Sons of Anarchy Round Table: "Toad's Wild Ride"
There was an unexpected shootout... a harrowing car crash... two more deaths... and a bloodied Joel McHale on Sons of Anarchy this week.
In other words: plenty for our TV Fanatic Round Table team to breakdown, as staff writers Matt Richenthal, Dan Forcella, Carla Day, Chris O'Hara and Christine Orlando are joined by Brenda from Sons-of-Anarchy.net. As usual, readers are encouraged to read on and chime in...
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: The discussion between Clay and Unser in the latter's trailer. These two share quite the history and every word just oozed with tension. I wasn't surprised that Clay set up the meeting to take out the Nomads, but I still hung on every sentence throughout this exchange.
Dan: The car accident at the end because I was surprised at how much they are just piling on Gemma at this point. Everything is going wrong for her, and then just when you think there is a glimmer of hope (Tara letting her take the kids), she goes out and does one of the worst things yet. She is a disaster - and I love it.
Carla: Unser shooting the Nomad when he came into the trailer. He didn't hesitate at all and was prepared. I'm not sure why Unser was willing to cover up for Clay, though I'm guessing Unser has a plan.
Chris: Definitely the conversation between Unser and Clay moments before the Nomad attack. The tight quarters and proximity of guns just added to the intensity of the moment.
Christine: My favorite was Jax and Unser's sit down. I'm used to Unser going to Clay or Gemma. This was a different dynamic and he definitely gave Jax the heads up he needed.
Brenda: So much was happening in this episode but I think my favorite scene was seeing GoGo and Greg the Peg get shot in Unser's trailer. I never liked the Nomads and once it was revealed that they were behind the break-ins I was hoping to see them go. I thought the episode's trailer led us to believe that Wayne was the one that was going to die but I just didn't believe it. It was too obvious of a conclusion from a commercial and we all know that Kurt Sutter likes to keep us guessing. It was awesome seeing Unser being so badass!
Will everyone make it out alive of Gemma's car accident?
Matt: Yes. First, there's this SPOILER ALERT. Second, Kurt Sutter does some wild and crazy things. But he wouldn't kill off two young kids. This storyline will be used to further the problems between Gemma, Jax and Tara, not to set up a tiny casket.
Dan: Probably, but wouldn't it be kind of funny if Abel didn't? We spent and entire season watching him get tossed around from stranger to stranger, and from dangerous situation to dangerous situation in Ireland. And then he dies in a car ride with Gramma? Classic.
Carla: I hope so. I'm a little irritated the show went in this direction. With everything else going on right now, the crash storyline is unnecessary and not one I want to see play out.
Chris: I literally threw my hands into the air when I saw that tree branch. Please let the boys be unharmed. I, too, am shocked they went this route, especially after Nero convinced Jax to give his mom a break. Not to mention, this isn’t Gemma’s first rodeo. I have to believe she can handle her smoke a little better than that.
Christine: Oh God. I can handle the brutal death of any character on the show...except for the kids. I don't want to watch that.
Brenda: I'm hoping they all will survive the accident but it's going to cause more drama in the final outcome. I don't think Tara will ever forgive or trust Gemma again after this. I won't be surprised if Wendy ends up being a part of Abel's life after this accident as well.
Rank this season's guest stars from best to worst.
Matt: Walton Goggins will go down as the most memorable in show history, but I'll choose Joel McHale because I liked how the show used him. He didn't take over an episode, as it felt Ashley Tisdale sort of did. Yet his character still played a key role in burrowing Gemma further toward rock bottom.
Dan: Goggins was insanely good, then Tisdale, and then finally McHale. I love him, but he didn't look all that comfortable in this situation. Do Smits and Perrineau not count because they are essentially regulars this season? Fair enough.
Carla: Goggins had an award-worthy performance and one that will remain in my mind for quite some time. Tisdale was good, especially in the Gemma fight scene. McHale was fine, but nothing particularly special about the role or performance.
Chris: Goggins was amazing, McHale, Tisdale and Chuck Zito all have been pretty forgettable and could have been played by anyone. Goggins, though, nailed a role that could have gone any number of ways and made it one of the funniest scenes of the season.
Christine: Goggins was amazing. He went above and beyond in that role and it's something I won't soon forget. As for the rest, like Chris said, their roles could have been played by anyone. There was nothing wrong with them but they weren't anything special.
Brenda: Goggins. We saw a performance that was unlike anything else he has ever done and it was amazing and he had some amazing tits to go with it! Second, is McHale. It wasn't a bad performance and he seemed the kind of guy that could get away with seducing women and robbing them. Last is Tisdale since her role and performance is so forgettable. She acted as the same pouty, sad-faced girl on SOA that she was when she was that virgin cheerleader in Hellcats.
Will Clay make it through this season alive?
Matt: I got this wrong about 12 times last season in constantly predicting his demise, so take my words with a grain of salt as large as Opie's heart: Yes, he will. The final confrontation between son and step-father will be reserved for the seventh and final season.
Dan: Clay should have died at the end of last season. It was the perfect timing for it, and I complained that he didn't at the time. If he died this season it would be so anticlimactic that I would rather see him kick around until the very end at this point.
Carla: Most likely. I'd prefer that he die in an extraordinary way. I'd like to see SAMCRO without his negative influence and how Gemma would deal with his absence from her life. But I expect he'll be around.
Chris: Sadly, I think he will too, but only because I think he will somehow take the fall in the end for the RICO case somehow or go down with the Irish.
Christine: As much as I'd love to see Clay get what's coming to him, I can't see them killing him off until the end of the series.
Brenda: I believe Clay's outcome will be left as a cliffhanger ending in the final episode this season and we won't know the answer until season 6. Jax needs him to help with the Irish gun trade for the Feds and they haven''t even come close to resolving that mess with all the other drama going on and the season is half over.
How will Juice react to the events from the episode?
Matt: I'm not entirely sure why Juice has held Clay up on such a pedestal this season to begin with. But I think he'll lay low, play it cool and report back to Jax eventually if he does learn anything incriminating.
Dan: Juice will finally wise up and tell people he knows what's going on. It might get him in trouble, but anything is better than Juicy Boy standing there with those bug eyes freaking out episode after episode.
Carla: Never really know what to expect from Juice. He has a history of making poor decisions. I hope he take his suspicions about Clay to Jax. It may be what saves him from his previous betrayals ... maybe.
Chris: Juice is keeping so much inside. I bet he also feels betrayed by Clay, who abused his trust like he does everyone. Maybe Juice is the one to take out Clay?
Christine: Poor Juicy. He's loyal. He wants to do the right thing and now he's mired in this spider web of deceit that Clay has woven. I do think he'll be looking at things differently from here on out and asking more questions. Where that will lead is anyone's guess.
Brenda: Juice kept quiet about what he knew about Clay going to Unser's trailer so I don't think he will do much of anything. He's still loyal to Clay and if it came to a vote I don't think Juice will vote him out.