‘Sons of Anarchy’ Recap: Call of Duty

sons of anarchy episode 11 danny trejoS4E11:There’s so much to cover and so little time. With only a few weeks until the fourth season finale, Sons of Anarchy kicks it into high gear with a 90-minute episode.

“This is more than crossing a line, I can’t let this slide.” – Jax

Jax sees Gemma’s face for the first time since her fight with Clay. Despite protests, she tells Jax that she will handle it. Jax apologizes for his short-sightedness in thinking that he and Clay would have been able to pull it off (the deal with the cartel). Jax leaves the hospital to meet with the club and confronts Clay immediately, who tells Jax not to worry about his domestic issues at the moment if they’re going to enact Jax’s exit strategy. Jax knows this and begrudgingly complies, not before telling Clay that this isn’t over.

“I gave up my right to raise him, not my right to know him.” – Wendy

Tara apologizes to Jax for blowing up last week. Jax reassures her that her hand will get better and they’re still leaving SAMCRO. Jax needs Tara to believe him, and she does. Jax heads off to meet with the club.

Wendy, Abel’s mother and Jax’s ex-girlfriend makes a shocking return; she supposedly came back to Charming a few weeks prior. Understandably, Tara is slightly perturbed by Wendy’s return and her desire to get to know her son. More angry than ever, Tara slams her already broken hand in frustration. Gemma catches Tara being carted off back to surgery and finds out what happened from the Prospect who was watching Tara. Gemma is just as “happy” that Wendy the junkie whore is back. Under the guise that Tara was going to let Wendy see Abel, Wendy heads to Jax’s and only finds Gemma, who explains to Wendy that because of her visit, Tara is now under psych evaluation and if she wants to see Abel again, then it will have to be on Gemma’s terms. Although I like seeing Drea de Matteo back on the show, I have an important question: to what end? Did we really need Wendy to return to drive Tara to the brink? After everything that’s happened to her, they could have simply had Tara staring off into space and then smashing her broken hand to the same effect. I hope there’s a bigger endgame for Wendy than what we’ve seen so far.

“This is some Call of Duty shit.” – Juice

Still tasked by Potter with finding out when the meeting between the Gallindo cartel and the IRA will take place, Juice is brought to the warehouse when Kozzik finally returns with the guns. The club and the cartel move against the Lobos who attacked their clubhouse and came after Tara (that’s the story Jax was fed and he believes it so far). Unfortunately, Juice couldn’t have been more right and they stumble into a real life war zone, complete with land mines. As if Juice hasn’t been through enough this year, there’s nothing like the remnants of an arm being blown off and landing on you to mess with your head. While pinned down, Jax decides to call in reinforcements in the form of the IRA. Just like in a video game, there’s nothing like a rocket launcher to even up the odds and that’s just what the Irish bring. Sadly, Kozzik returns just in time to eat a land mine.

After watching Juice briskly walk over the land mines, Chibs confronts him in private to find out if this was another attempt at his own life. Juice breaks down and tells Chibs about what Sheriff Roosevelt has on him. Chibs calms him down and says so what, it’s only what’s on the paperwork that matters; which, according to Juice, the paperwork says Hispanic. Chibs has been there for Juice all season long, it’s going to be heart-breaking to watch what he does once he finds out that Juice is already in league with the Feds more than he’s let on.

“I’ll tell the stories, but I’m not signing off on any of the transcripts until you get some visitation for Lenny.” – Otto

Lincoln Potter meets up with Otto. Otto wants to know who Potter is and what he wants. Potter tells him that he’s building a RICO case against the Real IRA and the Gallindo Cartel and the Sons as his way in. Otto has a specific list of demands before he cooperates: money that he has in bank accounts to go to his widow’s Lou-Anne’s sister, see an eye doctor to get good glasses, get his friend Lenny Janowtiz visitation, he also wants his execution date moved up, and he wants to be the be to one tell Bobby that he flipped on him and the club. Potter is able to make all of this happen fairly quickly, except for visitors for Lenny. (For those keeping score, Lenny is played by Sonny Barger, the founder of the real life Hell’s Angel MC) While Lenny isn’t that high up on the Sons food chain, I’m assuming that Otto wants to get him visitors so that he won’t die completely alone in prison.

“Clay’s got to go, son, before he kills someone else you love.” – Unser

After their day, Opie and Jax meet up to finish their discussion from last week. Opie still feels betrayed by Jax’s actions, no matter how noble. Opie leaves the clubhouse to pick up Piney, who must smell fairly funky by now. Gemma comes to the clubhouse to see Jax, who is on his way to the hospital. After seeing him off, she runs into Tig who has always been close with both Clay and Gemma. After seeing Gemma’s face all he can do is hand off his Sergeant-In-Arms Rocker Badge to Clay. Despite being loyal to Clay, I’m not surprised at all. Opie made it up to the cabin and found out what we’ve known for weeks now. Unser followed Opie up to the cabin and filled Opie in on the truth and that Gemma was beaten by Clay for confronting him about it. Unser reminds a distraught Opie (which is likely for the benefit of the viewers) that Clay tried to kill Opie and killed his wife instead and now he’s killed Piney.

While I’m sure some fans want to see Jax do it, from a story line perspective, Opie killing Clay allows Jax to leave Charming without that kind of blood on his hands. While Jax and the rest of the club might try to convince Opie not to do it, i can’t imagine that he’ll be able to be reasoned with. While this wasn’t a bad episode at all, I’m shocked that Kurt Sutter and company felt the need to make it 90 minutes. There was a lot of filler here, I’m going to assume that all the stuff involving Charming Heights and Mayer Hale will mean something, but for now it remains a boring d-story or even e-story to all of the other plot lines going on. Cut those scenes and what has thus far been the meaningless return of Wendy out and this episode would have been a crisp hour instead of a disjointed 90-minute special. However this is Sons of Anarchy and I’ve yet to see the writers introduce a plot thread and not explore it. So while it seems minuscule now, we’ll hopefully see de Matteo again, as well as some meaning to all of the Charming Heights nonsense past the aged-old progress-versus-the-past argument.

What did you guys think of 90-minute Sons? The stages are set for the final weeks of the season, what’s going to happen?