This is one of those moments where I want to talk about the end first and work my way back. It dawned on me that after seven seasons SOA has always told its tale in such strict chronological order that I almost wished this one episode started with Juice and Gemma in the car and the ep doing a flashback to what led to it. It’s okay, it keeps the scene new in my head as I begin tonight’s review of “Some Strange Eruption.”
Strange indeed. As Jax’s long term plan unravels, he gets assistance from Barosky and plants a new trap for Lin and his men to fall into. It nearly succeeds until Wayne’s tip to Jarry allows the S.W.A.T to intervene forcing Jax to leave Lin alive even though he was beaten severely. It doesn’t stop Jax and crew from making a hit on Lin’s remaining men while Gemma leaves town with Juice.
Very well played episode from start to finish. I had some confusion earlier on last week about Gemma and Juice both loading their guns with silencers until the next day when discussions revealed that Gemma’s plan all along was to kill Juice. For a split second I wasn’t convinced, and then it suddenly made perfect sense. Regardless of Juice helping her, he’s a loose cannon and she can’t trust that. I give a lot of props to Juice for seeing through Gemma’s lie while on the road. It helped put things in perspective again with why Jax wants him dead and really paints a detailed picture of Juice’s survivability rate. He really doesn’t want to die and now, once again he’s forced to train a gun on someone who has the potential of leading him straight to his death.
This means Juice has to make his hardest choice ever. Kill Gemma (Which just won’t happen) to save himself, or find Jax and tell him the truth about what she did. As much as I want him to confess, I don’t think that will earn him his place back with Samcro. It will only undo Jax in a way he’s all too familiar with and retaliate all the same regardless of who’s in the room. I like speculating because Juice is very abstract in his thinking, and although his kneejerk reaction is to fire on everything. He’s going to hold off on Gemma for the time being until he figures out what to do. But rest assured this will have to be settled soon. Very soon.
Again, my hat’s off to Nero for standing up to Jax and doing what he felt was the right thing to save his son. The more smart decisions he makes the more I’m convinced he won’t make it out of Charming alive. The flip side to that theory is Nero could be in a position to survive, learn the truth about Gemma and turn his back on her for what’s happened. In truth, I don’t think that’s something Nero will do. Maybe his character is too rich with love and he won’t leave Gemma no matter what. Tough to say either way and that’s what makes watching this show fun, because we simply don’t know these people as well as we think we do, most times.
Chibs and Jarry shared both an insulting and caring moment together. They did a much better job at selling their feelings this time around having had their night of fun previously. Chibs even has a peculiar look on his face when she tells him to be safe and just stares oddly with an “aye” at the end. He is subtly awesome.
I also think Wayne’s choice to inform Jarry about what he learned from Gemma was interesting. Not saying it was Gemma was a smart move but he still played into the lie that Gemma had started. He wants to stop people from dying, and in the short run, he succeeded. But by not killing Lin and his crew, it sets up plenty of hostility to turn back around in other ways. Lin may be down and out, but Marks won’t be so easily trapped. I’m certain he’ll make good on threat to Jax in an earlier episode. As far as Wayne is considered, I know he feels he did the right thing, but he’s just as much an instrument for unintended outcomes as Gemma is, but on a different scale. Those two can inadvertently be the causes of so many potential character death’s from here on out giving this show the tragedy finale it was fated to have since it’s inception.
Jax won’t settle on this win. He won’t waste time getting to Lin and finishing what he started. That could prove disastrous, but at the same time, he can plan ahead. I’d like to think his subconscious is reading into Lin’s denial with Tara’s murder even though on the surface he’s not buying the excuse. If he had a better chance to look at the man’s eyes, maybe he could see the truth better, but his rage won’t allow him, not for anything.
Almost a tie. Jax’s one on one fight with Lin was set for tonight radiant scene, but once Juice and Gemma crashed the car and he watched Gemma beg him with apologies over not knowing what she was going to do, that really sealed my favorite moment. It was a taste of Gemma’s fear and anxiety over what she’s done that settled it. For a brief moment I sympathized equally with both characters. I wanted to believe that Juice was capable of shooting but somewhere he knew killing Jax’s mother would be something far beyond a death sentence. Gemma knew exactly what she was going to do and still played ignorance while crying on the ground. It shows that she’s just as afraid to die as Juice is. Those two were practically mirrors of each other in tonight’s episode. Their alliance is surely done for now. Juice will think of some awkward plan to use this to try and save himself from execution, but right now I have no idea what that will be.
Since Jax doesn’t win the favored scene I am giving him the MVP. The star character finally wins one! His fist fight with Lin was very well done. He wanted to enjoy the beating and slow it down, but he couldn’t and had to somehow turn the rest of his rage outward on the man he thought was responsible for Tara’s death. His calm manner was especially noticeable this time around. Even in the face of the Diosa strike and everything Lin put him through, Jax remained one step ahead of the game. He did an amazing job selling his character’s plight and strategy. How he figured Lin wouldn’t shoot him on the spot at the warehouse is beyond me. I thought Chibs brought the body armor for a practical reason, but it didn’t end up being necessary.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
Poor Colette. I know I mentioned this last time, but I liked her. I guess Jax isn’t allowed to have any more love in his life, or at least this season.
I’m teetering on Barosky being the one who told Lin where to find the guns. Two things that come up are:
- Why would Lin and his crew let Barosky leave the sandwich shop at will while they conduct their interrogation of Nero. Granted it wasn’t bloody but it was still threatening and when Barosky spouted out that this wasn’t his war, it clicked that his greed could easily be toyed with given the right cash. Something Alveraz made note of earlier.
- Barosky didn’t need to kill Dez, not over that kind of mishap. This was slightly similar to Watchmen when Ozmandias hired a hitman to kill him but then killed the hitman to make it look like he was innocent. Just something that struck me as odd. He yelled and yelled about how someone could get a hold of Dez’s number and since that wasn’t resolved, Barosky is clearly the only person available who could have known that and set up the bribe. Food for thought.
Gemma didn’t talk to ghost Tara this week. Given her predicament, I doubt she will again. I liked those moments.
I’m starting to feel more and more like Brooke will be on the receiving end of an unfortunate death. Both Wendy and Wayne have spoken to Ratboy about Brooke and the more it plays out the more I think she’s going to be at the wrong place and wrong time at some point in the future. I’ve been wrong before, so hopefully I am again.
Tig heals pretty fast.
Tonight’s episode gets an 8 out of 10. Strong performances all around from Jax, Chibs, Gemma and Nero. They sold a lot of their scenes and made it an enjoyable episode to watch. The plot didn’t feel stale or repetitive and as always, things escalated to proper levels of chaos that we’ve come to recognize on this show over the years. It’s hard pinpointing if this is the entire arc or if it will be divided into two smaller arcs. Arc one being Jax dealing with August and Lin while Arc two is dealing with Jury and Gemma. It can all flow into one solid piece of storytelling but things with Lin and Marks may start to drag if they don’t keep to their normal pace with all guns blazing around. Still, solid episode, great ending, and spot on moments of charm, in Charming.
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