Sons of Anarchy has been building up the tension between the club and the Real IRA since season two. The storyline has weaved itself through the history of both the club, and of the show, since Piney (William Luckey) first put John Teller’s manifesto in Jax’s (Charlie Hunnam) hands in the last scene of the season one finale; a moment that became the catalyst for a lot of Jax’s decisions over the course of the series.
So, it comes as no surprise that these two organizations have reached their breaking point (finally). The Sons of Anarchy have naturally evolved over the years to incorporate the influence of new members and the continual change in social climate. Jax taking the reigns has only forced that realization to the surface.
The Real IRA, however, refuses to change. They have maintained their cause under the direction of a council of aging loyalists, and refuse to sway in their commitment, or readily allow anyone else to deter them without meeting the wrath of their hearty disapproval.
With circumstances escalating the risk for the Sons of Anarchy (which is really an understatement since the district attorney has added their elimination to her bucket list), it just lacks common sense to continue along with the status-quo. Ignoring everything else for the sake of a paycheck, that comes with its own hefty price tag, is just, in the simplest terms, stupid.
The wishy-washy version of Jax we’ve seen this season might not be keen on making smart decisions, but even he has come to the same conclusion. Ultimately, he’ll find that his mistake was delivering the news to Galen (Timothy V. Murphy), a pretentious middle man with his own agenda, instead of directly to the top. Even so, the decision by the Irish Kings to solidify the conclusion of this long-standing and profitable arrangement in such a brash manner came as a bit of a shock (even for viewers that picked up on the clues before Jax and Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) figured it out).
That all being said, this episode of Sons of Anarchy, aptly titled ‘Salvage,’ was about moving on. The club is bruised. Just because no one was physically hurt in the explosion doesn’t mean that they aren’t all feeling the effects of that disaster. The clubhouse was their home, their refuge, their safe haven. And if anything positive came out of this unmitigated disaster, it’s that Jax is finally realizing that his decisions have real world consequences. Everyone that SAMCRO holds in high regard within Charming city limits were in that building, the same building that is now standing in wrecked, water-logged pieces, only minutes before it was blown up.
Jax could have lost everything right there – his family, his club, his life; end of story. He doesn’t have time to contemplate revenge in the present-tense. Do I expect that retribution will be coming in the future? I have no doubt – and, I look forward to it in an intelligently delivered episode that ties this storyline up with a shiny over-sized bow covered in blood spatter. But, for right now, he needs to focus on finally doing what he’s always intended on doing; he needs to take this opportunity to move the club out of guns – whatever it takes.
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