SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Orca Shrugged”

     October 9, 2012

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Tonight was the first time Sons of Anarchy made me laugh — and I mean really laugh, hard — in a very long time.  It’s something I’ve been moaning about for ages: yes the show is about a hardcore motorcycle gang, but one of the things that makes it so engaging is its bizarre, dark humor.  But what the scene starring Venus van Damme showed us more than anything was not only that the MC can still have fun despite the truly horrific things that have happened to them recently, but that there are alternatives to Clay’s violent approach to everything.  There are ways to threaten and blackmail that don’t include dressing up Fat Jake (Joe Caniano) from Boardwalk Empire (crossover moment — they’d better watch their backs or Al Capone is gonna get ‘em!) in some kind of S&M scene with a transsexual bouncing on him, sure, but that wouldn’t be as fun.  For more on these shenanigans and some of the darker moments of the week, hit the jump.

sons-of-anarchy-charlie-hunnam“Orca Shrugged” was a great example of what an MC like John Teller envisioned would be like today, without Clay’s gun trading and cocaine and federal heat.  It’s a table full of freaky, intense dudes who may not have their hands in completely clean dealings, but are certainly not engaged in the amount of bloodshed SAMCRO has been over the last few seasons.

Opie’s death woke everyone up to something that many had been in denial about, and solidified an alliance among Jax, Chibs, Bobby and Tig to promote less violence and “eye for an eye” thinking, and more low-key dealings.  SAMCRO still has to finish up with their obligations to Galindo and the Irish, but as soon as they do, they can just focus on things that are pink, wet, and taste like sunshine (Italian ice cream, obviously).

Nothing is ever so simple for the club, but a girl can dream.  Meanwhile, SAMCRO is getting involved in politics just enough to get what they want (Jacob Hale’s empty Elk lodge), and having a grand time in the process.  Not only did HBO’s Boardwalk Empire alum Fat Jake make an appearance, but so did Tommy (Marshall Allman) from True Blood, as well as a new transsexual friend, Venus van Damme (a.k.a. Walton Goggins from Justified), whose entire scene had me rolling.  I was very concerned after Dawn’s death that Tig would not ever be the same, but my necrophiliac, bestiality-sampling doll fearer is back in the best of ways, not only having stirring feelings towards Venus, but getting — for better or worse — a boner while his bitten ass was getting sewn up (naturally).

Of course the best part of the scene was not just Tig’s reaction to Venus but everyone elses’ reaction to Tig.  In the end, what needed to be done was done with the blackmail pictures, including a fun side-journey into how easily someone can apparently be talked into having one’s “dick sucked by a Southern gal with a huge cock.”  This and everything else helped illustrate that Jax has a cool control over the club’s dealings, and is receiving only minimal resistance from Clay.  But Clay loading up his gun makes one wonder.  Further, with Clay taking sides with the Nomads at the table, might he be involved in the break-in scheme, too?

sons-of-anarchy-tommy-flanagan-mark-boone-juniorThe break-in to the Roosevelt’s house was a sad moment, though I’m almost positive that anyone who was paying attention when Eli’s wife, who has trouble getting pregnant, appeared out of nowhere and the two shared a happy moment together expressing love for each other and — oop — the baby … well, that pretty much sealed her fate right then and there.  She may not die (hopefully not), but the baby likely won’t make it, which will make Eli (who, like Jax, remains fairly calm through things, or at least can be reasonable about it) surely go completely batshit in retaliation.

Back to the lighter moments, it’s a nice change when the guns and fisticuffs on the show are just part of, say, an “Irish Discussion” and not a murder.  Galen and Jax’s Snatch-esque scene played over light-hearted music (though we didn’t get to see how it ended), and Galen exacted his revenge by blowing up some of the Sons’ bikes with his insane artillery (which Jax took in stride, though the same cannot be said for Chibs).  It was tense but enjoyable because the stakes were lowered — no one burning the death, no one getting bludgeoned the death or shot to death — no death at all! (at least in that scene).

“Orca Shrugged” reminded me a great deal of Sons of Anarchy‘s first season, and it was a welcome relief from the dour horror of its first few episodes this year.  Things are sure to go dark again, but in the meantime, let’s just take what we can get before a cooler with a finger and titty show up on our kitchen table.  Oh and next week — Joel McHale!

Episode Rating: A

sons-of-anarchy-season-5-timothy-murphy-ron-perlmanMusings and Miscellanea:

— Really getting tired of Tara suddenly ignoring her children and smoking weed with a brooding expression.  Such uneven writing with her character …

— As much as I love Jax and the show, the “Jax’s Diary” moments always make me want to laugh.  Just a tad.

— Jacob Hale, you cannot pull off a goatee.

— “Why does this shit always happen to me?” – Tiggy

— I cracked up at the guys saying calmly how they all suck cock, especially Chibs miming and saying “oh yeah, two dicks.”

— “I’ll make you cum so hard it’ll make your grandmama wet.” – Venus van Damme

— It’s interesting that Jax is running Gemma’s life now for a change by dictating her relationship with Nero, though it doesn’t seem like it will end quite the way Jax is hoping it would.

— I loved it when Chibs put on his glasses before performing surgery on Tig.

— Wait, did Gemma have another lesbian encounter? (opening montage)

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