This is the first season that I have watched Sons of Anarchy week to week and not in marathon format. I have spent a lot of time figuring out if my problems with this season are due to the fact that I am watching this way or if it truly is a lackluster season. I came across a Rolling Stone review that said this has been the best season yet. Personally, I don't think that could be farther from the truth. While there have been moments of intense drama and action – both emotional and physical – the dead air left in between is enough to make it a chore for me to watch. This week was an extended 90 minute episode, and I found myself looking at my watch wondering when it would be over about 20 minutes after it started. Once again, we spend another episode setting up more convoluted plots from the members of SAMCRO and I think I have lost sight of what is the actual endgame. It redeemed itself some in that tt was an interesting episode in that there was a role reversal and character development with some of the characters, which I appreciated.
I was happy that Jax did bring Juice into the fold, and has him working to help the club – not because I want him to betray Clay, but more because I am happy that he is just not going to be up and murdered. The show has the tendency to kill of main characters without any remorse, so I am comforted by the fact that Juice will be kicking around for awhile. It also will be interesting to see which side he actually ends up choosing.
Then there was the juxtaposition of the characters of Jax and Clay in this episode and they had a role reversal, in that Jax is now becoming the tough murdering SOB. I am beginning to wonder if whatever his plan is to get the Sons "out" is actually worth it. He has not been the same since Opie's death and while I thought he would always be the rational level-headed leader, I'm not so sure anymore. He claims he has a plan, but everything just leads to more shiftiness and more violence. He even talks about how there is going to be a lot more blood spilled before this is over. That's all well and good, and I do think he has honorable intentions, but I'm not sure if he has the control that he thinks he does. With Clay working Juice and the other side of the cartel, it will be a slippery slope for Jax to be the one to come out on top.
I'm not sure if it can be trusted, but there was a visible shift in Clay's character last night. For the first time he seemed to actually show regret for his previous actions. I really do think he was being sincere when speaking to both Juice and Gemma about how much they mean to him. Whether his statement that Gemma is the only thing that matters was true, I am not sure. However, it was nice to see him in a vulnerable place. In fact, for a moment I actually found myself rooting for the Clay side of the SAMCRO equation. I know he claims it is all for his plan, but ever since Jax has been President, the world of the Sons has been a complete and utter mess. I feel like that isn't why I watch the show and I miss watching the unity of a club that will do anything for each other. While Clay is all about the power, he at least always knew how to keep the club members happy together, and that is more than I can say for Jax, who at this point has promised the murder of Tig and has forced both his wife and mother to put themselves in awful, traumatizing situations.
Which brings me to my big question about the Tara and Otto storyling. I was very confused in last week's episode when Tara gets home from visiting Otto and quietly decides to um, touch herself. It made no sense in the context of the story. In the recap of last week's episode it showed a moment of Otto breaking down crying and going to touch himself. Is it just me or was scene cut out of the original airing of the show??? I watched it on iTunes and went back and watched and couldn't find that scene, so I'm wondering if it was non-existent or if I completely missed it somehow? The lack of the scene was very confusing because it showed major character development with Otto and Tara. Jax has become so consumed by all of his plotting and planning that he virtually ignores his new wife, and she is so desperate for attention that the small amount she gets from Otto is enough to make her feel excited and good about herself. That makes what Otto ended up doing to her even worse, and I truly do feel bad for Tara in this situation. She got reeled in and played by Otto and I'm not sure if the possible accessory to murder charge or the deception by Otto will be harder for her to handle.
I keep hoping that each week my opinions of this season will be changed and I will be blown out of the water. It hasn't happened yet, and with only three episodes left, I'm beginning to worry if there will be salvation. It's Sons of Anarchy so I will never give up hope, and will wish for a bang up last few episodes to wipe all of this disappointment away.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree this season has been lackluster or are you on the other side of the coin and loving it?