Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sons of Anarchy 3.12 'June Wedding'


“I’m a Puerto Rican from Queens… I speak better Yiddish.” – Juice

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‘June Wedding’ didn’t quite have the epic feel of a season finale, but it almost felt like a finale in many other ways.

A lot of loose threads were tied up in this episode and having the Sons back in Charming certainly made me realise how much the Irish detour outstayed its welcome this season.

With the whole club, and most importantly baby Abel, now back on US soil, Jax wasn’t able to relax just yet as Tara was still being held hostage by the worst criminal ever Hector Salazar. A pre-credits tease that maybe Salazar had killed Tara failed to convince, and well before the end credits rolled Tara was safe and Salazar was dead.

Salazar in his most boneheaded move yet holed up at Hale’s offices and added Jacob to his collection of hostages. Cementing his reputation as a complete waste of space Salazar was undone by Hale stabbing a pen in to his leg before Jax, in an incredibly pig-headed and selfish move, stabbed the unarmed Salazar to death with his own knife.

There wasn’t really any justification for why Jax felt so strongly that Salazar had to die, unless it was just simply the fact the man had kidnapped his old lady and unborn child. But after being warned of the consequences for Charming PD, were they not able to prove Hale was dirty, it seemed like the sort of impulsive, short-sighted move that it had appeared Jax had grown out of. The repercussions of Jax’s actions here will no doubt be felt by the club for some time to come and the VP will have brought it all on himself.

I’ve always found Jax to be quite a sympathetic character in spite of all the horrible things he’s done, but as much as I loathed Salazar as a character this needless murder really made me lose a lot of respect for Jax.

Away from the Tara rescue, the episode mostly focused on the long-running Stahl issue. Stahl became such an extreme caricature of a human being a long time ago that anything she does now fails to surprise me, but killing her own partner - and lover – just to save her career seemed ridiculous even by her own unhinged standards.

The whole Stahl character is just so insane now it doesn’t really feel based in any sort of reality – at what point do the ATF stop and think “everything this woman gets involved in ends in bloodshed” and look in to her doings a little more closely?

Of course the positive here in terms of building a long term story is that when Stahl does eventually get her comeuppance, one would assume at the hands of the Sons, it will be very sweet for viewers after seeing this twisted woman ruining countless lives for nothing more than a career bump.

The episode was peppered with a few sweet moments to counteract the deaths of two of the season’s recurring characters and the tone and balance of the show as a whole felt a lot more well-rounded than any of the episodes in Ireland.

I didn’t hate Ireland as it sometimes may seem in these reviews, it’s just that Charming is such a vibrant place full of a plethora of potential irritants for the Sons that taking them out of this environment in to the big wide world, so to speak, made the show lose a little of the appeal that drew me to it originally.

I love shows that create their own world, and although Ireland helped expand the mythology of the show, Charming is as much a character in this show as Jax, Clay or anyone else for that matter and Sons of Anarchy as a whole suffered when one of its best characters was absent for such a large chunk of the season.

You only have to look at Unser’s emotional breakdown in that quite touching scene with Gemma to see how much Charming means to so many of these people.

‘June Wedding’ was definitely the strongest episode for a number of weeks from this season and not just because of the return to Charming.

I don’t quite know how the season will end now with a lot of big arcs wrapped up or clearly teed up for season four, but one would assume that with the over-focus on Jimmy pretty much doing nothing of merit in this episode, that his escape to South America won’t quite go as planned in the finale.

A Hail of Bullets:

- I really loved Titus Welliver’s work as Jimmy last season but in spite of appearing more this season he’s not really had that much to get stuck in to. If next week is his last appearance on the show I hope he gets to go out chewing the scenery like we all know he can.

- The Tig & Kozik saga rumbles on and although it was nice to see them seemingly getting along for a while, Tig once again refused to vote Kozik in.

The revelation later that their beef was over a dog rather than a woman, as we’d been led to believe, should have made the whole feud seem stupid and cheapened our investment in it but somehow I actually thought it worked.

Although we don’t know too much about Kozik, we know Tig well enough now to know that he really would take something so trivial to heart.

- Opie & Gemma’s little chat about his future with Lyla was another of a cluster of touching little moments in the episode – further proof that Gemma isn’t just the matriarch of her family but also the club.

Never one to mince her words, her matter of fact analysis of Lyla’s profession - “she earns her living catching cum in her mouth” was just great.

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


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