Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sons of Anarchy 3.11 'Bainne'

“I’ll never let anyone take you from me again” – Jax

‘Bainne’ may have been an episode in Ireland too far for the Sons from a pacing perspective, but when the content is this good you can’t really complain too much.

‘Bainne’ was a mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous; there were two or three fantastic scenes that had a raw visceral nature to them that you couldn’t help be affected by. There were also a few moments that left you rolling your eyes though – the main culprit of the latter was the pre-credits scene with Jimmy-O as blood splattered across a crucifix on the wall.

Sons has always been big on symbolism, and that’s a part of the show I really love, but it’s usually done in a more subtle way, and having that religious imagery so in our faces really felt like we were being beaten over the head.

But when you have scenes such as Jax’s stalking of Abel and his new adopted parents at the market, the scene in the hotel room with Jax and Opie after the corpses of the aforementioned parents had been found and Jax and Gemma when Jax informed his Mum of his decision to let Abel go, you let the more ridiculous elements (Gemma holding a gun to a baby) go.

‘Bainne’ was relatively action free after a few episodes quite heavy on dramatic moments, instead this final instalment in SAMCRO’s Irish vacation created drama far more emotive without the need for big explosive impacts.

That scene with Jax at the market was dialogue-free, just a musical accompaniment scored that entire scene, but it was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve seen on television in quite some time. Charlie Hunnam has become a master this season at conveying raw emotion simply through a look and he was nothing short of fantastic here.

Abel finally being returned to Jax felt somewhat anti-climactic in a way though, I’m relieved that this chapter has now been concluded, but given how much of the season has been devoted to the hunt for Abel when he was finally reunited with his Dad it felt a little more low-key than I expected. That is who these people are though I guess, SAMCRO aren’t really in the business of throwing a party with balloons and welcome home banners are they?

Whilst Jax was being reunited with one child in Ireland, unbeknownst to him, another was being taken further and further away from him back in Charming.

If SAMCRO’s stay in Ireland had maybe outstayed its welcome by one episode, then Tara’s kidnapping by one of the series’ most inept and least intimidating villains: Salazar has dragged on by about three.

What should have really been a one episode arc has now dragged on for four, but at least now they are out of that damn loft, although with his impossibly irritating girlfriend now dead, Salazar has nothing to lose really.

With SAMCRO due back in Charming in the next episode I guess this Tara storyline will be resolved pretty quickly, though whether Unser will get his wish for Salazar to be taken alive remains to be seen.

Of course we all assume that is how this will play out, there’s no real sense of jeopardy for Tara, they aren’t, after spending one season reuniting Jax with one child, going to then kill of the mother of his unborn child the following week, which has been my issue with this development all along.

At least when Margaret was in captivity as well, there was the sense that she may take a bullet, but with Tara now having secured her release the tension in this storyline has all but fizzled out.

Things are certainly set up for SAMCRO’s return to Charming to be quite explosive though, now Jax knows not only about Tara’s pregnancy but also of her kidnapping. And there’s still the small matters of Gemma’s charges, the charges hanging over the club, the club’s instruction to kill Jimmy and Jax’s deal with Stahl which is directly linked to the other three.

Welcome home boys.

A Hail of Bullets:

- They’ve had Gemma do some pretty crazy things over the years on this show, even more so lately to drive home the whole losing her mind trait, but that scene where she threatened to shoot the baby was about the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t think anyone believed for a minute that she was going to do it and the look on Jax’s face seemed to be more embarrassed than concerned.

- I’m guessing there are some revelations in Maureen’s letters that may make Jax rethink his whole “I’m done listening to dead men” mantra, or why would she go to the trouble of hiding something that clearly means a lot to her in his luggage?

- It seemed odd that the club would go along with Stahl’s offer to help them so easily, but soon things reverted to the natural order after the drop went wrong and Tig tried to get at the ATF bitch. That whole drop scene was also quite ridiculous and felt more slapstick than anything and thus at odds tonally with the rest of the episode.

- Margaret mentioned a husband and kids to Tara when they were still tied up – I wonder what they make of that ink on her back?

- There wasn’t much humour to be found in ‘Bainne’ but Jax telling Bobby that he was “twice [Trinity’s] age and three times her weight” was pretty funny.

Sons of Anarchy Season 3 continues in the UK on FIVE USA Wednesday @ 10pm


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