Sons of Anarchy 4.8 – Family Recipe

I really wanted to begin this week’s post with a big “I told you so,” but based on the comments from last week’s recap, it appears I wasn’t the only one who believed that Juice was still alive after attempting to commit suicide. He even seemed ready to give it another shot right away until he was interrupted by Chibs and Tig, who were sent out to round him up for the impending vote. Of course, that didn’t stop Juice from going back later the next night to try again, but this time around, Chibs followed him out there, and he wasn’t happy with what he found. Juice clearly has a death wish, but if he’s willing to kill himself, then why not just take his chances with the club? Sure, their methods are more brutal, but there’s always the possibility that he’ll be forgiven as well.

It’s definitely one less distraction the club could do with at the moment, especially after the vote for the president challenge was delayed following the attack by Lobos Sonora, who shot up the clubhouse and delivered a bag filled with the heads of members from both SAMCRO and the Mayans, including Tucson president Armando. Dirty Phil was able to shoot one of them before they got away, but he wasn’t a very cooperative hostage – at least, not until Galindo’s right-hand man gave him a dose of truth serum and he fingered one of the Mayans as a spy feeding the cartel information. But while Alvarez wanted the traitor killed on the spot, Jax suggested that they use him to set a trap for the Lobos at the warehouse instead. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned, with the Lobos managing to stay one step ahead by taunting them with a truck containing the bodies of the headless victims in the back. Could there be another rat in the group?

Who knows? But with the lives of the Sons and their families now officially in danger (and Roosevelt sniffing around the clubhouse), the last thing that Clay should be worrying about is the looming threat of John Teller’s letters. Though Piney tells him that the recent string of attacks is a great excuse to pull the plug on their new business venture, Clay refuses to believe that Romeo will let them just walk away. But if Clay doesn’t think that they can free themselves of the cartel now, then how does he plan on ever getting out? Or does that become someone else’s problem after he steps down?

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Sons of Anarchy 4.7 – Fruit for the Crows

This season continues to get crazier and crazier with each episode, and I’m loving every minute of it. Though the past three seasons have all been great for a number of reasons, this year has done an especially good job of making every storyline – including the ones involving the supporting players – feel equally important and engaging. And you needn’t look any further than what the show has been doing with the character of Juice for proof of that. I may have voiced my displeasure about the way that they’ve handled his subplot in previous posts, but I’m still really enjoying what Theo Rossi has been doing with the material. He’s really stepped it up this season, and tonight’s episode made me realize just how much I’d miss him if he was gone. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about the rest of the episode first.

I have to admit that I was a little surprised how Gemma handled the discovery of the death threat left in Tara’s car, because I thought for sure that she would either rip it up or take it directly to Clay demanding an explanation. Instead, she doesn’t even seem to consider that it might have anything to do with Clay, and instead shows it to Tara, who characteristically freaks out. Of course, when Clay hears about the death, he knows immediately that Unser is responsible and warns him to stay out of his way. But now that Unser knows that he was used by Clay in order to cover up John Teller’s death, I think that he’s willing to accept the consequences of the truth coming out if it means that an innocent life will be saved in the process. Granted, I’m not really sure how informing Tara’s supervisor Margaret is going to help protect her, but maybe Margaret will be able to transfer her to another hospital for a while until all this blows over.

And at the rate things are going, it could be sooner than later, especially now that SAMCRO knows that the Galindo cartel’s main competitors are targeting their associates – namely, the Mayans and the Sons – in an attempt to force Romeo and his crew out of California. Bobby has been trying to tell Clay that getting into bed with the cartel was trouble from the start, and he’s so disgusted with how everything has turned out that he’s decided to challenge him for the presidency. That’s a pretty bold move on Bobby’s part, but while it might seem like an easy win for Clay considering he got the majority vote over the last decision involving the cartel, now that the club has seen just how much danger they’re in after only a few weeks on the job, there’s a pretty good chance that at least one person will jump ship.

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Sons of Anarchy 4.6 – With an X

At the end of last week’s cliffhanger, it didn’t seem possible that Juice would be able to keep himself out of the crosshairs for much longer, but amazingly, he’s done just that, albeit at the cost of one of his biker brothers. Though the Sons and Mayans were quick to start blaming each other for the missing brick, the club came to the conclusion that the only people dumb enough to try stealing from them were the prospects. And after pretending to torture Miles in a failed attempt to scare Dirty Phil and Rat Boy into a confession (and, let’s be honest, have a little laugh in the process), they forced them to play a game of Russian roulette in order to prove their commitment. Anyone watching had to know that there wasn’t actually a bullet in the gun, and that was part of the problem, because although they both passed the test, it didn’t get the club any closer to finding out who took the cocaine.

With time running out until Romeo’s arrival, Clay decides that he has no other choice but to condemn the pair to death and try and save face with the cartel. But Juice, who doesn’t exactly want their blood on his conscience, suggests that they give the prospects one last chance to return the brick with no questions asked. If it shows up, they’ll be kicked out of the club, but at least they’ll still be alive. That gives Juice just enough time to run out into the woods, grab a sample for Roosevelt, and take the brick back to the warehouse… or so he thinks. Instead, he runs into Miles, who quickly puts two and two together and realizes that Juice is the thief. The ensuing chaos led to one of the series’ biggest “holy shit” moments yet, with Juice getting a hold of Miles’ gun and shooting him clean through the face. And now that everyone thinks Miles was the one responsible, Juice has been given yet another lifeline.

But how much longer can this realistically go on? Though the club was a little surprised that it was Miles who stole the cocaine, they don’t seem to be putting too much thought into why he might have done it. Chibs, on the other hand, is the only one who’s even remotely suspicious of the whole situation, especially after the way Juice was acting around him all day. Their conversation about the prohibition of color in SAMCRO must have come across as pretty random to Chibs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started sniffing around Juice’s personal life. Those two appear to have a stronger friendship with each other than most guys in the club, so Chibs will undoubtedly want to do everything he can to get Juice out of trouble before the rest of SAMCRO finds out. The whole thing still feels a bit contrived to me, and even more so after Chibs admitted that many of the club’s rules were pretty outdated. After all, if one of its own members doesn’t even agree with certain by-laws, then surely there’s room for some change.

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Sons of Anarchy 4.5 – Brick

Well, I guess that’s what I get for criticizing the show for having too much filler story in the last two episodes, because while tonight was the normal 60-minute offering, it felt a heckuva lot longer due to the fact that it was jam-packed with so much information. Oh yeah, and a pretty big bomb was dropped as well that pretty much guarantees you’ll never look at some characters the same way again. I’m talking, of course, about Clay’s confirmation that he was in fact responsible for John Teller’s death. Though he didn’t admit anything to Piney (who expressed his suspicions before threatening to show JT’s letters to the rest of the club if they continued to do business with the cartel), Clay immediately ran to Gemma with concerns about how they were going to cover it up.

“I had John Teller killed while I was bedding his wife. It doesn’t matter what the reason was. Jax finds that out, he cuts off my goddamn head, he sticks it on the reaper pole.”

Wow. I mean, it’s not like it was a theory that hadn’t been batted around before, but thinking he may be involved and knowing for certain are two very different things – especially when Gemma was in on it too. Or was she? That’s where the story gets a little interesting, because while she clearly had knowledge of Clay’s plot to kill Jax’s father, I think that she was given the same bogus reason as Unser. Clay apparently told him that JT’s weakness would bring violence to Charming, and though Unser believed it at the time, after breaking into Tara’s office to steal the letters, he realized that it was all just a lie. Clay didn’t like that JT was trying to get the club out of the gun business, and he killed him for it, dragging Gemma and Unser down into the dirt with him. To make matters even worse, Gemma thinks that the letters have been destroyed by Unser, but the originals are still out there, and the only way that Clay can ensure the truth never gets out is by killing the only people who know about them: Piney and Tara.

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Sons of Anarchy 4.4 – Una Venta

After racing out of the gate with a couple of action-packed episodes, the last two weeks have been a bit of a slow burn in terms of major plot revelations, but at least they’ve still been entertaining. Tonight’s show found the club headed down to Arizona to meet up with the local charter, SAMTAZ, which has been put in charge of providing protection to the cartel during the transportation of the guns across the border. Now, SAMCRO may not exactly be the cleanest MC around, but they look like saints compared to these Tucson guys, who are involved in all sorts of nasty stuff, including dealing crystal meth.

Clay is shocked that such a vote would even pass, but as the club’s president is quick to remind him, muling cocaine and dealing crank isn’t all that different. When SAMCRO looks deeper into the matter, however, they discover a shady plot by two of SAMTAZ’s officers that involved the murder of one of their members and the blackmailing of another in order to push the vote through. Though the decision is left up to the charter president to deal with the situation how he sees fit, he doesn’t really have much of a choice other than to kick them out, and even bemoans the fact that he’s essentially lost a third of his members as a result. He didn’t look very happy about SAMCRO poking their nose into his club’s business, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the last we’ve seen of SAMTAZ. Because now that they’ve decided to continue dealing, if anyone is going to cause a problem for SAMCRO down the road, it’ll almost certainly be them.

Meanwhile, back in Charming, Gemma is trying to keep herself busy while Clay is away on business, so she decides to visit the new floral shop in town about some dying flowers in her greenhouse. Lo and behold, the owner of the store just so happens to be Sheriff Roosevelt’s wife, who perhaps unsurprisingly is Gemma’s match in just about every way. I don’t know what kind of game Gemma is playing by making friends with the woman (not that she’s buying it), but you can be sure that there’s some hidden agenda behind her donation to the Save the Garden committee that Mrs. Roosevelt serves on. There’s always some selfish reason for anything Gemma does, and the fact that she’s using Tara’s name as the main benefactor suggests that she has ulterior motives.

If only Tara knew what Gemma was doing behind her back, but of course, she’s far too busy between work, taking care of the kids, and guarding her knowledge of Maureen’s letters to keep an eye on her future mother-in-law. Though Tara attempts to confide in Piney about the mystery of JT’s death, their conversation is interrupted by Gemma, who warns Piney to stop digging into the past before it kills him. I’m not sure if that was meant as a threat, but it certainly sounded like one, and it’s the second time that Piney has been warned in as many episodes. What do you think the odds are of him kicking the bucket before the season ends? One of the Sons seems destined to die before this is all over, and between Piney butting heads with the wrong people and Bobby voicing his disapproval every chance he gets, I have a bad feeling it’s going to be one of them.

Other thoughts from the episode:

* Gemma might think she’s pretty cunning, but Lincoln practically had her eating out of his hand within seconds of meeting her. She had absolutely no clue that she was being played, and now that she knows about Jacob Hale potentially losing the Charming Heights property, you can bet that she’s going to share that news with Clay the minute he gets back. And that’s exactly what Lincoln wants her to do, because he’s betting on the fact that the Sons will make a stupid move and he’ll be able to catch them in the act.

* Lincoln definitely isn’t wasting any time in bringing them down. Along with having Roosevelt rattle Juice’s cage last week, he visited Otto in prison in an attempt to get him to turn against SAMCRO as well. We already know that Bobby didn’t kill Luanne (Tom Arnold’s sleazy porn producer did), and Otto has always been very loyal, but if there’s one thing that could make him snap, it’s the discovery that Luanne was being unfaithful.

  

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