Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meet The Parasite

The LSH and I are proud to announce that we have created The Parasite. The Parasite will make his/her appearance in mid-June and the world will never be the same.

I've collected a few observations about this whole process thus far:

  • No wonder The Baby Industrial Complex tells you to keep being pregnant a secret for your first trimester. All I would have said would have been a rotation of the following: OMFG why am I so tired; Whoa, holy wave on unexpected nausea; I need a nap; I wonder if there is a place to get frozen yogurt around here; Yawn, I'm so tired of being tired; and I can smell everything. 
  • I gross myself out. I burp and fart on a very regular basis. I cleared out an entire gift shop last weekend.
  • The LSH thought it would be a good idea to fry Spam for breakfast one day. It did not go well... like at all. It's a long story but I almost barfed in the washing machine. 
  • Apparently, the LSH is allergic to the hormones I'm putting off - he has been itching like crazy. The doctor says this is more common than you'd think. 
  • The Black Dog has become 1000% more protective of me. Either he's incredibly maternal for a male dog or he thinks that he's the baby daddy.
  • The prenatal vitamins look like suppositories. There's no nice way around that. 
  • The Baby Industrial Complex loves to try to scare the shit out of you and boss you around. If you eat that turkey sandwich your baby will die and it will be all your fault.   
  • At 35, I'm ancient in reproductive terms and the prenatal nurse loved to say lovely things like "At your age..." or "for expectant mothers of advanced age like you..."
  • People in maternity clothes stores have no sense of humor. The LSH and I were in A Pea in the Pod last weekend and I put the belly on before I came out of the dressing room, shocking the hell out of him. Of course I started rubbing my belly and doing a little dance around and we both started cracking up laughing. Either we aren't as funny as we thought we were, pregnant couples have no sense of humor, or maternity stores are places for serious business and not a place to goof off.  
  • Just to bring things back to Sons of Anarchy, Tara and I are about a week apart. Apparently her boobie fairy didn't come during season 3.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Few Thoughts on the Sons of Anarchy Finale

A few quick thoughts on the season finale of Sons of Anarchy while rewatch about a million times and  work on the recap....

  • An excellent finale that was remarkably anxiety/damage free for SAMCRO. Even though I didn't  trust that lovely mushy moment with Jax and Tara in the episode opener, it was completely genuine and sweet. All the foreboding of things about to go wrong was a red herring. 
  • Viva La Pinky! 
  • I'm going to miss ATF Bitchface but it was about time that SAMCRO got some revenge on its antagonists after Zobelle escaped last season. I'm torn over which revenge kill was better but am leaning towards Stahl because of Opie's like "This is what she felt." ZOMFG. Anyways, vote in the poll over whose death was more satisfying -- Stahl or Jimmy O.

  • It took us 3 season to get confirmation that Clay and Gemma killed John Teller. He didn't let the road by accident or by choice. 
  • Jax is apparently done dithering. 
  • When did Jax tell the MC about the deal with Stahl? This is really bothering me. Were we conned all along the way with Stahl? Vote in the poll below.

  • Finally! Someone listened to Chuckie! 
  • Tig's comment about letting Chuckie use his hand to rub one out was classic, priceless. 
  • I wonder what was in Tara's letter from Jax. 
What did ya'll think? Sound off in the comments section....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well?

I haven't been keeping up with my Sons of Anarchy recaps as the season has worn on.  I've been short on time but I wanted to share some thoughts before tonight's finale. All season, I've been on board the Kurt Sutter train with complete trust that all of the frustration, anxiety, delays, and dalliances would lead somewhere towards something. If the point was to take the Sons out of their comfort zone and make the audience feel the same the off-kilter uneasiness that the club has, then mission fricking accomplished. I feel like I've been put through same emotional meat grinder as Jax this season. Like a bazilion times over. I get that this season has been all about Jax's character under the most serious, dark circumstances a person can experience. I get that it's permanently changing him. I'm a smart girl.

I fully expect tonight's finale to be satisfying and compelling and all of those frustrations, anxiety, dalliances, and delays will be paid off towards the somewhere/something that we've been headed to all season. Frankly, I need it because at times during Season 3, I've felt like the show has made me feel as crazy as Gemma holding a gun to a baby's head.

Near the middle of the season, I was ready to have the conversation with Sons of Anarchy. You know. It’s the uncomfortable but necessary conversation you have with your BFF when you have to tell her that maybe jeggings aren’t the go-to look she thought they were. You tell your bestie in the kindest way possible that those jeggings look awful because you love her and you want her to look her best and don't want anyone to see her in an unflattering way.

I felt that in some ways Sons of Anarchy has been trotting around town in a really unflattering pair of jeggings. Yes, really. The jeggings for SoA have been the clunky plot devices that defy even extraordinary levels of suspending disbelief. What the hell do I mean? Well, here goes:

  • Salazar was a weak villain. Clay didn't recognize his bullshit MC and there was no reason for him to live for a stunning 12 episodes. The Sons of Season 1 and 2 would have never let that guy walk out of the bathroom in the park. Never, ever, ever. Compared to incredibly interesting, complex villains like Stahl and Zobelle, Salazar was a punk. He only lived to kidnap Tara. 
  • The logistical difficulties of getting to Belfast were maddening and defied logic. Yes, I get it they are outlaws. They live off the grid. But they also had passports and they were out on bail. If push came to shove and they seriously wanted to get to Belfast, it shouldn't have been that difficult. I'm sure that at a minimum someone's old lady had a credit card and could have at least bought Jax a ticket.
  • The legal/procedural aspects of Gemma's case for killing Polly and the gun charges on SoA for their raid on Zobelle's dinner of the faithful defy reason and standards for good legal representation. First off, Gemma obviously killed Polly in self defense. Unser even indicated early in the season that the evidence was pointing in the direction.  So why not just make sure that the lawyer is doing her damn job and push things along? The forensic evidence never would have supported Stahl's version of events, so why not work the justice system? If you're paying someone $1500 an hour to represent you, then maybe it's a good idea to make sure they are doing their job and working to get you off of the charges. And with the raid on the dinner of the faithful, the last remaining witness was on the verge of bugging out from testifying against SoA, leveling all the charges down to possession. Why the need for a big ATF deal? Get your lawyer on it, plead it down, and move on. 
Maybe I have unrealistic expectations for SAMCRO but during seasons 1 and 2 I learned to expect them to be much smarter, much savvier, and much more viscous than they've been this season. The Sons of Anarchy I knew at the end of season 2 would have killed Salazar, gotten to Belfast and not bought the line that Ashby as feeding them, and fought the bullshit legal charges. All without skipping a beat.

These are relatively minor criticisms of a really interesting, complex, compelling season. I expect tonight's finale to be very satisfying but how we get to the end matters too. I hope that those little plot devices that haven't lived up to the smartness of the show don't get in the way of a fantastic ending.  

I'm very excited to see what happens tonight. I want to see what Jax does with the deal he made with Stahl, how he sorts out the Jimmy issue and what all of it means for his future, his relationship with Tara and the MC. Will Jax burn out or fade away? We'll find out tonight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Between Firinne and Bainne

In last week's installment of Sons of Anarchy, Firinne, things got medieval and Season 3 Jax was reintroduced to Season 1 Jax. That closing scene in Firinne fantastic. It was as if Jax stepped out of this cloud of self loathing and anguish, remembered who he was and decided it was time to engage in life again.

How Jax will engage is a completely different matter. Is a man so filled with violence and anger just going to allow his son to be adopted out to A Good Catholic Family? Or perhaps Jax will come to the realization that the path that SAMCRO is on now doesn't have to be the same path for his son? The MC can be something different, right? That was kind of the point of the tension between Jax and Clay all along.   Before I digress too far into the realm of unanswerable questions, here are some thoughts on Bainne and the other two closing episodes of this season of Sons of Anarchy:

  • SAMCRO's visit to Belfast seems to indicate that all may not be well in the broader universe of Sons of Anarchy charters. This could signal future problems and enemies within in upcoming  seasons.
  • What kind of Charming will SAMCRO return home to? I want more substance on the Charming side of the story because selfishly I want David Hale's death  (yeah, remember that) to mean something more than what it has so far. 
  • So far SAMCRO seems to have gotten off relatively easy in terms of casualties this season. Donna was killed in season 1 and Half-Sack was killed in season 2. Sons of Anarchy is a show about consequences and I'd be shocked of all of the members of the MC made it home to Charming upright. Yes I'm looking at you Chibs.  
  • Maybe I'm in a good mood but I'm getting the feeling that Sweet Baby Abel will make it home and Pinky will endure to the next trimester.
  • I know there's a spoiler out on the internets about this and don't  you dare spoil me but.... I'll bet that Gemma tells Jax about Tara and Pinky in Bainne. Just to light a fire under his ass. 
  • Is the season going to end with Gemma and the boys being arraigned? Orange isn't our girl's color. 
  • There's the whole Stahl thing to deal with. However, bullets are cheaper than owning up to your brothers that you made a deal with the devil.
  • I'm interested to see if Jax can get Jimmy O back to Charming without having to explain a lot to his brothers.
  • Speaking of Jimmy O, he was the one who wanted to return Abel straightaway. I wonder if that might help to save his neck.
  • Perhaps I'm paranoid, but I get the feeling that there are larger interests in play with the Jacob Hale story line. My paranoia is pointing straight to LOAN and Zobelle.
  • I hope Tara and Margaret can rescue themselves because Tig, Kozick, and Piney will be lucky if they don't kill each other in the rescue.  
  • Pinky may or may not endure but will Tara stick around for Jax when he gets back?
  • Remember waaaaaay back when Kurt Sutter tweeted about putting a body in the trunk of a Prius? I wonder if he had Salazar in mind at the time.
As always, a very special thanks to @amonmich for the screen caps. Go check out her blog

What are your thoughts, questions, and expectations for Bainne and the concluding episodes of Sons of Anarchy? The comments section awaits.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Signs You Are a Sons of Anarch Fan: Season 3 Edition

Image Source: FX

Last year I wrote a blog post called Signs You Might Be a Sons of Anarchy Fan. A few people liked it. While I'm working on the recap for Firinne, I thought it might be a good time to revisit that blog post and come up with an version for Season 3. Enjoy!
  1. You start reading Yeates, you know, for fun. And just to make sure you have all the literary references covered, you're planning on reading Macbeth too.
  2. You will never be able to look at a bottle of baby oil the same way again. Ever. 
  3. You started having an anxiety attack when you realize that there are only three episodes left in this season. ZOMG HOW DID THIS HAPPEN ALREADY? You then started to have a subsequent anxiety attack when you realized that after this season, there are only 4 seasons left. Ever. 
  4. You casually drop Sons of Anarchy references into conversations with coworkers, distant family members and marginal friends to sneakily test if they watch the show. (For example, "Man, if there was a skateboard within reach this TPS report situation would have ended differently.")
  5. You are planning on going to Belfast for your summer vacation. 
  6. Now that Opie is wearing his shogun bun, you're not real sure what to do with that black knit hat you bought last year.
  7. Being on Team Tara is sooooo Season 2. Now you're on Team Lyla.
  8. You can watch the Belfast scenes and understand 80% of what the characters are saying. Closed captioning is for posers. 
  9. When you read the crazy shit that some people tweet to/at Kurt Sutter about the show, you just want to reach through your broadband connection and give them a good smack.
  10. You got a Sons of Anarchy tattoo.
If you have experienced 0-1 of these things, you really need to recommit yourself to the show. 
If you have experienced 2-5 of these things, you have a healthy relationship with the show.
If you have experienced 5 or more of these things, you're beyond hope -- but in a good way.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Things I Like Right Now

Photo Source: NPR/Deborah Feingold
I've been a bit of a grouch lately. Okay, a bit more of a grouch than usual. I'm stressed, I'm tired, and I just need it to be December already. Anyways, I wanted to end this week on a less critical note by blogging about the things that make me happy. Inspired by posts that blaurgra writes about the things she likes, I thought I would do the same. So here goes:
  1. The interview with Keith Richards on NPR's Fresh Air. I don't know if I actually believe that Keith Richards came up with Satisfaction in a dream but he sure has a charming way of convincing you that he did. 
  2., or specifically their customer service. They gave me free overnight shipping on a pair of boots I ordered. Better yet? Free return shipping for the exchange when I had to return the boots because I ordered the wrong size. 
  3. Cee Lo Green's song F*ck You. He's such a great soul singer and I can't wait for his album to drop.  
  4. Slate's running conversation analyzing how the female candidates performed during the elections and what it might mean for the future female political candidates. 
  5. Giant Lemonheads. They're the only Halloween candy left in the house that I didn't pawn off of my students. They're like a Fireball but, you know, a Lemonhead. Yum.
  6. Not washing my curly hair anymore. I've joined the No Poo revolution. Before you get grossed out, I am cleaning my hair. I'm just not using shampoo any more and my curls look lovely, soft and springy with no frizz. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 9 Turas, Recap

Previously on As the Harley Rumbles, Jax got played by Kellan Ashby, Tara and Lyla bonded over their right to choose, and other shit happened. And on this episode of Sons of Anarchy? I'm not sure that much of anything happened either in terms of character development or forward movement of the plot. However, I feel less cranky than I initially did about Turas. But, to the recap/bitch machine and let's hash this out. 
First, let's look at things that happened in Belfast. Liam O'Neil, on instructions from Jimmy O, was ready to set the boom on SAMCRO and McGee in the barn of great gun concealing creativity. And this is where my complaints start to come in. I am very interested in and care about the Belfast story line, particularly the IRA/SAMBEL/Jimmy O/SAMCRO political machinations. But, I feel like there is too much subterfuge and too little substance to the story line. The Sons are in jeopardy and they are in over their heads, but but the hows and whys are unclear. Moreover, while I love Maureen and could watch Jimmy O be scary as shit all day long, I feel like other supporting characters that I have grown to know and love have been marginalized. Can I tell you how much I miss getting more screen time for Bobby Elvis and Juice? 

But in all of my bitching and moaning, Belfast scenes that put together characters that don't regularly interact--like the fabulous scene with all those firece women in Maureen's kitchen happen and it makes me very happy. When Jimmy O pays Gemma, Fiona, Maureen, Kerrianne, and Trinity a visit, it brings the scary ramifications of his dangerous character into focus. This I loved. How incredibly bad ass were all of these women, especially Fiona. Jimmy O was brilliant and menacing. I want to see them reunited in the future just to see the badassery that will go down. 

And -- brace yourselves for this one kids -- Gemma pissed me off during this episode. It was fantastic to see her confront Kellan Ashby with full sincerity and not an ounce of fear (another one of those scenes with characters we rarely see together). She got in the way of moving the story forward twice. TWICE. Gemma interrupted Fiona when she was about to elaborate on Kellan Ashby and then she stopped Ashby himself when he brought up John Teller. TWICE. AND WE ARE ON EPISODE 9 OF A 13. THERE IS NO TIME FOR THIS. WHY AM I IMITATING JACK BAUER?

So, let me turn the caps lock off and turn my attention to Charming. While more happened in Charming, it felt very superficial. Finally, finally Unser started doing "cop shit" for matters unrelated to SAMCRO.  Enter Oswald to look out for his own economic and political interests by questioning who is buying up all of these buildings. 

Oh and hai Jacob Hale you sweaty rat bastard in a cheap suit from JC Penney. Of course Salazar and his girlfran have an app for blackmail. Duuuuhhhh. The thing that bothers the shit out of me me is that there is no way that Salazar should reasonably still be alive to kidnap Tara. Other than to kidnap Tara. That man should have never walked out of the park restroom and the Sons are smart enough to know that. Tara's kidnapping bothers me too but I'm going to save that for another post. Last but certainly not least, there was Margaret's enormous back tattoo. It doesn't look MC related to me. Perhaps she was a groupie in the 1970s? Just a guess but now we know that the sister can relate. 

 Bits and Pieces

  • I love Tig, Kozick, and Piney. If noting else, those three need their on Terriers-esqu spin off. But why does Piney hate Tig so much? 
  • Will someone please, pretty please tell Jax and Trinity that they are half-sibilings? The closing scene squicked me out a lot less than the scenes in Lochan Mor but that worries me. Maybe I'm getting used to it but there's a level of familiarity there that could be interesting on a sibling level. I want to get past this incest fear and see what they are like as brother and sister. 
  • Happy asking where Liam was going while Happy just wondered. Awesome.
  • Thank you, Jax for exercising caution and trying to see all the pieces on the Irish chessboard before proceeding. 
  • I take it that Liam meant to off McGee too, right?
  • The ghost of John Teller appeared. Cool or dorky?
Finally, a smart commenter @volalupi raised this point in the initial post about Turas and I think it's worth repeating. She wrote:
My biggest annoyance is that not once has the group come out ahead and I just don't think they are that stupid or inept. Being out done some of the time I can bite off on, but getting creamed every time by every one..not so much.
I think that is one of the reasons that I've been so cranky with the show this season. I'm totally along for the ride in expanding the SAMCRO world by sending the characters to Belfast. I get it. I trust Kurt Sutter. I'm all in. It's just that certain elements of the plot have felt like they've been artificially extended or certain devices have been unclear or clunky. Furthermore, like volalupi said, I just find it more and more implausible that the Sons are outdone by their antagonists every single time.

Your thoughts? The comments section awaits.

As always, a very special thanks to @amonmich for the screen caps. Go check out her blog

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some initial thoughts on Turas

I didn't love last night's Sons of Anarchy. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe I'm sick of having to wake up at 5:00 am on Wednesday mornings for work. Maybe I'm at this miserable time in the semester when I just need not be overwhelmed. Or maybe I've had enough of upping the ante with no character growth, no revelations, and no breaks of the dramatic tension.  Maybe I've had too much of seeing SAMCRO acting really off kilter and not being smart enough to out smart the bad guys.

There were several things that pushed my tolerance for suspending disbelief and going along for the ride last night: the ghost of John Teller, the continuing possible almost incest with Jax and Trinity that Gemma doesn't feel the need to stop, the looming asshole character of Father Ashby and the suggestion that he made a promise to John Teller to keep the family safe, and all of the Irish political bullshit that hasn't been explained enough by a long shot. And in the back of my mind, I keep hoping that Tara will actually make a decision about whether to keep or abort Pinky, rather than relying on Salazar's nefarious dealings with Jacob Hale to resolve the situation.

But with all of that being said, there were several things that I loved about this episode. For example: Gemma, Maureen, and Fiona in the kitchen with Jimmy and the girls, Happy asking Liam where he was going, Maragaret's tattoo, Tig and Kozick together with a dash of Piney, and Unser and Oswald joining forces saved it for me.

But maybe I'm just cranky. Maybe I should rewatch it tonight. Maybe I need some xanax, a coffee and a bagel. A more fleshed out recap will come in a day or two.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 8 Lochan Mor, Recap

So previously on As the Harley Rumbles, we were going to Belfast ya'll and in Lochan Mor (the big pond), SAMCRO has arrived and shit is going on in Charming. Anywho since the action was split by location, I'm going to do the same thing with the recap. To the recapmobile!

Warning: contains profanity, irritation with the main character--aw hell, most of the primary characters-- and general crankiness.

SAMCRO arrives in Belfast ready to kick some ass and get Abel back have tea and party down. The Sons arrive in a swirl of political intrigue between SAMBEL, Jimmy O, and the IRA. Frankly, I don't trust any of these assholes. Maybe McGee. Maybe. However, the rest of those McBastards can go suck a dick. Like for seriously. First, Jimmy O was trying to get SAMCRO deported before they even arrived in Belfast. Then, the IRA tried to send a message by shooting up Fiona and Kerrieanne's transport. Then, Jimmy O and Liam were scheming about something that we'll find out about in the next episode. And, finally, there's the shit with Father Ashby at the end. It makes my head hurt.  
While Clay cleverly coerces the corrupt Gardai into letting the Sons slip away from Jimmy's evil clutches of deportation, that's about the only thing that goes well for SAMCRO in Belfast. You need to look no further than one Jackson Teller for a source of general dumbassery. Blah blah blah, Jax is going to Belfast to get his kid. Like he's been talking about getting his kid back for the last two weeks/eight episodes. But he does jack shit about it. I know, I know. It's what Hamlet would do. Jax arrives in Belfast and and what does he do? Does he insist on seeing Kellan Ashby like now motherfuckers? Nope. He has tea with Maureen, nearly makes out with his secret half sister, tosses back a few beers, boxes with Liam, gets creepy flirty with his half sister again, and then is finally summoned by Ashby.  

I don't know how much more clearly Kurt Sutter can make his point: Jax doesn't think that he deserves to be happy and to have his son back given his choice to live as an outlaw. Jax is drowning in self loathing and it's overwhelming. When I watched the episode the first time, I thought that Ashby's vow that Abel will be home with his loving family was a bit of the good Father's trickery that Jax didn't notice. But after a second and third watch, I wonder if Jax caught Fr. Ashby's drift. At this point, I think that Jax hates himself so much that he would give up his child to ensure that Sweet Baby Abel would be safe. Jax has already kicked Tara to the curb in a way that he obviously disgraced himself. 

My rambling, vodka-fueled rage does have a point and here goes: Abel isn't coming back to Charming. If Jax keeps on this trajectory, Abel's happily ever after is what Kellan Ashby says it is and that HEA isn't with Jax. (Side note: Did anyone else pick up on the Kellan Ashby was John Teller's "spiritual advisor" in the SOA app? What is this guy? An Irish Catholic cult leader?) Mark my words, Abel is going to live to see the end of the season, but he'll never be crossing that pond. Now, that could change if Jax decides to MAN THE FUCK UP and get The Kid Back already. But something has to happen to trigger Jax's decision to pull up his big boy panties and just deal with the situation. 

But lest we think that the whole trip to Belfast has been a total bust, at least Chibs was reunited with his family. Oh ya'll I totally cried when the Chibs/Fiona/Kerrianne hug went down. So. Very. Touching. Of course it won't last for long and one of them is likely to end up dead, knowing this show.

I'm leaving out a lot here in the interest of catching up time but of course there were other interesting things going on in Belfast. Gemma is in despair and fear being separated from her family while in prison. All of the scenes with Gemma and Maureen were pure brilliance. And last but certainly not least: WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL JAX AND TRINITY BEFORE THEY KISS OR FUCK OR SHOWER TOGETHER OR SOMETHING. Okay, yes, I feel better now. But that whole situation is totally skeeving me out.

Meanwhile, back in Charming, there's a lot of story building going on so the Sons will have plenty awaiting them when they return from Belfast. Can I tell you how much I love the idea of Tara, Chuckie, Tig, Kozick, and Piney running Teller-Morrow Automotive while everyone is gone? Like that could be the best spin off sitcom.  Anyways, Tara and Lyla bond over differing degrees of secret babies and decisions about what to do about said secret babies. Lyla proves herself to be neither stupid nor naive--and a wee bit hilarious with the alias she gave the abortion clinic.  Jax (and Opie) can talk about old ladies and keeping them on the inside or the outside all they fucking want. Jax may want to do the noble, self sacrificing thing, but the fact of the matter is that they aren't they only ones making relationship decisions in this universe and thank God that Tara and Lyla are the ones making the decisions.

Finally, we got a glimpse into the dynamics of the Tig/Kozick relationship. Apparently their fued is over a woman that Tig love 8 years ago. And that he thinks of her every day. Uh. I'm hoping that we don't actually ever meet this woman because that bit of knowledge is terrifying.

There was a lot more that happened in Charming--Jacob Hale, Salazar, Unser, Margaret at St. Rednecks--but I'm just going to leave things here for now. Your thoughts? The comments section awaits....

As always, a very special thanks to @amonmich for the screen caps. Go check out her blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sons of Anarchy Polls for Lochan Mor

I'm notoriously bad at predicting what will happen on Sons of Anarchy but SAMCRO's upcoming arrival in Belfast got me wondering what a couple of our favorite characters might expect when they roll into town. 

First off, Jax is going to have to find out about Trinity. Right? RIGHT? It only leaves me to wonder...

Second, Chibs. Oh, dear Chibs. I hope he gets the chance to give Jimmy O the a Glasgow smile. Regardless, Chibs has been banned from Belfast, leading me to wonder....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sit Up Straight and Spit Out Your Gum! The Pope is Watching!

I rarely look at my blog stats - perhaps once a week. Frankly my ego is too fraglie and if people stop reading I might just cry. Well, that might be an exaggeration but traffic is pretty predictable and I know people are reading so I'm not too concerned about specifics.

Unless there is a particularly interesting statistic that catches my eye when I actually do look at my traffic stats.  Say if someone from Vatican City was googling "Irish priest" and came across my blog. That would be interesting, wouldn't it? Well, lookie here...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Of course there would be some lowly priest in the Vatican googling his time away trying to find out what bloggers might be writing about Irish priests. Because... well... duh. But then I got to wondering, doesn't the Catholic Church have souls to save or something? Shouldn't they be reaching out to lapsed Catholics (like yours truly) instead of running lame google searches to find out what people are writing about priests? Or maybe feeding the hungry? Or something other than spending time on Google? Just sayin.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 7 Widening Gyre, Recap

Previously on As the Harley Rumbles, Jax was a shit and made a deal with the devil, Tara was preggers, and SAMCRO made peace with the Mayans.

Widening Gyre is the story of SAMCRO intrigue. Oh, and SAMCRO getting their mojo back and THANK GOD because all of the unease and uncertainty from the previous 6 episodes were sending me on the fast track to klonopin-influenced television watching. Windening Gyre delivered on its promise of showing us the further deepening vortex of bad shit that SAMCRO is stuck in.

The SAMCRO/Mayan/Grim Bastards/Calaveras revenge negotiations for the particularly gruesome death a of Grim Bastard were brilliant for two reasons. First, we got to see the dynamics of the alliance with the Mayans work. And quick like. It was great to see SAMCRO on sure footing in how they would deal with the situation of bringing Alvarez into the look while keeping TO from the Grim Bastards satisfied. The uncertainty that SAMCRO had in the immediate wake after The Kid was kidnapped seems to have dissipated. Second, not killing Salazar seems like an obvious way to set up the future, possible ramifications of the peace deal. I wonder if the decision was left to Clay, which member of that bullshit MC would have had his brains splattered across a bank of urinals. If given a second to think, I suspect Salazar wouldn't have walked out of the pisser. Instead, TO jumped the gun and took out the obvious fall guy for the multiple gunshot and then 12 inch chef's knife in the back of the skull killing of a brother. Salazzar and his girlfriend are hot on Tara's heels. Oh noes! What can this mean for Pinky!*

(*Pinky is what I've decided to call the seed of Tarjaxa because I can't bring myself to call if Cain. Plus, I  feel pretty confident that it's a girl.)

The whole sequence of moving all of the members of SAMCRO into place to get them on the plane to fly to Manchester felt very much like a great caper movie. Gemma was side-dealing with Tara to escape via ice bath (shiver). The were guys planning their itinerary and deciding what to wear and what to pack. Finally, and fabulously, Tig leading the cops away from Gemma, Jax, and Clay in the great escape with such genuine outlaw glee.  Everyone was healthy, rosy cheeked, and ready for the adventure because SAMCRO was doing what it does best -- acting rather than wallowing. Noticed no one has called Gemma crazy in a few episodes now? Notice how Jax no longer has those hellacious bags under his eyes? Tig has a spring in his step and Opie is fully engaged with his bromance with Jax.

But with all of this said, SAMCRO is going to need every bit of their mojo that they've reclaimed for what awaits them in Belfast. On the SAMBELL front, McGee and Liam are apparently in cahoots with Jimmy O, signaling SAMCRO's arrival. The good, frightening, Father Ashby is holding down the fort at Maureen's house with getting care for the young kid who suffered from collateral damage. Then there's Fiona who is friends enough to be on a clothes sharing basis with Maureen. Finona seems genuinely afraid of Jimmy, doesn't she? I suppose whether she is afraid of him for political/philosophical reasons or for actual personal saftey reasons remains to be seem. KerrieAnne seemed so despondent that it made me even more anxious for Chibs to arrive to see what their relationship is like.

As far as I can tell, this is what the relationships look like to me.

I think that John Teller is one missing piece to this whole puzzle but so is the relationship between SAMBELL and Jimmy O. What's their vested interest in all of this? Why would the scuttle their relationship with their brothers in Charming for Jimmy O's arms game?

But while all this is going on, there's the undercurrent of Ideal Characteristics for Old Lady (TM) thread that runs through this episode. We open with the aftermath of Jax fucking Ima to hurt/protect/alienate/Edward Cullen-ize Tara. Yes, my dear readers it's the "I love you so much that I have to hurt you to protect you" trope. Needless to say that I'm not a huge fan of this but it was explained, rationalized, and defended with sufficient care so as not to make us feel like Tara had been completely abused. Even better? Tara's not buying Jax's line of bullshit. Like at all. She's audi and might even exercise her right to choose. Tara and Gemma will always be BFFs forevahhhhhhhhhh and I fully endorse their friendship.  Didn't you totally want to be in a Gemma and Tara sandwich when the embraced at the end of The Great Gemma Escape?

Finally, in all of this Tarjaxa skank-assed-ho-meets-covert-baby-mama-drama, Opie proves that he is his father's son with the plethora of great one-liners he rattles off about the ramifications of porn pussy. Although none of the high-traffic vajayjay concerns actually apply to him. And, Opie swoon hair down.

Bits and pieces

  • I want Chuckie to serve me coffee every morning.
  • Happy is going to Belfast!
  • Margaret Murphy is totally Tara's Unser and I luv her.
  • Unser, what happened to you? I'm glad you found your ethics but it seemed to be at a very inconvenient time. 
  • Where's Darby?
  • Gemma telling Margaret Murphy that they can't get involved in Jax and Tara's relationship was LOL-lariously hypocritical. 
  • So Trinity is Jax's half sister. No big shocker there.
  • I love Maureen more and more with every episode. 
  • What was Lyla going to tell Opie? I have a feeling it wasn't good.
  • Also, I'm totally in love with Lyla for giving That Skank Ho a serious smack.
All of the screen caps in this post are from Bobby Elivs' Bake Sale, a great site run by @amonmich. Go check out her excellent SOA caps and follow her on twitter while you're at it.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Weekend Marathon?

    So, The LSH (Also known as @Angry_Traveler) is going to be away on a boys weekend in Kiawah pretending to like playing golf with his fellow consulting nerds. He'll be gone from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. Aside from my niece's third birthday party on Saturday (yes, there will be a bouncy castle, yes, I am totally getting in it, and yes, there will be pictures), I am completely free for the weekend. My plans? Marathon tv series viewing/catch up.

    Now this is where ya'll come in. What should I watch? Here's what I am considering:

    1. The Wire - I'm half way through Season 1, so I'd hope to get through seasons 2 and 3 
    2. Friday Night Lights - Haven't watched any of it.
    3. The Shield - Much like The Wire, I'm half way through Season 1.
    4. Something else?
    Sound off in the comments section...

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 7, Widening Gyre Preview

    I'm not going to be able to get to a full recap of The Push this week because frankly I'm burnt out from wiring about people losing everything they own in a disaster other shit that has nothing to do with television. Also: I've got something special related to Sons of Anarchy in the works that may or may not have something to do with a blog post I wrote a year ago.

    In the meantime, since I didn't write a recap, you should go check out Mo Ryan's review of The Push because that is what I'd write if I were that smart and thoughtful.

    Looking forward to tomorrow night, I'm wondering what we have in store for Widening Gyre. We already know that a gyre, at least in the context of Sons of Anarchy, is an evil vortex of converging circumstances from hell. The episode description of Widening Gyre is totally unhelpful and totally vague:
    The Grim Bastards have a problem that could jeopardize Samcro's new business arrangements.
    If I were a betting woman, I'd put money on the show ending with SAMCRO barely making it to wheels up on Onswald's cargo plane. Take a looksee at the clip:

    The photos (from FX via Daemon's TV) look like we're going to see some of the Belfast characters in this episode too. Kerrieanne is a beuaty, isn't she? Jimmy O was right (shudder). More photos after the jump.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Sons of Anarchy - The Push

    It's going to take me until the weekend to write a full recap of Sons of Anarchy, 3.06 The Push (grrrr real life work demands) but in the meantime, here are some initial thoughts:

    • Take note, Jax: true love is standing in the bathroom talking to your wife while she takes a leak.
    • The deal with the Mayans seemed almost too easy. There has got to be a catch.
    • Gemma is going along with Jax and Stahl's plan. For now. 
    • I think Stahl set up her girlfriend/colleague on purpose. 
    • I could write volumes on why Jax's decisions in relationship issues lead me to have a tenuous grip on reality. Suffice it to say that I do think he loves Tara but I also think he has a bit of a madonna/whore complex going on -- in a way. He wants Tara to be good and save lives but he also wants her to know the full truth about his life in the MC. Jax is really wearing his indecision like a suit of armor, it keeps Tara close enough to suit him and the club but not so close that he genuinely has emotional intimacy with her. For now, I''ll echo Clay's "Don't make things more complicated than then need to be" and leave it at that. THANK GOD SOMEONE SAID THAT TO JAX. 
    • This season is testing my bullshit meter in terms of the plausibility of certain plot devices. Doesn't anyone in SAMCRO have a credit card? Or a passport? Why has it been so hard for them to do seemingly basic things like get a telephone number? I've got to assume that at least Tara has an Amex card she could buy plane tickets with. Right? 
    • I kinda think Kozick is a rat. Tig's "You can't trust him" seemed prophetic.
    • Opie No Hat! Again!
    Overall, another fantastic episode. More to come this weekend.

    Monday, October 11, 2010


    Last week marked my one year anniversary of blogging and recapping Sons of Anarchy. In early posts when I would refer to my "dear three readers," I wasn't joking. In October 2009 during my first full month of blogging I had 76 visitors total and a year later I had 3,245 visitors in September 2010. Kind of crazy, isn't it? Initially I started this blog to entertain myself, to have an outlet for my Sons of Anarchy obsession, and to give myself a writing outlet that didn't involve operationalizing variables or standard deviations. What I have gotten out of this blog has been so much more. I've made great friends, become a part of the SOA fan community, and had a lot of fun in the process.

    I just want to say thanks. Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and thanks for helping me to realize that I'm not the only one SOAOCD (Sons of Anarchy Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

    Now, on to another year!

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Sons of Anarchy: What is a Widening Gyre?

    If you've been asking yourself, what is a widening gyre and what the hell does it have to do with Sons of Anarchy, you're not alone. My SAT vocabulary went right out of my head as soon as I finished taking the exam. A bit of Googling reveals that a gyre is a vortex that usually occurs in nature like a cyclone, hurricane, or an ocean gyre (that swirly thing in the middle of the picture above). It seems to me that for Sons of Anarchy, the widening gyre is this perfect storm of Abel's abduction, problems with the Irish, relationship problems for Jax and Tara's tru lurv, the brewing problems with the Mayans, and the people of Charming turning on SAMCRO. When you add it all up, how much worse could it get? Much worse, I'm sure. 

    But wait! There's more. And it's literary. Apparently Kurt Sutter has been reading Yeats. W. B. Yeats wrote The Second Coming in 1919 that essentially a post-apocalyptic view of the world in advance of the second coming. Sure he wrote it as an allegory for post-war Europe but read it's much more fun to read it in the context of Sons of Anarchy--particularly because the previous episode was titled Turning and Turning. Take a gander for yourself: 

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre 
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity. 
    Surely some revelation is at hand; 
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand. 
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man, 
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, 
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. 
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, 
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    At first glance anarchy loosed on the world suggests that SAMCRO is going to Ireland. The bloody tide means that this vortex of violence, consequences, and revenge is going to be deadly. Innocence gone? Perhaps this suggests that Jax will no longer idolize John Teller after he gets a more realistic picture of the man. The good losing their conviction and the bad are strong and willful--does this mean that SAMCRO's enemies might triumph this time? 

    What do ya'll think? The comments section awaits. 

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 5, Turning and Turning Recap

    Previously on Sons of Anarchy As the Harley Rumbles, Jax was a shit, Gemma FINALLY found out about Abel, and Piney was awesome. During Turning and Turning, things certainly didn't get any better for anyone in or connected to SAMCRO.

    I don't know about ya'll but this season fills me with a sense of uneasiness. With every episode and every plot point, I feel a growing sense of uncertainty for the characters that I love and what terrible thing might happen to them in every scene. And I'm okay with itAlthough, it does make me feel like an idiot to have gotten so excited all day Tuesday only to feel like my heart has been ripped out at 11:00 pm that night. Why is Sons of Anarchy shaping up the way it has? I've boiled it down to this: either Kurt Sutter wants us to feel the same uncertainty that the characters are feeling or he wants to see if we'll follow the characters into the abyss of violence, anger and manipulation to see what things look like on the other side. Either way, I'm in. Now, on to the recap! In many ways, Turning and Turning was all about secrets--keeping secrets, revealing secrets, and creating new secrets.

    We open at St. Rednecks where Gemma is recovering from her not-heart attack while simultaneously in custody because of her not-surrender to the ATF. And wouldn't you know it, the Beautiful Queen of Bikers is pissed that everyone lied to her about The Kid for trying to protect themselves from her wrath. But now that everyone finally knows that Sweet Baby Abel is in Belfast thank God because that only took 5 bloody episodes, what stones might get unturned when Jax shows up? Gemma and Clay looked more than concerned, didn't they? What secret are the keeping from Jax? I'm guessing that Trinity will be the tip of the iceberg. 

    Gemma and Tara have a moment and it's not a happy one nor is it badass. It's painful and cruel. The first time I watched it, I thought OMFGWTF how could Gemma do that to Tara. But, when I watched the scene a second time, I read Gemma's "Nothing you could have done about that? What if it was your baby? Your flesh and blood?" as cruel, yes but also coming from a deep well of pain that Gemma has from being away from her family and being lied to. Perhaps in their closeness, Gemma felt that she could lash out at Tara because the good doctor is in it for the long haul. After all, Gemma did say that Tara being pregnant was good for now but didn't elaborate because she couldn't influence Jax chained to a hospital bed. (Ut-oh. I think I'm a Gemma apologist.) 

    I think when Tara broke down and started crying, Gemma knew why she didn't take a bullet or do more to stop old Cammie Hayes. Pregnant. Yeap. Pregnant. Tara isn't going to be able to keep that secret for very long, is she? I can't really decided whether Tara got herself knocked up on purpose or not. Condoms break and the pill is only 99% effective. However, Tara is a smart girl so she knows the formula for getting pregnant (knocked up = ovulation + hot sexy times with jax - birth control). I'm not convinced either way. What about ya'll? There's a poll up at the top right hand side of the page, now go cast your vote.  

    Yay! Finally! Juice gets some screen time...
    only to get his cut stolen and the shit beat out of him.
    Meanwhile, Bobby-Elvis, Juice, Tig go out to sell their accumulated roids at Lumpy's Boxing Club where there seems to be some crafty developer at work buying up old parcels so he can put in a Pottery Barn, Starbucks, Williams Sonoma, and Banana Republic. Things are not good, yo. The enemy is battering the walls of Castle Elsinore. And then shit gets worse when the boys go to sell Adderall to the Chicken Man when Juice gets jacked by the Calaveras. (Psssst. Hey, hook a sister up and sell that it me! It's a performance enhancing drug in academia. I shit you not.)

    At least the picture of Chuckie is nice. He looks happy, no?
    Their solution? Infiltrate Mayan Janatorial Supply/Meth Cuttery of Doom with the help of Chuckie. Yay! I love Chuckie but why did he have to get beaten up in the process? I prefer my Chuckie happy and serving coffee and banana bread at the Crow's Nest. Or masturbating in front of customers at Teller-Morrow Automotive. Anyways, the Mayans are building up resources and facilities to run their dugs in right through Charming. Not. Good. Not good at all.

    Finally, over at ATF Bitchface's bland condo, Jax shows up with a present and a deal. He wants reduced gun charges for SAMCRO, a walk for Gemma, and The Kid back in exchange for his delivery of Jimmy O and his signed statement about Jimmy's involvement in the gun trade. I never knew snitch would suit Jax so well. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. I mean, what could go wrong when you rat out a business partner, all the while keeping it a secret from your Outlaw MC? I mean, there is nothing that could possibly go wrong with that deal. Because Sons of Anarchy never plays up the consequences of its characters bad decisions. Nope. Never, ever, ever.
    The thing is that Jax doesn't have very many options outside of striking this deal with Agent Bitchface. She's got Gemma cowed in a hospital bed, ready to cut a deal. The Sons are set to go away to jail for a while. And that's not to say that they won't go to jail anyways because they will. Sometimes the devil you know, is better than the devil you don't and Jax is trying to make the best of the situation. And the situation is dire. Shit just keeps getting worse and worse (see above: my growing uneasiness) Is this the right decision? Only time will tell. But whatever happens, you can bet that it's going to land on Jax -- good or bad. 

    Bits and Pieces
    • Stahl's line, "Hey, I'm in the room kids." was great. 
    • "Who's Maureen Ashby?" asked Jax. Darlin, you better sit your ass down for what's about to come next. 
    • I loved the way Clay cock blocked Unser when he came to pay Gemma a visit at the hospital. (Side note: it's a proud day when you need to search the Urban Dictionary to find out if it is cock block or cockblock)   
    • Trinity is a brat. Must run in the family.
    • Clay holding the mirror while Gemma plucks her eyebrows. As if we needed any more confirmation of who wears the pants in that relationship.
    • How much sugar did Jax put in that cup of coffee? I was expecting the stir stick to stand straight up when he put it in the cup.
    • I really want to see Chibs cut Jimmy O from ear to ear. Wouldn't that be poetic justice?
    • Tara's request for a leave was denied. I am so loving what they are doing with Hospital Administrator Bitchface that I might have to make up a new nickname for her.
    • What did Jax do with Luke's driver? Wouldn't he sound the alarm to Jimmy O in Belfast?
    As usual, the photos are from Bobby Elivs' Bake Sale so thanks to @amonmich for the images. 

    Also, also: don't forget to vote in the Did Tara Get Pregnant on Purpose Poll at the top, right side of the page.

        Sunday, October 3, 2010

        Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 4, Home Recap

        Previously on Sons of Anarchy, the Guatemalan Hottie met Bachman, Opie lost his marbles at the porn party, John Teller and Maureen Ashby might have had a love child, and Jax pissed me off.

        In this week's Sons of Anarchy... well... let's just deal with what went down in the basement. Jax thought it would be a good idea to remind Tara of her place in the SAMCRO pecking order which is apparently is nonexistent. He basically told her:

        1. You're not coming with because your place is at work.
        2. We're not your family
        3. You want to be an old lady? THEN DO AS YOU'RE TOLD.
        Jax may be right on the first point and Gemma actually came up with a well reasoned explanation as to why Tara should to remain in Charming. Someone needs to hold down the fort and take care of The Kid.

        And that is where all reasonableness ends. To say that Tara isn't a part of the family is just patently absurd. Tara has known and/or been involved with Jax on and off since she was a teenager. Tara is right, Abel is hers too. She has been caring for Sweet Baby Abel since he was born. It was Tara and Gemma babysitting, changing diapers, feeding him soy-based forumla, and dealing with his apnea. Where was The Prince of Charming in all of this? No where to be found. Jax isn't going to win any Father of The Year awards any time soon. He didn't even really seem to care when Wendy was pregnant or when Abel was in jeopardy right after his birth. Jax seems to be the only one to think that Tara isn't family. Gemma and Clay are on board Tara as family train.  

        For whatever reason, Tara wants to hold the family together. This clearly comes from page 38 of the Gemma Teller-Morrow Handbook on How To Be An Old Lady. But Jax, in spite of all of his talk and bombast, is (1) doing nothing beyond talking a big game about finding Abel and generally yelling at people and (2) allowing Abel's abduction to fracture his family. He should be lucky that he has his brothers in the MC who will back him up no matter what. He probably doesn't appreciate it or realize it because it's Jax's world ya'll and everyone else just lives in it. (See: Opie attending the porn party. Jax is fundamentally a bad friend for not stepping in and insulating his pal the MC's fundraising enterprise. And this isn't the first time Jax has been a bad friend.)

        Now let's deal with the DO AS YOU'RE TOLD. Or from here on out, referred to as the DAYT moment. Since Tara has been attending the Gemma Teller-Morrow School of Old Lady Training let's considering the following questions: Does Gemma do as she's told? Does Gemma fall in line like a subservient sheep? Have we ever seen Clay speak to Gemma like that. No, nope, and not on his life. And even if you take it outside of the Gemma-centric way of looking at things, the DAYT dictum seems a lot more consistent with a Croweater than it does an Old Lady.

        Jax, you're being a petulant little asshole. Wait. Correction. A hypocritical, petulant little asshole. Let me get this straight: it's totes okay for you to to help Tara kill Kohn, or to help Opie kill a guy who was wrongly fingered for killing Donna, or to gun down Weston in the shitter but it's not okay for Gemma and Tara to accidentally kill the Guatemalan hottie?

        That's it, Jax. This whole kidnapping is bringing out the absolute worst in you. I can hope for some sort of redemption by the end of the season but until then, I'm breaking up with you. And Tara should too.

        PS: Gemma finally found out about Abel. Jesus. It took 4 episodes for that to happen. And then it caused her to have a cliffhanger/maybe heart attach.

        PPS: I <3 Piney. And so does Honey.

        PPPS: Tig is my new hero for being exasperated by Gemma and Tara.

        Just like last week, the screen caps come courtesy of Bobby Elvis' Bake Sale 

        Thursday, September 30, 2010

        Shit Flooded Ya'll

         So, shit flooded last night. It's still raining. First, I explored the backyard. Ordinarily the black dog would be all over this because, he's a lab and he loves water but he was uncertain this morning...

        So rather than play in the water, he decided it would be a good idea to drink it. Meanwhile, the Yellow Dog decided it was time to run through our new pool like there was no tomorrow. 

        The Black Dog was still such a ninny that, he wouldn't leave me alone long enough to take a picture of how deep the water in our backyard actually is. So yes, my leg is in the picture somewhere and the water comes to mid-calf. 

        Elsewhere in the neighborhood, the lunatics who take care of their lawn as if it were a putting green were not immune to flooding overnight. See that line? That's a debris line, marking how high the flood waters came up onto their front yard.

        Here's a side street, overflowing drainage ditch with water spilling out into the street.

        This is from the street next to ours. It flooded out completely last night. See that nasty black line on the political sign? That's another debris line. Yes, the water came up that high.

         Ah, good times.

        Wednesday, September 29, 2010

        Hey Kayteadee, Where's the Sons of Anarchy Recap?

        So, I have a big deadline. And shit is actually happening with my dissertation -- but in a good way. And I have 75 papers to grade. And my backyard is flooding. My point is that the recap is coming but it will be delayed. I promise, it's coming....probably some time over the weekend.


        You can count on the recap being very Jax-centric. Because, apparently it's Jax's world and the rest of us just need to do as we're told. Grrr

        Also, also. I had a conversation with my father-in-law about the accents because he's from Dublin and has a good ear for those things, and he is Sons fan. I kind of love that in the past he has referred to the IRA shit and the people involved as "those idiots with bombs in the north" Anywho, the conversation went like this:

        Kayteadee: I have to ask. How do you feel about the accents on Sons of Anarchy?
        FiL Dee:  Pretty authentic but even I wish they provided subtitles. 
        There. Feel better now?

        Wednesday, September 22, 2010

        Sons of Anarchy, Season 3, Episode 3, Caregiver Recap

        Previously on As the Harley Rumbles, the use baby oil was invoked as the humane thing to do, Cammie Hayes made it back home only to face the most severe consequence for his actions, SAMCRO started getting a sense what the Mayans were up to, and none of us could understand the Irish accents.

        I'm particularly long-winded on this recap, so go to the bathroom, pop some popcorn, and tuck in. Overall, Caregiver was about fidelity. By fidelity, I mean loyalty and tests of loyalty. Caregiver opens with SAMCRO engaged in business with the Grim Bastards and they seem to be loyal to each other in a genuine way that serves their mutual self interests. In contrast Luke and his IRA connections are testing the old loyalty John Teller established for the MC in the gun running business. The whole soldier versus army line that Luke feeds SAMCRO makes it perfectly clear that the IRA's loyalty is to its own cause and not SAMCRO. But fidelity cuts both ways.

        In the aftermath of the drive-by, the loyalty of the town of Charming to SAMCRO is in question. Now that the violence of the MC has spilled over in the town, can you blame them? The Deputy Chief of Police gets killed, a kid gets shot, and that is to say nothing about the damage done to Chuckie. Oswald has to cut SAMCRO loose because of his political ambitions and it seems like they temporarily part ways in an amicable way. I wonder how long that will hold. With Oswald's land in jeopardy for development if he has to forfeit it if the Sons jump bail.

        Let's deal with Jax and his fidelity issues. We know Jax does shit without thinking and can be selfish and immature. He knows he does shit without thinking about the consequences. In spite of that, I generally root for Jax.  In the first episode of season 3, Piney tells Jax that he's loyal, he's good, and he wants the right things. That was true before Caregiver.  But after Caregiver? Not so much. All of that about being loyal, good, and wanting the right things seems to be falling away. Is it Jax's showing the true nature of his character? Or is this what having a missing child does to a person? So far his loyalty to himself seems to be winning out over his loyalty to anything or anyone else.

        What makes me think this? It's becoming clear that Jax is talking a good game about tracking down Abel but that hasn't translated into action. Jax tells everyone that he is going to find Abel but if it were so important to him, would he still be sitting around the bar having drinks with Opie in the club house? Would he really let a 3 day old lead to Vancouver grow cold? Would any father with a missing kid sit around drinking and bitching about his girlfriend instead of following down every lead? He says that he's motivated, all fired up to find Abel but his actions don't reflect that. He gets petulant with Luke the Irish guy but it just gets turned into a lot of pacing and sulking. He wants to do the right thing--find his son--but in classic Jax mode, he hasn't been working hard enough to DO the right thing. 

        Is he worried about his kid? Is he wondering who is taking care of kid? If the kid is well cared for? Nope -- or if he is thinking those things, it isn't showing. He's worried about Tara wanting to take a leave of absence and what her know-everything old lady status means for the longevity of their relationship. Alert: Jax is questioning the longevity of his relationship with Tara. Cue Ima. What Jax would have done if Juice hadn't opened that email from SAMBEL just then. I'm not one of these huge Jax/Tara obsessed people but Jax being good and loyal doesn't really jibe with wanting to nail a porn star while you're going through some shit with your girlfriend and your kid has been abducted. See Jax being loyal to himself makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

        Tara, in spite of her general dumbassery for cutting Amelia loose (Note: I find it hard to believe that Tara is really that stupid. She's been to the school of WWGD and taught by the mistress herself), has proven that if she's in for a penny with SAMCRO by being loyal to the club, then she's in it for a fucking pound. I'm starting to think that Tara is more loyal to club than Jax is because Jax is only loyal to himself. Did she not draw the line no truth/to pussy? Did she run away from the conversation with Jax about taking a leave of absence? Is she apologetic for defending the club and Gemma to Hospital Bitchface? Nope. She's all in, baby. Not without a barfing her guts out. More so than Jax has been with his petulant wavering. The only time we see Tara remotely waver is when she's barfing her guts out after the Guatemalan Hottie is killed/accidentally stabs her self.      

        Speaking of Tig's Guatemalan Hottie, the swift, efficiently way that Tig and Gemma decided to call the cleaner shouldn't have been surprising. Gemma had already done the logical heavy lifting to kill her: foreigner with no friends or family that the system wouldn't care about. Easy-peasey. 

        We haven't had a lot of information about the sexual fidelity between Gemma and John Teller but this week we got a pretty good idea. It seems as if Maureen and JT had a relationship. The good Father Ashby reminded Maureen that John Teller's family was in Charming. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?  Huuuuuuuuuuuuuh? His cruelty in pointing this out suggested there was something more than a simple fling between Marueen and JT. Could there be something more? Like a love child? Well, meet Trinity. A little simple math would put her around 18 or 19. Right around the time John Teller returned to Charming from Belfast. She could totally be Jax's half-sister, couldn't she? If this is true, do you think Gemma knows? 

        And finally Opie and his fidelity to Lyla. Obviously Opie has an old school notion of fidelity, meaning no one sticks their dick in my woman except for me. Lyla's notion of fidelity is somewhat different. She sees sex as a financial transaction while her heart is loyal to Opie. It nearly broke my heart when Opie told Lyla that he didn't want her to end up sad. (Brilliant acting by Ryan Hurst) But what did Opie mean? Sad like him? Sad like Donna was? But this little bit of dialogue is telling about the depths of Opie and Lyla's relationship and it's fucking funny:
        Jax:  Looks like you guys are working things out
        Opie: I can never tell. Every time I try to talk to her we end up naked
        Bobby: Just marry her. That'll stop it.
        I just have one question: Why have we not seen any of this Opie nakedness? Whhhhhhyyyyyy? Anyways, I'm totallty Team Lyla at this point. She's might be a porn star, but she's a porn star with heart who calls Piney Pop and picks up the kids from school. But the lack of not talking about things is taking its toll on Opie. He loses his shit at the Chinese porn party. Who thought it would be a good idea for him to be there in the first place?

        Odds and Ends:

        • So the gun charges are still in play. For the price that SAMCRO is paying per hour, you'd think they'd challenge Charming's motion to revoke their bail based on double jeopardy. Moreover, why isn't their lawyer filing a motion to dismiss if the state's case has fallen apart? Just sayin.
        • A nice bit of continuity from season-to-season: the Sons are still running handguns in bedrolls for the IRA. 
        • Stephen King was brilliantly creepy and hilarious as the cleaner. From the 80's music to taking the gilded praying hands to feeling up the then-dead Amelia (and you know Tig was jealous). everything. It was a perfect mix of good writing and credible stunt casting that fit with the plot.
        • Why does Jacob Hale dress like Rodney Dangerfield? Cheap suit, loose tie, slightly sweaty. 
        • Katey Sagal + Hal Holbrook = Amazing. 
        • Gemma's stupid bitch line. Referring to herself. 
        • Cherry! But why was she wearing a lederhosen/diaper thing?
        • How does Gemma's BlackBerry still have a charge? 
        • Still needs more Juice.
        Just like last week, the screen caps come courtesy of Bobby Elvis' Bake Sale 

        What did ya'll think of this week's episode? Also: GEMMA STILL DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT ABEL. ZOMG. HOW LONG ARE THEY GOING TO DRAG THIS OUT?