Sons of Anarchy Review: Shots Fired

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Guns were drawn, shots were fired, an innocent life was lost and Clay's leap over to the darkest of dark sides was finalized this week on Sons of Anarchy. Yup, just another day in the world of Charming.

Let's start with Clay's deal with the devil. The incredibly cool, entertaining devil named Romeo, that is.

Clay vs. Unser

This isn't the first time Clay has arranged the death of someone associated with SAMCRO, of course. But even though Opie was an actual member on season one, the President wasn't acting alone, nor was he acting in his own self interest. Clay and Tig truly believed Opie had turned rat. They did what they believed to be best for the club.

Clay's actions on "With an X" couldn't have been more of a contrast. He's looking to save his own murderous ass, plain and simple. Do I believe Tara will actually be killed? No. But her death wouldn't shock me, either, and not simply because I don't exactly believe in Unser's plan to scare her away, admirable as it might be. Jax isn't one to run. When he learns of that anonymous letter, he's far more likely to stick around Charming, guns ablaze. That won't be good for anyone.

Instead, I could foresee Tara going down just because Clay has become that cold-hearted. Everyone except Happy was at least somewhat torn over the way the club was torturing its Prospects (and, let's face it, he's Happy), but Clay's reaction? Sometimes you need to thin the herd. Shutter. Guess we shouldn't really be surprised. This is the same man who arranged for the death of SAMCRO's co-founder, after all.

RIP, JT... and RIP, Miles. Damn, Juice.

I'm still not buying this storyline enough. As I first wrote in my review last week, we just haven't seen enough racism within the club. I know it exists in this world, I know Kurt Sutter has blogged about it and Chibbs summed up why someone such as himself would go along with it well here. But think about the actions Juice has now taken: he stole the cocaine. He gunned down a fellow club member. He did all this because it's seriously that bad to have an African-American heritage? This point has scarcely been brought up in previous seasons and now it's driving a major character arc.

Elsewhere, Jax is a confused man. Does he want to be a part of this world or doesn't he? He's always been an especially soft soul for a biker, but he reveled in killing the Russian on the premiere. And, yes, he stood up for his family by beating down that porn star "whore" this week... but at some point he has to realize that such actions are not getting him farther away from the club, which was his stated goal to Tara when this season began.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Jax is burying himself deeper and deeper inside SAMCRO. He didn't look like a man plotting his escape when he handed that wad of cash to Tara last Tuesday night, did he?

We close with a cute little Tig story. No, cute is not typically a word associated with the man Gemma warned Tara to keep away from her new nanny, but the show has kept him surprisingly sensitive. There was the feud over a dog with Kozig, and there's always a vulnerability whenever Clay chooses someone else as his wing man. Tig just wants to be loved, people! And in place of love, he'll settle for pretty much bribing his daughter to visit him once in awhile.

Sons of Anarchy closed with another outstanding montage this week. It set the stage for the second half of a season in which Juice is a murderer with a secret; Clay is a heartless assassin; Jax is a protective family man; Unser is Tara's elderly angel; and Miles is six feet under. Be it Piney, Juice, Tara or the President himself, odds are strong that someone else we know well will join him in the near future.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Clay has gone too far this time..Tara brings a lot to the show


Why is everyone saying bobby is going to go? What am i missing? I get it if it has to do with otto's ol lady. Is that what it is? And i agree they cant take tara out, she is a bad bitch, we need her on the show!.. besides she is the doc. Im wondering if they catch on to the undercover project thats going on. I almost miss agent stahl! Then again.. Nah maybe not. This season has me a little confused, but im glad it finally came out what happened to j.t. one thing i have always wondered. In season one there was a picture in jax's stuff that gemma found and took what was it? I cant figure it out and i have seen that episode more than once.


Another great episode. Everyone does such an amazing job. Chibbs is definitely suspicious of Juice. Clay (who deserves to get killed). Unser. Piney. Juice. Tara. Bobby - those are the obvious ones walking around with targets on their back. With the death of Miles, it's clear no one is safe. While I wasn't thrilled with Juice's story in the first few episodes, it's really to pick up and have some real consequences. Juice is not the brightest bulb in the group and rather insecure. Now a smart guy would have weighed his options when the Sheriff told him he had to steal a sample of cocaine for him. On one hand - if the group found out he was half-black, he'd apparently be kicked out since that is a no-no. On the other hand - now he had a chance to show them how valuable he is and maybe, just maybe, retain his membership. If Juice had been smart, he would have gone to someone like Jax and told him the truth: the Sheriff is blackmailing because my dad is black. Why don't I play along with him and give him bad information, thus protecting the gang. But Juice thinks he can take care of this himself and makes bad choices, which I think fall in line with his character. Now he's dug himself into a deep hole that no amount of colonics will keep him in good health. I can't wait to see what happens next. This is one of my favorite shows on right now!!!


Clay is just about done on Sons of Anarchy. Gemma's going to take him out. She's not a stupid woman. As soon as she hears Tara's in danger, she's going to know that danger is somehow connected to Clay. Tara's going to know too. Granted it could just as easily be Jax that takes him out but I don't think he really understands how dark Clay's dark side is. I think Jax still thinks Clay has the club's best interests in mind. As for Piney - the only one that's going to take Piney out is Piney. I'm not worried about Tara though. She's too important to the long term story to... well, maybe not. If Clay's gone, there has to be something driving Jax to stay with the club. That could easily be losing Tara. Finally, the racism storyline. I can understand it and I think it's actually really interesting. Roosevelt planted the seed in Juice's head and Juice ran with it. He's insecure and the uncertainty of what would happen should it come out that he broke the rules to join the MC could easily be enough to push him to do something stupid. He didn't kill Miles because of the racism fear though. He killed Miles because Miles caught him trying to put the brick back. It's all snowballing for Juice now. It's not about racism alone anymore. It's about getting caught for stealing a brick and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he'd be killed for it. He killed Miles because he's desperate.


Now, why kill off Miles when he was put thru so much getting to be a member? And yes, I jumped when Juice shot him. Blood spatter was about right- when you shoot someone that close, you get spatter- simple. I'm getting to where I hate Clay- self serving dipsh$t. And I hope if he's taken out, it's by Jax. Or Tara would even be better. Chibbs does know something is up and so does Gemma. This is going to be an exciting season, thanks to Kurt Sutter's writing. Can't wait for next week!


Oh, and one minor complaint - just in case t Mr. Sutter stops by. Okay I understand it must cost a fortune to get red karo syrup out of leather, but is there any chance you can cool it with the CGI blood in gun fights? You guys do realize how terrible these effects look?. It's really fake that it distracts from the action.


I think you meant shudder, not shutter.


Great episode and an excellent season so far. Gotta agree about this racism plot. Juice and Chibbs talked about" The Rules" as if they were drafted 400 years ago on in the captain's quarters of a slave ship. But the Club Charter is, what, 40 years old? And we know most of the Original Nine. Okay, these are a bunch of bikers - nobody would be shocked if they dropped the occasional n-bomb. But which of the Nine were so passionate in their racism that they insisted on a written ban? J.T.? Clay? Piney? I don't buy it. Why no ban on Hispanics? Meanwhile, in the past The Sons have already been shown in contrast with local white supremacist gangs. It'll take some back story for me to buy it. Maybe the Sons were caught up in some a 60s race riot? And I doubt it was the Belfast wing - IRA types (as opposed to the avg. Irish-Americans) actually had a solidarity with the African American struggle that goes way back. There are IRA murals of Fredrick Douglas in Belfast.


Elvis (Bobby) is dead, Juice will get juiced, Piney will get chopped then Clay buried. Gemma will kill Clay in a shootout protecting Jax; she will beg for forgiveness from Jax and Tara as she gasps her lasts breath. I see Unser and the new sheriff's wife getting whacked as well.


Im surprised you didn't mention the Jax nd Ima scene that was pretty brutal. I was surprised she wasn't killed tho..
Another exciting awesome episode love this season :)

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