Here I was thinking Kurt Sutter would ignore the painfully obvious Chekhov’s gun he introduced when Clay gifted his prized gun, handed down to him by his father, to Juice, the closest thing he has left to a son. I’ve never been happier to be dead wrong.
Jax’s play to get the CIA off his back earlier in the season was impressive, but he and Sutter were clearly saving the best for last. When I saw Juice wrapping what looked to be the aforementioned gun and putting it in a side-compartment on one of the bikes, I thought nothing of it. If it were really important, he wouldn’t have had it happen so far in the background.
Or so I thought, not realizing it was Sutter being subtle for once, not wanting to show his hand until the end when it came time for the big reveal. So when Jax took out Pope’s men, and let Tig take out Pope himself as revenge for his daughter’s murder, I took it to mean that Jax had lost his mind to his ego and blood-thirst much as Clay had.
Even when Tig pointed out it was Clay’s gun, I remained blissfully unaware of what exactly Jax was up to. It wasn’t until Jax brought the sheriff into the fold and led him to the gun that it all began to coalesce in my mind. This was all to frame Clay and mark him for death, which Pope’s second in command was quick to guess, thus making me feel dumb for not getting it sooner.
What this means is Jax is proving himself to be a chess-master of a president and that Clay has yet another death-sentence, yet one that he’s not likely to avoid knowing who it is that’s after him. Sure, Sutter could give him another bullshit reprieve, as he’s done it numerous times already, but I’d like to think he’s tired of that by now.
There being no last-minute deus ex machina, as there was in last season’s finale, makes me optimistic that Sutter won’t go back on it this time. Then again, Clay’s death has been delayed until next season, so it could be a tease, like Jax going after Juice earlier in the season.
To be honest, I have no idea which direction Sutter will end up going with this. All I know is I’m liking the direction he’s gone with it so far. He’s established Jax as something formidable and brought Clay to his knees, not just by framing him and getting a bounty put on his head, but also by shattering two illusions of his: that Gemma was his once again and that Juice was someone he could trust.
What I’m not liking, on the other hand, is where he’s going with everything else. Firstly, Otto biting his own tongue off as his way of refusing to speak made absolutely no sense to me. He orchestrated the murder of that woman with the sole intent of punishing Tara, who gave him the murder weapon, and, by extension, Jax. Yet now he won’t make the statement necessary to incriminate her in all this?
Could Jax have gotten to Otto and somehow made him do this? It wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility, but it seems like quite a stretch. Otto would undoubtedly have been hard to get to, what with having had just brutally murdered someone. He also would’ve been hard to get through to.
Most importantly, though, the showy way he went about it, throwing his severed and bloody tongue against the wall, suggests that this was all his own doing. Otto’s proven himself to be as lacking in subtlety as the man who portrays him, showrunner Kurt Sunner, and so his actions have his name written all over them.
Which, again, doesn’t make a lick of sense. So the only explanation I can think of is that Sutter thought the episode needed more shock value and that this would certainly help with that. Viewers get an in-your-face visual, then they get tricked into thinking Tara’s in the clear with relation to Otto.
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