S4E8: Just in time for Halloween, Ren and Stimpy’s Bloody Head Fairy comes to Charming, California along with South Park Tenorman-flavored chili. Odd pop culture references aside, this week’s Sons of Anarchy featured the usual ultra-violent shock and awe that the series is known for as the seeds of all out war between clubs, cartels, and Charming heats up.
“Eventually we’ll be less desperate, make smarter choices.” – Jax
Poor guy can’t even kill himself right. This week’s show picks up right where last week’s ended: with Juice trying to off himself. Luckily (or unluckily, if you’re Juice), the branch of the tree he hung himself from snapped, leaving him and his guilt alive for another day. Chibs and Tig arrive at the warehouse to bring Juice back to the clubhouse for the big vote.
Jax and Opie discuss the impending vote for new leadership. While Opie believes Bobby is a better choice for the long term, Jax is still siding with Clay, convinced that while their deal with the Gallindo cartel is dirty, the money from it can make the club whole. Clay and Tig both vote nay on the deal but the vote is forced off the table for the time being when Lobo cartel members do a drive-by and shoot up Teller–Morrow. The Sons are able to grab one of the shooters as they try to escape. Even worse news for the Sons: they’re carrying a bag of severed heads, one of them being the president of SAMTAZ, Armando. Thanks to Happy busting up the Lobos member from the drive-by, and some Sodium Pentothal (courtesy of Luis Torres), Romero’s right hand man, The Sons and the Mayans learn that one of the Mayans has been leaking information about both clubs to the Lobo cartel. Jax formulates a plan: leave the Mayan rat alive, leak some false information in order to draw the Lobo cartel out and have Torres and his men take them out. Unfortunately for the club, Torres needs the Sons to be an infantry unit in case things go south. Bobby can’t believe it, but agrees with Clay that they need to be united on this or else they’ll wind up dead. Luckily the infantry is safe and sound because even though Pedro was never out of Alvarez’s sight, the Lobos must have known something was going down because they drive a truck to the warehouse with the bodies of the severed heads.
“Why do I believe him when he say’s it’ll get better?” – Tara
Since the early days of the show, Gemma and Tara have had all kinds of discussions about family and what their roles are as old ladies, with Gemma always convincing Tara to stand by her man and their family. Tara’s faith in Jax’s ability to keep his family safe is gone and Tara tells Jax that she’s leaving with the kids. Jax agrees, knowing that club is in over its head. It’s good to see Jax is being smart here and not only is he not fighting Tara about getting out of Charming, he agrees and supports the decision.
“Charming needs a hero, Elliot.” – Clay
Despite the madness going on the drug war, the city of Charming has its own problems, and Roosevelt’s wife has orchestrated a fundraiser to preserve Charming Central Gardens instead of Mayor Hale’s vision for Charming Heights. Clay and the Sons are on board with stopping Hale, because a bigger city is bad for business. Clay makes an impassioned speech and gives 75K to the cause, he also presents a check for the same amount from Elliot Oswald; the man who he believes should be the mayor of Charming. I’m sure Sheriff Roosevelt is none too pleased with the illegal half of the donation to his wife.
“That bag of your heads is a get out of drugs free card.” – Piney
Jax heads up to the cabin to speak with Piney about his conflict with Clay. Piney tells Jax about how for ten years he gave up the club and the ideals of John Teller until Jax came in. No matter how much damage John did to his immediate family, the club can still be saved. But the prince of the club disagrees whole-heartedly, stating that the idea that he can change anything is arrogant and that what he’s doing now is for his family. Piney still can’t believe how much like his father Jax is and asks of the vice president to remind himself of the great man JT was before he forgets. The old, cranky club member has always tried to steer Jax toward the path John wanted, or at the very least away from the path that Clay has led the club on. I’m not sure how much more biker Yoda can do except reveal the unread batch of letters from John to Maureen and the fact the Clay killed JT – which he is still threatening Clay with on the condition that he pulls the club out of the drug game.
Clay also stops by Piney’s cabin. Piney is smart and makes the pres give up his weapons before entering. Still thinking he has Clay dead to rights thanks to the letters, Piney maintains his position and demands that Clay cut ties with the cartel to which Clay calmly agrees and walks away, only to quickly return, smashing the door into Piney and then scouring the cabin for the letters which Piney declared weren’t there. Clay realizes that Tara still has them. Piney tries to play dumb and begs Clay to leave the doc out of this. “Too late,” would be the last words Piney would ever hear as Clay shoots him point-blank with a shotgun in one of the series’ most shocking deaths ever.
We all knew someone as old as Piney just wasn’t fit for this world, but Clay offing him really does showcase that any given week, any character can join the big biker club in the sky. Sons’ dark humor also popped up this week in the form of severed head flavored chili. Just like many a great week for the Sons, some of the last week’s biggest storylines got put on the back burner, but occasionally crept up, like Juice’s issues which weren’t mentioned at all, however Theo Rossi’s acting conveyed the growing guilt and nervousness in Juice’s head. Chibs did find his MC brethren cleaning up the chain that he tried to use to hang himself and the Irish MC member took the suicide attempt as Juice feeling guilty over having to kill people. It’s only a matter of time before Juice tells everything to Chibs, which will in turn give him a hard decision to make; keep his friend’s secret or off him with a good ol’ Glasgow Smile and a knife to the chest to match?