SAMCRO is feeling the heat – and not just because they live in a fictional town in California. Even with all his best intentions in tow, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) has managed to drag his club into a chaos that rivals anything the Sons of Anarchy have encountered under previous leadership. And, that’s saying a lot considering his predecessor was Clay (Ron Perlman). For better or worse, Sons of Anarchy is headed into the final leg of a long journey where with Kurt Sutter at the helm, anything is still possible – within reason.
It feels a little wrong to keep mentioning the ticking clock that the writers are working under, but it’s hard not to point it out when the end is so close that you can almost feel the narrative slowly collapsing in on itself. All of the elements of Sons of Anarchy are starting to converge to create one final central conflict that will wrap up seven seasons of mayhem and tie everything together into what will hopefully be a beautifully crafted bow with a side of someone (anyone) living happily ever after.
Unfortunately though, once again, with so few to go, another episode fell short of expectations. There was a distinct feeling that nothing was happening, even as the story was clearly moving forward. The seventy-two minute outing gave fans more face time with their favorite characters, but it was at the expense of quality. It’s fine to have a couple short scenes that are purely gratuitous (especially if they involve Jax wearing less layers), but it starts to feel forced after a while.
On the plus side, this episode also included one of Charlie Hunnam’s best performances all season (at least so far). In the scene where he confronted Theo Rossi’s character, Hunnam had a monologue that was reminiscent of something you may have seen back in season one, when Jax was arguably a more transparent character. Again, later in the episode, Jax broke down during an intimate conversation with Nero (Jimmy Smits). Despite the circumstances, Hunnam’s portrayal of Jax as he attempts to rationalize his conflicting emotions surrounding his mother murdering his wife made his character endearing in a new light. So much so, that I’ll excuse yet another scene where he sat at the head of the table and apologized for all of his shortcomings. Can we say redundant?
What’s less endearing is, well, pretty much everything else about the storyline. We’ve been waiting all season to see two things happen – one, for Jax to find out the truth about Tara’s (Maggie Siff) murder, and two, for Jax to confront Gemma (Katey Sagal) about it. I have mixed feelings about both of these events (and haven’t been shy at voicing that). If Jax had any doubts about Abel’s accusation, they pretty much evaporated when Gemma chose the heavily traveled path of the coward and ran (shame on you, Gemma!).