Monday, October 26, 2009

Sons of Anarchy Potlatch, Speculation on the Character That Dies

Possible Spoiler Warning.  I have no idea what is going to happen, it's just my speculation and process of elimination of trying to sort out who will die on Sons of Anarchy this week.  

I know, I know, I know.  I've been convinced that it Bobby Elvis is going to be the character on Sons of Anarchy to bite the dust the for the past few weeks. (And I'm totes ok with Bobby Elvis living to see as many days as Kurt Sutter has in mind for this character.  Bobby Elivs is, by far, one of my favorites).  But this from E!  just puts a knot in my stomach:   

Q:  Any more hints on the brutal Sons of Anarchy death? 

A:  When we said that the brutal death on Sons of Anarchy was not a man in uniform, most you assumed that only eliminated Hale, Uncer and Trammell, but if you think about it, those MC cuts sure are a lot like uniforms. You can take everyone in a motorcycle gang out of the death pool, and we'll throw in Johnny Lewis' Prospect/Half-Sack as a bonus elimination. Tell us in the comments if you've figured out who that leaves in danger.
So, in my read on this that it is someone, (1) not in the club  and (2) who has been around since the first season.  So here is the list of possible characters who might not live to see Fa Guan:
Gemma Morrow
Tara Knowles
The IRA guy who got shot in the ass in season 1 who has the smarmy son (yeah, obviously, I don't remember his name)
Elliott Oswald
Luann Delaney

I'm going to knock Gemma and Tara out of contention straight away.  Surely, the writers wouldn't kill off one of the main characters this early in the series.   I'm going to eliminate the IRA guy too because he is no longer close with the club and I don't really foresee his death leading to any heartbreak. 

That leaves us with Oswald and Luann.  We get hints that there are problems in the porn business with implications for a certain diva from the synopsis.  And, I've got a hunch that the E!'s spoiler deliberately uses "man" instead of a gender neutral word, like "person."  So, if I were a betting woman, my money would be on Luann to meet her untimely and violent demise this week.  Why does this process of elimination make my stomach hurt?  After seeing Gemma's terrible gang rape in the season premiere, I don't know if I can take watching Luann (or any other woman) getting her brains bashed in.  I'm going to trust the show...  the violence has been equally handed out to the male and female characters...  but...  the feminist in me is apprehensive...    

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.08 Potlatch, Preview and Speculation

So, you might be asking yourself, what the heck is a potlatch?  What does potlatch mean? And what does it suggest about Tuesday night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy?  Well, me too… so here goes.   A potlatch is a type of festival ceremony held by Indigenous groups in the Pacific Northwest.   Not a mere feast, traditionally potlatch ceremonies could be held over a number of days and nights replete with speeches, dancing, and performances marking a birth, marriage, or other milestone.  Sounds pretty cool (Source for the image of a potlatch is here ).

Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road when it comes to Sons of Anarchy:  there is also an exchange of vast amounts of material goods according to rank/status in the group. And, the events of the potlatch hold meaning, or as the  Peabody Museum describes it, “every event during a potlatch highlighted the host's status by demonstrating his wealth or expounding on his inherited privileges. Ownership of such privileges determined status.”  Gift giving also plays an important role, and in some versions of the potlatch it is highly competitive with “hosts bankrupting themselves to outdo their rivals and aggressively destroying property."  Hmmmm.  Sounds like Clay Morrow to me.
And, according to our pals at Wikipedia , a potlatch in inherently about redistributing wealth amongst the families according to their status in the community.   So now you know.  And I was expecting a potlatch to be the clamps that held down the lid of a pressure cooker.  Shows what I know.
So while we are at it, FX’s official synopsis for Sons of Anarchy’s potlatch is as follows: “With an already-dwindling gun supply in question, SAMCRO takes extreme measures to procure weapons for a customer. The revenge that is sought following a theft at Caracara Studios puts one diva at risk. Tara's professional and personal lives begin to collide.” 
Oh, and there are pictures!   We see woeful Chibs and his estranged wife in the hospital with Gemma and Zobelle and Alvarez in some clandestine meeting (yeah, there were totally glimmers of this coming down the pike).

And finally, the teaser trailer for Tuesday’s episode in which, Clay vows that if they see Zobelle’s crew, they are going to take their guns back (which suggests that they were taken in the first place), Jax telling Tara that change in the MC isn’t going to happen quickly or without blood, someone in a SAMCRO cut throws Jax up against the wall in the Crow’s Nest, Alvarez lets Jax know that the truce is officially over, and Jax eggs Alvarez on to put a bullet in his brain.  Fun stuff all.
My track record for speculation hasn’t been the best but I’ll try it again just for the hell of it.
  • Clay is going to hold a little potlatch for the chapters of the MC and take what he needs from them to assert his authority (read:  penis) as head of the mother chapter over the other chapters.
  • Revenge for a theft at Caracara?  I suspect that Luanne’s skim might come in to play.  Maybe Bobby Elvis sells her out to the MC (which would be good in my book because I think it would decrease the likelihood of him getting killed this season).
  • Tara’s personal and professional lives collide?  I’m guessing she gets fired by that Nosy Parker Hospital Administrator.  What for?  Oh, for covering up Gemma’s post-rape exam and taking stuff from the hospital to patch up bullet wounds in Bobby Elivs and the IRA guy.     

Ratings Love for Sons of Anarchy

So, if you have been living under a rock, Sons of Anarchy has gotten some huge ratings news since Tuesday.   Mostly because it was the first cable series to beat the Leno show.  (And man, did that show deserve to be beaten.  I was forced to watch it with my parents and it was just awful).  And the show, it's creators, writers, producers, cast, and crew deserve some big props for a job well done.

And just as a side note, I don't get why there is a huge distinction between basic cable shows and network shows.  Tradition?  The networks have been around since God created television so thus they must be revered?  I don't buy the argument that not everyone has cable.  Just basic cable - not the premium channels.  Basic cable costs like $20 a month.  I'm just not buying that.  Anyways....

Time's Tuned in blog, gave Sons of Anarchy a very nice write up, starting with a thump-thump, thump-thump for SOA running over The Leno show.  I don't know if it was just me, but I thought the analysis was a little too Leno centric.  And while we're on the topic of Leno, ohnotheydidn't has some beatific NBC hate going on - the genius is in parsing through the comments, trust me. And rounding out the Sons of Anarchy ratings boon news, the New York Post calls it the surprise hit of the fall season.

Great job, Sons of Anarchy.  Next up for you all to roll over:  the piece of fail that is The Good Wife on CBS.

ETA:  Love for FX at Variety and another gush about the ratings numbers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.07 Gilead, Recap

Really, it’s the quiet moments that make Gilead so awesome.  Oh that and watching Clay and Jax beat the tar out of each other in a no-holds-barred cage match.  Literally, in a cage.   In fact, let’s get this out of the way straight off the bat and then I’ll get to the less bloody stuff.  Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman really deserve a big round of applause for the no-winner fistfight in Gilead.  We knew that Hunnam lost a tooth in a fight scene with Clay at some point in the season and thanks to Kurt Sutter’s Tweet, stating, “Charlie literally lost a tooth in that scene. His face smashing into the bars, not choreographed. Both actors totally committed,” we now know that Gilead was the episode.  And HOSHIT, did they ever commit.  Bravo, boys.  Bravo.  All of that mutual rage and frustration that has building below the surface came to a rapid boil in a totally authentic and believable way.  Even though nothing was resolved and I don’t know how much more of this tension I can take… BLARGH!!!  It was a fantastic fight sequence.

Since we’re figuratively still in the joint with our boys in SAMCRO, let’s stay here for a minute to talk about Bobby Elvis’s little conversation with Jax.  Bobby is basically going to push Jax (and I think Bobby Elivs intends it to be in a good way) into dealing with the big picture fight with Clay whether the Prince of Charming is ready or not.  Because, as Bobby Elvis says, SAMCRO is hurt and it needs a healing that only Jax will be able to deliver.   And Jax can deliver whatever healing he wants with his sparkly blue eyes.  Wait.  Did I think that or write that? 
So with the boys in the slammer, Gemma is trying to get them out on bail and hold them together.  I was no finance major in college but my take on it is that it will cost a cool $3 Million to get the whole crew out or a mere $300,000 to get a bail bondsman to spring the boys.  Have California’s home values become so piss-poor that Gemma and Tara’s houses not enough to spring all of them  - only Clay and maybe Jax. (Oh wait we need it not to be enough to bring in Elliott Oswald and his daughter Tristan.   I see what you crafty writers did there).  Btw, Tara is really fast-tracking it to Old Lady Town, isn’t she – first the house, then becoming the mother hen to frighteningOpie’s kids.
So while Juice gets shanked by an Aryan with a shiv on the inside – yes, apparently these are two separate things - Gemma does her damndest to get the entire MC out. Including paying a pleading visit to Elliott Oswald in church.  We see Gemma in church or praying A LOT these days.  In one of the best scenes of the episode, Gemma and Tristan, Elliott’s daughter, meet for the first time since the poor girl was raped in season 1.  Tristan (which I always thought was a boy’s name) seems genuinely happy to see Gemma.  The girl is like the light at the end of the tunnel for Gemma.  The ease with which Tristan helps baptize Able is heartwarming, and I hope, encouraging for Gemma.  Elliott essentially bails SAMCRO out of the clink because of Tristan’s affection for Gemma.  The whole thing is just so lovely, I can’t even snark on it. 
Gilead also marks the return of Agent Completely Untrustworthy Bitchface Stahl.   Nicetoseeya. I’ve said it before , but this character is so damn similar to Clay it frightens me.  Really, truly ruthless individuals who just so happen to be on opposite sides of the game.  We knew from the preview that she would attempt to divide Clay and Jax in order to conquer the club.  And any BS she gave Hale about not wanting to damage Charming was a complete lie.  Her little gab session with Clay was as expected until she let him know that not only Jax but Hale too knew about the hit on Donna.   (And just for the sake of continuity, the cage match to end all cage matches then ensues)    
A bloodied but otherwise seemingly unharmed Jax is then summoned to meet Agent Bitchface.  I swear this is the best scene of the episode.  (Btw, Charline Hunnam acts the shit out of this and it doesn’t even seem like acting.  He is Jax Teller in the moment – thoughtful, smart, and lethal.)  And when presented with the photos of the IRA gun connection meeting up with Principal Zobelle, Jax responds, “My son has given me a new pair of glasses.  I find myself thinking about the things I do The things I say. The ramifications.  I'm not as angry or reactive.” (THANK GOD.  But Really?  Really Really? I’m not sure how long this is going to last….).  Realizing that Jax has called her bluff, Stahl lets the Prince of Charming know that his bail has already been posted (kthnxbai).  Jax in turn, reminds her that it is dangerous to be a fed. 

Also:  Where the hell is Half-Sack? 
Also-Also:  Where the hell is Piney? 
Also-Also-Also:  Is Chibs even awake yet? 
Also-Also-Also-Also:  Thank God we had a Zobelle-free episode.

Simultaneous Best WTF Moment and Get Over Yourself Moment:  Ummmm, Opie, you’re just gonna hand your kids over to a coke snorting porn star?  Mmmmkay.  Wait, that may not be the worst decision since you frighten the shit out of me.  Or is that a judgment call too?
Best (No) Action Moment:  Um, yeah, of course that would be Juice acting as bait inside the lockup.  We now know the following about Juice:  (1) He’s shy in intimate situations; (2) He is willing to go all the way for the MC – thank goodness he didn’t have to; (3) He comes prepared with condoms.  

Can you hear me now?  ktd

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.07 Gilead, Preview

Here’s a little preview roundup for tonight’s episode of Sons of Anarchy, entitled Gilead.  What is Gilead you might ask yourself?  Well, a quick Wikipedia search reveals that the title of tonight’s episode is a biblical reference, meaning “hill of testimony or mound of witness.”  I'm gonna go with the "mound of witness" aspect of this and surmise that the mound of witnesses will be the mound of humanity in the houscow watching a Clay and Jax meltdown.  
We know that our favorite boys in SAMCRO are going to be locked in the pokey based on the teaser trailer from last week.  Let’s hope for all of our sakes that they don’t spend much time there.  It’s hard to conjure up the Harley porn when our boys are wearing fluorescent orange jumpsuits

From the official FX website , we get the following synopsis, “Since The League has SAMCRO members behind bars, the club must make new alliances in prison to survive. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agent Stahl use this imprisonment to test Jax and Clay's relationship.” 
And from TVFanatic, we get hints that in this week’s episode, Gemma is going to pay a visit to Oswald and ask him for a favor, Opie will run an errand for Clay; Agent Stahl returns (oh no, not her again) and offers two separate propositions to Clay and Jax; and Bobby goes “all out” for Jax.  Yeah, I'm not sure what "all out" means, but I'm guessing that Bobby sides with Jax once and for all (which also puts him at number one on my list of who is going to die this season).   
Happy viewing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.02 Small Tears Recap

In my continuing efforts to recap the beginning of Season 2 before they expire in my on demand queue, here is the recap for Small Tears.  Only one more episode until I am up-to-date.  Yay!  

So, Small Tears opens up with Katy Seagal signing a beautiful cover of Ruby Tuesday.  (Really, this song is brilliant, haunting, and lovely.  Go buy it.  Like now.  Wait.  After some research, no, you can’t buy it yet.  The people who run Glee need to teach the people who run SOA a few things about music merchandising.)  Unser, thanks to an anonymous tip finds Gemma beat to hell, Tara arrives on scene and through a not-so-elaborate cover up, they engineer a car wreck and more medical tests for Able (AKA The Kid) to keep what Zobelle’s henchmen did from Clay and Jax.  And well, everyone else in Charming.  Neeta, the nanny, who has ruined any fantasies Clay might have had, is keen to what is going on and will be asking Gemma questions about it later (Note from the future:  still waiting on this, Neeta and btw, where have you been?  I liked what little I saw of Neeta.  She is like a fabulous earth mother.)
So this is The Big Bad.  Or should I say, Another Big Bad.  There is some dimension of secret-keeping for all of our characters in Charming:  Tara and Jax killing Psycho Ex-boyfriend Agent Kohn, Clay and Tig kill Donna while Jax and Piney are in on keeping it a secret, and now Gemma, Tara, and Unser hide up Gemma’s rape.    
Meawhile, back at Teller-Morrow, the boys unbeknownst to what is going on with the matriarch, are stirring after Bobby’s welcome home party.  Tig is asleep on the bar with a woman in what I would call, a um mutually convenient position.  He gets a phone call, flips the girl off of him, but not without telling her that he loves her.  And I’m sure he does.  In whatever way Tig can love a live human being.  Anyways.  Trouble is brewing between the Mayans and the Niners (yeah, thanks for the Jax); Clay makes things worse of course by continuing to play the two off of each other in a gun deal.  Here’s how it goes down:
Mayans:          Hey, Clay.  A Niner killed one of our guys in our terrirotry and then posed his body holding up nine fingers.  You know anything about that? And, btw, we’ll be needing some of those guns you promised to sell us. 
Clay:               Oh Hai!  Nope don’t know anything about that.  A-w-k-a-r-d.  Um, nope can’t help you on the gun thing, we’re fresh out.
Meanwhile, Clay hangs up.  Curses Jax for his brilliant thinking, and then calls the Niners.
Clay:               Hey, Niners guy.  Leroy.  Problems are coming your way (no thanks to my impulsive, ingrate stepson).  Want some guns? 
The tension between Jax and Clay continues to mount. (Note from the future:  I wonder how this little warning from Clay is going to play out.  “Whatever you may think, the truth is that everything I do is to protect what we’ve got.  It’s never arbitrary and never reactive.”  Mmmmmkay.  Let’s see how THAT plays out around epsidoe 6.)
Meanwhile-meanwhile Jax is dispatched to talk to Otto in prison and Opie and Tig (in an extremely odd, yet fascinating bonding moment discussing Donna’s death and Opie’s not-prison dreams and Tig shares how he laid his bike down killing an old lady that he loved who also happened to be preggers) get the guns ready for the Niners. Needless to say, the gun deal goes very badly.  The Mayans roll up and ambush SAMCRO and the Niners.  Oh, and Opie goes all commando shooting shit up as if he were bullet proof.
            And this is just a side note but I have been wondering, really, how many guns can a gang really need?  I mean, SAMCRO has been selling guns to the Niners on a seemingly exclusive basis for a season and a half now.  How many AKs does a gang need?  Like do they ever get to the point where they are stocked up and don’t need any more? 
As a result of Jax’s little sit down with Otto, he convinces SAMCRO to get into the porn business by helping out Otto’s old lady Luanne. Luanne has been raided by the ATF (thanks to Otto’s message sending abilities) and nearly stripped of her “talent” by her competitor.   This guy .  Yeah him. Brilliant casting. Anyways, after two visits by our boys in blue and black and Jax having to tell Luanne who’s boss, it appears that Georgie indeed does not want to be done by Canseco so he leaves it alone.  I’m sure Bobby Elvis blowing chunks helped move that decision forward.    
The members of the MC unanimously (shocker, I know) vote to get into the porn business.  Plus it has the added bonus of getting Bobby Elvis laid, or so they say in church.  And darlin’ just wait until the next episode.   And hey, they even have Caracara to house their newest entrepreneurial endeavor.   Jax even meets Luanne there and while she is frightened and confused because she doesn’t know yet that she has a new partner, Jax promises not to Aidrianna her. Yeah, I know.
Wrapping up at Planet Whitey, Principal Zobelle assures Henry Rollins that the Big Bad will eventually get to Gemma, all will come out, and it will unravel the MC.  Oh, and also the Mayans are BFFs with Zobelle.  Yeah.  I’m scratching my head on that one too.  And lest we forget, Darby is cooking meth. 

Sons of Anarchy 2.06 Falx Cerebri Recap

So previously on As the Harley Rumbles, SAMCRO was under attack by the Principal Zobelle and his menacing band of aging punk rock gods white supremacists.  As the title alludes, Falx Cerebri was all about divisions, or if I want to get high cotton about my take on it, the cleavages amongst our pals in Charming and the alliances they make. 
The tension between Clay and Jax continues to build throughout the episode.  With Piney conveniently/inconveniently away on a 4-day bender, Chibs in serious condition with a subdural hematoma, and Opie bitchfacing Jax (again) to back down and get in line, Jax is largely on his own in the MC.   Although, that isn’t an entirely fair statement – Jax also chooses to work on things from his end in what he perceives as his interest in protecting the club.  The obvious alliance is Clay, Unser, and it appears most of the members of the MC are hell-bent on spilling Zobelle’s pristine blood, although not in Charming.  So too is the alliance between Jax and Hale, although the extent to which Hale goes all in is astounding.  When Hale began to threaten his arm with a piece of glass in Impeccable Smokes to get Polly to cooperate, I was applauding.
Basically, this whole set of alliances that are set up around the Jax and Clay story line make me feel like Kurt Sutter is beating me over the head with a copy of Hamlet are based on an untenable either-or proposition.  Either the MC strikes, reacts, and goes for the jugular OR it sits back, looks at the chess board, and contemplates its navel lint.  As we see how Zobelle’s manipulation of SAMCRO’s raid on the Aryan membership drive dinner of the faithful plays out, it's pretty clear that neither of these approaches are working well.  Oh, and AJ Weston’s  Henry Rollins’ kid scares the shit out of me. 
Meanwhile, over in the girl’s bathroom, Gemma and Tara are working on an alliance of their own, courtesy of Smith & Wesson, some porn posters, and Ima’s sensible, 4-door, suburban mom Lexus.  By far, this was the most lol-larious scene of the episode.  These women enjoyed taking on some frustrations with firearms and it was a helluva lot of fun to watch.  I’m about as straight of a white girl as you can get, but even I thought Gemma teaching Tara to shoot was hot – I can’t imagine what that scene did for the boys in the viewing audience.  Anyways.  Back to the story.  Gemma, in spite of wanting to cut Hale and Unser’s big soft hearts out if they ever mention the verboten gang rape of yore, allies with our boys in brown:  Unser consoles her feelings of guilt; Gemma helps Hale with an ID on Polly.   There is also a gang-of-two alliance between Gemma and Jax that we see glimmers of after the explosion when Jax blows past Tara and is consoled by Gemma.  
(And I’d totally write more about the Jax and Gemma gang-of-two if it didn’t take me so long to recap a single freaking episode.  Also, another thing I'd love to write more about:  Dead Daddy John Teller's Burnt Book of Biker Wisdom.) 
            And, is it just me or do Tara and Jax (Note to the wardrobe department:  please, just trim those split ends and tidy up Jax’s beard.  I’m so over the Jax looking like Jesus and/or Kurt Cobain ) seem to be very tenuously allied with each other or, for that matter, anyone in particular outside of Gemma and Hale?  

WTF Moment:  Oh.  Hai.  IRA guys.  Are you now in business with Zobelle?  Guess you guys really are in it all for the cause.
Second Runner Up:   Happy’s enthusiasm for beheading Zobelle in broad daylight.  Sheesh…this guy makes Tig look like a saint. 

Action Moment:  I know you are expecting me to say the raid but nope, nope, nope.  It is the faux failing breaks meets Unser and Hale’s Big Gulp of radioactive diet-cola flavored piss coming.  Love it.   

Get Over Yourself Moment:  This week’s award goes to Tara (hell, at least it wasn’t Opie AGAIN).  Usually, I reserve this part for scenes where I just have to roll my eyes at characters that do something implausible or annoyingly lacking self-awareness.  This week Tara was totally lacking self-awareness but in an incredibly satisfying character development/internal conflict sort of way. 
Tara’s jealousy gets the better of her when Gemma is more supportive/comforting to Jax after the bombing.  Tara’s green-eyed monster really shows through when she suggests that Gemma is to blame for the explosion.  And then later at the Old Lady’s Gun Show, Tara who was so concerned with things being normal downright relishes in threatening Ima with her .38 and then shooting up the girl’s car.  The tension in Tara, how much of the MC to let in, what is normal, and how she wrestles with it is so well written and even better played by Maggie Siff .  None of these characters are perfect.  All of them are flawed.   And we are starting to see more of these flaws play out as Tara’s character develops. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Speculation for Sons of Anarchy 2.06, Falx Cerebri

In preparation/anticipation for tonight's new episode of Sons of Anarchy, I thought it might be good to do three things:  

1.  Review the official synopsis:  "Incited by Zobelle, Clay sets a course for retaliation, forcing Jax to turn to an unlikely source to save the club from destruction. Gemma shows Tara how an old lady handles her anger."  

2.  Let's take a look at the preview for tonight's episode   

3.  Since last week's title had revealing implications on the episode's story line, let's review our high school biology class for this week.  A falx cerebri is "also known as the cerebral falx, so named from its sickle-like form, is a strong, arched fold of dura mater which descends vertically in the longitudinal fissure between the cerebral hemispheres."

And let us not miss the overall Hamlet skull reference in the title.  Our dear Hamlet contemplated life and the mystery of death while holding Yorkic's skull in the graveyard.  I wonder if we might see Jax hold a model skull in the hospital while learning about Chibs' prognosis. 

My speculations for Falx Cerebri are:

  • Clay is going to go off and retaliate against Zobelle whether he has majority support or not.  I think the temper tantrum he appears to throw in Impeccable Smokes alludes this.  
  • Jax will either go along on the retaliation trip reluctantly or he will abstain entirely out of principle. 
  • Jax will probably turn to Hale and Darby.  Kurt Sutter's recent blog post hints at the working class/elite divide amongst hate groups.
  • I have no idea how an old lady handles anger but I'm interested in picking up any tips I can.  
  • I'm going to assume that the title of this episode will have multiple meanings which may include:  a member of the MC serving as the division between the two hemispheres of the club, the role that Darby and Hale play in separating SAMCRO from Principal Zobelle's white separatists, the duality of Jax's temperament that we saw a bit in Smite - ranging from thoughtful/pensive to explosive/impulsive, and I suspect that Chibs will have damaged his falx cerebri in the explosion

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.05 Smite Recap

For fun and edification, let’s start the recap with the definition of smite which means to “to strike heavily or strongly with the hand or an implement held in the hand.”  There is a lot of smiting going on in this episode but in a nutshell: Gemma smites Tara, with much hilarity; in a massive, gratifying two-for Unser smites Hale and Boy Scout Hale in turn smites the enemies of Charming.  Jax smites Clay at the vote; and Principal Zobelle smites SAMCRO. 
After an awkward, passive aggressive, knowing exchange between Jax and Gemma about the whereabouts of a box that contained funky underwear and Dead Daddy John Teller’s Burnt Book of Biker Wisdom about the vision for outlaw motorcycle clubs, the ladies are off to town to get Gemma some hormones to fix her Mojave problem.  Gemma does the girlrun in FMBs to chase after the pert blonde that kidnapped her. When she loses the girl to Henry Rollins, she accidentally clocks Tara in the nose.  Breaking it.  I don’t know if I have a sick sense of humor or if this was just unintentionally funny but I laughed.  Hard.  Back to the show:  Tara blackmails Gemma to see a shrink (which she bails on, of course) and the they are warm and fuzzy about as much as these two bitches can possibly get.   Oh, and I totally want Gemma’s sunglasses.    
Boy Scout Deputy Chief Hale is left between a rock and hard place after Principal Zobelle visits him with footage of Opie torching Darby’s meth lab and Hale taking a bribe of a $150 gift certificate for cigars.  Jax, followed by Unser are hot on their heels.  The scene between Unser and Hale is probably one of the best of the season so far.  Unser tells Hale that he picked him because he knew Hale would do the right thing for Charming.  And, before Hale can get too comfortable with Principal Zobelle, Unser lets him on the big bad gang rape secret so Hale can come to his own conclusions.  So, the way I see it, Unser smote Hale with information.  How so unlike on of the major themes of Hamlet, which is sooo not about information, knowledge, and truth.   This whole exchange made me believe in the spoiler that the someone that we know and love would die in this season would be Unser.  But alas, it won’t be him. 
In turn, Hale lets the Jets and the Sharks go with a warning.  Your smite two-for comes when he stops Clay and Jax, telling them about Zobell’s surveillance, evidence of Opie torching the meth lab, and, most interestingly Hale sells out his brother’s eminent domain land scam.   I would argue that all of these, at least in Hale’s mind represent threats to Charming.    It isn’t that Hale likes SAMCRO, it’s that he perceives a group that gang rapes women and cooks meth for short-term gain or another group seeks to sell off portions of land to greedy developers for a quick buck as enemies of his town.  Good on Hale.   All of this makes him an incredibly interesting character because it is hard to reconcile the fact that he overlooked Darby’s meth lab with his new-found moral code.  I suspect it will be resolved in the long run and I’m interested to see where Hale goes.   
So our predictable major smiting comes from Jax at Church.  There are undercurrents of politicking and allegiances being set throughout the episode.  Both Jax and Clay consider Juice to be the swing vote.  Boy, were they wrong.  Basically, it breaks down as you would expect – Clay wants revenge NOW MOTHEFUCKER and Jax wants revenge that isn’t “half blind” by gathering more intel.  Bobby Elvis turns out to be the deciding vote because he had some convenient off screen time with Piney who told him about how he gave John Teller’s Big Book of Biker Wisdom to Jax.   Tig, Opie/Bitchface, Juice, and Clay all vote for revenge now motherfuckers.  Chibs, Piney, Bobby Elivs, and Jax all want to be “smart” about it.    Bobby Elvis later tells Clay that if he wants blind action, he should go to Tig but if he wants the truth, Clay should come to him.  INSERT OBVIOUS TRUTHY HAMLET REFERNCE HERE . 
I love Bobby Elvis but he is now at the top of my list of characters that won’t make it to see season 3.  He is hiding Luanne’s skim operation, he dares to subvert what Clay considers the best interest of the MC, and he is truly a likeable character.  Shall I go on?
The obvious and less than subtle smite award goes to Principal Zobelle (who apparently is Per Blonde's father) and his team of gang raping white separatists who take out Otto’s eye and leave a car bomb at Teller Morrow (Noooooooooo  not Chibs!  I love him!   Damn you cliffhanger!) so that all of SAMCRO can feel his wrath. 

Action Moment:  There were a few contenders for this during Smite.  The Charming Rumble on Main Street, replete with Jax doing a 180 switch from, hey street fights aren’t the answer to this to a HOSHIT YOU DIDN’T JUST DO THAT TO MY BIKE HENRY ROLLINS beat down was good but problematic for two reasons: (1) it was just a little too Sharks v Jets for my taste and (2) does anyone actually believe that Jax Teller could take Henry Rollins’ character?  No?  I didn’t think so either. 
The explosion of the Aryan Aerostar of Death at Teller-Morrow was good, but a little expected. That’s why this week’s best action moment was when Otto got jumped in prison.  Otto nobly fought back but to no avail since it was a 3 on 1 fight.  And the squirm-inducing broom handle to the eye was an uncomfortably brutal yet perfect set up for the rest of the episode.  Kurt Sutter, you are one sick puppy and I love you for it because you make brilliant television shows. 

Get Over Yourself Moment:  This week we have Tara to blame thank for the GOY scene in Smite.  Tara worries that something bad is going to happen to Able AKA The Kid, to her, and to Jax who is still pretty but needs to shave that beard before he starts looking even more like Jesus, the martyr for everyone’s sins. Oh Tara, you are an incredible buzzkill with your concerns about normality and Shakespearean tragedy foreshadowing.  Jax breaks out Dead Daddy’s Book of Biker Wisdom and all is totes okay.     

WTF Moment:  Um, Opie and the crack-smoking-porn-queen-that-drives-a-Prius.  Hey, it might be a bit early but that bike restoration project might not keep him warm enough at night.  If it helps him get is balls back, I’m all for it.
Character I don’t know whether I should pay attention to:  Bitchface hospital administrator with the glasses who thinks that Jax is beating Tara.  Either she is going to go away or Tara is going into private practice.  I'm just sayin'  

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.01 Albification Recap

Season two kicks off with a roll call montage of our favorite Danish royalty and their courtiers:  Jax, Clay, Tig, Juice, Chibs, and Half-Sack are at the firing range; Opie’s heading back from a solo ride; Tara’s performing baby surgery; Bobby Elivs is about to get out of jail; Piney is dropping off Opie’s kids at school in a big fat Caddie; Gemma and Able are coming in for a check up; Chief Unser is praying. 
SAMCRO is between a rock and hard place in the gun trade.  The IRA gun rep wants the MC to run guns up the coast.  Um, yeah, this is a problem because this isn’t what SAMCRO does.  But they don’t want to lose their gun connection and the IRA needs money for the cause.  Jax proves a good little negotiator coming up with a short-term fix.  Long-term problems linger – who are they going to deal to?   Clay calls a vote, they all agree and now the SOA are now gunrunners for the cash and Russian stock.  This won’t be fraught with problems down later in the season, I’m sure of it! 
Jax goes to collect Opie, greets disappointed, fat Mary.  SadAngry Opie has an old bike to rebuild so he’ll stay warm at night.  Opie hasn’t seen his kids yet and Jax urges him to do so before they head off to Castle Elsinore.  Horatio Opie says mind your own business, mmmmkay?  At Teller-Morrow, Clay proclaims how everyone loved Donna but we need revenge for Opie’s sake just not revenge for the actual person who pulled the trigger, yes I’m talking about you Tig and Clay.  So rather than address the long-term gun running conundrum, Clay leads SAMCRO into an undeserved revenge scheme on a Mayan.  After church breaks up Jax raises the Donna issue and taunts Clay, with a ‘what are you going to do, pop a cap in me, the Prince of Charming? ‘
Meanwhile at the Charming coffee shop, Deputy Chief Boy Scout Hale meets with his brother, someone who looks like my high school principal, and Henry Rollins.  Brother Hale wants to acquire land for residential development.  HOSHIT, and he wants help from Ethan “the HS Principal” Zobelle who also happens to be the head honcho in the white separatist movement.  Apparently this is different from supremacists but hey, you call it a tom-hay-to and I call it a tom-ahh-to. I can’t see a fucking difference.  Principal Zobelle and his muscle Hank want support from law enforcement to squash SAMCRO.  Deputy Chief Boy Scout is rightly skeeved out, wants nothing to do with it and leaves.  Also at some point in the episode, Henry Rollins talks to Darby about cooking meth in Charming and gives him a little talk about how he hasn’t earned his swastika tattoos and should keep things buttoned up – Darby doesn’t appreciate this bit of foreshadowing.     
(Yes, I realize that this is long but it is the season premier.  There are new characters and new loose ends.  Stick with me)
So Opie, Tig, Chibs, and Jax head out to get their revenge by killing a Mayan that Opie is led to believe is responsible for Donna’s murder.  They track the guy down; an ever-resourceful Tig shoots the guy in the mouth so he’ll stop talking/denying.  Opie wants to go old school medieval on the Mayan’s ass so that he has no doubt but seems okay with just shooting the guy in the head.  Jax disposes of the body by emptying his clip into the poor SOB’s abdomen to cover up the giant A Opie carved post-mortem and duping the body in Mayan territory with nine fingers showing.  Thus, assigning blame to the One-Niners.  Brilliant plan, handsome. 
While all of this is going on Queen Gerturde Gemma takes little Able, or as Jax affectionately refers to his son, the kid, to the hospital to see Dr. Tara for a check up.  The kid is healthy.  Gemma gives Tara shit about sleeping over.   And, I didn’t know this but apparently babies have sleep apnea?  I thought that only happened to middle aged suburban men.  Hmm.  Guess you learn something new every day.  So Gemma sparks a j with Chief Unser outside the hospital with the kid in tow.  The Chief imbibes because his cancer is contained to his bladder and you know, it’s totes ok.
Back at the garage, Bobby is released and is enjoying himself thoroughly (I’ll let you fill in the visuals on that one).  Clay gives the requisite misogynistic stripper pole taunt to Psycho ATF Bitch who returns the quip because really, she is just as much of a misogynist.  SAMCRO knows how to throw a party – except for petulant Jax who doesn’t return the toast to Clay.   Piney tells Opie to man up and that is the end of that.   Principal Zobelle shows up to piss all over Clay’s boots, drop off since fine stogies, and heads back to his white separatist McMansion somewhere in the burbs. 
Jax heads home to greet Ophelia Tara.  She gives him the total disclosure talk, ruining a perfectly good nekkid shower scene.  Jax tells her (part of) the truth.  They spoon.  Love the man, learn to love the club, darlin’
Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile Gemma gets kidnapped by a woman with very pert blond hair who says her kid is choking on a bottle cap.  A bottle cap?  Anyways.  Gemma wakes up handcuffed to a chain link fence in some dirty industrial building whereupon she gets beaten and gang raped by the white separatists.   (One of which has an upside down peace symbol tattooed at the base of his neck.  See, I told you there would be tattoo foreshadowing).  The scene was horrific.  Katey Sagal deserves an Emmy for this.  I can’t write any more about it because it was just that awful 

WTF Moment:  When Gemma gives Tara big wet kiss on the lips. Like she does Jax.  And Clay. 

Action Moment:  The chase scene when the SOA track dow the Mayan.  Really, it was the only action scene in the whole episode

Get Over Yourself Moment:  Half-Sack interrupting Clay and Gemma. Doing the deed.  Gemma says “Get out or join in, sparky.”  Oh, only in Half-Sacks one-balled wet dreams.  He totally has to get over his MILF obsession with Gemma.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sons of Anarchy 2.04 Eureka Recap

So we open with Gemma helping Clay inject cortisone into his hands before the charity run.  While not making eye contact with Gemma, Clay talks about how the time away (An overnight trip?  Seriously?) might help Gemma get past whatever this is (SHE WAS GANG RAPED, KING CLUELESS).  Gemma gives a noncommittal ‘Perhaps’ and off goes King Clay.   Meanwhile, over at the Prince of Charming’s house… Jax who is incredibly easy on the eyes, keep up the good work sparky drops the L bomb on Tara, flashes his pearly whites and then…  wait for it…  goes to take care of his own kid.  I can’t tell if Tara is more surprised that it took Jax this many episodes to tell her that he loves her unprompted, the realization that she is Jax’s old lady, or if she is finally relieved from being the night time nanny.
The MC assembles at Teller-Morrow to depart for the charity/gun run.  Angry Opie tells Jax that his kids are just fine, thank you very much and now mind your own fucking business.  Piney stays home to man Castle Elsinore the garage, but per Clay’s instructions should mind the cars and not Gemma.  
And now for the scene of jocular, vulgar, hilarious banter amongst the members of the MC.  I have to hand it to the writers – how they manage an assless chaps joke and Neuticle joke in the same exchange is pure genius.   (And seriously, Neuticle seems to be a brand name of a company that makes testicular implants for pets that have been neutered.  So, I guess poor Half-Sack has that going for him)  Bravo.  It is moments like this that make me love these characters.  So off they go to save the children.  And, btw, thanks Happy.  Nothing says charity like firing off your Gloc before the crew heads out. 
And alas, cue the motorcycle porn as the MC rumbles out of town and hits the highway.   The whole scene is so badass. (Note to the writers: this is a motorcycle show, isn’t it?  Can we see a bit more of the Harley porn, please?).  The SOA picks up their handguns from the IRA guy.  Oh hi, IRA guy, hey, how’s your ass now that Juice’s finger isn’t keeping you from bleeding out? And we’re back to the Harley porn – thank God.  Wait. Not so fast.   Bobby Elivs’ fat boy bites the dust, taking out Tig.  All I can say is, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.  So Tig is rescued from the evils of HMO limbo by bounty hunters.  Apparently Tig got a little too friendly with the cargo on a livestock transport in Oregon.  I just want to know what sort of livestock – cows, pigs, sheep, chickens?       
Back in Charming, Gemma gets the no-face mask of gang rape in the mail and heads to town to fuck up some shit.  Zobelle gives her his menacing evil yet pleasant bitchface and she runs back to the car to wave her pretty gun at a pushy redneck who wants her parking space.  Chief Unser comes to take her gun away and Gemma takes off in pursuit of Henry Rollins (yes, he has a character name but does anyone know what it is, really?  Yeah, you don’t either– exactly what I thought.).  Gemma tracks Henry Rollins down to the cleanest set of port-a-pots ever to grace the planet, gets him in her sights and then loses the nerve to fire because he has a family. Damnit.  At this point, I’m really missing Season 1 Gemma.  Darlin’ you need to get your ass-kicking mojo back. 
So Clay and Jax fight over whether, when, how, and how many guys it will take to rescue Tig.  Jax, a modern day John Adams, implores King Claudius Clay to call the vote.  Ah, but dear Jax, the MC isn’t ruled by democracy, it seems to be ruled by Clay’s brittle, arthritic iron fists until he is humiliated by his weak hands and lays his bike down before he can get off the lot.  Half-Sack comes correct with the intel on Tig’s whereabouts.  Piney rolls up with the flatbed and before Jax and Clay can fight (again), Piney rolls off with Jax, Chibs, Smiley, and Half-Sack to go liberate Tig.  And this scene is why I love Piney – he might ride a trike, but he’s still up for some good outlaw mayhem. 
The SOA rides off to relay the guns (yeah, remember those).  Piney and Tig drive off into the sunset sharing a bottle of Patron with two straws because germs are icky, ya’ll.   At the biker camp, the crew is celebrating.  Except for Jax who is angsting with his knock-off bottle of Jack Daniels.  Here comes yet another Jax/Clay confrontation that ends in Clay threatening to kill Hamlet Jax if he ever brings up the Donna debacle again.  Ah, good family times. 
The WTF moment for Eureka:  Opie.  Seiously.  Opie is now going all bitchface on Jax and telling Clay that he is with him no matter what?  Seriously?   If you only knew the half of it, darlin’.   
Best action moment:  Well, that would be Piney backing the flat bed into the motel, the look on Tig's face as he sees it coming, and then the balls-out rescue scene.     
The get over yourself moment:  Tara asking Chief Unser what he makes of her relationship with Jax.  Seriously?  She needs validation from the corrupt cop?  

Sons of Anarchy Recaps

I adore Sons of Anarchy as only a fangirl can.  To that end, I'm going to start recapping the episodes.  Basically, I'm doing this because as a fan of the show, there aren't a lot of good recaps out there.  Or if they are, I haven't found them.  I'll start with 2.04, Eureka and recap as the new episodes come out weekly.  Somewhere in there, I'll go back and fill in the gaps on the rest of season 2.  I haven't figured out how to handle recapping Season 1 yet because I marathon watched it over the summer.  I might do it by episodes or I might just recap the whole season in one big post.

You'll notice that I have a somewhat irreverent style.  I mean no disrespect by it.  It's just sort of my way.  If I didn't poke fun, how would you know that I loved you?