Lots of loose ends get tied up in tonight's Sons. The two Irish Sons who had betrayed the club for Jimmy's orders finally got what was coming to them; Maureen and Gemma finally told Jax and Trinity they were related (and it was a near thing, too); and Father Kellan finally told Jax where he'd "hidden" Abel. Funny thing is, the good father wasn't just hiding the baby to manipulate SAMCRO—he honestly, sincerely, thinks the child would be better off in the hands of a different family. After the bloodshed and misery of this season, it's easy to see Jax wondering if maybe the man isn't right. After everything we've seen, I'm not sure I could tell you he's wrong.
Much thanks to Noel for covering for me last week. It's always great to get a different perspective on this show, because this late in the season, it can be difficult to pull back and see things from any perspective beyond "and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened." My faith in Sons has been tested somewhat this year, partly because of the baggage commenters have accused me of carrying (when this show is rocking, I don't get worried about the small stuff, but when it loses focus, I start thinking too much), and partly because, like Noel, I miss the rush of last season. The complicated relationship that SAMCRO has with its Irish brethren has dramatic potential, but it's also a mire of strange faces and uncertain connections that can draw energy away from the series' greatest strength: its wild, pulpy intensity. Sons is at its finest when its emotions are over-sized, positive or negative, and the storylines we've followed this fall have been more about erosion and complication—not a bad direction, but one that resulted in an apparent mid-season sag.
"Firinne" got us back onto a more immediately thrilling track, which is a good thing, seeing as how the season finale hits in two episodes. Taking care of O'Neill and McGee helped cut down on the ensemble, while giving us a strong reminder of how dangerous being a member of the Sons is and how unwilling any of them are to forgive betrayal. (This seems especially relevant, consider all the calls Jax made to Stahl last week.) The torture sequence was appropriately squirm-inducing. It's not the most shocking the series has ever been, but the sight of Sean using the pliers on Liam's wounded flesh probably won't leave my head for a while. McGee's exit was less about carnage and more about loss; there was some nice acting from Ron Perlman and the almost casual shove off the roof was an appropriate end for the character.
While all this craziness went down, Charming had its own share of problems. Salazar has Tara and Margaret (who finally got a backstory this episode that nearly justified her baffling character shifts), and he puts a call into the Sons still in town, demanding they kill and rob Alvarez. I'm still not entirely sure how this is going to play out, although I'm betting somebody will die. This leads, indirectly, to Father Kellan's big scene. Jax gives him the proof he demands of Jimmy's betrayal, but when they take that proof to the IRA, the Sons are no longer in on the loop. When Jax confronts Kellan directly, Kellan explains that he is trying to obey John Teller's wishes. Teller never wanted the gang life for his son, but he failed to protect Jax from the club. Abel, though, provides a chance to try again. By putting the baby with people who have nothing to do with the Sons or their history of violence (lots of carnage in the past few weeks, precious little of it for the better of anybody), Kellan thinks he can do right by a dead friend.
This was not a confession I saw coming, but it throws Kellan's actions into clearer focus, and it even draws to together some of ideas that have been running through this season. We want to see Jax and Abel reunited, because we like Jax, and that's the story we're expecting. It could very well be the story we're watching, still. But it's impossible to completely dismiss what Kellan says, since there hasn't been a lot of good news for any of heroes for a long time now. There is a very real possibility that Jax will never see his boy again, or if he does, he may abandon the child to a potentially better life. The question is still "How do we save this child?" It's just that the answer may not be what anyone was hoping for.
- Thank God Gemma and Maureen interrupted Jax and Trinity when they did. So there's one thing we don't have to worry about anymore.
- Fun Fact: A video taped confession is proof enough for the IRA, even if the confessor is obviously under duress. I mean, just in case you were planning anything.
- "I need smokes." "I need whiskey." "I need a new life."
- I don't buy Jax saying "You filthy Judas." I buy that he'd be pissed, but the language seems too formal in the moment.