“Sweet and Vaded” continues the course setup in “Salvage” where a ray of sunshine finally hits the motorcycle gang and things start to look up, even if forces are at work to undo this moment of happiness. “Sweet and Vaded” is that typical Sons of Anarchy episode that hits all the notes on expects. The Sons get pulled into a job. Aggression soon turns into murderous rage.and Tara and Gemma continue to duke it out on their own with only Unser there to hold the bags and wonder in his mind if he’s too old for this shit. A couple of years ago I would have derided “Sweet and Vaded” for being so typical. It sure beats the sheer nihilism that permeated the first half of the season. Which makes a A Plot involving the disruption of a child pornography ring seem totally bright and sunny.
Sons has already had a knack for making interesting side characters who live on the fringe like the Sons. For all the betrayal and darkness that has surrounded them they are our anti-heroes who have that innate sense of right and wrong. Venus Van Dam mother Alice, played by Adrienne Barbeau, clearly evil and vile. With her sheer hatred for her child and all that drugging and child pornography stuff. Normally Jax offing someone all willy nilly would be derided for how dumb it is, which it was, even before it is clear ammo for Barosky to bring back. As Barosky says though, he’d have shot her to if Jax hadn’t done it first.
At least this time when the requisite stupid chase sequence started it wasn’t a Son going all bullet crazy. Venus uncorked a little bit of Vincent and shot up the chase car in sudden violent fashion. The kind that makes you wonder how do the cops not get the Sons for something like that?
For as dumb and charged as the plot was it did pay off with Jax giving Venus some parenting advice. Sons and Hunnam haven’t been able to really play Jax as more than one thing at a time. He’s either a terrible cold blooded killer. A biker King. Or a loving father. None of them mixed together. I’m sure Jax loves his kids but he’s also kind of a terrible Dad for putting them in such an environment. It’d be really nice seeing Hunnam get to play the loving father while he is in cold blooded killer mode.
No matter how hilarious it might be that the Sons now find themselves inside an ice cream parlor (a place I hope they stay in) and how the rays of the sun seems brighter, it’s all kind of ephemeral. There are forces outside and within working to undo this new found happiness. The DA, Tyne Patterson, continues to try and find a way into the club and get her big win in the school shooting. It’s a futile attempt with Nero who is staying silent and shouldn’t be in prison very long once the DNA from Torics room comes back. Tyne isn’t really a character at this point, she’s got all the normal characteristics of the big bad law man for the season. Surprisingly lacking the cartoonish feature that leads to their undoing. Though, Lincoln Potter was undone more by government bureaucracy than himself. The character is getting by on the strength of CCH Ponders performance and man does she make a good legal bitch.
The real pay off this episode comes in the machinations of Tara’s secret plan to get at least her sons out of Charming. It’s always rewarding to see a plan come together and someone so expertly played. I make no bones about my loathing of Gemma a once promising character in seasons 2 and 3 who has since been misused and just made to be real bitch. The entire plan though continues to draw the kind of comparisons between the two characters. Tara is told to keep thinking of the big picture and that the end results will justify the means. Once the euphoria wore off I’m left wondering if that’s really true. Like Clay, Gemma is going down on a rap that is false. After all the evil they have done it’s the false charges that get them.