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