Simply put, Sons of Anarchy featured the greatest cameo in the history of television this week.
What else was included in "Orca Shrugged," aside from a very large man in a very precarious situation? Relived tension between Gemma and Tara; Jax going the blackmail route with Hale; and Roosevelt getting dragged into the home invasion storyline.
Our Round Table team of Matt Richenthal, Christine Orlando and Carla Day from TV Fanatic, along with Terri Rykard from Sons-of-Anarchy.net, is here to break down all the action...
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: Seeing that Eli and Rita were finally expecting a child. We know from last season how badly they wanted one and I'm sure they'll raise him or her in the most loving environment, with nothing ever going wrong and... oh, right.
Christine: Loved the "Irish discussion," as Clay put it, and then how cool Jax was when their bikes were blown to bits. He is proving himself to be the man in charge and it's kind of hot.
Carla: I enjoyed Tig's reaction to Venus. Kim Coates acted the heck out of that scene and was second only to Walton Goggins him(her)self. He was the perfect amount of aroused, sorta ashamed, but not really about the situation. Tig has always had unique sexual perversions. Loved it.
Terri: I think Jax’s opening monologue was my favorite. Very deep and meaningful words about hate and loss that can be translated into so many areas of life. Then there was the pissing match between Jax and Galen that had to happen; he had to earn it. The Real IRA are the OGs in the outlaw world. The destruction of the motorcycles was the punctuation of that point.
Walton Goggins as Venus. React!
Matt: Did the scene drag - pun, intended! - a bit? Yes. But was it Walton Goggins in long hair, chaps and huge breasts? Oh yes. I was in shock.
Christine: I nearly fell off my chair. I still haven't stopped laughing. I love Walton Goggins but I could have never have foreseen him as Venus. I wish I could hear the meeting where they pitched that idea to him and seen his reaction. Please tell me Venus will be back.
Carla: Goggins was impressive. What a fun role to get to play and he did it to perfection. The scene might have gone on a minute or few too long, but it was entertaining. I'm most interested in how this will all play into Jax's bigger plan. There is more to this story.
Terri: OH MY GOD! When Kurt Sutter wants to make a point, he does it well, even with bit parts and cameo appearances. Sutter just effectively added my favorite actor from another series (Justified) and brought down the house with his performance. I sat up and was yelling “YES! YES! YES” and doing fist pumps in the TV’s direction!! Just what am I supposed to do with SHAMU?
Every word that comes from Walton Goggins lips are like silk. He has that Southern drawl that makes anything poetry. He can pull off any script and apparently in any form!!! Our Sons' reactions and acting throughout that extended scene were all absolutely great! Tig’s many conflicted screenshots were priceless as usual!! Well done, Kurt Sutter, well done! I’m still laughing!
Will Nero be able to steer clear of Gemma?
Matt: I'm gonna say yes actually. There's no bond like that between father and son and Nero is clearly committed to doing whatever it takes - or NOT doing whomever it takes - to make his son's dreams come true.
Christine: Oh heck no. Gemma's a trouble magnet who doesn't like to be told no. She'll just keep coming back whether he wants her to or not
Carla: He will try, but he will fail. His only hope is that Jax gets involved and is able to call Gemma off, but she's not going to go easily. Now that Jax has forbid it, Gemma will be on Nero like dog on a bone. Or, something like that.
Terri: Absolutely not. Gemma is like the drug to Nero’s new addiction. Now that she knows Jax put the brakes on it she’ll go at it full-bore. Forbidden fruit...
Do you prefer Gemma and Tara as friends of enemies?
Matt: Mentor and protege, so this is at least closer to those roles. I was definitely growing sick of their tension, so let's see where this uneasy alliance goes from here.
Christine: Friends, actually. I love watching them work together towards a common goal. These two have taken care of children and dead bodies together. When they decide to work together, they are unstoppable.
Carla: I'm not convinced they are friends. The fight wore Tara out and she welcomed Gemma back in to her and the boys lives, but it could be short lived. I prefer when there is tension between the two, but when they both also put family first.
Terri: I’ve gotta say that friction between Gemma and Tara is always my preference. They make way better enemies than friends. I can’t see them being that close, not in any normal sense. A common enemy will usually unite them, but not for long.
Will Jax regret getting into bed with Hale?
Matt: Not as much as Hale must regret that facial hair. Did he lost a bet of some kind?!?
Christine: Most likely but Whoa! What a bed he's made. I can't imagine what comes next.
Carla: Perhaps, but I doubt it. Jax has a plan. They don't always work out as expected, but he has gotten the club out of quite a few jams with his plotting and manipulations. Can't wait to see what he is working up this time, but I'm guessing it will outshine any of Jax's previous plays.
Terri: Hale is that creepy guy who somehow always manages to come out on top in the end. Jax must have an endgame here - there are many things Sutter hasn’t revealed in this scenario. My expectations are grand, although I admit Hale is my least favorite character in the show. In the end, pairing up Hale and Pope may be the way out for the club... or it may add major repercussions.