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.