Sons of Anarchy Review: Scoops, Sweets & SAMCRO

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Holy... I'm gonna need a double banana split after that crazy Sons of Anarchy episode.

Chuckie, can you hook me up?

On "Sweet and Vaded," SAMCRO established a new clubhouse, Walton Goggins was featured prominently as Venus Van Dam and Tara proved that she's learned some seriously disturbing lessons from Gemma Teller Morrow, using those lessons to send her mother-in-law to the slammer and put her escape plan into full motion.

Let's start there, shall we?

Venus Van Dam

Well done, Tara. Frightening. Nauseating. Difficult to watch. But very well done indeed.

As discussed in our Sons of Anarchy Round Tables, something seemed amiss about Tara's pregnancy from the start. The storyline just seemed to come out of nowhere and/or Kurt Sutter has done such an excellent job of turning Tara more and more mischievous that it was hard not to suspect something else was going on here.

But a phony miscarriage? Using her own blood in a bag that she hid in her crotch and then exploded? To set Gemma up and get a restraining order against her children's grandmother? Safe to say I didn't see that one coming.

It's sick stuff, but desperate times call for desperate, Gemma-like measures and it was clear that Tara's mentor almost admired her long-time protege after she figured out what was going on. There was a look of resignation on Gemma's face when she was being cuffed, a realization that she only had herself to blame for creating this monster.

How many times has Gemma told Tara to protect her family at all costs? Remember when she set up Tara to beat the heck out of Nero's right-hand woman, Carla? It's like Gemma had been training Tara for this day for years, only she never imagined she'd be the victim of such dirty machinations.

The hour featured two main storylines and each played on the theme of how parents make decisions that affect their children.

Tara, of course, is now doing all she can to plan for the safety of hers... while Jax was faced with the prospect of how his lifestyle will negatively impact those same kids, reacting in pain, horror, shame and, finally, violence at the presence of Venus Van Dam's horrid mother.

Yes, Walton Goggins was featured prominently in what was a humorous role when we were introduced to Venus on Sons of Anarchy Season 5. But Van Dam's return wasn't meant to elicit laughs; it was meant to shine a light on how parents can totally eff up their kids.

No, Jax isn't filming himself having sex with his own kin. Nor has he created a child porn business. He isn't nearly that depraved. But he is raising his sons amidst a culture of bloodshed, surrounding them with guns and bringing dangerous enemies to their doorstep. As Venus' mother continued to tell off her child, as the venom continued to spew from her mouth, Jax's eyes filled with both tears and rage.

He shot that woman partly because she deserved to die. But largely because he saw a reflection of his own parenting mistakes and could not stand it any longer.

Where will his relationship with Tara go from here? Nowhere positive, that's for sure. It's hard to blame Tara for her extreme actions, although easy to say she should have taken them a long time ago.

But at least she's doing more than talking, which gives her an advantage of her husband. Tara wants her sons to be safe and will do anything to accomplish that goal. She's sick of waiting around for Jax to make any kind of real move because, let's face it, when was the last time he put his real family first?

So we're left with Gemma joining Nero in jail and wondering if he'll flip on SAMCRO. With the ties between Tara and Gemma (and Jax?) seemingly severed for good. And with ADA Patterson putting the pressure on from every conceivable angle, desperate for someone to connect SAMCRO on the legal record with that gun.

And with the sight of that blood bag bursting inside Tara's pants for all to see and react to in horror. Yeah... that's gonna stick with us for awhile. Make it a triple, Chuckie.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Wow. The last 2 episodes have been AMAZING! Jax is so smart when he uses insight; I think he is up to something with the Irish, August and Clay. Havin August visit at that moment he released was part of a play. Jax is also so reckless when he reacts instinctively - killing Kohn, shooting up Wendy, screwing the madame, and now shooting Venus's mom. Tara is showing she's just as cunning with her moves and clearly used the punch in the gut from Gemma at the end of S5 as the inspiration for her plot to get her babies away from Gemma and Jax. More to come! She still has to divorce Jax and get full custody before her trial starts in 3 weeks. Oy!


Well @Tim tara is WRONG telling unser her plans and let alone helping her. Unser has major LOYALTYS to gemma because HE was also invovled of john's death. Gemma burned the ohter stash of LETTERS in S4 cause his name was in it....duh he was a cop! He coverd up the murder. Gemma is protecting him.


Im surprised no one commented that Jax killing the mother gives Barasky evidence he can potentially turn over to the DA. Especially after Barasky conveniently offered to clean up the body.


When all is said and done, Tara aint gonna get killed. Both Jax and Tara know, they may not admit it openly, but they know they are the same. They both are making decisions that need to be made regardless of the consequences. Why do you think since the middle of last season these 2 vital characters have not been able to look at each other in the eyes, or been able to actually talk about shit thats going down....because they're both doing the things that they feel need to be done for the betterment of their family. And let's not forget, Tara still has the upper hand in all of this.....she read the letters, she knows someone else had a hand in murdering his father. Jax only read the letters that Gemma gave him to read.
Way to go Tara! Desperate times call for desperate measures.


Jax is going to kill tara when he finds out the truth and i think gemma or unser will be the ones telling him. This isn't going to END WELL and i agree the ending of hamelt is a going to be a BLOOD BATH!


FYI regarding Tara - Jax nor Gemma have ever betrayed the family, been disloyal or allowed outside forces to act on the family downfall. Tara did not just betray Gemma, she betrayed Jax and he has never done anything but try to protect her. Let's not forget that Jax killed an FBI agent for her after she shot him. She basically asked him to kill the dude and he did. If you want to get technical, if it wasn't for Tara maybe Jax wouldn't be so violent, she started him on this road of murder and destruction. His love for her. Back then he was still at odds with the way the club handled things. Not so much anymore :-)


Well, if it really IS based on Hamlet, we can forsee who will not make it out alive - Clay (the old King), Gemma (the Queen), Jax (Hamlet) Tara (Ophelia) one other fairly major character - Laertes. The end of Hamlet is a freaking bloodbath. Sounds about right....


some SOA fans really really disturb me. You don't have to like everything Tara does. She does go to extremes but she's living in an extreme world and chose an extrem measure to exit it because she knew no other way to accomplish that.
So many people seem to like Jax and Gemma because they're the leads of that show and people are bound to root for the leads (exactly like with Walter White). They like them so much and think it's so "cool" what they're doing that they get blinded by what awful human being they in fact are. Tara did something wrong, yes, but I can't blame her and I understand where it was coming from.


I think tara's character is coming to a close. It is hard to see how Jax will not react with a finality when he sees how he was totally played. Watching Adrienne Barbeau get dispatched so easily, for being a demonic bitch, sure, tara, frames his mother, manipulates him to sign away the boys and that is coming out in the next episode, signal an end for her. I think anger at tara will eclipse any self awareness he might have had in last nights episode.


Venus is one of the best supporting characters in the history of SOA. With this performance Walton Goggins steps up a few rungs on the actor scale. I am used to seeing Goggins playing the bad guy with very few layers, except of course in Justified, but the depth of his portrayal of Venus is another revelation in what needs to become a HUGH career.

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Sons of Anarchy Quotes

Something happens at around 92 miles an hour - thunder-headers drown out all sound, engine vibrations travels at a heart's rate, field of vision funnels into the immediate and suddenly you're not on the road, you're in it. A part of it. Traffic, scenery, cops - just cardboard cutouts blowing over as you past. Sometimes I forget the rush of that. That's why I love these long runs. All your problems, all the noise, gone. Nothing else to worry about except what's right in front of you. Maybe that's the lesson for me today, to hold on to these simple moments. Appreciate them a little more - there's not many of them left. I don't ever want that for you. Finding things that make you happy shouldn't be so hard. I know you'll face pain, suffering, hard choices, but you can't let the weight of it choke the joy out of your life. No matter what, you have to find the things that love you. Run to them. There's an old saying, 'That what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger' I don't believe that. I think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. Strength comes from the good things - your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. Those are the things that'll keep you whole. Those are the things to hold on to when you're broken.


We don't know who we are until we're connected to someone else. We're just better human beings when with the person we're supposed to be with. I wasn't supposed to leave...I belong here.