SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Los Fantasmas”

     October 29, 2013


A quiet week for Sons of Anarchy, if by quiet you mean seeing someone get brutally run down and someone else stabbing themselves in the throat — and I do.  Most of “Los Fantasmas” was given over to machinations: Patterson calls for the publication of one of the most outrageous headlines ever seen, Tara schemes against Gemma who schemes against Wendy to get to Tara, and Nero considers his options to sell out himself, his crew, or SAMCRO.  Eli, meanwhile, wandered around giving everyone the side-eye because they are all obviously lying to each other and setting everybody else up.  Then again, what else is new in Charming?  Hit the jump for more. 

sons-of-anarchy-los-fantasmasAfter two weeks of club bonding and a good dose of humor, things sobered up in this hour in the aftermath of Tara’s “miscarriage,” and its implications for those on the outskirts of the club.  Gemma, Wendy, Unser and Tara and all helping or hurting (or helping to hurt) each other while SAMCRO remains relatively stable, and it’s still not clear where that will lead.  It was nice to have Unser telling some hard truths to Gemma about her smothering and controlling relationship with her family, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears since she went directly afterwards to work Wendy over to her side.  But whether Tara gets away with it or Jax does find out the truth, Tara would be gone either way.  And would we really want another season of Jax’s man pain?

“Los Fantasmas” was full of a lot of “what the hell?” particularly the headline that was allowed to run in the local newspaper.  Look, I know standards of journalism have fallen, but that is truly one of the most ridiculous headlines I’ve ever seen. I would love to have read the rest of that article.  What was there left to say after a lede that basically read, “he did it and he did it, case closed!”

In any event, Patterson did have egg on her face (and blood on her hands) later when, of course, one of the fathers of a slain boy at the school went after Nero’s crew for some vigilante justice.  As if there was ever any question.  This is Charming, after all.

sons-of-anarchy-los-fantasmas-maggie-siffAt least she admitted to Nero that she knows Toric killed the escort, which is somewhat meaningless since she didn’t buy Nero’s confession anyway, further proving the pointlessness of Toric in the first place.  If you think back to those early episodes this season that were elongated to house all of these plots, particularly about Clay and Toric, it’s an incredible waste.  Toric was never a compelling or sympathetic character.  We didn’t care then, and don’t care now.  Nero is free, and the only thing Patterson can hang on him — which could have happened without Toric — is the weight of his conscience regarding those other children.

The best part of “Los Fantasmas” was the best part of most Sons of Anarchy episodes — chapel.  That is, anytime the club gets together like that and banters.  Chapel is a great place for the show to just spell out where we are with the plot, while also giving us some nice character moments, like Bobby appointing himself the operations manager for Carra Carra.  This is the backbone of the show, and why the last two episodes have been so successful, while this one — focusing on ancillary characters — was less satisfying.

Still, “Los Fantasmas” continues to work the shooting into the narrative, and seems to building to some big drama regarding Tara, Gemma, Nero and the fate of the club, which is essentially where a mid-season episode should put us.  The lack of levity though was acutely felt.

Episode Rating: B-

Musings and Miscellanea:

– Nothing against Donal Logue, I just was really annoyed with the Toric storyline.

– Tara’s excuse of doing all of this for her kids sounded like Walter White.  It seems like her plan to include Wendy and Unser also might have been a mistake.  Of course, if it came down to it, it would be Wendy’s word against Margaret’s, and Wendy is not a reliable witness.

– ”I’m tired of being hated” – Wendy.

– I felt legitimately bad for Wendy in this episode.  She seemed so metaphysically defeated.  But her shooting up … I don’t know, pretty tired of that as well.

– “These IQs are overwhelming me” – Bobby about the Carra girls.

– “Black. With lots of sugar. The coffee.” – Eli.

sons-of-anarchy-los-fantasmas-charlie-hunnamI feel like Jax has cut Gemma off before, hasn’t he?  And obviously it never sticks.  Knowing Sons of Anarchy as we do though, I can’t imagine that Tara will triumph over Gemma in this matter.

– Patterson seems a lot like Eli when he started.  I can’t believe Eli would just agree with her saying “we die how we deserve” though, given the needless slaughter of his pregnant wife.

– The guy getting run over was a serious “daaaaaaaaaaamn” moment from the show.

– “I know I’m just an old, dirty dinosaur” – Charlie.  So far he seems to be keeping Jax in the loop at every turn, but we’ll see how that pans out.  He had some great one-liners in this episode: “Patterson’s going to want my balls in a paper cup!” and “I chopped, burned and buried her, like all pedophiles should be.”

  • Leo Spaceman

    You have no idea what you are talking about with the Toric story line. Donal was supposed to be around for the entire season. Unfortunately he was contractually obligated to film Vikings in Scotland. He had to be written out of the show. That forced some changes down the show’s throat because they couldn’t recast someone so major who had been in season 5. Instead they brought in CCH Pounder to take over the story line. Kurt Sutter talked about it specifically and he talked about how when they were filming their final scene, rather than writing ‘Your sisters blood tasted as good as her pussy’ Kurt wrote ‘I love you brother’. Shit happens, don’t go blaming the show for it. Also Nero never confessed to killing one of her girls. He confessed to supplying the gun that lead to the death of the school children.

    • LEM

      I didn’t hear that but it makes sense because Logue is great and I was looking forward to him on this season but when it took such an abrupt turn I knew he there had to be a reason.

      • Daniel Ronczkowski

        Logue was gangster this season I love it! On a side note abc family has been replaying Grounded for Life again!

      • LEM

        That show was great and Terriers was incredible, I really wish FX stuck with it a little more.

  • Andrew from Troy

    Where has Clay been? He almost seems to have been forgotten. Glad the promo for next week shows him finally reappearing.

    I’m hoping the two scumbag prison guards will show up again and get what they deserve. I expected them to show up when Gemma visited Clay the second time, just staring at her. When that didn’t happen, I hoped Nero would somehow recognize them in jail and kill them, throwing the club into even more chaos. Jax killing the guard who allowed Opie to die definitely shows there’s a precedent for killing bad prison guards.

  • Slippery Johnny

    Absolutely no mention of Juice not even flinching when the car driven by the crazed driver just missed him? That’s gonna have a payoff at some point you’d have to believe.

  • Nick

    I can’t fathom why you write these reviews each week. Not only do you not seem to get the show… You seem to genuinely dislike it…. Toric was a flat character and if they made him less extreme and villainous I probably would have been more drawn in, but it still is the driving force for everything that’s riding against the club so making it out to be over and pointless is ridiculous. Just stop reviewing it if you don’t like what the shows about. The violence and womanizing and the writing of the show have not wavered since day one.