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Sons Of Anarchy: "Potlatch"

Illustration for article titled Sons Of Anarchy: "Potlatch"
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Tig is a bad dude. Kim Coates always seems three days into a bender even in his good guy roles, and as the man who does Clay's dirty work, he's all dirty jokes, trigger temper, and hard stares. But he's likable, too, and not just because of how much ass he's able to kick. This is a guy who murdered a woman in cold blood—sure, he did it without knowing who he was killing, but it was still murder, and he's still responsible for what happened. But seeing him get torn up about it, to the point where he steps in and saves the life of a two-fingered sexual deviant, and seeing him try and hold things together, makes him as sympathetic as everybody else in the Sons.

That's one of the reasons the blow-up tonight was so painful (and, let's face it, exciting) to watch. Because if Sons can generate sympathy for a man who left two kids without a mother, it can find sympathy for everyone else in the club, and that means the fight that's been building the whole season—the fight that didn't get resolved when Jax and Clay went at each other in lock-up, the fight that's still coming even after Gemma smashes a serving dish to try and snap everyone out of it—is going to be nasty. There's gonna be some serious scarring in the days ahead. Hell, even Bobby, preacher of peace, was shoving people around tonight.

It made for a sad contrast too, between his calm, rational attempts to get to the bottom of the Clay and Jax conflict, talking with the other guys, stressing how dangerous the situation is, and his flare up fury at Tig in Gemma's dining room. I didn't really see that coming, but it makes sense. SAMCRO is made up of guys who have to be ready to use violence to solve problems, who are encouraged to let their tempers fix any dangerous situation. Being Mr. Rogers in a group like that would wear you down, and while Bobby has got a few more years under his belt than most of the crew, and he's clearly learned from those years, he's got a temper just like the rest of them. He wouldn't have lived this long if he didn't.

That temper works to undermine the club in other ways as well. When Tara points out her boss to Gemma, I figured we were about to see some kind of smack-down; I was kind of hoping for it, really. Instead, Gemma threatens the boss off-screen, and Tara gets slapped with a hostile working environment slip. Tara is pissed about Gemma taking steps, but really, what did she think was going to happen? You take someone like Gemma, you point at a person and say, "This is the cause of our problems," you're basically asking her to do what she does best, and what she does isn't very nice. Tara still doesn't seem to realize that she isn't going to be able maintain a "normal" life while staying with Jax, and instead of trying to deal with that, she just gets angry, like everybody else does.

Zobelle is clearly very sharp—he's now got the Irish and the Mayans with him. But I think he's also a lucky bastard, because one of the reasons his plans are working well so far is that the club was just waiting for an excuse to tear itself apart from the inside. Donna's murder turned Jax's passion for his dead father's dreams from a fantasy into a goal, but like Tara tells him at the start of the episode, he's got to start changing some habits if he wants to do good by the club he loves so completely. Because so far, he's not doing so hot, and bad as that would be under normal circumstances, with Zobelle around, it could be fatal.

I've been waiting for the bodies to start dropping since the start of the season, but Luann's was a surprise. It had to happen—the Caruso sub-plot, while funny, needed to pay-off in some serious way—but man, it was harsh. And ugly. Clay accuses Jax of making it happen, and while Clay's own actions aren't exactly unimpeachable, he's got a point. Everybody's got to calm the hell down or it's just going to get worse. Well, okay, it's going to get worse anyway, but if they don't want those fancy leather jackets turned into burial shrouds, these guys need to find a way to stop pissing each other off long enough to deal with the problem at hand.

Stray Observation:

  • So, Chibs has a wife, Sonia, and she's one of the three women in the world who scares Gemma. We'll probably be seeing her again.
  • "What do you know about hooking up with porn stars?"
  • Jax comes waaaay too close to spilling everything: "I'm not murdering women!"
  • Clay thinks Tig is going soft. Way to build bridges, man. (Or, I guess in the case of Tig, maintain them.)

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