Besides completely shaking up the status quo, this episode of Sons of Anarchy started to take on the enormous task of rounding out the stories of individual characters – where are they going to be when everything ends? More so than we’ve seen in a while, each character is starting to move marginally in their own direction. We are starting to explore the possibility of members finding something outside to club to tie themselves to. Tig (Kim Coates) with Venus (Walton Goggins), Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) with the Sheriff – although there’s definitely still something sketchy about the latter. When everything falls apart, fans want to know that whoever makes it through the mayhem will have something to live for, and unfortunately, the club might not be around when that happens.
Another thing this episode did was introduce us to some key guest stars that are supposed to be making waves this season. We saw the reemergence of Marilyn Manson’s character in a more specific way – the deal between him and Jax obviously going astray. There was also the first meeting with Courtney Love’s character. She is playing Abel’s pre-school teacher and already seems to be singling him out. Not necessarily in a bad way, just as someone who may need a little more attention than the other students. And, fan favorite Venus was back, making it very apparent that she holds Tig in high regard – and it appears that the feeling is indeed mutual.
There were a couple more troubling plot points that stem off the main narrative. The mental states of both Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Juice (Theo Ross) are rapidly becoming a concern. As the unraveling process starts to take effect, these two characters are getting hit hard on the emotional front. Juice has been exiled by his club and he’s also become the subject of a manhunt that the Sheriff department is conducting in association with Tara’s death (although, we already know he was only involved after the fact). All of the lies and isolation are definitely catching up with him, and his mental health is questionable. As a character, he’s genuinely conflicted. He’s been pulled in so many different directions, but his heart has always remained with the club – and if he doesn’t find some way to come to terms with his current status, or to make amends, the series is likely going to end on a very ugly note for him.
At the same time, Gemma is barely holding it together herself. She’s having conversations with Tara that are obviously very one-sided. Sure, if she wasn’t the one responsible for Tara’s death, this might be a totally normal part of the grieving process – but the situation being what it is, it’s just creepy. The sad part is that at some point, she’s also going to need to come to terms with the fact that this entire war that is tearing Jax and the club apart is of her own making. She fingered the Chinese for Tara’s death, and the rest is just the domino effect in action.
The MC suffered some serious losses at the end of this episode of Sons of Anarchy that left us absolutely speechless, and I can’t wait to see how things will progress from here.