Sons Of Anarchy Review: “Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em” (Season 7, Episode 6)


Sons of Anarchy is careening toward its last hoorah and fans are holding on tight for the duration of this daunting final ride. Around every bend there seems to be a new roadblock and there’s no definite way to tell where the road is headed.

Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is leading his crew into no man’s land as he creates an elaborate war to gain a hold over, well, everyone. It’s really a masterful change of pace, since instead of concentrating on one rival gang, MC, or antagonist (or even two) at a time, the writers have found a way to incorporate all of the players into one last arc. It pays homage to characters that have been on the periphery for multiple seasons, and adds a sense of finality to the entire story. Fans are getting a chance to say goodbye to everyone that has made it through the dark days, and considering that the body count on Sons of Anarchy is in the hundreds, that’s an accomplishment all on its own (even if they’re not left standing when all the dust settles for the last time).

What always strikes me as an awful side effect of the MC being surrounded by so much death is how easily they come to terms with it and move on. In “Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em,” Jax makes what comes across as an outlandish statement referring to the massacre at Diosa – “We made it right.” Did you really? Setting up Lin and his crew to take the fall for the heroine that was technically theirs to start with had more to do with revenge for Tara’s murder than it had to do with the dozen or so escorts, including den mother Colette (Kim Dickens), who were tragically gunned down at their place of employment less than a day before. Just saying.

At this point in the storyline, there’s a sense of separation between Jax and Tara’s death. Although he’s still going through all the motions, he seems to have distanced himself from the actual event itself. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of heart behind anything he says in reference to it anymore, and for a character who is typically consumed by emotions – “Jax doesn’t have an outer crust like most of us. He just let’s everything in. Swallows it whole.” –  it seems like an oversight. Maybe it all can be chalked up to a coping mechanism on his part, but moving forward, I’d like to see Jax really lose it and show fans more of the passion that made his character so endearing in his earlier years – before he got so bogged down in semantics.