Tag Archives: FX

Donald Glover Takes You to the Dirty in New Atlanta Promo

ATL, Georgia. What We Do For Ya?

Are yall ready for Donald Glover’s return to television? Well, you have a couple months, but just to give a you the slightest peek at what’s in store, Glover and FX have released a tiny promo for his somewhat biographical comedy, Atlanta.  Continue reading Donald Glover Takes You to the Dirty in New Atlanta Promo

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Sons of Anarchy: “Smoke Em, If You Got Em” Review

Business as usual.

*Spoilers Below**

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Not one to complain about a cliffhanger not delivering, but when we left off last week, Juice had Gemma staring down the barrell of a gun. I even said, it was fairly obvious that he wasn’t going to kill her for story reasons, but it would have been nice to see him come to that conclusion. The tension was abruptly cut since the very first scene of “Smoke Em, If You Got Em” was Gemma walking down that lonely road. So with that situation mostly handled, this Sons of Anarchy felt more like standard fare.

SAMCRO was able bring back a sense of normalcy to their existence. Through pure plot contrivance, Jax was able to garner deals and good faith enough for things to cool down a bit in Charming. Keep in mind, Lin knows everything, and more than a few people have heard Jax say that Gemma is the one who saw the Chinese allegedly kill Tara. Thankfully that was brought up in the episode, and will likely be expanded upon later. For now, we saw a chicken come home to roost a bit as Juice was finally confronted by the club.

Rewinding a bit, it shows how far Juice has fallen if he is willing to turn his back on the club in order to buy safe passage from The Mayans. Sons-of-Anarchy-Jax-Teller-850x560We’ve constantly been reminded that SAMCRO is all Juice has, and that he was lost without them, now to stroll in, head down, and intentionally betray them in a way he hasn’t before is saddening but plausible. Remember, his past transgressions were at the threat of police and under the influence of drugs and depression. This was just a man at the end of his rope. We were left to wonder what info Juice would give up, now that he’s not beholden to keeping Gemma’s secret about Tara. But we never found out, even though there were technically two opportunities; before Jax and the club walked in, and when Juice was spilling his guts to Nero in the closet.

Gemma at the rest stop was nice, and it was cool to see the Glee star, Lea Michele play against type, but the scene came off as a bit of filler in an already light episode. Not that it was bad, but we got more of the writers wanting us to sympathize with a guilt-ridden Gemma a bit more than any of us a really ready to do. She’s been responsible for so much damage, not only these past two seasons, but overall. Seeing her crumble is more welcome than not at this point.

“Smoke Em, If You Got Em” gave us more to chew on this week, and we’re left to wonder how things will fall into place now that the obvious questions have been asked to a few key people. Nero now has legitimate suspicions of Gemma’s actions, and Jax has Juice in his clutches. Of course, drama for drama’s sake will slow down at least one of those, it’s good to know things are still moving forward in a way. Honestly, i’m more interested in how Nero will react to things than Jax. Jimmy Smits has been owning this role from the get go and has only gotten better over the past few seasons. Sons of Anarchy is giving us super-sized episodes, but they’re suffering from the longer runtime, and could actually tell a more consice story without the extra minutes to pad things out. They’re not operating on the subtlety that thrives on longer exposure. But that’s normal for the show at this point, and I’m sure it’ll be more hit than miss in this last season….I hope.

Score: B-

Sons of Anarchy: “Poor Little Lambs” Review

Best laid plans, and this wasn’t one of them…

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I’ve been saying, pretty adamantly, that Jax’s entire plan was terrible. That every subsequent plan was just another horrible Granny Smith that didn’t fall far from the suck tree. So in this fourth episode, “Poor Little Lambs”, things figuratively and literally blew up in the clubs collective face. And yet, there are still so many other bad things that could happen to SAMCRO.

This episode, in terms of story, started slow. Jax had SAMCRO run another side-quest for August to find the wife of the Pastor they’djuice_SOA accidentally killed earlier in the season. Wow, that was a lot. Since August needed his signature to finalize his development deal, and he was dead and buried off in the woods, Jax had to dig up the body, then find this dead guys wife. In the process, Tig gets shot and we got to see Venus Van Dam again, played by the ever entertaining Walton Goggins. A much appreciated appearance due to the love story it  (yup) that it’s spawning with Tig, but it did feel a little like the show spinning its wheels so that we wouldn’t notice that Jax still has no real reason to believe anything Gemma has told him about Tara’s murder.

Both Gemma and Juice continued their own personal “Losing My Grip” tours. It’s hard to say who is doing worse at this point. While Juice does appear to be the most outwardly broken, Gemma is on more of a self destructive path that will take anyone in the vicinity with her. In the scene where she dropped Able off to school, even the teacher realized that “Grandma was crazy”. A line expertly delivered by Courtney Love after Gemma went a little overboard with an impatient mother.

Juice on the other hand took a peak at Gemma’s setlist and has also taken to talking to himself. At least in Gemma’s case, she’s talking to the Tara(still crazy, I know), while Juice is just rattling off to no one in particular. He also lined up pretty much every gun he had on the dresser, leaving Unser to speak one of the many truth’s dropped in this episode; “this isn’t going to end well”.

I don’t know what it is about Juice, but something isn’t really resonating with me. All of the emotion is there, but I think i’m just done with him as a character. He had his chances and now he’s all mopey again. Either make a move or get the hell out, but don’t expect us to feel sorry for you. Which, could also be by design. So who knows, i’m just throwing things out there.

Nero finally told Gemma what we’ve all kind of noticed already, that Jax is more in it for the comfort of violence than avenging his dead wife. Hesons-anarchy-season-7-spoilers has always enjoyed “the life”, and when the stakes are high, he gets the greatest satisfaction. He may not have ever wanted the chair, but he never shied away from the mayhem. It’s another reason his plan was doomed to fail. He’s been playing like three sides against the middle. Pissing off everyone just to get back at Lin, and making mistakes in the process.

While the Sheriff Deputies getting shot at the drug deal wasn’t his fault, the survivor could easily point things back toward the club. Then there was the grenade at the doughnut shop. Luckily no one was hurt, and we got to see Chibs make his affections known for Jarry finally, but we also got to witness the aftermath of a massacre at the bordello. Lin and his guys are going right at SAMCRO now. No more games, no more lies. Lin is pissed and has sent multiple messages.

Now the walls are closing in and a lot of peoples lies are sure to be found out. We’re approaching that midway point where things get more than a little crazy. Last week I titled the review “War Were Declared”, I think I should have saved that one for this week.

Score: B

Sons of Anarchy: “Playing With Monsters” Review

War Were Declared…

How are more bells not ringing for the rest of SAMCRO at this point? Or maybe they’re too close to the situation to fully realize how deep sons-of-anarchy-season-7-fxdown the rabbit hole Jax is leading them. It’s a deep hole, but instead of rabbits with a bad sense of time, they’re dealing with betrayed and homicidal gangs. All of them. By the end of this episode, Jax Teller has pissed off pretty much every gang in, or around Charming, and somehow still thinks this is a good idea. There wasn’t too much in terms of action, relatively speaking of course, but Sons of Anarchy gave us more than enough to chew on this week as we got to watch everyone’s favorite MC get into even more trouble.

I’m almost not even sure who Jax is supposed to be friends with at this point. Outside of the necessity of having at least one real ally that isn’t a member of SAMCRO with the Grim Bastards, they’re pissing a lot of people off, but even that feels shaky due to the Sons having them commit more than a few crimes while pretending to be the One Niners. Jax’s entire plan falls apart if even one cooler head prevails in the war that he’s ignited, and Lin somehow talks to August.

Unser continues to run into obstalces with his investigation into Tara’s murder, mostly because the people he’s using as his eyes and ears are the ones who actually committed the murder in the first place. Both Juice and Gemma are dead set on making sure NO ONE finds out about what they’ve done, and that can only remain peaceful for so long. Eventually bodies are going to have to drop, so Unser, we liked you, but you’ve been too much of a sucker for Gemma for this to end well. sons-anarchy-season-7-spoilers

Speaking of suckers, Juice is a damned fool for thinking he could push his sorrows onto Chibs again and get the same reaction he did after he tried to kill himself a couple seasons back. While Chibs openly telling Juice to put that gun in his mouth was cold, and angry, it was also filled with hurt. Those two always had a strong relationship, made all the stronger after Juice’s first suicide attempt. Chibs clearly feels betrayed on a personal level. What happens next between those two will be interesting, which means their days are also numbered, which is a shame for Chibs since it looks like he may have found himself a somebody.

Our favorite Scot is really hitting it off with the new sheriff. Jarry seemed pretty smitten with the boy with the Chelsea Grin, and both of their interactions this episode were cute and as cuddly as this show can get. Ya know, comparing scars beneath an underpass while accepting bribes. Romance.

Sheriff Jarry so far seems like less of a pushover than Unser, and recognizes how much of an ally SAMCRO can be, but also how perilous the arrangement is. This is another instance where it’s hard to tell who is playing whom here. Of course SAMCRO wants the law in their pocket going forward with this plan, but the law could also be building a case against the club. Again, it’s not like this is the most well thought out endeavor, as we officially have two major players who are key to it. Jury is now fully aware that SAMCRO killed his guys, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. It’s not like Bobby to go along with a rash decision like that without getting all the info first, at least to make sure it didn’t fall back on the club, but here we are.

All of that, and I didn’t even touch on Gemma still talking to Ghost Tara, or Nero falling back in with the gangbangers. You were out of the game Nero! Watching so many fall from grace and humanity is a great direction to send this final season. The writers are doing a nice job of making others deserve the death we all know they’re going to get, and maybe give us some red herrings as well. I mean, Nero is totally gonna get got too, but he’s one of the few I think doesn’t deserve it. Jax used to be on that short list, but being Gemma’s puppet on top of putting out these fires with moonshine is turning him into a straight up villain. Our boy is going full-Heisenberg, and he doesn’t even know it.

"You know you can't trust me, right"
“You know you can’t trust me, right”

Score: B

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