Long Live The King
Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Episode 10 recap
Years ago, I took this leadership position that was handed down by someone else. I was super-young, and thought I could do it, no problem. I was pretty proud to have been bestowed it, too. Until, pretty early on, the group decided that the leadership I was rocking – the same leadership I had carefully emulated on the leaders the year before – was not cool with the way I was doing things. Woe the politics of academically-linked theater and hormones. In the end, I didn’t exactly abdicate, but I sort of passively let the drama (pun, heh.…) wash over me…
What is it like to be Clay? I’m asking honestly. Where everyone else is has massive expectations of you and you are failing at meeting almost everyone’s, including the ones that are at cross purposes? What is it like to be in the position where absolutely everyone is pissing you off in absolutely blood-boiling ways? I’m not talking about a transition from one group to another – Clay is literally furious at everyone. Jax, the Sons (and what happened to the vote that was abandoned? For that matter, is anyone gonna go to Piney’s while Unser does his frame job?), the Cartel, the Mayans – and of course, the biggest betrayal…Gemma.
Let me first unequivocally state that what Clay did was cruel and horrible, and for people who say ‘was it worse than all the people he’s killed’, I kind of have to say yes. When you assault someone out in the world, someone who is probably carrying a gun, that’s one thing. They are arguably expecting some sort of excitement. But to assault someone in their own home – somewhere they’ve been comfortable for years and years…it’s worse. It feels worse.
And my personal opinion on why Clay was so furious with Gemma? He thought they had an agreement. Not that she would agree to let him do half the things he does, that’s preposterous; but he knows she’s smart enough to figure stuff out. He relies on her to Lady MacBeth him, to steer him in the direction of not only what’s not all the way off the rails, but also to save him from himself. Gemma chose Jax. And the babies, and Tara. She chose them over Clay, and that is the one thing he will never be able to forgive.
And so she says he’s a dead man. That Jax shall have the honor of dethroning him. And can you think of a more hollow victory? Now that Tara’s life is ruined? Now that their escape will be less triumph and more bedraggled consolation for a life that could have been? Will raising a gun to take Clay out really feel like anything for Jax at all? Won’t he realize how easy it was, how he could have done it earlier?
And so we’ll watch the dead man walking, and see who is a casualty and who winds up a hero (Juice, you know I love you, but you have to do some stuff pretty soon). But even though Gemma has seen the light, even though this is the beginning of the end, I can’t help but feel empty inside.