Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Televangelist: 'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4, Episode 5

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Earlier this season I predicted that the unrest facing SAMCRO would become a schism. I did not foresee the innumerable cracks threatening to shatter the entire organization. "Brick" ended with almost every relationship on the show broken, poisoned with mistrust. Clay now knows Gemma is hiding things from him, Unser knows Clay is lying to him and to Gemma, Eli questions Linc's policies (as Linc lies to his face), Chibs is keeping an eye on Juice, whose actions have caused (yet another) problem between SAMCRO and the Mayans. Bobby tells some truths and a lie to Otto, and seethes in resentment against Clay. Opie cheats on Lyla, and Piney threatens Clay while Tara is in Clay's sights without knowing it. Perhaps the only character to come out without being involved in an act of betrayal last night was my dear Tig, who was mostly relegated to looking horrified at the prospect of a life-sized doll (a well-known phobia of his).

In fact, let me put this in graph form:

alliances.jpg

What a mess! (And look who has the most lines ... Clay, of course!)

But as the club begins crumbling all around us, a few important questions were answered, and a few painful revelations came to light (and it seems that, as expected, the Ghost of SAMCRO Past has come a-haunting!). For one, we discover that Gemma knew Clay killed JT, but according to Unser, it's doubtful she knows his true motivations. Though she seems unmoved by Clay's frightening declaration "I had John Teller killed while I was bedding his wife," she is obviously attempting to protect Jax through saving Tara and Piney's lives. John Teller's death might be one kind of reveal, but even more slayings would be beyond hope. And though Jax says to Dom later in the episode laughingly, "we don't 'wack' people." Don't they? Has he forgotten about the hit Clay put out on Opie that resulted in Donna's death? SAMCRO has never had a problem killing to protect the club, either outsiders or even, tragically, those within.

Watching "Boardwalk Empire" on Sunday night, I was struck by some interesting parallels. For one, Nucky Thompson gets involved with what is presumably the early IRA, giving them money for guns. And here we are in the 2000s with SAMCRO running their guns. And as some shadowy figures in "Boardwalk" are seen discussing getting into the heroin trade, so too does SAMCRO, nearly a century later, discuss the pros and cons of drug running. So it's a fact, we definitely do not learn the lessons of history. As for Clay's demise, I look to both "Boardwalk" and "Game of Thrones," although I'm not sure any one in Charming knows how to play that game very well. There is no heir apparent or grab for power. Instead there's a void, and the realm continues to splinter off and descending into civil war.

Musings and Miscellanea:

— Every scene with Juice made me terribly nervous.

— I'm not sure I can take yet another war between SAMCRO and the Mayans. I am certain Juice's treachery will be revealed.

— Though dreading the conversation between Bobby and Otto, I thought it went off in just the right fashion. Otto as hurt, but willing to forgive (… I think). But if he finds out Bobby lied to him about offing Georgie …

— Speaking of Otto, that first scene with him and Gemma I believe is the only scene the real life husband and wife duo have shared?

— Chibs knows something it up. I wish Juice could go to him for counsel. He's always been fair and level-headed.

— I had almost forgotten about the land deal. Apparently Clay has not, and plans to use Japanese investors to work his scheme?

— As expected, Linc has finally become unlikeable. Eli has always seemed like a reasonable guy, and I knew that one of them would end up being the de facto villain. Linc lying about protecting Eli has shown that he looks to be the one. As Linc becomes another Stahl, will Eli be the new David Hale?

— Tara has hardly been around this season, but I have a feeling she is about to affect things in a big way with her knowledge through the letters.

— Ima's back! Or "that crazy bitch" as Jax calls her. I feel bad for Opie. He does miss Donna and Lyla is really no substitute. The whole whirlwind with Lyla was just that, and I think Opie was just looking for some uncomplicated love. He got anything but!

— Two pretty pitch-perfect cameos by Tom Arnold and David Hasselhoff this week, particularly the latter's quote "Luanne mentored me. She taught me I was more than just a big cock!"

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