SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “What a Piece of Work Is Man”

     November 4, 2014


“You need to trust me,” Jax says to Grant, part of the church family he’s trying to protect and use as leverage against Marks.  It’s also a constant refrain he uses on everyone.  Finally, someone is calling him on it: “Stop saying that.  Every time you do, something bad happens,” Grant laments.  And it’s true; things are continuing to come apart at the seams for Jax and SAMCRO, as their best-laid plans often do.  But what continues to make this final season of Sons of Anarchy so compelling — “What a Piece of Work is Man” in particular — is the suspense.  Hit the jump for why “this is on you.  Your betrayal.  Don’t ever lie to me again.”

sons-of-anarchy-charlie-hunnam-season-7-episode-9The best thing Sons of Anarchy has done this year is connect more of its parts back to its central story.  Almost everything has spiraled out from Gemma and Juice’s initial lies about Tara’s murder.  While Gemma has no remorse for the bodies that have stacked up in Lin’s organization, or even the slaughter at Diosa Norde (which was also part of the blowback from the Chinese), she’s getting increasing rattled by how the violence is coming closer to home.  After Abel and Thomas were threatened, she confessed her sins to Thomas, which Abel overheard.  Now, in the wake of Bobby’s death (also a “lesson” from Marks to Jax), she again apologizes over him for her part in things (which Abel again hears).

This final season of Sons of Anarchy has felt, at its best, like a crime show.  Because viewers know the truth, we also see the increasing web of complications, making the question of where the truth will come from far less clear, and much more suspenseful.  Gemma is an unlikely candidate, no matter how unstable she becomes, whereas Juice being put into solitary with a knife could portend a deathbed confession from him.  Abel, of course, has heard enough to incriminate Gemma, but is really creepily sitting on the info, glaring at everyone and refusing to share his burdens.  Unser could himself bring it all down, with Jarry’s help; once she discovered that Gemma and Juice are clearly lying, Unser suggests she hold on to that info for now, so they can’t mount an attack.  He knows Gemma’s tricks, and while he’s not confronting her yet, he’s also not working to protect her, either.

Meanwhile, Jax continues to scheme and attack, and none of it is working how he would like.  His exchange with Marks turned deadly, as Marks hid a gun on Bobby that he ended up killing him with.  The loss of Bobby — such a cool head, original member, and good soldier — is a massive blow to the club.  Even though Jax put the cops onto the preacher’s body later, it felt like a impotent afterthought.  Bobby was brutally tortured and then killed, and there was no reason for any of it to happen.

sons-of-anarchy-season-7-episode-9-imageThe SAMCRO organization is starting to face cracks throughout its ranks, though, as Indian Hills comes to confront Jax about their decision in the wake of his murder of Jerry.  While Jax continues to hold onto the idea of self-defense and Jerry as a rat, Indian Hills isn’t having it.  They’ve decided to gather the other charters, and take a vote about what to do, which Jax can’t even give time to at the moment.  The implications here could be dire, though, particularly if Lin also names another person as the rat.

“What a Piece of Work is Man” was, mostly importantly, filled with great character moments.  From some classic Tig banter and one-liners, to Rat coming to terms with how to wear the patch and still be a good man (as well as Chucky trying to speak Spanish), the episode gave some important time to who these guys are in between the car chases and shootouts and schemes.

Bobby’s legacy as a character is not about the role he played in those high-stakes situations, but about Bobby Elvis (remember that?), his crazy relationship with Precious, his always staid advice to Jax, and that time he felt he had to leave the club in order to unite it.  Bobby went along with how Clay decided to turn SAMCRO into a criminal organization, but he remained more on JT’s side when it came to club philosophy.  Once Jax decided to drop that and take the club back into full mayhem, it only made sense for Bobby to depart.  He was a soldier, but he had too much soul.  The club is past that, now.

Episode Rating: A

Musings and Miscellanea:

sons-of-anarchy-season-7-episode-9— “He’s five years old. He shouldn’t be frustrated” – Jax, regarding Able.  Oh, you have no idea.

— Jax and Wendy have an interesting relationship now, and it seems like the show really is teasing a romantic reconciliation there (as long as she doesn’t relapse, although, her devotion to the boys seems to be keeping her straight for now).

— “You gonna same something, or just stare at my tits?” – Gemma to Rat.

— The unnecessary pretension of this episode title, though …

— Tyler: “Y’all have gone full redneck.”  Tig: “We used to have some black heads on the wall, but we took them down, out of respect.”

— I’m really surprised, with as much as this show likes gore, that that body wasn’t much more decomposed.  Also, the idea that the skin would hold up to being sewn at that point of decomp …

— “You know why I like teaming up with you, Hap?  Because with you, I’m the normal one” – Tig, who once considered being a preacher (hilarious).

— “Don’t buy into the myth that to wear the patch you need to treat women like shit.  Because when it comes to finding a good old lady, you don’t get what you want, you get what you are.  Don’t be a dick” – Gemma to Rat.  Having Rat’s girlfriend be bipolar though was so eye-roll-worthy.  That’s something that deserves more than to just be dropped in randomly.

— Um, Jarry telling Chibs to take her right there on the cop car in front of Quinn ….

— “I run a garage, I’m not privy to the rise and fall of Asian thugs” – Gemma, who was on a roll with one-liners.

— “You can’t play both sides.  You’re on the club’s dime and Chib’s dick” – Gemma, and Jarry slaps her, ha!

— R.I.P., Bobby “Elvis” Munson.  You will be deeply missed.