Sons of Anarchy Review: Gunning for SAMCRO

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Shots may have been fired at school children on the Sons of Anarchy Season 6 premiere, but the fallout from this horrific act started to be felt on"One One Six" - and it's clear who the target will be for Lee Toric and company:

SAMCRO.

Indeed, Kurt Sutter didn't use the controversial premiere ending to push any kind of political agenda, that much is certain. He used the event to highlight an issue Jax has been clamoring for since he was elected President: getting the club out of the gun business and into things that are a lot more trashy than bloody.

But it won't be easy.

Showdown with Jax

There's Galen, who isn't content to simply take his business elsewhere; and there's Toric, who is well aware of just what business SAMCRO is wrapped up in and is intent on bringing it down at all costs, actual signed confessions or agreements be damned.

The character is a little too one-dimensional for my liking at the moment. Yes, we learned a bit about his past this week and how his unorthodox methods resulted in the highest arrested record in his field office. But he's now just a drugged-out sociopath who will go to absolutely any length to avenge his sister's death?

With such an actor as Donal Logue behind him, I'd welcome a few more layers to Mr. Lee Toric.

He could learn a lot, for example, from Nero Padilla. Jimmy Smits has crafted an intricate character who initially got out of the gang game... then reluctantly joined back up... and is now trying to straddle the line between right and wrong in that world.

Nero is able to justify shooting his own cousin because he turned on his family first, yet he broke down over the death of the troubled child's mother, especially when he (rightfully) believed that Jax orchestrated her demise. This is a very fine line to straddle. For the sake of the club's future, that mother most certainly had to be killed - but what kind of person wants to be part of a club that must resort to such methods in order to survive?

You can see the constant pain on Nero's face as he wonders what he's doing back in this sort of world, one in which innocents clearly will die and one in which he won't last very long in if he can't wrap his head - or his heart, to be more specific - around that fact.

It's also a line Jax has claimed time and again that he doesn't want to walk. No, really, Tara, this time we're going legit! I swear! For reals! No more guns!

Can you blame her for not believing her man? For lying to him about Wendy? For making custody arrangements in case something happens to her boys' parents? This is a marriage wrapped in untruths, making Jax once again far more like Clay than he'd ever wish to admit. It's easy to say you want to go straight, it's a lot harder to actually go straight, especially when you're lying to both your wife and yourself.

No, Jax, remaining in the club is NOT honoring Opie's memory. Opie was a family man who adored his first wife and his two children. The best way to actually pay respect to your fallen BFF would be to do the same and follow through on your one-time promise: Get Tara, Abel and Thomas as far away from Charming as possible.

And let's hope Charming soon pushes for the same fate. While I remain on the fence about SOA using a school shooting for storyline fodder, it's already out there and we need to see the town's response at some point soon. You know, the town SAMCRO has sworn to protect and all. How will citizens react to the presence of gun-toting bikers now that a few of their own have been gunned down by one of those guns?

So we're left wondering about Clay's motivations, remembering that Jax is still expected to deliver Tig at some point and also muttering one thing over and over following this solid installment:

Poor Juice. Poor, poor Juice.

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

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

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