Hours before episode four of the final season of FX’s Sons of Anarchy aired series creator Kurt Sutter promised fans: “This episode changes everything. And we blow sh*t up.” Sutter delivered on that promise in spades, with the violence and body count escalating and Charming edging closer to a full-on gang war. As Nero so aptly put it in the episode titled “Poor Little Lambs,” Jax has gone past the point where he’s acting out of revenge and is now stirring the pot just because it feels good. “He’s looking to rage,” says Nero.
Jax is getting off on ripping apart alliances, but he’s not completely planning out each move as much as he should be. If Tara was around, this Jax wouldn’t exist. Without her, he’s out of control and steering the club and everyone it comes in contact with toward a showdown from which few will emerge unscathed.
Unfortunately, the fall-out for Jax’s decision to believe his mother in this season’s first episode has deadly consequences for ‘innocent’ parties who happen to be involved with SAMCRO. By the end of “Poor Little Lambs,” Sutter’s declaration about a dramatic change coming proved to be spot-on. There’s no going back after this episode as now it’s obvious where the lines have been drawn, and it’s looking less likely that the puppetmaster will be capable of spinning things so that SAMCRO is not blamed for all of the bloodshed.
Here’s a rundown of key events from “Poor Little Lambs:”
– Gemma (Katey Sagal) continues to talk to dead Tara as she rationalizes her actions. Gemma’s so delusional at this point that she actually believes Tara would support all of her actions and would approve of how she’s raising the boys. Courtney Love made her first appearance as Abel’s preschool teacher in a scene that had Gemma cussing out a fellow parent who honked at her for blocking the drop-off area. Love’s character quickly figured out what’s what, saying, “Damn, grandma’s kinda crazy.”
In a quieter moment between Jax and his mom, Gemma talked about Jax having a mommy fetish (because of the reappearance of Kim Dickens as Colette) which is something Jax warned her should never come out of her mouth again.
– Juice (Theo Rossi) is still being sought by the Feds and by JAX/SAMCRO, and Gemma, Unser, and Wendy are still trying to get him out of town and to somewhere safe. However, Juice’s hold on his sanity is tenuous and he’s now carrying on deep conversations with himself in his hotel bathroom. Naked. He’s also packing quite an arsenal and because continuing his life as a member of SAMCRO is now totally out of the question, he’s fragile and broken – two conditions that could signal a major breakdown’s coming and there’s no telling what the result will be or who he’ll target when he snaps.
– Jax (Charlie Hunnam) has so many irons in the fire that he continually has to monitor who he needs to stoke next. In this episode, he pays no real attention to what’s happening with Jury and the Indian Hills chapter of SAMCRO, something that will come back to haunt him. One of the real mysteries this season has been why he set up guys who were working with the Indian Hills chapter (one of whom we assume was Jury’s son) for the murder of Lin’s men and the disruption of the drug deal. Jury’s always been a close friend of Jax’s and his decision to use them as the scapegoat really makes no sense. Hopefully, the underlying reason will be explained before the series ends.
– Marilyn Manson returned as Ron Tully, with JAX arranging a drug deal with Tully’s people. Unfortunately, the cops follow SAMCRO to the meetup and one officer is killed while another officer is gravely wounded (it’s important to note that Jax and SAMCRO believe the female died from her wounds at the scene). Tully’s people are responsible for the murders but when Sheriff Jarry confronts Jax about what he knows, he claims to have been nowhere near the meetup. While discussing the shooting, Lin’s people show up and toss a grenade into the ice cream shop, blowing it up and effectively sending a message that Lin knows Jax is behind everything. Bobby figures out someone sold them out to Lin and a quick check on the guns shows he’s right.
Meanwhile Chibs, who threw his body over Jarry when the grenade went off, gives Jarry a ride home. As the two sit quietly in the car, his hand slips into hers and she responds by touching his fingers.
– To lighten up things, Walton Goggins returned as the gloriously over-the-top Venus Van Dam. Tig (Kim Coates) is able to show off a kinder, gentler side with Venus and the two seem to have a relationship going on that no one in the club was aware of.
– And for the episode’s final act, Sutter pulled out all the stops. Jax should have protected Diosa Norte but instead he left the doors wide open for Lin’s men to waltz in and destroy the one place that should have been off-limits. By the time Colette figures out that the Chinese are there to cause trouble, it’s too late for her to do anything. Without SAMCRO on the scene to fight back, Lin’s men are free to shoot up the place, massacring the hookers and johns. Nero was given a call as the killing went down letting him know that Lin wasn’t targeting him and that this was meant as payback for Jax and SAMCRO murdering his men and busting up his drug deal.
The Bottom Line:
Jax isn’t thinking things through and Lin put two and two together too quickly for SAMCRO to come up with a Plan B. Why Bobby, Chibs and even Happy are allowing him to take them all down isn’t clear, but following the events of this fourth episode it’s too late for them to step up and try to be the voice of reason anyway. Jax’s plans will have to shift after the massacre at Diosa Norte, and that war he was heading toward has now begun in earnest.
Episode four was the best yet of the final season, setting into motion actions that will have dire consequences for Jax and SAMCRO.
-By Rebecca Murray
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