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Sons of Anarchy S06E05: "The Mad King"

Ed. note: We're trying something a little different this season with our Sons of Anarchy reviews. Instead of having one person compose his or her thoughts for you each week, we've decided it might be more fun to tag-team SOA in a conversation-style review. That way, you'll get two different perspectives on TV's most violent drama.

TIM: I think it would be funny if Jax called up the Irish up and said, "Hey, I ordered an Irish Car Bomb, not an Irish Bar Bomb. HAHAHAHAHA!" And then made this face:

KAITLIN: [silence]

TIM: And then Galen would be all like:

TIM: And then Jax and Galen would hug it out and everyone would be friends! Wouldn't that be great? Except this is Sons of Anarchy, where everyone hates each other, even the best of buds. "The Mad King" had one of the series' most literally explosive endings, and killed off one of its most iconic characters: the Teller-Morrow Automotive Repair shop! Yeah, the bomb was meant to take out a lot more than that, but holy shit Kaitlin! Where are all these biker broads going to take their kids for daycare now? Jax didn't want war, but this action by the Irish was a declaration that can't be taken any other way. They just tried to kill the whole show. 

KAITLIN: Don't worry, if there's any justice in this world, Uncle Touchy's home on wheels will have been spared from the destruction and they'll just move the daycare to another location. I'm crossing my fingers for Diosa; that way Lyla can take turns watching the kids. Or maybe even Wendy's place, since she's super relevant again. Either way, R.I.P. SAMCRO clubhouse. We're just lucky Jax is so observant that he noticed a shamrock pen on the bar, but not, you know, his wife slowly removing herself and their children from his life. Whatever, who cares about that when there's murdering to be done, right? This war with the Irish just got super real, super fast, something I wasn't actually expecting to happen so early in the season. I've been trying to figure out what Jax and the club could do in retaliation—because that's how these things work—and the only thing I'm getting is: CLAY, CLAY, CLAY. What are the odds that Jax tells Clay to take the offer to run the distribution out of Belfast as a way to destroy the Irish from within?

TIM: Holy crap, Kaitlin! Have you ever thought of starting your own motorcycle club? I like that plan, get Clay to have them ship a bunch of guns to some stranger's house like the old pizza-delivery prank, and then their business is ruined when the guy who answers the door is like WTF? But I guess it would be more like a man-on-the-inside type of deal with Clay, with him figuring out some way to screw over the Irish and frame them for providing guns to kids. And once again it'd be another way to keep that slippery rascal Clay alive. But would they really ship Clay off to Belfast? Is this the season that Sons of Anarchy keeps Clay as far away as possible from everyone else? Why does he need to go to Belfast to run the operations? I have many questions about the business practices of these people in this show. Do you know how many problems would be solved if JUST ONE person said, "You know what, maybe I will just go find another person to run my business with, since you're under investigation by the feds/forcing me to work with black people/in jail/a murder suspect." I mean come on, why must everyone be so stubborn? 

KAITLIN: You bring up a lot of interesting questions. Sadly, I can only answer one of them. Obviously, Clay needs to be shipped off to Belfast because he'd be a wanted fugitive at that point. But the idea does make me wonder how Clay would be able to run distribution from Ireland, because if the Irish could do that, don't you think they'd be doing it already? Why would they need SAMCRO at all if they could run their operations from outside the country? I'm very interested to find out more about Clay and Galen's alleged other dealings, because there's a piece missing from this puzzle and I can't quite figure out what it is.

TIM: Yeah, those past deals with Clay (dress-shirt smuggling?) are going to be what brings Galen down, if you ask me. I'm happy we finally have some bad guys to hate, and I'm happy they're the Irish. I just hope SAMCRO doesn't go to Ireland for revenge now, we don't need THAT again. But you know what? It's not even the Irish who've got me the maddest. It's those pervy prison security guards who made Clay and Gemma have old-people sex just for jollies. WHAT. IN. THE. HECK? What is wrong with those two dudes? Why don't they just use the internet for porn like everyone else? And if it's old people they're into, haven't they heard of LemonParty.org? And what about the "no masturbating in the same room" rule that's a foundation of the Guy Code? This show should pause all of its other storylines just to slowly torture those dudes in a special 90-minute episode of Sons of Anarchy.  

KAITLIN: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's not get crazy now. The last thing we need is another 90-minute episode to derail the momentum that's built up in the two most recent episodes. But I am totally with you on the OMGWTF of that moment. I think I threw up a little during that scene. However, whether or not I agree with Gemma's decision to tell Nero about it is another matter. Since when is she all, "Let me confess my sins"? If anything, she's been Liar #1 since Day #1. Her untruths have gotten so severe that I couldn't tell whether she was being sincere during her conversation with Wendy. It all felt a bit like she was trying to manipulate Wendy into choosing her side in the never-ending battle of Gemma vs. Tara. And it worked, at least for a little bit. She went running to Tara claiming she couldn't go through with their original plan. To be honest, this entire storyline is boring me now. Tara used to be a character I cared a lot about, now I just sort of roll my eyes and wonder when Tara became so lifeless.

TIM: At least "The Mad King" cleared up a few things with regard to Tara's storyline, which I probably didn't totally get because it always puts me asleep when it's on. I'm just disappointed that it's as simple as I thought it was. Tara wanted her kids to be under the guardianship of Wendy if Tara went to jail because she's worried that the club is a dangerous environment for them, and she's keeping this from Jax because obviously Jax would be like, "Hold up, girl." Basically, Tara is a monster. But the problem with the plot still remains: Tara doesn't have ANY other options than to hand them over to Abel's former junkie mom who Tara's always hated? Get some friends or a family, Tara! 

Anyway, I'm going to change the subject here and move on to Chibs and Jax's relationship, which has been rocky at best. I LOVED Chibs' confrontation with Jax about making his own calls instead of bringing them to the table. Jax deserved that talking-to, and I was disappointed that Chibs' anger seemed to've disappeared in the next scene when they were waiting for the phone call from the Irish. If Chibs lets those things go, who's going to keep Jax from going rogue and calling all the shots? 

KAITLIN: Call me crazy, but I don't necessarily see Chibs letting Jax off too easily. He's been pretty vocal all season long about Jax's unwillingness to bring things to the table. But everything Jax has done has led to where we ended this episode: with a clubhouse in ruins. This isn't like in Season 4 when Roosevelt and the fire department showed up and trashed the place. The clubhouse is literally a burning pile of embers. Jax might have had good (if a wee bit selfish) intentions in wanting to get the club out of the gun business, but he's gone about it the wrong way. If tonight's episode served one purpose, it was to show Jax that actions have consequences, and that if he wants to clean up this mess and really cut ties with the Irish, he's going to need to stop acting like Clay and start bringing his brothers in on all club business. And also to never let Chucky take deliveries. But mostly the club stuff.

TIM: Haha, yeah right. No one in this club will ever learn a thing. I'm at least psyched that we have a very established enemy now, and I can't wait to see SAMCRO take them down. "The Mad King" was pretty consistent with the rest of this season, which is to say it moved really fast and proved that even when things don't always make sense, Sons of Anarchy is still one of the most entertaining shows on television.


– Bobby got a quick mention when his traveling sideshow was recommended to Jax to fulfill the need for some bodies, but Jax quickly shot that down. That's two weeks in a row that we haven't seen Bobby. Not cool. What's up with his storyline?

– Roosevelt and Nero have some things brewing, but what? It seems like all of Toric's stories are slowly being transferred to other characters because Sons of Anarchy had to kill Toric prematurely when Donal Logue got too busy. 

– Still trying to figure out why Collette is in this season so far. Ditto for Charlie Robocop. Both characters are just hanging around, but neither seem very important yet.

– Is there any chance all of SAMCRO and their families can fake their own deaths like they were inside when the bomb went off? How hilarious would that be?

– Really? A pen with a shamrock on it left behind by a beer delivery person is the big clue that saves the club?

– The episode title "The Mad King" is probably talking about the pissed-off Irish "Kings," but it could refer to King Lear. However, I like to think that it's a Game of Thrones reference. The Mad King in that series was Aerys Targaryen, the predecessor to Robert Baratheon. So maybe Jax is Aerys because he's going off on his own and making decisions for the club. Which I guess would make Chuckie and his missing digits the equivalent of Varys! Feel free to make your own Sons of Anarchy-Game of Thrones analogies in the comments section below.

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