Sons Of Anarchy, "The Push": flipping the script

Quick Take: Sons Of Anarchy, "The Push"
"I'm protecting my club and my family." - Jax Teller

SOA

Review: Sons Of Anarchy, "The Push"
(S0306) There was a lot to like about "The Push." And while some of the action in the episode could be viewed as filler, the show is good enough to give that filler meaning beyond just helping to advance the plot from point A to point B. For example, SAMCRO needs money to finance their trip to Belfast. These guys are bad-asses with guns, they could knock over an armored car or something and, voila, the trip is paid for. Instead, Jax and Tara decide to sell prescription drugs. Sounds simple enough, but it accomplishes more than just fund raising. It forces Jax to reevaluate his relationship with Tara, it reintroduces Darby and it puts Unser in the position of having to side with the San Jao Sheriffs or SAMCRO.

What a relief it has been that the non-Abel story lines that initially felt like they might be suffocated under the weight of the kidnapping are starting to come together nicely. The problem seems to be that there are just so many plots going on! Let's start with the stuff that I'm not too crazy about. I was super excited when Lem (that is what I am going to refer to him as. Yes, I realize his name on SOA is Kozik but I don't care) first indicated that he was planning to make a move to Charming, but now that he is here, I'm kind of with Tig. For some reason that I can't put my finger on, he just doesn't really fit. I think his hair is too short.... Clearly, he and Tig have some history and when he comes up for membership, Tig votes nay. "I just don't trust him." Clay and Jax assure him that they will re-vote in a couple of weeks and eventually he will be SAMCRO.

It took me a couple of viewings to figure out exactly what happened with the Calaveras MC and the heroin run through SAMCRO territory but I think I figured it out. The Mayans wanted to patch over Calaveras to act as couriers for drugs through Lodi (territory controlled by SOA) to San Quentin. On the inaugural run SAMCRO intercepts the package and uses it as leverage to broker a peace deal with Alvarez. Instead of Calaveras, the Mayans will now use the Grim Bastards as escorts and pay SAMCRO a toll for each trip through their region. Again, I had the luxury of screeners, so I got to watch this episode a couple of times, but the first time I saw it I was pretty confused by some of this.

As part of their peace accord, SAMCRO agrees to eliminate the guy from a couple of episodes ago that Clay and company buried in the ground. Alvarez is none too pleased that he ratted. Lem and Tig are tasked with the hit, which is complicated by the fact that the guy is in the hospital (the same hospital that Gemma is being held in). Things get a little rough when the guy struggles. "Brains before bullets, if they see [bruises] it'll point to homicide," Tig chastises after Lem smashes his face. "If you didn't let the little bitch clock you this would never have happened."

Tying this back to my earlier point, this may all seem like filler, and to some extent it was, but it served a greater purpose (albeit a somewhat far-fetched one). The peace accord between SAMCRO and the Mayans gave Clay some leverage with Oswald, who in exchange for the promise of a cease-fire in Charming will allow the gang to hop a ride on one of his cargo planes to the UK.

On to the real good stuff in the episode. With Jax's help, Stahl has been put back onto the Irish case. To hold up her end of the bargain she gives Jax a statement to have Gemma memorize for her deposition. When Jax gives it to his mother to read, she immediately knows who wrote it. "Don't get into to bed with this bitch," she warns. She evens goes so far as to call him "Jackson", so you know she must be serious. But he doesn't back down, insisting that he is protecting his club and his family.

So, Gemma fingers Stahl's partner (no lesbian pun intended.) Was everyone as shocked by this as I was? I read a lot of predictions about how Stahl was going to help get Gemma out from under this mess, but putting the blame on her partner/lover was not of of them. My question is, how much does Agent Tyler know of Stahl's involvement in the shooting? Her reaction, or lack thereof was a little strange. Stahl was the one saying things like "She's lying." Agent Tyler was mostly silent.

The scene with Unser and Clay at the police station was my favorite of the episode and probably the season. No character has evolved as much through the course of the show than poor Wayne. He has gone from bumbling cop to nemesis to confidante to accomplice to Charming's moral compass. The look on his face when he tells Clay that he can no longer help him despite being closer to the MC than to the cops is heartbreaking.

The other great scene was, of course, the final scene. The one where Jax finally takes Lyla's porn star friend up on that offer of a ride. I liked this scene, not only because of my completely hetero man-crush on Charlie Hunnam (Hey, what can I say, I'm a big fan of Lloyd from Undeclared. He has a cool accent! Don't judge me), but also because I'm starting to really dislike Tara. She is quickly becoming the "Rita" to Jax's "Dexter".

Other thoughts:

  • The other really cool part of this episode was the look we got inside the world of SAMCRO politics with the Lem and Happy vote-in and the initiation of three new prospects. It was kind of like a slightly more violent British Parliament session. Maybe like one of those Filipino Parliment sessions you see on Youtube. Was one of the prospects Leo Fitzpatrick (Telly from Kids and Bubs' dope fiend buddy, Johnny, from The Wire)? It looked like him, but the camera cut away from his face pretty quickly.
  • When Jax asks Tara to get involved with the prescription drug scheme she says, ""They're medical professionals Jax, they're not gonna buy drugs from a biker." This is notable because the word "biker" is always used when describe the show, but almost never on the show. Its like the word "mafia" on The Sopranos.
  • By Lucas High

    About the author

    Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at lhigh2@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.

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