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October 4, 2015

Review: Sons of Anarchy - Balm

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 11th 2009 4:21AM
Sons of Anarchy: Balm
(S02E10) I'm filling in for Danny, who experienced a DVR malfunction, so be gentle with me, as I've been a bit here and there with Sons of Anarchy this season. Last winter, I raced through season one for Jane After Dark, and fell in love with the gritty characters and edgy storyline. But to tell you the truth, I had trouble watching it after Gemma's rape this season. It was really disturbing, and I wasn't sure I wanted all of that in my head all the time.

But the fact is that Sons of Anarchy is a great show and -- like many other FX shows -- unlike most of what you see on TV these days. So I'm happy to have this chance to get caught up a little bit with season two.

I won't even try to sort out all of the alliances within SAMCRO, the Irish, the Aryans, the IRA, the feds, whomever else might be involved -- you guys can talk about that in the comments. But it's clear that the fallout between Clay and Jax has been a long time coming. It's hard to imagine Jax ex-communicating to join the NOMAD charter, but that's the way it seemed to be going down in the first part of this episode.

Is Jax following in his father's footsteps, feeling lost in his own club? However it plays out, it's clear that no one was fooling around when Jax took off his SAMCRO jacket at the table, while the rest of the club looked on in sort of stunned silence. Whether or not that's the "psychic shift" Bobby mentioned the club needing, it was an emotional scene, in a quiet, here's-what-I-need-to-do way. But by episode's end, we all know what that psychic shift turned out to be.

So many great scenes in this episode:

The first scene with Jax and Gemma where she tells him that joining NOMAD is a bad idea. "I don't think your father's death was an accident," she told him. "I think he hated his life, and he let the road take it. I don't want that same fate for you, Jax. The things I do, I do to keep you safe ... NOMAD is a bad idea." The relationship between Jax and Gemma seems to be the one constant on this show. It's clear she'll do anything to protect her son.

The conversation between Jax and Clay, where Jax asks him point-blank if he wants him gone, and Clay says yes. It was heartfelt and sincere, in a weird way.

The scene where Gemma asks Deputy Hale Chief Unser (thanks to TV Squad reader Christina for the catch) to protect the club, then kisses him on the cheek. She knew what she had to do at that point.

And, of course ...

The scene where Gemma tells Clay and Jax about the rape. As Danny pointed out to me, the rape was committed by the Aryans to enrage and disrupt the club. Instead, it's done the complete opposite. It's united them, as was evidenced when Jax went over to offer comfort to his mom and put his hand on Clay's shoulder, then picked up his badges and gun on his way out the door. He was back in the club. Danny mentioned that during an interview with Katey Sagal, she said the show is really all about family. There's no clearer evidence of that than this scene. Really well done.

Some other quotes:

"If I don't get away from Clay now, one of us is going to end up dead." - Jax
"And we both know who that should be, don't we?" - Piney

"You wanna trust your father's legacy to those two clowns?" - Piney, on letting Tig and Bobby take over the club from Clay if Jax defects to NOMAD

"And I always thought that you were too damn pretty to be a killer." - Agent Stahl
"Wish I could say the same." - Jax

"NOMAD is MC purgatory. No family, no roots ... look, you don't want Jax in a charter scattered across four states, on the road alone. The list of enemies we have? You want that phone call telling you where to pick up the body?" - Gemma to Tara

Ok, talk amongst yourselves. How did you feel about this episode? Do you think Gemma was waiting for the right opportunity to tell Clay and Jax about the rape, waiting for the right moment when the info would do the most good to bring them back together? Do you think all is well between Jax and Clay now, or will there be more fallout yet to come? Looking forward to your thoughts.

[Watch clips and episodes of Sons of Anarchy on SlashControl.]

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Brenda Bass

Is the SOA going to be picked up for another season I hope so because the show is great.

November 15 2009 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GJ Head

How many episodes are left in this season?

November 14 2009 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First of all this show is outstanding. This episode was an emotional roller coaster. I laughed. I cried. What a great television show should be. An the actors and actresses on this show are incredible.

I'm with alot of other people that have commented here that I don't think Gemma ever intended to tell SAMCRO about her rape. She clearly loves Jax more than anything and needed to do what she had to do to keep him safe. Second, there is no way that the conflict between Clay and Jax is over and will fuel this show for the seasons to come. Especially because I still think that Clay, and possibly Gemma, had everything to do with John's death. I'm surprised that this thought has never crossed Piney's mind or maybe it has and we just haven't seen that in the storyline yet. There are so many questions that I have I can't see them being able to tie all of them up in the few episodes that are left this season. I guess that is part of what makes it such a great show week after week.

November 13 2009 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First - praises - this episode was some of the most superb acting I have ever seen. Half Sack tripping on the shrooms. Tig having a total guilt meltdown and the best of the best when Gemma told Jax and Clay about what really happened to her. They said SO much without uttering one single word of dialogue. I cried!
Now - my thoughts - I don't think Gemma ever intended to tell them what really happened. I think she felt she had to in order to not lose Jax. I also don't think Jax is going to get very angry with Tara for keeping the secret. Second, I think that Jax and Clay are still going to have some serious unresolved conflict about Clay trying to kill Opie. To me that has been the most frustrating thing so far this season is Op siding against Jax when most of what pushed Jax to start pursuing his father's dream for the club was to protect Op and keep things like that from happening again. Thirdly, I completely think that Clay killed John Teller, whether or not Gemma new before it happened I'm still undecided, I think she lied to Jax when she said his father committed suicide.
Still, best episode yet and best acting ever!

November 12 2009 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One thing that I was confused on was what happened to Darby after AJ Weston (Henry Rollins) started beating him up in the warehouse. Did he get burned up in the fire? The same for the guy with the two fingers.

November 12 2009 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The end of that episode was very powerful with Gemma's recount of the rape. I loved how it brought Jax back into the club. I can't wait for more.

November 11 2009 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The end of that epiode was very powerful with Gemma's recount of the rape. I loved how it brought Jax back into the club. I can't wait for more.

November 11 2009 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

Thanks for the catch re Chief Unser, Christina. So noted and fixed.

November 11 2009 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice to see Juice, it's been a while. Very interesting that the person who is most used for comedic effect tonight had the most dramatic monologue.
I can't believe Chibs is going to rat out the IRA. And without telling his club?

November 11 2009 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jen's comment

he is doing it to save his wife and daughter. The guy from the IRA took his wife and daughter and is threatening to rape his daughter (she is around 10 or 12 years old). Even if they don't come back to him he wants them safe.

November 12 2009 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One correction...Gemma didn't kiss Hale...she kissed Chief Unser. BIG difference. Unser has been there for her, and their relationship is one amazing part of this show.

I dont' think Jax will get mad at tara, he might for a moment, but he knows his mother, and I think he will appreciate that Tara was there for her, when others couldn't be.

I originally thought maybe Gemma and Clay had something to do with Jax's father's death, but now I am not so sure...I wonder if he committed suicide and they are afraid that Jax has some of that same recklessness in him.

November 11 2009 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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