Sons of Anarchy, "Turas": a barn burner... well, not so much

Quick Take: Sons of Anarchy, "Turas"
"Hypocrites, all of ya" - Gemma to Father Ashby

soa

Review: Sons of Anarchy, "Turas"
(S0309) I'll tell you what, Kurt Sutter and company had better have three damn good episodes up their sleeves or there are going to be some seriously disappointed Sons of Anarchy fans (or in some cases, former fans) spewing venom all over internet forums.

Unfortunately, this has been going on (to a degree) over the entire season. I'm generally a little more forgiving, if only because I really love this show and want it to be good. I tend to overlook its flaws and focus on the things it does well. And don't get me wrong, there definitely were things in "Turas" that were done well, it's just that we aren't really any closer to getting closure than we were last week. And with only a few episodes left in the season, they are quickly running out of time.

In Ireland, Jax's (Charlie Hunnam) little sit down with Kellan (James Cosmo) last week did little to calm his nerves, and why would it? His son is still missing and no one in Ireland seems that keen on helping him get Abel back. He is intuitive enough to realize that he isn't getting the whole picture from anyone, only "smokey truths." To Jax, all of this stems from the club's decision to get into the gun running business. "Let's not kid ourselves about the victims," he tells Gemma (Katey Sagal). "Now is not the time for soul-searching," she says. Little moments like this are almost a tease, reminding the audience of a simpler time when the show was based on an interesting existential crisis, not an increasingly frustrating missing-baby crisis.

Jax calls Stahl (Ally Walker) and asks her to dig up some dirt on the priest and fills her in on Ashby's offer. "Jimmy dies and so does our deal," Stahl warns. It's really weird that Jax and Stahl are getting all BFF. There's no way this ends well for either of them. After their conversation, Stahl's girlfriend/partner sneaks in and peaks at her cell phone, more evidence that it's only a matter of time until this whole thing blows up in their faces.

For SAMCRO, most of "Turas" is spent accompanying SAMBEL on a gun pick-up. SAMBEL gets their weapons from the IRA, so the hope is that Jimmy O (Titus Welliver) will be at the other end of the pick up. I don't really know what Clay and Jax plan on using for leverage, but I guess they figure if they get into the same room as Jimmy, that it will help them get Abel back. The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. The SAMBEL guys, McGee (Andy McPhee) and Liam (Arie Vereen), are working both sides and tip Jimmy off. Jimmy plans a redo of last week's checkpoint situation, with the goal of having SAMCRO arrested or killed. "This could set off a chain of events that we might not be able to contain," warns Jimmy's lackey, but Jimmy doesn't seem particularly worried.

Jimmy doesn't show up to the meet with SAMBEL. Instead he barges into Maureen Ashby's (Paula Malcomson) looking for Fiona (Bellina Logan) and Kerry-Anne, who Kellan stashed there for safe keeping. He blasts a SAMBEL member guarding the ladies, which startles Trinity (Zoey Boyle) in another room. She grabs a gun and bum rushes Jimmy and his goon, giving Gemma and Mo an opportunity to arm themselves and gain the upper hand. "My family has a few things to work out with Jimmy," Gemma says, planning to hold him hostage until Clay (Ron Perlman) and Jax return. Fiona has other ideas, training her gun at Gemma. She forces Gemma to let Jimmy go, "You kill Jimmy and his crew will wipe out your enitre family," but not before warning Jimmy that if he ever comes after her or her daughter again she will kill him herself.

This was certainly the most exciting scene of the episode. Sons of Anarchy always does a great job of making its female characters just as badass as the boys. I was much less impressed by the other big action sequence of the episode, mainly because I was kind of confused by it. Somehow SAMCRO gets through the police checkpoint, and I think McGee bribes the cops, but I'm not sure. I'm finding it difficult to keep track of exactly which side McGee is on. He seems interested in keeping Jax and Clay alive, but he continues to report back to Jimmy. Liam, on the other hand, seems completely in Jimmy's corner. So much so that he appears to completely betray his SAMBEL brothers. When Jimmy fails to post for the gun meet, Liam wanders out of the barn that SAMCRO and SAMBEL are milling around in and detonates an explosive, blowing up the barn. All of the SAMCRO guys, survive, but a couple of SAMBEL members are killed. Did McGee know about the bomb? Is he cool with members of his club dying at the hands of Jimmy and the IRA? Again, this whole scene was pretty confusing and ambiguous. I don't need for the show to spell everything out for me, but I would appreciate a bit more clarity.

Charming / The Stateside storyline was a little better this week than last week, if only because it offered some comic relief. The actual plot is still much less juicy than its Irish counterpart, but that starts to change toward the end of the episode. Most of the Charming stuff revolves around Unser (Dayton Callie), Tig (Kim Coates), Piney (William Lucking) and Lem (Kenny Johnson) trying to figure out whether the attack on Lumpy's gym was a result of Alvarez and the Mayans breaking the truce or an act of revenge on the part of Salazar. Eventually it becomes pretty clear to all interested parties that Salazar is the most likely suspect. The scales of justice might be tipping back in favor of SAMCRO and Oswald when Unser gets wind of the real estate scheme Hale has going on in Lumpy's block.

The big pay-off comes at the end of the episode when Salazar and his girlfriend track down Tara (Maggie Siff) and her boss on their way to the abortion clinic. They mistake Tara's boss for another SAMCRO "old lady" and check her for ink to see who she is. When they pull her shirt up, it turns out she is all tatted up and she must have been, at one point or another, some biker's "old lady." The scene is good for a chuckle and explains why she has taken an interest in Tara. The troubling thing is that this is the last thing the show needs. There are only a few episodes left and Jax is already chasing a kidnapped baby. He doesn't need to come home and start chasing a kidnapped girlfriend. If Season Four begins the same way Season Three did, only with Tara substituted for Abel, I don't know if I can continue to make excuses for the show.

Other thoughts:

  • Like Jax did last week, Gemma has a sit down with Kellan Ashby. "Why are you doing this to us? If you know where my grandson is just tell me," she demands. He, of course, gives her nothing on Abel. He does, however, give her a nugget about John Teller. He informs her that he and JT were very close during John's time in Belfast, and that he made some kind of mysterious promise to the late SOA founder. Enough with the veiled references, just tell us what the hell happened when John was in Ireland already!
  • Clay tells Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) to take his wife and daughter back to Charming on next cargo flight to States. Chibs declines, saying "The only way I can keep my baby safe is when that bastard O'phalen is dead. And I guarantee I'm going to make that happen." That's fine, just make it happen fast, Chibs.
  • 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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