Sons of Anarchy: The Juice is Loose

If you'd been waiting for the tension that's been mounting over the last few episodes of Sons of Anarchy to explode in your face, you got it last night. "With an X" featured some important moments (Juice!) and drove the story forward, but instead of walking the story hand-in-hand towards the finish line, it bashed its head through the drywall.

If I had to summarize "With an X" in a word, I'd go with "totallyf***ingcrazyholysh*twow!" Much of the episode focused on my boy Juice, who's been squeezed by Sheriff Roosevelt and forced into turning on the club to protect the truth about his race. I spent the bulk of last week's episode screaming "No, Juice! What are you doing!?" as he bungled a half-baked plan to steal a few grams of coke from one of the cartel's kilo bags. We saw the fallout last night, and it made me grind my teeth down to the gums. But I also questioned whether things would actually have played out that way.

I understand that putting Juice in a position where he witnessed SAMCRO psychologically tormenting its prospects was a great way to put us on pins and needles, but shouldn't the club have put a little more pressure on Juice? I'm with Chibs on this one—he's the only one who threw Juice a few suspicious glances. The rest of the club just declared Juice innocent right away. I know that if I was partying with hardcore drugs and something went missing, I'd be pointing the finger at everyone, even my best friend who wasn't even there. After all, it was Juice who proposed a 15-minute period for the coke to magically reappear, no questions asked. The livelihood of the club is at stake here—there's war with the cartel on the line!—and if the prospects and Juice are the only ones who could have taken it, I'd make sure all suspects were properly "questioned." Perhaps with a broken beer bottle.

But let's sweep that nitpicking under the rug so we can get to the moment when Juice SQUEEZED OFF FIVE ROUNDS INTO THAT DUDE'S HEAD. Wow. Awesome. That bit was done beautifully. Juice had a kilo stuffed into his trousers, he got busted, and his only way out was to fight. I loved the look of panic on both the guys' faces as they looked for the gun, knowing one of them was about to die. And on the losing side of the fight was... wait, who was that guy? It's unfortunate that we barely knew Miles; as a result, his murder didn't carry as much emotional weight as it could have. But who cares, because this is really about Juice, who's crossed the point of no return. I love Juice, but if he manages to get away with this, then I'm going to be mad at the show.

Meanwhile, I'm still finding myself completely upset with Opie for sleeping with that cheap floozy last week. Didn't he and Lyla just get married five episodes ago? And then he goes and cheats because she's on a diet of birth control and morning after pills? Maybe I just don't want to see Opie in a negative light or maybe the storyline just isn't that believable (I'm leaning toward the latter), but I need this thing to end soon. It seems dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. And soapy.

Also slightly unbelievable was the porn star whore pulling a gun on SAMCRO at their HQ. What was she thinking? And would anyone really be so quick to try and bed Jax after pulling a gun on his girl and getting mad-dogged by his club? She got what she deserved when Jax tried to put her face through a table, but the whole string of events just didn't come off as believable to me. Or maybe she was just that stupid.

Last week I wondered if Clay would go after Tara once he learned about the damning evidence in the letters. Turns out the answer is yes. And now he's asking the cartel to take care of it for him. I'm not sure why the cartel would agree to get involved in SAMCRO's business like that, beyond the writers thinking it's much cooler to have the cartel go after Tara instead of some random assassin, but whatever. At least Wayne had the decency to alert her that someone is after her with a printed-out note that called her a doctor bitch. That was nice of him. I probably would have gone with Comic Sans for the font, though.

"With an X" saw people make some pretty questionable decisions, but each one culminated in a memorable pay-off, so I'm inclined to let them slide and just soak in the drama. One thing Sons Season 4 has done well is give every character a heavy storyline, and with such a deep roster, that's an impressive accomplishment.

Skid Marks:
– Interesting to see Clay walk off into the clubhouse room at the end of the episode. That was the clubhouse room, right? Did he just need some "me time" to cope with putting a hit out on his stepson's fiancée? Good luck sleeping well, Clay.

– Tig got a sweet self-contained story when his daughter Dawn (the crazier one) showed up and swindled him out of twelve grand. He knew it was a scam, but he still let her have it. Tig understands he's in no place to judge, and besides, it's his baby girl. REQUEST: Anyone know the name of the actress who played Dawn? I couldn't find it. Update: It's Rachel Miner, who played a Meg on Supernatural. That's how I recognized her.

– How funny is Jax's tough-guy walk? It's like a fat man's waddle mixed with someone who just put Tabasco sauce in his armpits.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Comic Sans...hahah
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Kurt , I just wanted to tell you that you have done a great job on writing season 4 it is way beyond what I thought it would be. As I watched your interview on the late show with Jimmy Fallon you really inspired me. Thank you for a great season 4 and I can't wait to see what you have done with the finally..................
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O Tim, you should have just arched the episode with me! As soon as Tig's daughter stepped out of the car I yelled" It's Meg from Supernatural!!" She's got that awesome raspy voice. And Jax's walk is silly... but then it's just like his walk from Green Street Hooligans, and he's pretty badass in that!
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Wow, I can't believe some of you people (as well as the author) actually condoning the violence against the porn chick. Yeah, she's skeezy, but a man hitting a woman is never right. That took away a lot of the respect I had for Jax's character. It should have been Tara kicking her ass.
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There's a lot of "should've been" in this season. But one thing that's never changed: Tara sucks.
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The Real Redwood chapter are 81 supporters and I say SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL OUTLAWS MC
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Am I the only one who doesn't like Tara? Her hair is annoying, she needs to cut it or get tougher or a get a tattoo. She rubs me the wrong way. eck.
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Tara's a handsome woman. I'm sure I don't know what you mean.



Seriously, her character's way more annoying than the mannish face. "The woman who has to know everything but can handle nothing." it's a tired angle. Any sympathy I would have for her was gone when she chose to stay. Her choice, her consequences.
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Lol I swear it's like every season SOMEONE is trying to kill Tara. It's a surprise that she has yet to bite the bullet. The girl just can't ever get a break, always managing to piss SOMEONE off,

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Wow, there are some bloodthirsty comments here!



The club's instant (erroneous) vetting of Juice adds pressure to the mounting tension Juice's betrayal is creating. While it may seem improbable, the club believes so strongly in this man that there was no suspicion cast his way at all, by anyone in the club. Chibs did not even suspect him until he began acting weird, asking existential questions about the club, and insisted everyone clear out so one of the "guilty" prospects could return the coke. It is this profound belief, this certainty, that will be shattering when Juice's perfidy is discovered. It would not surprise me if Juice's bad acts come to light long before Clay's murder of JT and now the hit on Tara, and when they do, Clay is the most vociferous and merciless about meting out Juicey's punishment. Because he is just that sanctimonious.



Clay's remarkable talents as a strategist and tactician are impossible to deny however. Bringing the Tara problem, hat in hand and egg on face, to Romeo, couching it as an intelligence leak and intimating that Tara could have intell on the SAMCRO/Gallindo cartel operations and asking Romeo to help him clean up SAMCRO's mess as a favor, well that was pretty slick. There is always just enough truth in any truly believable lie. And Romeo swallowed it, because what sort of cold bastard would lightly put a hit out on his step-son's fianc, right?



Too bad for Clay a cartel hit does not offer nearly the degrees of separation he needs to throw off suspicion, especially with Uncer, Piney and Gemma already hip to a threat against Tara. Regardless of whether the hit is successful, this action will alienate Clay from his staunchest supporters outside the club at a time when he is on shaky ground in the club for bringing the cartel into their lives anyway. Further, Jax already knows Clay murdered his father, he read the letters, but he is biding his time, playing the long game, because he wants out, he wants Tara and his boys safe, and he does not want to have to take care of Gemma for the rest of her life (she may be his mother but the woman is poison). When he learns Clay was willing to take Tara from him as blithely, he will burn it all down, Clay, Gemma, the club, everything.
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Everything is all so messed up with everyone. And it sucks even more of Clay because 1- he's stupid as you pointed out. And crazy. He hasn't hidden his involvement in this nearly enough. WAYYYYY too many people know about this involvement and his intentions for Tara. Plus Clay and Gemma don't even know that Jax already knows what they're so desperately trying to hide. I just can't shake this feeling that something bad is going to happen to alot of people this season and its keeping me on edge. I'm loving it!
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Excellent episode. Three heavy story lines (Juice/Kilo of Coke, Clay/Tara, and Opie/Wife) that were intertwined beautifully. You can definitely see that all three will reveal something great at seasons end.
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While I agree that Opie's behavior is low, immature and disappointing, I cannot be the only person that saw the writing on the wall with this situation, can I? Think about it, Lyla is rebound-girl: she is a sweet, sexy, passive aggressive porn-star, everything Donna was not, and therefore she does not trigger Opie's guilt about his direct connection to Donna's murder as deeply as a woman like Tara would because there is no comparison, Lyla simply is not even in the same class as Donna, so Opie can be with a woman and not have to face the Donna situation too head-on. Deep down Opie truly wants a solid, strong, caring woman to have a family with, but he is in-part culpable for Donna's death, feels guilty and ultimately fears that his activities with the club would one day put another good woman in danger. Lyla was an escape for Opie, companionship and sex and someone who was pretty good with his kids, but he should never have married her, and likewise Lyla, knowing what Opie wanted and that it was not what she wanted, should not have married Ope. These two created a happy illusion and now it is poofing out of existence, because illusions are unsustainable.
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two questions anyone else not get the wierd racism thing when they thiought juice was puetrican they were fine but if hes black its not okay.I do like the sutter is trying to show what these gangs are really like and doesnt care if its a little uncomfortable for the times.Also where the heck is Wendy .In this episode tara said im the mother of you sons ,which means she accepted able as her own but does that mean wendy will not come back to get him and claim parental rights
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Well of course we all know that she didn't give birth to Abel, but Wendy hasn't been around. She's the one that has been taking care of both of those boys so thats a real mom to me. As for the racist thing I was wondering the same thing. I can't shake the feeling that if Juice would have just told someone in the club he truly trusts about this situation then maybe it wouldn't have gotten this crazy.
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Yeah, I thought they knew he was Puerto Rican, so why would they have a problem if he was black? It bugged me when Tara said she was the mother of his sons, cause she's not. She's a step-mom to Abel...I suspect Wendy will be back, sober, maybe married and try to get Abel back.
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i honestly hate Juice right now...
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I just hope Juice gets what he deserves... Stupid skunk!
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Jax walks like Tim Roth!
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This show is so killer and never gets any recognition. They should have a new category for shows like this, FNL and on and on!
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I remember Rachel Miner from Terriers. Terriers? Terriers? Terriers?



I'm happy Juice lives to see another day.
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Best part was definitely Piney decking Ope. He is even grosser with that mane of 80s hair flowing around. Never thought I would want that hat back. Happy is one creepy dude, hope they figure out a way to get rid of him. I was pretty bummed about the hit on Tara, it's definitely a point of no return if it comes out, but not surprising that Sutter pulled it out already. Dude likes to take it there and I love him for it.



Thanks for the Meg info, I couldn't figure that out either. The whole Ima thing seems a bit forced to me, hopefully there is a point.



I was totally blown away by the head blowing away scene. Juice was killing me in that ep.



Jax's walk is insane, it's like it's more exaggerated than ever. Too much knee bending or wide leg planting, or something, it looks bizarrely comical.
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Piney is a badass, i hope they don't kill him off.. anyone her think Ima is the best looking woman on that show?? I think she is smoking way hotter than Tara and Opie's chick .... Great episode, Juice is screwed now
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She's cute but I like Lyla better
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Rachel Miner has always been a good character actress. I remember her as the last good actress to play "Michelle Bauer" on "Guiding Light" as well as Runkle's secretary who ended up representing Mia when she stole "F$%cking and Punching" from Hank. Hopefully that isn't the last we see of her as Miner as Tig's daughter worked well. 2 great character actors. (Looks as though Chuck is in love also, which is also great.) Kim Coates has been woefully underutilized this season and it was nice getting him his own story.



Great episode. Ima is really lucky a broken jaw is all she got. Clay finally crossing that point of no return is going to make the second half of this season f'in crazy. Praying Piney isn't the next to go. That last scene with him taking off the oxygen and drinking to start his day seemed to me like Piney is checking out. His punching Opie in the face was great.



Now that "Breaking Bad" has ended its epic season - "Sons" can regain its crown as the best drama on television. Has anyone noticed how great this show has been since Paris Barclay became one of the producers? He has directed some of the best episodes. He was missed last season and as much as I liked "In Treatment" I'm glad its cancellation brought Barclay back to where he belongs with Sutter and the "Sons".
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Yeah, Rachel Miner was also Runkle's secretary in Califonication. She's a cutie. I honestly expected Juice to get the fat ex-probie killed last episode, as well as the Mayan, so while he ended up killing Opie's guy...it was one less than I expected, and the Mayans are still cool. And as for the porn star being stupid, it's season 4; they're proving they're *all* stupid. Opie brought her there in the first place. Season 4 Formula... Right/Logical/Smart thing to do <------------------> What SAMCRO does
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Loved it!! Things are bound to get way messier. This season has been nothing but awesome. Also loving the music this season. This show, to me, is on par with Breaking Bad. Seriously the two best shows at the moment and in recent history.
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She's the girl who plays the naughty assistant / secretary for Runkle in Californication as well wasn't she?



Back to the episode though, Juice shooting Miles in the head, many times, was a brilliant scene! When the back of Miles's head exploded like that I was like, 'holy crap!'
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i got to say i no ima is a hoe beyond belief but does anyone find it disturbing that only piney was truly mad at opie everyone is pissed at the girl but shes not the one who married or in a relationship like jax was why doesnt anyone expect them to know better .I know he dealt with ima Samcro style but for me beating on the girl u cheated wouldnt chenge the fact u did it
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haha aGHHHHH Meg from Supernaturallll I was wondering the same thing haha
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I think I'm the only one who remembers her on Sex and The City and naked in the movie Bully.
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I was also hoping for a gif of that skeezy chick's face hitting the table. I was hysterical after I saw that.
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How could you not mention how seriously badass Tara was this episode.
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