The fallout of the war between the Sons of Anarchy and Lin’s Chinese game continued in “Some Strange Eruption,” but things didn’t get really interesting until the end. That war is, after all, based on a lie. Sons of Anarchy‘s final season hinges on when — or even if — that truth will come to light. Meanwhile, the slaughter continues with abandon. “Some Strange Eruption” had some good plots twists and turns, which has been the show’s bread and butter in the last few years. But the struggle for how Juice will fit in to all of this moving forward is the reason we should all be glued to the action. Hit the jump if you want to sign up your kids up for brothel daycare.
I want to kick things off by talking about Nero. How many times is he going to be duped by Jax, and then instantly forgive him for it? I had genuinely forgotten that the reason SAMCRO wanted to kill Juice (again) is because he told Nero that the “junkie mother” of the schoolyard murderer didn’t accidentally OD — he killed her on Jax’s orders. This wasn’t even the first sign for Nero that Jax was never cluing him in completely. As much as Jax likes Nero (or at least, finds him useful), Nero isn’t a member of SAMCRO. There will always be a barrier regarding how much Jax shares.
Jax’s latest lies to him also left Diosa at risk, and as we saw at the end of “Poor Little Lambs,” that weakness left an opening for Lin to paint the walls red. The location and phone call before the slaughter was a smart move on Lin’s part — it would potentially make Nero pay for Jax’s sins, and open him up to the truth of Jax’s obfuscations. It might also turn him against SAMCRO. The interesting thing is … it didn’t. And it never does.
Nero’s psychological dependency to Gemma (and therefore the club) aside, Jax already had a retaliation scheme in play to get back at Lin. Using Nero to help set the scene (as well as Barosky’s connection to the Stockton police), Jax was able to put all of Lin’s guys up against the fence, literally, and then in a strange move, opted for some bare-knuckle boxing with Lin. Unser’s tip to Althea about the Chinese broke things up before Jax was ready, but the scene served to put Lin onto the reason for Jax’s hatred. On the other hand, it was so obviously a stall tactic that it didn’t even make sense. “We don’t have time for this,” Bobby commented. I agree.
Lin being keyed in to Jax’s misinformed idea about Tara’s death will only get him so far, because Jax will certainly believe Gemma’s version of events over anyone else’s. But Gemma’s story is thin, which Unser starts to get a sense of when they go to pick up Juice. Juice, nearly spilling the beans and acting incredibly erratically (and killing yet another innocent) sets Gemma on a different path. Instead of stowing him away, she plans to kill him.
Juice has managed to survive through a lot over the years with SAMCRO, and it seemed unlikely that he would die so easily at Gemma’s hand. Also, if she did kill him, then there would be no way for the truth of Tara and Eli’s murders to ever come to light, and I just have to believe that at some point they will (because otherwise, it’s just Gemma allowing for the slaughter of a ton of Chinese people so that Jax can feel better).
Instead, Juice wises up to Gemma’s scheme, and ends up subverting her plan by holding the gun to her head out in the desert. There’s no way Juice will kill Gemma, but if he really wanted to repay her betrayal in a way that would assuage his guilty soul as well, he would call Jax up and tell him the truth. At the same time, it’s still fairly early in the season for something that big to drop, but regardless, what “Some Strange Eruption” set up in that final scene was the most interesting thing the show has done yet this season.
Episode Rating: B
Musings and Miscellanea:
— I wonder if the Indian Hills guy is going to come back into play, with the club finding out that he ratted them to Lin? I guess it almost doesn’t matter now, unless they feed him more intel that he could also use to harm them.
— Peter Weller, who plays Barosky, directed this episode.
— I don’t know how the feds wouldn’t be all over Charming after that massacre. I know it was a brothel, and the violence was attributed to gang violence, but still.
— Jax sitting in that house of corpses …
— I like Althea. I think she’s a kind of Sheriff of the Unser mould (willing to work with the club and “within outlaw code,” and she even smokes pot), but without his complete wishy washy nature. But history seems to be repeating itself. Unser was connected to Gemma, so let more slide than he should have, kind of like Althea and Chibs are being set up to be perhaps? Gemma has already said that Abel is like Jax, and given his anger and confusion over what’s been happening recently, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume he could be going down that same path.
— Abel wielding that hammer was pretty frightening.
— I don’t know if I ever knew Chibs’ name was Philip, or this was the first time we heard it, but it made me double take! Is this also the first time we’ve seen Chibs’ tattoos? Or has it just been a really long time?
— “Ain’t my war, amigo” – Barosky.
— Jax referring to Chucky as family is quite a turnaround for that character. Also, the scene of the kids being taken care of by the porn actresses … I didn’t see any daughters, though, only sons … and of course they would be into it.
— Tig wanting to put that flute up Barosky’s associate’s ass … I guess Tig is all healed now?
— “Why does this keep happening, why do people keep dying?” – Lyla.