Sons of Anarchy 4.12 – Burnt and Purged Away

There was a lot more build-up to the season finale this week as the Irish Kings arrived in Charming to talk with SAMCRO about expanding their business relationship. The Irish aren’t exactly sold on the idea of selling RPGs and other heavy artillery to a drug cartel, but Clay persuades them to at least sit down with Romeo and hear what he has to say. And now that a time and place for the meeting has been set, Juice has contacted Lincoln to fulfill his end of the deal, meaning that whoever shows up to the powwow representing the Sons is screwed. But while all of this is likely to play a big part in the final two episodes, tonight’s show was mainly about one thing: the fate of Clay.

After Gemma learns that Opie has found out the truth about Piney’s death, she begins to worry that he’s going to kill Clay, and even scolds Unser for telling him. If Unser looked a little confused, it’s because Gemma doesn’t seem to know what she wants anymore, and the poor guy was left scratching his head just like I was while watching it. It wasn’t that long ago that she went to Unser demanding that Clay needed to die at the hands of a Son, so why the sudden change of heart? You’ve got me, but whatever the reason, she’s obviously decided that she no longer wants Clay dead, and even makes the effort to warn him that Opie is coming for him with a vengeance.

But before we jump to that juicy showdown, it’s worth discussing the events that occurred right before it. Is it just me or is Clay having second thoughts about killing Tara? The previews for this week’s episode hinted at Clay finishing the job himself, but after talking with Romeo about the botched hit, he didn’t seem too convinced that she needs to die anymore, even after Romeo offers to handle it personally. Instead, his visit to Tara’s hospital room was actually quite diplomatic, even if it was a bit of a threat in disguise. He claims that he’s willing to help Jax and Tara get out of town in exchange for John Teller’s letters, and I actually believe him. All he cares about now is saving his own neck, and if Tara is no longer a threat, then it’s actually in his best interest to get her and Jax out of his way so that he can continue his reign over the club.

Of course, Clay wasn’t expecting a wild card like Opie to interfere. Though I’m a little surprised that Opie could even think that Jax knew about Piney’s murder, he refuses to rely on the club to decide Clay’s punishment and heads to the clubhouse to dole out some good old fashioned justice on his own. Jax’s threat to kill Opie if he shot Clay seemed pretty stupid at the time, but thinking back on it now, I guess you can argue that Jax didn’t actually know for sure that Clay was responsible. Nevertheless, Opie just smiled at the comment and shot Clay twice, although from the look of it, he only hit him in the shoulder, which means that Clay is probably still alive.

Meanwhile, it looks like Otto won’t be reneging on his agreement with Lincoln after all. He’s signed the papers confirming his testimony and, after making Bobby read a list of all the crap he’s done for SAMCRO while in prison, hands him over to the Feds, who throw him into lockup with Juice. You’d think that Otto would have at least want to talk to Bobby before ratting the club out, but since the meet happened after the fact, it wouldn’t have even mattered if Bobby told him the truth about Georgie. Surely Bobby is screwed whether Lincoln takes down the Irish or not, so does he become the new Otto?

Other thoughts from the episode:

* Ryan Hurst has always been one of the best things about “Sons of Anarchy,” and his performances these past few weeks have been nothing short of phenomenal. It isn’t easy to stand out in a show filled with so many great actors, and yet he manages to do exactly that almost every time he’s on screen. It would be criminal if Hurst wasn’t recognized at some point before the end of the show’s run.

* Although it happened prior to the climactic showdown, Jax’s admission that he no longer thinks Opie is ready to lead the club brings up an interesting debate. Granted, I don’t believe for one second that Jax is actually leaving Charming, but it’s interesting to at least imagine how differently the club would operate under the command of Bobby and Chibs, who Jax suggests take over as President and VP when Clay steps down.

* I get that Kurt Sutter likes to have some fun with the show – it is his show, after all – but that offhand comment by Jacob Hale about Charming’s mayor was a little too cute for my taste. Mayor Quimby? Really guys?


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