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October 9, 2015

Review: Sons of Anarchy - Potlatch

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 28th 2009 9:28AM

"Pull the trigger man. That's the only way this leather is coming off my back." - Jax to Alvarez, the head of the Mayans who orders him to give up his club jacket

Jax is supposed to be the hero of this little modern day Shakesperian epic, but he's starting to look more and more like the enemy in each episode.

I don't mean that he'll be the one in the end who has been scheming the whole time behind SAMCRO's back with the white power. This is a well-crafted, slow paced, high caliber drama, not a badly written Schwarzenegger movie with a thrown together twist ending (cough, Total Recall, cough).

Jax is more of an enemy of himself. He might have good intentions at heart, but his moves are nowhere near his brain. Maybe his loyalty to his family runs deeper than he ever imagined. Logic and family hardly make a decent cocktail. Anyone with a brother-in-law can tell you that.

He constantly promises Tara that he wants to make a move out of the club or at least turn it down a right corner, but that dream has slowly started dying in Tara's slowly opening eyes. Now that she's finished his father's manuscript, it's apparent that the more she knows, the less she believes in the principals that Jax claims it has instilled in him. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Jax revealed that he only just thumbed the thing one night before bed in a future plot twist point.

Even Clay is lousy at making a move. When he tried to steal the AKs back from the extremely uptight white guys and AJ seemed to be setting them up for another trap, I almost groaned at his meatheaded stupidity. But when AJ revealed that the moment was indeed just "bad timing," I realized that calling Clay a meathead is giving him too much credit because it implies that there is actually something in there. The fact that it might become the rip that tears the white supremacists apart just puts the "dumb" in "pure dumb luck."

And almost every move either Jax or Clay, either alone or separate, have tried to make in the wake of their new neighbors, the white supremacists, have either been a minor disaster or a stupendous disaster. In the span of a few episodes, they have managed to get one of their members also killed and tear themselves apart in the process. It was nice seeing Jax and Clay mending fences early in the episodes and building up their armies on all sides of the battlefield, both physical and legal. The problem is they still aren't doing it within the club, even more so now that poor Luann had been beaten to death by what appears to be Georgie and his fellow meatheads. Well, it's a problem for the club. For the audience, it makes for very tasty viewing.

Speaking of visceral fun, did anyone else find this episode literally laugh out loud hilarious? I know a lot of critics and reviewers overuse that phrase more than a parrot in a newspaper movie critic's office, but it's true in this case. When Chuck, the two fingered chronic masturbating bean counter, poked the rival porn producer's security in the eye as a diversion to get the club into Georgie's pornhouse, a huge cackle pounced on my throat and used it as a springboard to fly out of my mouth. (That is the greatest sentence I've ever written in my career.)

It doesn't matter how picky you are about your gritty serial dramas or tonal period pieces and how they manage to transcend their times to teach us timeless lessons about morality, family and love. You're never too young to appreciate the comedy that comes from enjoying someone else's minor pain. If you don't find it funny, check your soul for an ego or, better yet, your wrist for a pulse.

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Wow, I don't see Jax as the enemy.

I don't see why anyone would follow Clay at this point. He has screwed the pooch time after time. (Not even counting killing Donna), he got Opie caught on tape destroying the meth lab, he attacked the family gathering and got them all thrown in jail. He failed to secure protection for the club while in prison. Now he tries to get the guns back, and he fails again!

And he was against things that actually worked like getting into the porn biz, and attacking the bounty hunters who had Tig.

October 28 2009 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Aston's comment

In clay's defense (and I don't defend him a lot) Jax told everyone to wear their masks before the meth lab blew up. Jax spotted the cameras and they all dawned there ski masks. For some reason Opie took it off...like he didn't care if they saw him. Remember, he didn't use a remote either. Interesting.

November 03 2009 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I find it hard to believe that two members (Jax & Otto) of a gang would be talking about "issues" between the club Pesident and V.P. right in front of members a rival gang.

October 28 2009 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to johnnymac's comment

that was Opie.

Otto was the guy in jail who got blinded.

October 28 2009 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

oops - thx

October 28 2009 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My thought about Chuck the two-fingered bean counter was that if they send him over to the porn office and have him go over the books, won't he find that Bobby covered the fact that Ms. Luanne was skimming the club. That might get a little messy for Bobby!

October 28 2009 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Danny, thanks for an excellent review. I too was laughing at them bringing back Chuck -- as a prize nobody wanted! That was hilarious. Plus since Chuck is an accountant it gives hope that Bobby's hiding Luanne's double book system will be brought to light.

Agree with your assessment that Clay's impromptu hold-up to retrieve the AKs, without planning or even enough back-up was so dumb it was cringeworthy. Geeze.

And agree, Jax is supposed to be our protaganist but his gratituitous insult of Leroy (needing someone to wait tables at his mom's potluck) was not only stupid but needlessly offensive. And just showed the difference when Zobelle treats Leroy with respect--why couldn't Jax have shown some respect too? As you say, he is looking like his own worst enemy.

All in all though, this was a great episode and showed Kurt's touch throughout. Hilarious, lots of action, great potential for plot twists in the future.

October 28 2009 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TopiaryCow's comment

that was Alvarez, head of the Mayans.

they took over that bar from the Niners, who was headed by Leroy.

another great episode.

it is funny how i feel bad that nothing is going SAMCROs way.

October 28 2009 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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