Recap: This week on ‘Sons of Anarchy’: Kurt Sutter proves, once again, that I know absolutely nothing
Well color me stupid.
Last week I wrote that I didn’t think Clay was behind the home invasions because of how insanely risky (and stupid) it would be to the club. I gave Clay too much credit, apparently, because it was revealed this week – after Rita Roosevelt died from her wounds sustained during last week’s home invasion – that he actually is the puppet master behind the break-ins.
One would think that a man who had the balls and the smarts to pull off one of the greatest capers of all time – successfully usurp the SAMCRO throne by killing the president in a staged accident, then marry his widow and run his club for any number of years – that he’d have had the foresight to see this coming, but no.
It was only a matter of time before something went wrong. Breaking into random houses in Charming is one thing, but breaking into the home of the sheriff? As if his wife wouldn’t know how to use a gun or be trained in self-defense? Did I miss something? Did Opie actually shoot Clay in the head? Because none of this makes sense. And yet, at the same time, it makes perfect sense.
This is just another in a long line of problems I’ve had with ‘Sons of Anarchy’ these past two seasons, and instead of rectifying or fixing the problems, Kurt Sutter just seems to be magnifying them.
Clay has regressed in terms of humanity and intelligence. He started out a wily son of a bitch who made some terrible and questionable calls (including the one that eventually ended with Donna dead), but his relationship with Gemma seemed to humanize him a bit. His marriage and love for Gemma was the one thing that made you look at Clay and go, “Well, he could be worse, I guess.”
But over the course of the next three seasons, Clay traveled along a bumpy path full of bad decisions and ill planning until he ultimately ended up as a shadow of his former self in season four.
Clay became greedy and desperate in season four. He made bad decision after bad decision in order to save his own ass and to cover up his crimes. He killed Piney to keep him quiet and he ordered a hit on Tara because he thought she was a threat. The season culminated with Clay’s beating of Gemma after she confronted him regarding the hit.
And if Sutter had pulled the trigger and killed Clay at the end of season four, I’d have praised him and the story of Clay Morrow. But he didn’t. And it’s for this reason that I take extreme issue with Clay this season.
The Clay Morrow of season one would have been able to see far enough into the future to realize that making the club look weak under Jax’s presidency was not only going to hurt Jax, but it was going to blowback on the club and hurt everyone involved. And he definitely wouldn’t have trusted newly patched over members from the Nomad charter to do his dirty work. I just don’t see how Kurt Sutter will ever be able to right this story. Clay has to die and he has to die at the hand of the son this season. There’s no redemption arc for Clay. And as far as I’m concerned, Clay’s time on ‘SOA’ expired a long time ago.
My second problem with this season is that Gemma, even more so than Clay, has gone completely batshit crazy stupid. The Gemma Teller Morrow we met in the early seasons was tough as nails. She was calculating and manipulative, but she wasn’t the cartoon villain that she has been this season.
Gemma has always been able to twist words and manipulate people to do her bidding – the most obvious example of this being Unser – but she usually had good reason (well, good reason according to Gemma, anyway). This season she just seems to be pissed off and so she acts out to get attention.
I think I get it. I think they want us to believe that Gemma is lost. That she feels as if she’s been pushed out as Queen of SAMCRO since Jax took over as president. But my problem with that is that Jax becoming president is what Gemma always wanted. Granted, she wanted him to be president while she pulled the strings behind the scenes, and I don’t think she even calculated Tara into the equation either, but she still has her son at the head of the table. And regardless of the circumstances that set that in motion, Gemma has become a one-note character this season.
The one thing Gemma has going for her that Clay does not, is that she’s still salvageable. Gemma can be redeemed – and she’s made some progress already. She and Tara are slowly mending fences (and I’ll admit that Tara has been as much of an obstacle to this progress as Gemma this season) and the air feels lighter already because of it. We’re only halfway through the season though, so we’ll see where we end up after the season finale airs.
My hope is that by the time the credits role on the last episode of the season Clay will be dead, Jax and Tara will be secure in their roles as the leaders of SAMCRO and Gemma will have stopped making terrible decisions. Terrible decisions, like, I don’t know, goading her daughter-in-law into beating a woman so severely that she returns to exact revenge and ultimately kills herself in Gemma’s bedroom.
Some stray thoughts/observations/plot points from tonight’s episode:
- Jax exacted revenge against the prison guard responsible for Opie’s gruesome death by bludgeoning him to death with a snowglobe. In other news, I’m in the business of unloading every snowglobe I own. Any takers?
- Tig, meanwhile, releases some of his own guilt by killing the wife of the prison guard. I imagine that Opie’s death has been weighing pretty heavily on him.
- Clay is well enough that he doesn’t need his oxygen tank anymore, but he still wears it – probably so he can lull Jax into a false sense of complacency and then spring on him when the opportune moment presents itself.
- Tara met with Otto in prison but he refuses to change his statement and so the RICO case is still only stalled.
- Unser finally called Gemma out on all of her bullshit – about how she constantly manipulates his feelings for her in order to get him to do her bidding. Way to go, Unser. So happy you found your balls, old man.
- Roosevelt runs Bobby off the road as he is convinced that SAMCRO is behind the home invasions. Jax assures him that isn’t the case. I foresee a split in the club in which Jax works with Roosevelt to bring Clay and the other members to justice.
- Jax is digging the club even deeper into the drug pit by agreeing to mule more drugs from the Cartel so Damon Pope can push them east and thus double their cash intake. This can only mean one thing: shit is about to hit the proverbial fan y’all.
That’s is for this week. What did you guys think? Do you find yourself having the same issues with Clay and Gemma? How long do you think it will take for Roosevelt (and Jax) to figure out Clay is behind the break-ins? And for the love of God, when will we get more shirtless Theo Rossi?
Note: Photo courtesy of FX.