problem right now, hit the jump.
Gemma wrecked havoc all over Charming this week, starting with the vice raid on Nero’s business that was traced back to her altercation with Emma Jean (Ashley Tisdale), even though we later learned that Emma Jean wasn’t necessarily the rat, it’s likely still down to Gemma somehow. Afterwards, she was confronted by Wendy who has wised up to Gemma’s mischievous ways after Gemma’s advice to her on how to handle things with Tara made the situation worse than ever before. Wendy knows, however, that to have any chance at being in Abel’s life she needs to at least stay friendly with Gemma now that the door has been opened and the olive branch extended. Plus, as Wendy pointed out, Gemma must be in desperate need of friends if she’s turning to Wendy to bail her out of a jail.
Though Gemma tries to convince Wendy that her chance with Abel is through Jax, it may actually still be through Tara. Though Tara is rightfully tough with her, as a mother and as someone who wants to keep peace and truth at the forefront she understands Wendy and her request better than Jax, who has cut her cleanly off. It seems doubtful that the show would have dragged Wendy back into things if there wasn’t going to be some future or resolution with her, Tara, Jax and Abel, but we’ll see.
Gemma stirred up trouble elsewhere by deflecting Tara’s anger from herself onto Nero’s assistant Carla, a.k.a. Dora the Whora in one of the weirdest argument nonsequitors I’ve ever seen. Further, Gemma tells Tara that she’ll “prove” Carla was behind Jax sliding off his bike and Nero’s gang coming after him, but all she does is call her a whore and instigate her into a fight. Yes Tara should have pulled Carla off of Gemma when she was strangling her, but she didn’t need to beat Carla in her place because the scenario didn’t make any sense. The only explanation must be that Tara was substituting Carla for her real anger at Gemma, who she knows she can’t attack. Messy, all around.
The attack on Carla plus Jax’s suggestion (and business-related request) that Nero stay away from Gemma seems to be the nail in the coffin of that relationship. Jax seems to have a real affinity and respect for Nero, and while Nero’s relationship with Gemma may typically only have gotten a raised eyebrow from him, he’s right to separate them in the case of any business dealings, which Clay could sabotage out of jealousy. As he said, “that shit is deep, and it will bleed.” Then he tells Nero that he had “untwisted my mommy thing” … because he married Gemma Jr.? In any case, Jax is dolling out some good advice that hopefully Nero will adhere to, but with Gemma on the loose there’s never any telling what could come of it.
Emma Jean and Lyla were on the fringes of the episode but were still important parts, showing the mercy of the same men who refer to them as gashes and talk casually about cutting off their thumbs and tits (maybe not Lyla, at least not recently, but still). Jax introduces Lyla to her new family of SAMCRO, even though she more or less abandoned them along with Opie, she has no choice now since she has his kids to think of. Bringing Lyla back into the fold from the defunct Carra Carra to the new venture Jax is looking to have with Nero would be good for her, and also as a way for Jax to keep memories of Opie — and an obligation to look after his family — close.
It was a quiet week in Sons of Anarchy terms, but it did a good job in dealing with the emotional fallout from Opie’s death (as much as Sons is willing to, anyway) and setting up new schemes for weeks to come. It wasn’t a great episode, and it had some questionable moments, but it continues to be a show that’s still fun, if at times emotionally difficult, to watch.
Episode Rating: B-
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Nice tribute to Opie.
— Emma Jean healed amazingly quickly and is already taking clients I see.
— It really is disturbing how casually everyone just talks about taking a thumb and a tit, whether it be Emma Jean’s or parts from a corpse.
— Jax’s plan about a new venture with the old Carra Carra girls sounds good, so I’m sure it will all go to shit.
— We still haven’t spent much time with the fringe members of the club, but if all the screen time Juice gets is to be shirtless, I’m appeased by that.
— Tara smoking pot again … Tara suffers from a lot of uneven writing, and this development falls in line with that. On the other hand, can you blame her to seeking some solace in escapism?
— I am really liking Chibs’ role as Jax’s new right hand man. He cleans up messes well.
— So who called the cops on Nero’s operation?