Sons of Anarchy Review: Shots Fired

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Guns were drawn, shots were fired, an innocent life was lost and Clay's leap over to the darkest of dark sides was finalized this week on Sons of Anarchy. Yup, just another day in the world of Charming.

Let's start with Clay's deal with the devil. The incredibly cool, entertaining devil named Romeo, that is.

Clay vs. Unser

This isn't the first time Clay has arranged the death of someone associated with SAMCRO, of course. But even though Opie was an actual member on season one, the President wasn't acting alone, nor was he acting in his own self interest. Clay and Tig truly believed Opie had turned rat. They did what they believed to be best for the club.

Clay's actions on "With an X" couldn't have been more of a contrast. He's looking to save his own murderous ass, plain and simple. Do I believe Tara will actually be killed? No. But her death wouldn't shock me, either, and not simply because I don't exactly believe in Unser's plan to scare her away, admirable as it might be. Jax isn't one to run. When he learns of that anonymous letter, he's far more likely to stick around Charming, guns ablaze. That won't be good for anyone.

Instead, I could foresee Tara going down just because Clay has become that cold-hearted. Everyone except Happy was at least somewhat torn over the way the club was torturing its Prospects (and, let's face it, he's Happy), but Clay's reaction? Sometimes you need to thin the herd. Shutter. Guess we shouldn't really be surprised. This is the same man who arranged for the death of SAMCRO's co-founder, after all.

RIP, JT... and RIP, Miles. Damn, Juice.

I'm still not buying this storyline enough. As I first wrote in my review last week, we just haven't seen enough racism within the club. I know it exists in this world, I know Kurt Sutter has blogged about it and Chibbs summed up why someone such as himself would go along with it well here. But think about the actions Juice has now taken: he stole the cocaine. He gunned down a fellow club member. He did all this because it's seriously that bad to have an African-American heritage? This point has scarcely been brought up in previous seasons and now it's driving a major character arc.

Elsewhere, Jax is a confused man. Does he want to be a part of this world or doesn't he? He's always been an especially soft soul for a biker, but he reveled in killing the Russian on the premiere. And, yes, he stood up for his family by beating down that porn star "whore" this week... but at some point he has to realize that such actions are not getting him farther away from the club, which was his stated goal to Tara when this season began.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Jax is burying himself deeper and deeper inside SAMCRO. He didn't look like a man plotting his escape when he handed that wad of cash to Tara last Tuesday night, did he?

We close with a cute little Tig story. No, cute is not typically a word associated with the man Gemma warned Tara to keep away from her new nanny, but the show has kept him surprisingly sensitive. There was the feud over a dog with Kozig, and there's always a vulnerability whenever Clay chooses someone else as his wing man. Tig just wants to be loved, people! And in place of love, he'll settle for pretty much bribing his daughter to visit him once in awhile.

Sons of Anarchy closed with another outstanding montage this week. It set the stage for the second half of a season in which Juice is a murderer with a secret; Clay is a heartless assassin; Jax is a protective family man; Unser is Tara's elderly angel; and Miles is six feet under. Be it Piney, Juice, Tara or the President himself, odds are strong that someone else we know well will join him in the near future.

With an X Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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