Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Episode 13

So I felt odd about this episode.  Both too little and too much happened and for what became the first half of the season finale, I wish we’d had a little more action to balance out all the plotting.

Let me dispense first with the Tig storyline, because that’s what the show did. I thought it was rushed and harried and while, yes, of course it was predictable and will start a race war, it also was as much a way to get his anxieties about Clay and Gemma and everyone else out.   What I mean is that striking out against Leroy was as convenient as it was tactical.   Which, surprise, is a stupid idea.

Anyway, obviously I was disappointed that Clay didn’t bite it and see an actual scramble for power.   I mean, you think there aren’t dudes in the club who are like ‘Could these Hamlets just get on with it already’?   Leaving aside for a moment that it was a total copout that Opie didn’t aim for the head, and that he left town when Jax told him to – what is the prize in being the head of the club which is on a downswing anyway?  

We have discussed at length that Jax is not a braintrust.  Witness that every other scene in this episode moved at a good clip, but that the one where Gemma lays it all out for Jax is painfully long and slow.   She knows she needs to lead him all the way to water.   And my question is why?   If Jax is the head of the club, then, yes, his mama is taken care of and secure – until, that is, he gets murdered in his very first mission out and has to be replaced immediately.   What is she thinking?  That she’ll get to run the club by proxy?  Or is this the only kind of glory this woman can imagine?  

I think that Opie should have been given the glory – even fictionally – of taking Clay out properly.   As it is now, Jax’s murder scenario, as drawn out by Tara, seems almost too elaborate for him.   Too smart.   And of course, we can see that the evolution of a woman behind the man in the club who tells him what to do and how to live is passed firmly into Tara’s hands.  (Take a look at that picture of Gemma and John.  She’s behind him, but who really looks in control there? )   She swears she doesn’t want it, but will she discover what Gemma did?  That this kind of man is only suitable for one life?   I mean, really.  What is Jax gonna do in Oregon?   Drive the carpool?    Be a minor mechanic?   He’s an idiot that she’s decided she loves, just because there’s precious few options in this town.  She’s not really with an equal, a partner.  She knows this.   She also knows she’s not stable enough to deal when something else bad happens.   I’m just waiting to see what it is.

I’m not sure this show is doing what it set out to anymore, or maybe it is.   Next week before the finale we’ll discuss this in a more in-depth way, since there’s no end to the misery and no lack of things to discuss.  Until then, put your faith in someone – if there’s anyone.  Chibs is relatively unscarred – any takers?