Sons of Anarchy: “Toil and Till” Review

Stop letting Jax plan things!

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Full SPOILERS to take place below…



With the second episode in this seventh and final season of Sons of Anarchy, we find Jax moving forward with his plan to dismantle and destroy Lin and his Chinese gang, with the most haphazard plan he’s ever hatched. If the first episode didn’t make things clear, “Toil and Till” further drove home the fact that things will slowly play out. Jax probably won’t get any closer to finding out Gemma killed Tara for a while. So sit back, try to relax, and watch the tension build.

I wasn’t really on board with the choice to have this season start just a few days after the season 6 finale, and not knowing exactly what Gemma said to convince Jax that Lin & Co. were responsible is leaving a lot to be desired. Yes, he’s in a fragile state of mind, but the fact that everyone keeps trying to remind us how cunning and calculating Jax can be juxtaposed with him being manipulated by his mother, who he was very recently at odds with because he knows she’s a stone cold liar, is a little upsetting. SOA-RECAP_612x380

Jax is burning all sorts of bridges with his “plan” to gain Lin’s trust, isolate him, then kill him. Problem is, Lin figured it out almost immediately after SAMCRO’s attack on the gun deal. Side note: maybe attacking a deal where you know guns are being sold isn’t a good idea. Every aspect of this plan points back to Jax, and puts the club in danger.

Then there’s Unser and his plans. This poor guy has loved Gemma, and the club for decades and it’s cost him almost everything. His working with the police to investigate is a step in the right direction, but he’s also let Gemma in a little to close. Now it’s hard to tell if he’s being worked, or working both sides. Either way, I don’t think Unser is going to make it out of this series alive. Lambs to slaughter and all that. I did “enjoy” the scene where Gemma saw the crime scene photos of Tara. Keeping that guilt right there on her mind. Since the show can’t go full-Hamlet anymore, passing the insanity angle on to Mommy Dearest is a nice move. Anything to show Gemma in pain makes me happy. She’s pulling all sorts of strings and keeping people in their own private hell, it’s nice to see her wallow. And Juice, I know he’s being manipulated but continuing to hide, in the same small town, as the guys looking for you is really, really stupid. Hop in that Volvo and get the hell out of Dodge.

Also of note, if you’d told me five years ago, that I would be rooting for Wendy the junkie, i’d wouldn’t have believed you. I would have also questioned your own sobriety, but here we are, with Wendy and Nero, the pimp/former gang-banger as the most stable characters on the show. Man I hope they save those kids. Speaking of kids, Jax finally saw them for the first time, and he’s in full on Heisenberg mode. The same way Mr. White would scream how much this was for his family but no one believed him, Jax isn’t exactly in this for his kids at this point. Revenge has taken full hold here, with his kids just acting as a living excuse for murder. sons-anarchyep2

Sons of Anarchy has always enjoyed the sophomoric bonding between the club members. The scene between Tig and Rat Boy in the car was reminiscent of that, and a nice break from the tension that is sure to build over the course of the season. Too bad both of those guys are sure to die, especially with Mr. August back in the picture.

As with any shows final season, especially one that takes no qualms with wrapping up stories in bloody fashion, it’s interesting to see so many puzzle pieces still being moved, but they are also being positioned in ways where we can make out the picture. Jax is killing his way into a corner, and he’s quickly running out of allies whether he know it or not. Oh, SAMCRO, you never cease to entertain.


Score: B



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