Sons of Anarchy, “The Push”

I could very easily explain my lack of posting about Sons of Anarchy by noting that hey, I’m in graduate school and I’ve been fairly busy over the last month. But though that’s certainly part of the equation, I can’t just leave it at that. I’ve been frustrated and even disappointed in Sons of Anarchy this season. Perhaps some that comes from my viewing of the first two seasons (all at once), but I have to put some of it on the series as well.

I think I said this earlier in the season, but I comprehend the decision to not just jump into the Ireland story and some bloody battle with the IRA. There is a lot of good story to be mined in making the Sons attempt to put out all the fires starting at home before really coming after the people who killed Half-Sack and took Abel. Like Breaking Bad, this is a series where it oftentimes feels like every single moment, beat or arc is weighing down and influencing how events are happening in an individual episode. There are always stakes, there are always consequences to deal with.

But at some point, I guess enough is enough?

“The Push” sees the season cross the halfway point and though numerous interesting moments have happened, things still feel like they are in set-up mode. Obviously, stories build to something. I’m not an idiot. And perhaps the impatience comes with really, really wanting to see that something, but it is thus too hard to judge what a number of these individual moments (which again, are interesting in their own right) truly mean before we see the final result.

The good news however, is that even though this episode feels like a table-setting episode for the events to come overseas, it does seem to wrap up some of the dangling threads have been out there all season. In hopes of keeping the townsfolk off their ass (and procuring some extra cash for the trip to Belfast), Clay organizes a truce between SAMCRO, The Mayans and the Grim Reapers, which will hopefully stop all the violence in Charming — or at least stop it enough that Hale’s brother takes a chill pill. And just to tie up a loose end, Tig and Kozik (who tries to get in to the MC but is voted down by Tig) pump the season premiere shooter full of cyanide.

Moreover, Gemma finds out about Jax’s deal with Stahl and though she appears to screw Charming’s biggest b**** by admitting that it was Stahl’s partner (both at work and home) who did the shooting in that safe house. That’s a complicated proposition since everyone knows that Stahl was there and there wasn’t any indication of the partner being so instead. And while Stahl played it as if she were shocked and annoyed that Gemma wasn’t going along with the deal, I think this was the plan all along. You know, because Stahl is an awful, awful human being.

Meanwhile, as things appear to be getting more complicated, just as they always do, it’s time to sever some ties. Clay seems ready to totally give up on Unser as a friend and supporter of the MC when he fails to give them a head’s up about the drug raid that was called in by Darby, who sees Jax and Tara sell the prescription meds to a clinic. And in the most expected, but I think needed, plot development of the episode, Jax finally reaches a breaking point with Tara and decides to hook up with the porn star that has been hounding him for over a year for some lovin’. Though sex with a porn star isn’t going to fix their relationship, it was about damn time that something different happened between these two, they could only have the same argument so many times over.

Again, it could just be my restlessness that’s influencing how I view these episodes, but I usually don’t get that way. I’ve understood why this story has been told in this way, but I’m absolutely ready for it to get where it’s going.

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