Recap: ‘Sons of Anarchy’: Meeting Mr. Mayhem
I’m not quite sure why FX decided to air a new episode of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ last night amidst the hullabaloo of the 2012 presidential election, but they did. Maybe they figured the typical ‘SOA’ fan isn’t the same person who’d spend the hours between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. glued to election coverage, I don’t know.
But the numbers, unsurprisingly, were not as high as last week’s episode, which earned a 2.5 rating amongst 18-49 year olds and was tied with NBA basketball for the number one cable program of the evening. Last night’s episode, “Andare Pescare,” was down 15% and earned a 2.1 rating.
I, of course, was one of those people who switched over to FX from CNN and MSNBC when the clock struck 10 PM, and I’m eager to see who else did. Because once again, a lot of shit went down in Charming (and Tahoe) last night and I’m dying to discuss it with you guys.
Last week’s episode was a turning point in the season and it really set up the events that would eventually transpire this week. In “Ablation” we learned that Jax is not above using his disgraced mother in order to get what he wants, and we learned that Frankie Diamonds has taken off with a bundle of Nero’s cash.
This week we saw that after giving Chibs a good crack to the skull (one that required the use of staples), Frankie took off for Tahoe where he bought himself some mob protection with Nero’s cash. He was hiding out in a cabin of Leo Pirelli’s until he could make his way out of the country.
After getting word of this new development, the club voted to kill Frankie, or as they put it, let him meet Mr. Mayhem. And though the vote was unanimous, as soon as Jax shut the doors to the chapel, he and Bobby immediately devised a new plan to find out what Frankie knew about Clay and the home invasions and then agreed to hand him over to Roosevelt in exchange for information about the rat he said was in their midst.
In case you weren’t around this site last season, I lost several nights’ sleep over whether or not Juice would perish in season four. When the branch from which he tried to hang himself broke, I let out the largest sigh of relief. My anxiety levels immediately returned to their normal state – still elevated, but not quite so much as to give me real reason to worry. I knew that when the RICO storyline was benched but Juice turning rat wasn’t resolved that we’d be revisiting this particular story this season.
So when Roosevelt told Jax in last week’s episode that he’d give him the rat, my anxiety levels skyrocketed. I’d secretly been hoping that this would be one of those storylines that is mysteriously dropped and never revisited like every single story ever told on ‘Glee.’ But this is ‘SOA’ and anything Kurt Sutter writes and is involved with is a bajillion times better than the trash that Ryan Murphy puts out. So it was more or less like someone had hit a pause button at the end of season four and we’re just now unpausing it.
And though the episode ended in a way that made the end of Juice look inevitable, I’m still not convinced that he won’t get out alive. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself.
While waiting to get out of the country, Frankie was holed up at the cabin being watched by one of Pirelli’s men. But after said guard received a call from Pirelli, he started pushing Frankie on just how much money he had. Frankie, who’d been growing increasingly anxious and afraid with every passing moment, reacts poorly and ends up putting a couple of bullets in the man. He’s attempting to flee the scene when Clay and Juice arrive at the cabin – Clay had conveniently received a call regarding Frankie’s whereabouts just as the rest of the crew headed out for Pirelli’s.
Frankie, in an attempt to save his own life, told Juice that Clay was behind the home invasions and that he could prove it because they’d returned to him the legal documents that had been in the safe taken from Clay and Gemma’s house. Legal documents like their marriage license and Jax and Thomas’ birth certificates.
But before Juice could process what that information might mean, Clay placed a rock on the van’s gas pedal and set it hurtling toward the cabin, which caused an explosion upon impact that could be seen from the road, which Jax, the rest of the Club and Pirelli’s gang just happened to be on. Clay is ready to off Frankie, but Jax and the rest of the club arrive just in time. It looks as if Jax and Bobby’s plan will work out, but once Pirelli arrives on the scene and sees his man is dead, he wastes no time putting several bullets in poor ol’ Frankie Diamonds. Rest in peace, bro.
While Clay sees this as tying up the last loose end without even having to get his own arthritic hands dirty, Jax sees it as something else entirely. Jax needed Frankie alive so he could corroborate the evidence that Clay was the man pulling the strings in the home invasions. With Frankie dead, he no longer has anyone to come forward against Clay and he doesn’t have anyone he can turn over to Roosevelt in return for information on the rat.
But none of that matters because Jax has already deduced that Juice, a man who tried to hang himself not that long ago, was the rat. By a simple process of elimination he concluded that most of the men would rip out their own hearts before they’d give up information on the club. He also knew that several members had nothing to gain by working with the Feds. Jax realized that the only man left standing was my sweet baby Juice. The episode ends on another cliffhanger as a stone-faced Jax trails Juice as he leaves Clay’s house.
But before I start having another panic attack like I did last night, I’ve had some time to process what happened in this episode and I have a number of reasons as to why I don’t believe Juice will be meeting the business end of Skeeter’s furnace anytime soon.
The first reason is simple: we’ve already had one significant death this season (Opie) and I’m pretty certain that we’ll be losing another before season’s end (Clay); I don’t really see Sutter offing another fan favorite at this point in time. If he kills Juice, SAMCRO with be left with very small numbers (Jax, Bobby, Chibs, Tig, Happy, Filthy Phil) and will be unable to conduct most of their business.
Two: although it was one of the most uncomfortable scenes to have happened on this show (right up there with Jax and Tara having sex as Kohn’s body cooled nearby and Opie’s graphic and gruesome death scene), I think Tara’s visit to Otto this week was successful. I think Otto will probably end up recanting his story, thus making the RICO case go away. With the Feds off their back, I think Juice might be able to get by with a punishment less than death.
Three: Juice is the only person who knows about the legal documents from Clay’s safe. He can use that information to bargain for his life. How quickly Juice will connect the dots between Frankie, the documents and Clay, I’m not certain. We know Juice isn’t the smartest member of SAMCRO, but I have faith that he’ll figure it out and he’ll be able to hand over Clay on a silver platter, thus securing his own life.
Some stray observations:
- Gemma was forced to make a tough decision this week in regards to her family. She either had to choose her own chance at happiness with Nero – and the two shared as sweet a scene as one can while breaking into a mausoleum to lay to rest the woman who killed herself in front of you – or she had to choose her family. I’m still a little uncertain as to how she’s really going to play this, but right now it looks as if she’s chosen her family. She wants to regain Jax and Tara’s trust so she can still be in her grandsons’ lives, so she cozies up to Clay by episode end, offering to shoot up his arthritic hands. It will be interesting to see how this story pans out during the rest of the season.
- Tara’s gone off the deep end, guys. After her uncomfortable scene with Otto while she was wearing Luann’s perfume, she put it on again after her shower. I don’t know what’s going on in that head of hers, but it ain’t pretty. Maybe it’s because she’s finally referring to herself as an Old Lady.
Note: Photo courtesy of FX.