Sons of Anarchy Review by Henry Tran

Sons of Anarchy 7.05: Some Strange Eruption

Sons of Anarchy 7.05: Some Strange Eruption

Written By:
Roberto Patino and Kurt Sutter
Directed By:
Peter Weller

Approaching the middle of this final season, there is the increasing likelihood that all of the main characters won't survive to the end. That isn't entirely unexpected since there is so much death in this show's history. Also, it's coming off an episode that ended with the mass slaughtering of innocent civilians. They were only caught in the line of fire; A gang war that started with an unfortunate lie. The violence on this series is expected at this point. The price of blood and vengeance is only dependent on the level of thirst for either of the men who are facing off in this war. It comes down to whether Jax or Lin will get one over on the other.

That showdown thankfully comes in this episode, yet what happens there isn't all that satisfying. It's an odd direction for the writers to take given the fact that they had Lin's gang resort to mass murder earlier with no one batting an eye. The episode also strays focus from Jax through the bulk of it to Gemma by the end. It doesn't come out of nowhere, but it's indicative of possibly running out of compelling story before the end of the series.

I found myself thinking about the James Bond movies as this episode unfolded. There is the common complaint about those films where the supervillain has Bond in the most dire position at the climax of the film, and all they have to do is pull the trigger to kill Bond. Instead, they often go into a monologue that gives Bond enough time to escape and foil their plans. So, in the wake of the massacre of Diosa, Jax unilaterally decides that Lin needs to go down immediately. SAMCRO goes through some convoluted machinations in order to lure Lin into the open and in front of Jax so that he can kill him. Lin spends the bulk of the episode actually in an advantageous position. He forces Nero to confront the fact that Jax had been lying to him all the while he was being a mediator between SAMCRO and the Mayans.

The threat to Nero is effective because it forces him to choose a side, although it's not a surprise that he would back Jax. He has too many ties to the Teller family to just go to the other side. When a meeting is set between Lin and SAMCRO, Lin gets the drop on Jax and Chibs. Knowing that Jax has declared war on the Chinese, Lin has gun pointed at Jax's head. All he has to do is pull the trigger and the threat will be neutralized. Jax doesn't really have any leverage to talk his way out of eating a bullet. Yet, Lin doesn't do it.

Maybe Jax was counting on that hesitation, maybe not, but he doesn't give away his fear of death. He seemed secure when he turns the tables on Lin, with SAMCRO holding guns on Lin's gang in association with some crooked cops who were bought by Barosky. Jax has Lin in a dire position -- and it's been clear since the beginning of the season that he wants Lin dead -- and yet, doesn't immediately kill him. They brawl, with Jax revealing to Lin that it's revenge for ordering Tara's murder. Lin is, understandably, confused about this notion and denies it. Jax doesn't believe it, and Lin's murder is delayed until he goes to prison. I'm thinking that would be unlikely to happen now. There's going to be a point where the truth about Tara's death comes out and Jax will have to realize that all the death that followed in its wake is on him. These are the results of his and Gemma's misguided decisions.

It's also fair to say that Gemma doesn't have a great time in the episode either. She's been floating around mostly to take care of Abel and Thomas (althought that doesn't look too good when Abel "protects" Thomas from everyone with a hammer), ensure that she isn't found out to be solely responsible for Tara's death, and to keep Juice from going crazy. She isn't all that successful with the latter task, as Juice's paranoia and grief over the events of Diosa lead him to kill an innocent civilian. Juice seems to be the only one who's humane enough to recognize the toll that all of this death takes on people. Jax and Gemma, and really most of the main characters seem to regard all these bodies dropping as the cost of doing business. This is the usual when you're in a gang war, and it feels like many of the actors are being told just to blankly stare ahead as all this mayhem goes on around them. 

Juice is the one person who seems to recognize not only all of the death, but the fact that Gemma made the impulsive choice of killing him. He does have a point: He was implicit in covering up the deaths of Tara and Roosevelt. The reward for that is the possibility that Gemma will lie to him and then kill him on a whim. He turns the tables on her. So in an episode where Jax and Lin faced certain death at times, it's Gemma that ends up in the most precarious position. I can't say she doesn't deserve it for the littany of horrible actions she's done throughout the series.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Gemma finally seems in the position to get what's coming to her
The Bad:
  • The confrontation between Jax and Lin is unsatisfying

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Sons of Anarchy by - 10/14/2014 7:42 AM135 views

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