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Sons of Anarchy Review: The Truth Hurts

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What happens when the Scumbag Outlaw meets the Pillar of Justice?

You end up with the best episode of Sons of Anarchy Season 6.

Of course, what made "John 8:32" stand out was not necessarily the tense confrontation between Jax and ADA Patterson, nor the plan it put in motion of Jax setting up the Irish to earn gun-related immunity for SAMCRO.

It was the meaning behind the episode-titled bible verse: Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Patterson and Jax

Of course, Jax doesn't seem especially free at the moment, despite the many hard truths he discovered on Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Episode 9 .

Gemma slept with Clay in the most humiliating way possible. Nero was willing to give himself up to protect the club. Oh... and Tara faked her pregnancy, conjured up a miscarriage/assault story and is planning to divorce him.

Ouch. Ouch. And triple ouch.

It was a painful, enlightening hour for the SAMCRO President and that's what made it so engrossing to watch.

For most of this season, Jax hasn't been especially likable. He's been taking extreme measures on his own, believing he knows what's best to push the club into legitimate businesses... only he's ended up crossing the Irish in the process, getting clubhouses blown to bits and actual members killed.

He's also been ignoring troubles at home, of course, while causing plenty more by sleeping around. In short: the guy has been a self-centered jerk.

And it all came crashing down around Jax this week. The know-it-all realized he didn't know it all. He was in the dark about Nero, in the dark about Gemma and in the pitch black about Tara. He was hit harder by these truths than by any punches Nero threw, visibly startled and shaken as each figurative blow landed.

Where will it all go from here? It's tempting to say someplace very, very bad, with Tara rightfully holding both a baby and a gun on her lap, petrified of what will happen when her husband walks in the door.

But the Jax who sat down at the ice cream shop table with that troubled teenage girl didn't seem like someone with revenge on his mind.

It was someone who personally knows what it's like to grow up without a father and with a rather effed up mother. It was someone who saw first hand this week the effects that the club, even indirectly, can have on a child.

Jax admitted in his chat with Patterson that he doesn't like looking in a mirror, but the presence of Brooke forced him to hold up a mirror to his own family life - and he didn't rage in response. He lit a cigarette and sat pensively.

Might Tara not need that weapon after all? Might Jax actually now realize the impossible corner his wife has been placed in and her desperation to get out of it by any means necessary? Might the truth actually set him free? Yes. But Tara should probably keep the safety off just in case.

Elsewhere:

  • My affection for Nero knows no bounds. The guy is honest, straightforward, unafraid of confrontation and able to throwdown one minute and then wrap his arms around his enemy the next. He oozes empathy.
  • Clay going all pussy crazy at bible study was one of the funniest scenes in SOA history. It's so rare that Ron Perlman is given a chance to smile, let alone go bat $hit crazy, and he clearly reveled in every second of it.
  • But considering all Clay has gone through just to stay alive in prison, it now must be asked: Do you have any sympathy for him?
  • Gemma gave her blessing for JT to be killed because he was a "weak link." Nothing we didn't really know already, but more evidence of how different Gemma's relationship is with Nero from nearly every single one on the series. It's actually based on - gulp! - honesty.
  • Many viewers will be analyzing the latest sighting of the homeless women. But I don't have much to say about her. She's clearly some kind of ghostly entity, popping up when Jax struggles with his conscious, seemingly meant in this case to be Brooke's mother. But it's very abstract and I don't envision Kurt Sutter ever giving a real answer. I prefer to focus on what we know and what we can discuss among the actual characters.
  • Not much from other SAMCRO members this week, but a kazoo and Tig realizing that every teenage girl hates him were a couple funny side notes.

Overall, a terrific, emotional, tight episode. It moved the narrative forward via the deal with Patterson, but it mostly took us inside Jax Teller's head and heart.

Those are confusing places to be right now. But they are also incredibly entertaining.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (99 Votes)

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

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During the scene with Jax meeting with Patterson, did anyone else flash back to season 3 when Jax and Agent Stahl made their arrangement for an exchange of Jimmy O for Gemma and the clubs freedoms? I feel like we are seeing a recycled story. Maybe Jax and the club did decide together what Jax proposed to the ADA, but we didn't actually see the meeting, just the vote, so their might be a double-cross or something else up their sleeves.
In regards to Tara, if the story is based (loosely) on Hamlet, Tara would be Ophelia, who ended up going insane and killing herself. I don't see how she could die anytime before next season, though. With everything Jax has been coming into contact with (Venus' mom, the teenage girl) he is softening and seeing things from a different perspective. Maybe he will forgive her and understand she is terrified that she is going to prison and something bad will happen to her boys.

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The "Irish" brought it upon themselves to be double crossed. Jax wanted out and they made it difficult and this scenario is what will save Tara because in essence, she's been placed in the same predicament. She's been begging for Jax to leave the club and focus on THIER family but he's been unwilling to leave until he finishes taking the club legit. He will realize that she and SAMCRO are in similar positions and in essence, he is Tara's "Irish" and don't forget that Man was put on earth for.... So the question begs: why are Women here too? Any ladies care to chime in? :-)

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"Rightfully"? I dunno. I mean, the gun makes a certain sick kind of sense, but really what it demonstrates to me is that Tara's lost all perspective, particularly with regard to the man she married. He's not Clay's son; he's JT's. Although he may have a temper, he's more prone to blaming himself than others. And he's far less likely to kill the woman he loves, than be killed by her... I want to be hopeful that she and Jax can still somehow patch things up... but I can't see how. The love may be there, but the trust is dead and gone.

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This was an amazing episode and the gleeful Clay scene where he outlines the three reasons God put man on this planet was fantastic. I can't wait for next week! @Lainiejay: Source? Everything I've heard about the homeless woman is that it is up to the audience's imagination on what she represents. "Kurt Sutter has received a ridiculous amount of fan questions during his WTFSutter video blog regarding the homeless woman. The first few times he answered the questions he simply said "The homeless woman is who she is and represents what she represents." He further went on to say that he had no intention of explaining her for more than what the audience sees. He wants fans to make up their own interpretation of what she represents. Is she a guardian angel? Is she a ghost? Is she just a homeless woman with a lot of frequent flier miles? To put it simply; the audience sees her for what she is. More recently Kurt Sutter has just started saying "The Homeless Woman is Jesus Christ." though he seems to be saying this sarcastically, likely due to getting sick of answering the question." Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt11...

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Just for the record, Kurt Sutter has said he will reveal the significance of the homeless woman before the end of the series.

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Its so awesome

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Excellent...Gemma is showing more humanity & a deeper insight into Johns' murder.(summed up, the clues have been there)

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Holy SHIT! That was crazy Gemma finally confessing to nero about JT's death......i knew gem was going to tell jax the truth about tara and her plans. Jax confronting DA patterson and giving up galen and the irish hahaha can't wait to see that PLAY OUT! Clay looking like HANNIBAL?
Anyhow if Tara thinks she can pull of a gemma and KILL jax......uh good luck with that.........that bitch SHOULD be scared!

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@ AshleyRae

I know that's right :-)

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