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.
KAITLIN: This week, Sons of Anarchy continued its march toward... well, I don't know what it's marching toward anymore. There are so many plot threads going at once that it's hard to tell what Kurt Sutter's Season 6 game plan really is, other than to get SAMCRO out of the gun-running business. I know that as we get further and further into the season all the various storylines will begin to come together and form a clearer picture, but some of them—like Tara's for instance—still feel so distant from the rest of the action that I almost forget about them until they pop up in 30-second blips between everything going on with the Irish, and with Toric and Clay. It's not that they're not important, but when Toric's getting shanked by Otto in jail, it's hard to focus on Tara's shady dealings with Wendy.
TIM: So much going on! Just look at how Jax's day started: Tig showed up on Jax's doorstep when he should have been dead, San Bernardino voted down the gun business, Unser got a swastika carved into his chest because some white-power jerks are after the club, and then Jax learned about the dead hooker that Toric killed and framed Nero for. I'm pretty sure all that happened even before he could have a single spoonful of Froot Loops. But I really liked how "Wolfsangel" played out, with the self-contained story wrapping up nicely by episode's end and all the other craziness taking big steps. Or maybe I just liked all the violence. Cuz people be DEAD.
KAITLIN: Super dead. SAMCRO rolled up with their guns out and they took care of business. And I think that was the first moment since the beginning of this season where I felt like my favorite show was back. For the last three weeks I've felt like the club was merely reacting to the things happening around them, that they were just treading water. Who knew all it took to spur Jax into action was having two of his men killed and dismembered (R.I.P. Phil and Whatshisface)? But as long as I'm talking about dead members: R.I.P. Otto, too. We probably all knew it was coming, but at least he went out on his own terms.
TIM: Yes, Otto died the way he lived, killing someone and bleeding from his anus. And the person he killed was Toric. As I said last week, I loved Toric and the ridiculousness he brought to this show, but I have to wonder: Why is he dead now? And isn't rule number one in this prison "DO NOT GO INTO A ROOM ALONE WITH OTTO"? Toric gave him a pen, for crying out loud, and even turned his back on Otto. I knew it was coming as soon as he went in there, but it was still a total shock to me from a story standpoint. Toric had just set up Nero for hooker murder with a sloppy frame job, and when Roosevelt did some research on him I was like, "OOOOOH it is ON for Roosevelt vs. Toric!" And I got all excited about that. He was working with D.A.C.C.H., and he was instrumental in linking Clay to the rest of the season. He was a pest to SAMCRO, but he never got that big confrontation with Jax. And now he's dead. This was either intentional, to keep us on our toes, or Kurt Sutter realized that he'd exhausted Toric's storyline. Or maybe that Vikings and Copper workload was too much for Donal Logue. Either way, I'm failing to see Toric's role in the big picture (other than to get the D.A. on the case), and I think his death was premature. I know I would have liked to have seen him stick around longer and kill some more whores, dance naked, and break his hands against a table again.
KAITLIN: I agree; I think Toric's death came out of nowhere. I was SO ready for Roosevelt to lay the smackdown on him, and now that will never happen. This completely blows up where I thought that story was headed, which was probably the point. I guess Toric wasn't the big bad of the season after all. Well played, Mr. Sutter, well played. However, you couldn't fool me with regard to Tara's story. I totally called it that Tara and Wendy were working together, and I'm kind of really pissed off about it. Tara's insistence that she wants to remove herself and the boys from Charming is fine, but now she's working with Wendy and Lowen to build a case against Jax and the club, and you know what? Screw that. On one hand, I know that Tara's actually the most sane person on this show and that I should be all, "YOU GO, TARA" for protecting her family. But on the other hand, I know this is going to end up as another Tara and Gemma fight and that shit is OLD. Also, thinking rationally about SOA tends to make the viewing experience less enjoyable, so I'm getting tired of considering the real-world implications of this series. Now I just want to see Jax and Chibs blow some shit up.
TIM: Jax is definitely on the warpath. Chibs seemed more level-headed about everything and questioned Jax, and he even requested a "breather" after the Irish murdered Phil and Prospect John Doe. Though the theme has been repeated over and over and over and over, I liked Chibs' talk with Jax in the clubhouse, where Chibs said, "You know who you sound like? The guy who used to sit in that seat." Following in the footsteps of Opie and Bobby, I guess it's time for Chibs to be the guy who tells Jax that he's more like Clay than his old man. You'd think if a bunch of your pals were telling you that you were acting like a dick, you'd realize that you were acting like a dick. But Jax has taken to the presidency like a despot, working his own deals without talking to the table, and for what he thinks is the benefit of the club. And it looks like the Irish are next on his to-do list. Now, with that business relationship in trouble, what happens to Clay? He was only alive to keep the Irish happy if they needed him.
KAITLIN: "It always comes back to Clay" really should have been the tagline for this series. Strangely enough, I suspect that Jax probably thinks he needs Clay now more than ever. He'll use him to finally formulate a real plan to extract the Sons from the Irish deal once and for all. I guestimate this will take the rest of the season and involve some sort of convoluted plan, but in the end, the club will be out of the gun business. The guns will probably be handed off to August and his men, possibly with a side of Clay. However, I will never be satisfied unless Jax gets to kill Clay himself.
TIM: Well, we all know that won't happen until the very end of the series, right? As much fun as I had watching "Wolfsangel," I now find myself wondering where the show stands. With Toric out of the way, all his business goes with him, right? All that time spent killing hookers and framing Nero was for naught. How will the D.A. react to the news? Will Toric's death help or hurt her investigation? What will Roosevelt do about Toric's death? Can Nero get out of this with no damage? What happened to the school shooting, are we over that now? There are still some Persians out there, right? Where is this season headed? Just when things were focused, they got cloudy.
R.I.P. FILTHY PHIL!!!
– Toric: "I didn't even see that coming," he said as he got shanked in the side by Otto. You were the only one, Toric.
– Big body count in this episode, especially for main characters! Otto, Toric, and Filthy Phil are all done. Yet what do their deaths mean? We may not know for a while.
– Nero lurrrves Gemma now. They may be the cutest couple on television!
– It was a bad week to be pro-Nazi! First it was Jack and his crew on Breaking Bad, and now this slaughter.
– Tig playing Rat's dad, Alan WHITEMAN, was hilarious. Nice to see Kim Coates get to change it up a little.