There was only one thing Sons of Anarchy really needed to do this season after the school shooting in its premiere, and that was to justify it within the show’s world. Amazingly, “Salvage” did everything it needed to make that shooting matter, not only in the context of the season but relating to SAMCRO as well. As noted in other episodes this season, Sons of Anarchy‘s biggest triumph this year was bringing things back to club, and incorporating elements from the past, like the connection with the Irish. And while Eli told Jax that things looked like the same old stuff SAMCRO was usually involved with, Jax’s speech at the table told a different story. Hit the jump for why “SAMCRO’s future is in pussy, not bullets.”
Unlike other explosions or events that lead to tit-for-tat between the club and their enemies, last week’s hit by the IRA gave Jax the opportunity for the first time to really show how he was going to be different from Clay. Chibs was absolutely right last week that Jax’s unilateral decisions were hurting the club and his legitimacy, but him handing Jax the gavel to start “Salvage” was an olive branch. This was the time to “make things right.” With this new club, how would that look?
In one of the best scenes that Sons of Anarchy has had in a long time, Jax made it clear. His monologue at the table with all of the club — not just Redwood, but every charter — was exceptional. Here’s where it all came together: the school shooting mattered because it helped galvanize the club to get out of guns. It was something Jax had been moving towards anyway, but now the connection and chain became clear. Jax wanted out, stated his reasons, and made a compelling claim to get the brotherhood back. Who could argue with that? Three cheers!
The return of Bobby back into the fold was another great sign and nice moment for the club. He had not been out trying to start his own charter, but was trying to find more members to bring to the beleaguered Redwood (as most of us suspected). It showed his faith in Jax, but also his shrewdness — he was finding men who agreed with his (i.e. JT’s) desires for the MC, and so he brought with him a voting bloc, too. It seems he won’t necessarily need it, though. Jax has found his right path.
There are many fans who abandoned Sons before this season, and I can understand why. The premiere and the first few episodes did little to make us believe in the show again. But in these last few weeks, and particularly with “Salvage,” the show is back to where it started. It’s funny, it’s emotional, it’s about brotherhood and justice. Yes, there’s a lot in there still that keeps Sons from being a top tier series, but there was no better title for this week’s hour. The show and the club have been salvaged. For now. Let’s hope it holds.
Episode Rating: A
— Oh hello there, Walton Goggins! He has returned as Venus. Not that he really needed to narratively, but who can say no to Venus? This season has been such a Shield reunion.
— I loved Eli’s meta comment to Jax: “For the last few years, everything the MC has done has come back on it, and everybody knows it. Do you think anybody’s going to bring their car to get worked on here anymore?” I adore the idea that the MC has even been a working garage for the last 4+ years anyway.
— Juice “going cowboy” on the crooked cops seemed out of character with the way he’s been lately, but I think the explanation that he wants to step up to prove himself again to Jax and Chibs made sense. He needs to do it for the viewers, too, because he really had been little more than a mopey pussy lately.
— Jax: “We know a scam when we we one.” Tig: “Yeah, I’ve seen Smokey and the Bandit like a thousand times, love that movie.”
— So many instances of humor in this hour, mostly regarding the crooked cops. But the favorite moment had to be when Happy went nuts clanging that bell, and Jax told him “ENOUGH!” with a laugh. When is the last time Jax laughed or showed any personality? He had a lot in “Salvage,” and that was great to see back.
— The Irish Kings giving Galen the side-eye was also a great moment.
— Lee Toric left the most obvious crime scene in the world. Bullet holes, drugs, etc. But he bleached the tub!
— The show made a big statement saying how 20 of their members had been killed because of the gun trade over the last two years. Speaking of time, only one week has passed since the premiere!?
— I’ll be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what Tara is doing. Also, isn’t she from Charming? Is she not in touch with any of her family? I just find it hard to believe of anyone in the world, Wendy is the best choice as surrogate mother for those boys.
— “Considering I rode your cock yesterday for that creep show, I was thinking maybe you owed me one” – Gemma, who was on fire in this episode. Her barging into the police station several times was golden.
— D.A. Patterson is really annoying (sorry, CCH Pounder!) but I like that she snatched her own wig!
— “You can run from the pain, or you can allow it to burn into your heart as a mark and constant reminder of the love that brought us all here.” – Jax