S4E13: Holy hell has been unleashed upon the town of Charming, California on this week’s Sons of Anarchy. Trusted Sons, Otto and Juice have turned rat and have each gave information to the Feds about the club and the big deal between the Gallindo cartel and the IRA that is about to go down. Opie shot Clay, taking revenge for the Sons president killing his father. Jax and Tara are still trying to escape their fates and leave Charming in their rearview forever, and as far as the club knows, it was a rival club that tried to kill Tara, not Clay. There’s one episode left of the best season yet of Sons of Anarchy and there are still plenty of loose ends to tie up. I’m done trying to think up catchy motorcycle puns, but still enjoy bringing you guys some recap joy. So unless you’re all still in a turkey coma get ready part one of the season finale of Sons of Anarchy.
“Just what I need, another promise.” – Opie
Unfortunately, Opie wasn’t able to get the job done last week and Clay is still breathing. Opie tries to finish the job, but Jax stops him by shooting him in the arm. Unser and one of the prospects storm into the clubhouse and the cover up is decided. Clay weakly spurts out the idea to blame the shooting on black, which inevitably leads the club to think that the Niners were responsible. Jax and Opie drive off. Opie vows to finish the job but Jax demands that Opie allows him to find out the truth. Opie tells Jax everything he knows; everything Unser told him at the cabin. Jax asks that Opie lay low while he finds out the truth. At the hospital, the docs get Clay into surgery while Unser gives the fake story to Sherriff Roosevelt. Chibs and Tig hypothesize that the Niners were behind the shooting and Tig takes off, feeling guilty that he wasn’t there to protect Clay.
At the station house, Roosevelt gives the news to Potter, who is still in good spirits and high hopes because even though Clay will probably be in the hospital when the meeting takes place, Potter will still be able to nab Jax during the meeting between the IRA and the Gallindo cartel.
Jax meets up with Lenny Janowitz at Stockton Prison who informs him about Otto flipping. Jax talks to Romero Parada and Luis Torres, who will use their influence to find out more intel and decide whether to continue the deal with the IRA or not. Romero pays good money for information and finds out that Otto didn’t flip. I guess he deserves a refund because while Otto doesn’t know anything about Gallindo, he did serve Bobby up on a silver platter to Agent Potter.
“If we get out of this alive, then you know that Jax and I are leaving.” – Tara
Jax returns home to clean up and Tara finds the bloody clothes. Despite the “rough night” that Jax had, he still vows to Tara that they’re leaving Charming. Gemma comes to visit Tara, and a prospect immediately tells her that Jax is looking for her. Gemma tells her about Clay and that Opie shot him because Clay killed Piney with a shotgun to his chest – and that Clay did it because he thought Piney had the letters. Gemma lays it on the line and tells Tara that it was Clay who hired the men who tried to take Tara out. Ready to play her trump card, Gemma asks Tara for the letters under the guise that she will give them to Clay in hopes that he’ll back off. Tara makes her own vow to Gemma: if this goes down, she and Jax will be leaving Charming. Gemma goes to the warehouse that houses the letters and besides the maguffin to end all maguffins, she finds pictures of her younger self and the first man she loved, John Teller. She takes some of the letters, leaving the ones that implicate her and Unser.
“Crimson and Clover, over and over.” – The song playing while Tig goes after the One–Niners
Racked with guilt over not being at the clubhouse to protect Clay, Tig goes after the One–Niners, who he believes are responsible. He drives his car straight at a bunch of them who are sitting down to eat lunch. As always on this show, committing revenge for reasons that aren’t true lead to bad results and Tig is hunted down as he tries to leave Oakland. Tig rides his ass off through traffic in a thrilling chase scene between him and the gaining One–Niners, with Jax, Chibs, and Happy, etc. riding like hell to catch up to the mayhem. Jax takes out LeRoy’s driver and the Sons ride off, victorious for now. Thanks to Clay, Jax, and Opie’s cover-up, the Niners are ready to head to war. While Jax is trying to reprimand his soldier, the club is informed that Clay woke up and Tig rides off to see him. He admits being wrong about laying down his patch. Gemma arrives at the hospital to console the poor guy.
“I know how dangerous secrets can be, and it’s time we all knew the truth.” – Gemma
In what has to be the biggest scene in the entire series, Gemma visits Jax at the clubhouse. She explains exactly how Clay went about attempting to kill John, and how he succeeded. It’s a powerful scene that drudges up a whole lot of the past. While these are truths we’ve all known for a long time, Jax learns the truth for the first time here and no matter how powerful the scene is, it does seem like the boy who would be king gets pulled around by the women in his life.
Jax meticulously pours over the letters from John to Maureen Ashby while Unser gives Gemma the news that Clay is out of Intensive Care. Gemma tells Unser that Jax is reading the letters, but that she didn’t give Jax the ones the implicate her and Unser. Tara arrives and is thoroughly behind Jax, giving him blood thinner to inject into Clay’s IV, which will kill him.
Twenty years of backstory, as well as the contents of this season, laid out in a mere five minutes is not a shock but a necessity. Gemma, in a last ditch effort to keep her son from leaving, plays her trump card: the truth. And it’s all under the guise of being a caring mother who wants what’s best for her son. He’s always had to choose between his club and his family and Jax has spent the past few years desperately trying to have both. Thanks to Gemma, he no longer has that option. Staying in Charming to finish Clay off and take the gavel will surely push Tara away forever.
I never would have thought that biggest moment in Sons history would be a part of one of the slower hours in Sons history. The pieces might have been set last week, but thanks to Opie, everything changed once the king was put in check. This week, the pieces moved again. Jax is at the head of the club with the means to stay there and kill Clay. Jax is also ready to kill Clay and leave Charming. We’re also left wondering if Romero was given bad intel or if the Gallindo cartel is ready to cut and run at the Sons’ expense. Once again, the show is centered on Jax and Clay and their complicated relationship, which is exactly the way it should be. The end for Clay is next week, there’s not a whole lot of ways for him to weasel out of what he has to answer for.
S4E6: Previously on Sons of Anarchy, Gemma confronted Tara about the letters from Maureen Ashby and Juice killed an innocent man to cover his own ass. Tonight’s show begins with a repentant Juice, praying to the almighty for forgiveness.
“You don’t have a normal life, baby. You have this one.” – Gemma
Gemma finds the death threat that Unser left for Tara at the end of last week’s show and shows it to Tara. The doc wants to call the police, but Gemma convinces her otherwise. She believes that it would just bring more heat on the club.
“That’s embracing the stereotype.”–Tig
Mayan President, Alvarez takes the Sons on a tour of their coke-producing operation, complete with product being hidden inside of tortillas. The tour gets gets cut short by Tara’s phone call to Jax and a shootout by the entrance, which leaves Alvarez wounded. Jax grabs his bike and rides after the shooter while the rest of the MC head to meet Tara and Gemma. Jax’s high-speed chase through the streets of Charming stops abruptly near a tanker, where the Sons’ vice president and the shooters engage in an old school western shootout, which leaves a man down. The rest of crew head back in the car and drive off, with Jax in hot pursuit. At the end of the line, Jax sees a big bag being hauled out of the car and calls for backup. As fate would have it, the MC finds out that the house they barged into is filled with women and babies and the bag was filled with diapers. After getting the babies out of the room, the club tries to question the driver, which ends badly; a woman gets shot, and the driver proclaims to the Sons that he and his sister are from Honduras, they’re not illegals and “they” said that they would kill their family if they didn’t do it.
“Targeting families is what drug cartels do.”–Juice
The club grabs Gemma and Tara and head to the clubhouse, where Tara can work on the Maya pres. While there Gemma tells Unser to find out more about the threat on Tara’s life and asks Clay if he knows anything, which he claims ignorance. Alvarez claims that he heard a rival cartel is trying to move in on the Galingo cartel. Because last week, Unser informed Sheriff Roosevelt about the possible threat on Tara, the good cop shows up at Teller-Morrow to offer his help to Tara, and she declines. Roosevelt takes the opportunity to speak with Juice under the guise that his Parole Officer wants a drug test. At the station house, Juice tells the sheriff that he wants to see Roosevelt’s friend, the cop that can offer Juice a deal.
“The club is why everything is happening to me, to my family”–Tara
After patching up Alvarez, Tara confronts Gemma about the cartel that the club’s doing business with. Gemma tries to feed Tara a line that the club’s only dealing guns, but the doc’s smarter than that and realizes that there’s drugs involved too. Tara wants to know if the cartel is who threatened her, but her future mother–in–law isn’t sure. Jax returns to the clubhouse and his mom lets her know that Tara knows about the drugs and the cartel. Jax tells his fiancé that he didn’t know the drugs were going to part of the guns. “The deal we had to make is complicated.” Tara reinforces her belief that Clay is only looking out for himself and that this whole deal is only two weeks in (in show time not real time, of course).
“It’s an outlaw with a couple of grams of blow getting pulled over by a sheriff.”–Potter
Lincoln Potter has been a steely eyed Assistant U.S. Attorney in the background, slowly but surely making his case and using Sheriff Roosevelt as an errand boy. Roosevelt tells Potter Juice’s wish to speak with him, but Potter claims he can’t risk exposure and asks that Sheriff Eli bust the biker on a possession charge. Roosevelt refuses to become a dirty cop to expedite the AUSA’s agenda. Unfortunately, Potter still needs the Sheriff and threatens him with a call to his superior’s office. It only took over half of a season, but we’ve finally seen more of Attorney Potter and just like ATF Agent Stahl, he’s willing to do whatever it takes in the name of bringing the Sons down. Roosevelt tells Juice to meet him at their usual spot and bring the sample.
Roosevelt does exactly what Potter wanted and arrests Juice for possession. If Juice still won’t cooperate, Potter plans to get the word out to the underworld that he’s working with the feds and that he stole from his own club. Roosevelt knows that it means sending Juice back to prison as an unprotected rat. Juice walks away still unwilling to cooperate and heads back to the clubhouse where Clay has a heart to heart with the guy. He’s proud of Juice and all he’s done, but now it has be put behind him so he can concentrate on the job. Thanks to his murderous actions, he’s earned himself a “Men of Mayhem” patch to add to his vest. Way to make a guilty man feel even worse, Clay.
“You think this is some kind of game?”–Clay
Clay tells Alvarez that they got the shooter. Alvarez found out that the note left for Jax’s old lady wasn’t written by a rival cartel, because it would have been written in his kid’s blood. The two presidents thank one another. It’s a little odd to see the Mayans working so closely with the Sons and the partnership the clubs have fostered, considering there has been a constant war brewing between the clubs for decades now. I suppose when there’s a lot of money to be made, even outlaw biker clubs can leave their baggage at the door. Now certain that the “threat” on Tara had nothing to do with anything (not to mention Clay’s own plot to take her out), he confronts Unser and tells him to stay out of his way, something he’s been doing a lot this season. Unser doesn’t listen though. He speaks with Tara’s boss at the end of the episode.
“Your leadership is compromising this club.”–Bobby
The club is informed that Armando (a SAMTAZ) member is currently M.I.A. At the Sons’ meeting, Clay says not to worry, it could be anything. Jax informs the club that Kozzik is heading down with the guns next week and he’s been warned to be careful. Bobby feels that they need to do more than just watch their backs. If a rival cartel can find the Mayans, that means the Sons are next. Clay wants him to stop complaining, but instead Bobby calls for a vote of no confidence (officer challenge). Bobby wants a new president, which Clay angrily seconds and demands that they vote tonight. I guess Bobby’s taking the big sleep at some point this season, no way he can challenge leadership and live. Opie presumably tries to call his dad, who is loading up a shotgun, readying for war. Chibs tried to get in touch with Juice, but the new mayhem man already made his decision: hanging from a tree in the woods in one of the series’ most shocking endings.
So much show, so many stories, and never enough time to cover any of it. Heck even the scenes from next week’s show make no mention of Juice’s suicide (or suicide attempt, we never actually saw his feet stop moving or his hear neck snap, did we?). That’s the beauty of a good drama. While this episode wasn’t that great, it still provided enough fodder to keep me interested and with next week’s challenge vote and this episode’s shocking ending, I’m still pumped up for next week. If he’s dead (and I think he is, since his storyline was kind of going nowhere), Juice was a great character who never had much to do except provide comic relief. This storyline found a way for viewers to invest more in an already likeable character, congratulations to Theo Rossi on an excellent portrayal. I doubt the Emmys or the Golden Globes will recognize his efforts, but I sure do.
S4E3: Last week on Sons of Anarchy, the Sons took revenge against the Russians and discussed drug-running for the Gallindo Cartel. Jax agreed to go along with Clay’s plan, so long as he’s allowed out of the club and the gavel goes to Opie when Jax and Clay exit. The engines are revved; it’s time for the Sons!
“That woman there, she makes Gemma look like Donna Reed”–Tig
The episode begins with Clay and Jax talking about the impending vote for the club to decide if they’re going to run drugs for the Gallindo Cartel or not. Jax thinks Tig, Happy, and Chibbs are in. Clay will try to and convince Bobby while Jax will continue to work on Opie. Tara comes into the room and Clay welcomes her to the family, now that she and Jax are engaged. Stepfather and stepson head to the warehouse that the club is building to house their wares, which is being built by Bobby, Tig, Juice, Opie, and Chibbs. Clay wants Bobby to run with him on an errand, and the President and club’s account head off.
Kozik, who is still in need of a first name (unless Kozik is some sort of nickname), is goaded into playing street basketball with some local thugs, but it’s all a ruse when they steal his car and the club’s gun suuply. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with Jax at all, and he, Kozik, Chibbs, Tig, and Happy set off to find the thieves, which they do fairly quickly. The pursuit becomes a motorcycle-versus-car chase through Charming streets and the Sons are able to catch the boys with minimal effort. The hoodrats confess that they sold the guns to Vivica, a local trafficker of all kinds of stolen goods, who already told the club that she didn’t have the guns. Unfortunately for Vivica, her sons Luther and Vandross started up business on the side and they did buy the guns. Momma immediately demands that they give the guns back to the club.
“Let him know that you’re aware of his family tree and you’ll be in touch.”–Linc
Lincoln Potter briefs Sheriff Roosevelt on Romero “Romeo” Parada and that he’s now in business with the Sons. Roosevelt suggests that he picks up Juice on a parole violation, since he’s part owner of a Weed Shop. The cops bring Juice in a phony trumped up charge. Roosevelt explains that he can arrange for Juice to see his father, Michael Howard Cole, who he’s never met before. Interestingly enough, daddy’s black, which in Roosevelt’s opinion would be bad for Juice if the MC found out. “Probably make you scrape the tats and take off the patch.”
“It ain’t about getting rich, it’s about getting old”–Clay
Clay and Bobby have a heart-to-heart about why Clay needs his vote. Bobby has always been able to see through the B.S. and this situation is no different; he tells Clay flat-out that he knows running drugs is about Clay leaving and stuffing his pockets on his way out. What he doesn’t know is what Jax got out of the deal, which Clay then explains to him. Clay states that he’ll give Bobby the gavel on his way out of the club. These are dangerous duplicitous times for the club.
When they meet with Charlie, Clay assures him that they’re not making any more money with the cartel than they were with the Russians. Charlie says okay and heads off to start prepping the club’s order.
Gemma, at her wits end trying to find Maureen Ashby’s letters, finally just confronts her future daughter–in–law about them. Gemma confides in Tara about Maureen and her former husband, John, falling in love and how it “ripped me apart, spent months at a time in Belfast with her, and left me alone here with his sons.” Gemma says that wherever the letters lead (see: showing them to Jax) can only be bad for the family.
“You don’t tell me what we do.”–Clay
Piney, one of the club’s founders and dissenters of the cartel deal, lets Gemma know what her man is up to and pleads with her to talk some sense into him. Unfortunately for her, she is just an Old Lady and does not have as much say as she thinks. Clay emphatically tells her that she doesn’t get to tell him what they do. The club convenes to vote and the motion passes with Kozik’s vote, who Jax previously thought wouldn’t go along with it, due to former addictions. The naysayers were Happy, Bobby, Chibs, Juice, and Piney. As the club exits the office, Clay is left alone with Piney and flatly states, “if you ever try to go behind me through my wife again, I’ll kill you.”
What an hour. There wasn’t a lot of physical action, but instead we saw a whole lot of tension mounting within the club. They’ve voted on running drugs, but almost half of the club members are against the idea, and while they’ll help their brothers out, they’re not going to do it with smiles on their faces. How soon before everyone knows that Jax wants out of the club and wants Opie at the head of the table? How long will it before the club finds out Clay wants out and wants Bobby at the head of the table? Next week is the club’s first drug run, so it’s time to saddle up and ride!
The film follows the same tired action genre step by step. Ex-con and single dad O2 (Tyrese Gibson) is trying to go straight for the sake of his young son Junior. But when the kid is kidnapped in what seems to be a typical carjacking O2 has to pull out all the stops to get him back. Turns out O2 had some nefarious dealings with a gang overlord named Big Meat (The Game) who likes to hack off people’s body parts with a machete. And now Meat wants some payback taking for ransom the only thing O2 cares about in the entire world [sniffle]. So what’s a guy to do? Pit rival gang leaders against each other hook up with a beautiful street hustler (Meagan Good) rob safety deposit boxes and get caught in an extended car chase that’s what. "It's either all or nothing " realizes O2. Very prophetic. Waist Deep has got some great character names--Meat O2 Coco Lucky Junior. Too bad most of the performances can’t live up to them. Tyrese (Four Brothers) does try his best though as the hunky O2 making a convincing albeit a tad stiff attempt at playing a father who’s whole life is his son. Good (Roll Bounce) gets to wear tight sexy clothes and strut around as Coco O2’s accomplice and eventual love interest as they rob banks Bonnie and Clyde style. Larenz Tate (Crash) plays Lucky O2’s unreliable cousin who actually isn’t lucky at all caught between a rock and hard place. And then there’s Meat played by big-time rapper The Game in his feature debut. With a battered face and covered in tattoos The Game certainly looks like one mean badass wielding a mad machete. Thankfully he doesn’t have to do much more than that. Here’s a few words of advice to would-be actors who want to play effective bad guys: Less is more. It’s movies like these that really give South Central L.A. a bad rep—shoot-outs in the middle of the street in broad daylight the carjacks the depravity the sad stories of little kids getting shot. It’s not exactly a warm and fuzzy place. Of course actor-turned-director/co-writer Vondie Curtis-Hall (best known for his numerous TV guest spots) doesn’t want it to be showing the grit in all its glory and collecting a cast from the area who could lend some credibility to the surroundings. But Hall needs a few more lessons in how to craft a well-thought action movie. The script is hackneyed beyond the usual taking bits not only from Bonnie and Clyde but also Thelma and Louise Boyz N the Hood--and even a little Shawshank Redemption. Hall’s camerawork is also too frenetic at times almost dizzyingly so with unnecessary close ups and choppy sequences. That isn’t to say some of the gun play and car chases aren’t exciting enough. There just seems to be a lack of experience overall.