One of the best scenes of the season, perhaps the entire series, occurred in episode ten, 'Balm'; it was the culmination of an arc that actually began in the season premiere, 'Albification.'
This year, however, there didn't seem to be as many strong roles for women on TV's comedy and drama series. The Golden Globe TV races in the Best Actress categories are especially tight this year, and few newcomers will be jockeying with veterans for the five nominations in each category that will be announced on Dec. 15.
But I have to come up with something to do after all the food has been ravenously devoured by that wolf pack I call my family. And rather than list 100 reasons for regretting life (because 99 of them would be "Why did I eat that?"), here some things I have to be thankful for instead.
With some heavy stuff coming down, SAMCRO and Unser hole up inside the clubhouse as Jax and Clay prepare to battle The League. After Gemma tells Tara that she's Jax's "old lady, which means something in this town," Tara roughs up the tight-ass suit at the hospital.
Weston's kids get hauled off by child protection services, courtesy of Jax, who challenges Weston to a showdown. Their ten best guys, no weapons. A fistfight ensues; Hale shows up and arrests Weston for the porn warehouse arson.
(S02E11) "If Gemma had gotten raped on John's watch, he'd have written a whole different book." - Jax
Forgiveness can be a funny thing. Assuming you're on the receiving end of something awful, It's not always easy to determine if you'd even be willing to forgive. That's the beauty of forgiveness though -- the act that led you to it might have been sincere, but that doesn't mean your capacity to forgive has to be. Unlike quietly accepting a situation, forgiving a situation has the power to pacify the parties at fault.
As we learned with Opie last night on Sons of Anarchy, his capacity to forgive is huge, but that doesn't mean he ain't lying through his teeth when it comes to his true intentions.
Meant as a way to disrupt and destabilize the club, Gemma's sexual abuse instead united the Sons of Anarchy. Because of the news, Jax decided against leaving the Sons and joining the Nomad charter.
Watch the video after the jump.
(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.
"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.
This week, we're going to take a bit of a departure from the shows we normally cover. It's very rare that a show that puts out 76 episodes could be considered by anyone to be gone too soon, and yet I make the argument that 8 Simple Rules (for Dating My Teenage Daughter) is that show.
I'm also not going to try and convince you that 8 Simple Rules was one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, because it simply wasn't. It was a fairly standard, solid series headlined by a brilliant comic actor... and then it became something else.
(S02E06) "It's not your time yet, man. This is Clay's club. You either back down or get in line, before somebody gets hurt." - Opie to Jax
It was really hard to find a good quote for this week's episode. I watched the bastard four times before I found the one I did and I'm not entirely thrilled with it.
That's because this week's show was all action and little talk.
The tension between SAMCRO and the Aryans got turned up to 11 when they planted a car bomb in the shop that almost turned Chibs into a fried fish filet that would need a gallon of malt vinegar to be edible. This not only made for a perfect set-up against the club but also within it, driving an even deeper wedge between Clay, Jax and each of their alliances.
Another show with great use of music is Sons of Anarchy. In his review of "Tears," Danny noted, "Letting Katey Sagal sing a solemn cover of the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" was really a great move on whomever made that call." I couldn't agree more. The song just washed all of the sadness and weight of her rape over us in a big way.
The thing that surprised me most about this week's episode are the number of times it made me laugh. That's hard to do for a show that cracks more skulls per episode than a plastic surgeon.
It doesn't do so by sacrificing the things that make it great. It's still just as hard-edged, emotional and violent as before. You're just chuckling for all the right reasons, this time.
I paid a visit to the show's sweltering North Hollywood set last week as series creator Kurt Sutter (The Shield) and his cast were putting the finishing touches on the show's second season.
In fact, the show's writers were so close to revealing its final secrets to the cast that my PA and FX PR tour guides slammed a door in my face lest I wander into the writer's conference room and see the white dry erase board full of plot points for season two's final episode.
Evidently, if I'd have seen the final, bottom-right panel on that wall-wide white board, I'd have been chained to show star Tommy Flanagan's motorcycle and taken for a drag around St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank.
The thing I'm starting to love about this show is the way it switches gears on just about any incline. They are so swift and sudden that the law should go totally "nanny state" and require me to wear a helmet during each week's episode.
For example: in this week's chapter, we see the aftermath of Gemma's rape and the toll it takes on her as she tries to keep it from the club. Then the very next shot is of Tig, played by Kim Coates and some random fishnet whore slowly waking up with hangovers that could stun an elephant, together in a spent 69.
And I ain't talking about a broken down '69 Chevy.
How do you turn a group of gruff biker outlaws who deal potent drugs to street trash and hardcore hardware to ruthless killers into a likable group of huggable stud muffins?
That's easy. You make a group of radical white supremacists into their enemies. It's the old "lovable by association" tactic of TV writing. Is the audience not buying your childhood version of Darth Vader? Then throw in a wise-cracking alien that sounds like Pee Wee Herman with Down's Syndrome.
However, in the case of the second season of Sons of Anarchy, it's a pretty sweet power play for a show that already packed more punch than an Absinthe smoothie.
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