Battle lines are drawn as the Sons close out their deal with the Irish, the Chinese and August Marks while Tara makes a life changing decision and Juice circles the drain…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Plenty of bullets flew on the latest episode of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ titled ‘You Are My Sunshine’ but the real hurt came from a secret unburied that could lead to a war in Charming while a mother’s indecision about how to best protect her children will bring the show to a conclusion next week in the season finale.
Jax has done his best all year to get the club out of guns, but there was no way the exit wasn’t going to get bloody and given the set up we received in this 90-minute episodes, we’ve got some pretty good ideas about how it will all unravel in the final season next year. Tara’s personal war to get away from the club is boiling over as well because as much as she wants out, there’s still turmoil about how to get there and who she has to burn to find freedom.
Let’s start at the beginning and make sure to read up till the end for some long term predictions on how this season might end as well as music from the episode and a few interesting facts about the latest ‘Sons of Anarchy’.
The episode starts with Jax explaining what went wrong in his plan to hand over Galen and the IRA to District Attorney Patterson with a line of excuses as long as Bobby’s – well if you saw the episode you know what I’m hinting at there, better to not give details. Patterson isn’t buying what Jax is selling, but she’s putting on a good face while quietly phoning Tara the moment the meeting breaks. Tara is still hold up in the cabin caring for Bobby after his gunshot wound. The deal is this — Tara hands over the bullet linking the club to the shootout with the sheriffs while breaking out Clay as well as her testimony and the DA will give her full immunity for Pamela Toric’s death as well as witness protection for her and the boys to get out of town.
Tara is resolved to take this deal but it’s not going to be easy to get there. Beyond the fact that she has a chaperone wherever she goes and her boys are staying at Gemma’s house under constant watch by Unser and Wendy, the bigger problem is her internal strife trying to deal with betrayal and unmaking her entire family. When Jax visits the cabin he promises that they will sort things out, and she embraces him tight seemingly for one last time while saying ‘I’m sorry’. He believes she’s apologizing for everything that’s happened up till now with the fake pregnancy and setting up Gemma, but in reality she’s saying goodbye before giving him up to the authorities.
Compounding Tara’s misery as she’s trying to make this great escape is Bobby — sewed up and barely moving after being shot, he’s one club member that’s always been there for her through thick and thin. Bobby’s been the voice of reason over the years and a calm influence on Jax and everything he’s trying to build. When he utters ‘I love you doc’, the look of sadness and woe in Tara’s eyes was heartbreaking.
Here is this poor woman who has lost her profession, almost lost her hand, she’s facing years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit and she was there in the first place at the behest of her husband’s outlaw motorcycle club and she’s still struggling to break ties. The online world including Twitter and Facebook seem to have such disdain for Tara this season, and maybe every season in the past, but my heart breaks for her because she’s been there for Jax and his club in every way she possibly could, but at some point everyone has a breaking point and she’s been shattered on numerous occasions. There is no bonhomie in Tara’s life outside of the few fleeting moments she spends with her children these days, and even those are done with a watchful eye staring over her shoulder
We’ve all heard the stories of domestic violence where it’s next to impossible for a woman to leave her husband no matter the abuse she’s taking because somewhere deep down she believes that he’s still a good man that she loves and will always adore. Now for those that have never seen it firsthand or experienced it, consider yourselves lucky, but personally witnessing that kind of hamster wheel of terror where you’re constantly running but never getting away is a scary life to lead, and an ever scarier one to try and escape. That’s what Tara’s going through right now and she’s being torn to pieces.
She finally decides that betraying Jax and the club is the only way to find peace, so she slips away from the cabin, cons Gemma into heading back to help Bobby who is ‘bleeding out’ (obviously he’s not) and shows up at her house to take the boys and run. Unser tries to stop her, as does Wendy (while screaming at 3-year old Abel ‘I’m your real mommy!’ which should anger you much more than what Tara was up to) but ultimately Tara gets away with her kids. Does she go meet the DA and take the deal? Stay tuned for that later…
Nero has been a conflicted friend to the Sons of Anarchy all season long. He’s watched his once vibrant business crumble while taking on new business partners in a similar venture, and also taken on a new ‘partner’ in Collette’s brothel in Stockton. Add to that, he’s been forced to kill his own cousin, spent weeks in jail on a crime he didn’t commit and given up hundreds of thousands of dollars to help bail Jax and his crew out of troubles they created. Much like Tara, every instinct inside of Nero has to be screaming ‘get out!’ but his loyalty runs deep and it’s really hard to break that kind of devotion — although the cracks are starting to spider web further and further out from the source.
Nero’s ‘cousin’ from the Byz-Lats comes to visit and tell him that his relationship with the Sons has brought them nothing but misery while also crushing any business they had with their gang around town. He suggests meeting with Marcus Alvarez from the Mayans to discuss possible business because brown looks out for brown and there aren’t a lot of brown faces coloring SAMCRO these days.
Nero agrees to the meeting and when he talks to Alvarez it’s clear that if you thought things were bloody now, just wait until the SAMCRO pin gets pulled from grenade that’s just waiting to explode all over Northern California. Alvarez explains that when SAMCRO was supplying guns to the Mayans, the Chinese, the Italians and the black crews like the One-Niners, they were selling to everyone for the same price and essentially acting as referees in this gigantic turf war that was still simmering under the surface.
Now that SAMCRO is getting out of guns and handing over the Irish to August Marks, the balance of power is about to shift. It’s forcing Alvarez to expand and deal with the Chinese. He’s putting a new charter into Stockton with 20 Mayans moving into the area, which will certainly raise the ire of the Sons and battle lines are about to be drawn…
“If things play out in Oak-town the way I think, it’s going to be brown and yellow against black and white,” Alvarez tells Nero.
Nero wants to stay neutral but Alvarez crushes him with a hard truth — ‘there ain’t no Switzerland in the hood.’
He’s looking for Nero to push the Byz-Lats into business with them and when this war breaks out, they will support their efforts against the One-Niners and presumably the Sons when all of this goes down. Nero rebuffs the offer, but it’s clear this is only going to go from bad to worse as time moves forward. He’ll find out something later, however, that may push him to finally choose sides.
The Dark Passenger
We’ve known for weeks now that things are right with Juice. Two weeks ago on the last episode of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ when he tells Jax that he’s really okay and not going crazy, he might as well have asked to get locked up in the loony. Sane people rarely feel the need to proclaim their sanity.
This week, Juice is still torn up over the death of Clay and his part in that entire situation. He questions Bobby as to why he changed his mind and voted to have Clay die.
“Clay deserved the mayhem for what he did, I never had any doubt about that,” Bobby explains. “But the first time, just wasn’t the best for the club. Was no good for Jax, but this time it made sense.”
Bobby can see just how damaged Juice is right now and how he’s been pretty much since getting back in the club after almost turning rat last season. He has some sage, Yoda like advice for his lost and wayward friend. It’s so profound I wouldn’t be shocked if JJ Abrams includes this in Star Wars: Episode VII
“Just go to Diosa, shithead. Get a massage, drop a few Oxy, get some head,” Bobby said. “You need to unwind. You’re making everybody nervous — especially me.”
All jokes aside, Bobby’s advice ends up being the tipping point for Juice in a season where he’s been close to the edge, and now he finally goes over.
Once he arrives at Diosa he breaks down in front of Lila as she tries to console him. He’s already taken a few Oxycontin at this point and he’s teetering on the brink of madness and depression. She finally calms him down and sends him back to a room to wait until a young lady can come help ease his worried mind. In the room, Juice comes face to face with his demons, namely the face he sees in the mirror and it’s not a vision he wants to see. He pops a few more packages of Oxycontin and lays down on the floor to let the pain seep out of him.
As Lila explains so beautifully when explaining Juice’s presence at Diosa to Gemma, the poor boy is just ‘a little undone’. A bit later Juice’s ‘date’ runs out to get Gemma and Nero because he’s fallen off the massage table and obviously something’s not right. The two of them force him to vomit up all the Oxy he’s taken, but what they don’t realize is this wasn’t a junkie who took one too many pills trying to get high — this is a defeated man crying for help who just wants the pain to go away forever. Call this suicide attempt No. 2 for Juice.
When he awakens, Juice is still groggy but he finds Nero watching over him. As he tries to get Juice up and moving around to work the rest of the drugs out of his system, Nero then finds out something that will sever his ties with the Sons forever.
“Jax said it was what I had to do — earn my way. I’m sorry. She was so pretty. The kid’s mom, I did it fast. That’s what I want, I want it that way,” Juice says with tears welling up in his eyes.
“Darvany you killed her? Jax put that on you?” Nero asks
“Yeah — I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
Now Nero knows that Jax lied to him and killed his cousin’s girlfriend not to mention someone who was already tortured beyond belief after her son stole a gun and shot up his classmates. Nero asked specifically for Darvany to be left alive, but Jax opted for another route to make sure she never talked. This might finally be the moment when Nero has to turn his back on the Sons….or is it?
Playing the Game
Jax Teller may not be great at getting his home life in order, but he sure can manipulate some professional/criminal enterprises to work in his favor. He’s got the Irish thinking about turning over their business to August Marks, but of course they are unsure about working with black. Meanwhile he’s got a crew of Chinese gun runners demanding Irish blood be paid and they have Happy held hostage.
Jax sets it up like this — he kills two Irishmen and takes the guns. He then tells Connor that the Chinese are the ones who did it and he needs August as local protection after this latest move against their stronghold. He then gets the Chinese on board if he hands over Connor to them.
At the meet, Jax turns on Connor and hands him over to get Happy back. The Chinese then go into the warehouse to get the guns, but when they open the doors they are met by the One-Niners and a hole lot of bullets. Happy gets the put the last few into Lin to finish them off as they free Connor from his captivity.
This was all one big play to get the Irish on board to deal with August Marks while ridding themselves of the Chinese problem. After a call with the Irish Kings, the deal is done — they will work with August, who gives them enough money for four times the shipment of guns that the MC usually takes from them. August also tells Jax that Tig’s debt is now paid and he’s no longer a casualty needed in the war from Damon Pope.
As Chibs notes ‘Jacky-boy you just advanced race relations in Ireland by 50 years’.
As it stands, Jax and the Sons are out of guns, they’ve handed off the Irish business to August Marks while finally fulfilling that part of their promise to him as well and eliminated a big part of the Chinese contingency that was threatening their lives. The One-Niners at the scene aren’t convinced that Jax is done with this life of crime, and neither am I honestly.
The Lonely Road
The final scenes show Tara escaping with her boys after taking them from Unser and Wendy. DA Patterson is awaiting her arrival at the office while Gemma finds out about Tara’s treachery and heads back to the house and informs Jax exactly what’s going down. Once they arrive at his house, Jax sees that all of Tara’s clothes are gone as are all the boys’ belongings as well. He’s in a fit of rage now seething with the realization that Tara must have taken a deal with the DA and turned informant on him.
Nero arrives at the house with revenge on his mind, still reeling from the revelation that Jax deceived him and plotted to kill Darvany behind his back. Before he can release his own rage, he pockets his anger and comforts Jax in this moment of need knowing (at the time) that his boys may be lost to him forever and his freedom may soon follow.
Patterson anxiously waits Tara’s arrival but as the minute tick away she knows that something’s wrong. Tara has escaped alright, but instead of going to the DA or even back to Jax, she’s gone to a hotel where she holds her boys tight contemplating her next move. It’s clear that indecision and some loyalty still lie inside Tara’s bones and the sad truth is this may lead to her own downfall. DA Patterson noted earlier in the episode that if Tara runs, the MC will hunt her down and she will be executed.
Hold those boys tight tonight Tara because the sun will rise before you know it and it may be the last time you fall asleep with your sons sleeping next to you.
Notes of Anarchy:
— The song featured in the final moments of the show this week was ‘You Are My Sunshine’ as covered by Jamey Johnson, Twiggy Ramirez and Shooter Jennings.
— Shooter Jennings has actually had a few songs featured on the show and is collaborating on a track with Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter for the series as well.
— Shooter Jennings has two children and was in a long term relationship with Drea De Matteo, who plays Wendy, but they broke up a few years ago.
— A quick prediction about the final season of the show — seeing as I’ve been pretty much obsessed with Sons of Anarchy and the history of the series, I believe that season seven will pit the Sons against the Mayans in a turf war that will end in blood and death for a whole lot of members. Let’s not forget when Clay came into power in the early 90’s that was during a big uprising and war between the two clubs and this recent shift of power in the gun business could bring end in an explosive rift between the two charters. The Mayans are moving into Stockton, just miles away from Charming and Alvarez laid it out when he said it’s eventually going to be brown and yellow against black and white. Now with the Chinese being executed by the Sons, this will surely pit August Marks and the One-Niners alongside SAMCRO while Alvarez teams up with the Chinese and possibly Nero’s crew to take out the Sons. Just a thought but one that may carry some weight going into the final season.
— Also a special note of appreciation for the performances of both Theo Rossi (Juice) and Maggie Siff (Tara) for another outstanding episode this week. Off the charts.
Best line of the week goes to Gemma when finding out that Wendy broke up with her girlfriend:
“Go back to dick. Girls are shit’
Come back next week for the season finale of Sons of Anarchy titled ‘A Mother’s Work’ and don’t forget to tune in on Thursday for the latest episode of ‘Charming’s Most Wanted’ the definitive Sons of Anarchy podcast.