Sons of Anarchy: Season 6: a review

spoilers

Uh…yeah, SPOILERS AHEAD. Please don’t read this if you haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy: Season 6 yet, or if you think you might ever want to do so.

As I write this little review of the season, I’ve just finished watching the last episode of the season, episode number 13, “A Mother’s Work.” I have been wrecked, emotionally speaking. It’s tough when a show really draws you in, making you care about all of the various characters. Some more than others, maybe. It’s tough when a show kills them off. Fans of The Walking Dead know this feeling. So do the fans of this show. I know it’s all pretend, and the actors who played the now-deceased characters are alive and well, but that doesn’t change the psychic impact of story events. It doesn’t change the fact that I have tears drying on my cheeks, even now, and I’m not a guy who cries easily.

I know. Pathetic, right? You’re entitled to think so.

I, on the other hand, think this is a testament to the high drama that is Sons of Anarchy. This is a crime drama that expertly builds tension to the point where things have to break and people have to die. This season was especially impactful.

Season 6 jumps right back in where the previous season left off. Tara is in jail as an accomplice in Otto’s murder of the prison nurse; she unwittingly provided him with the murder weapon, a crucifix.

Peter Weller, of Robocop fame, is introduced as ex-cop Charlie Barosky, a criminal who controls the docks in Stockton, and who continues to play a role in the action for the entire season.

Jax and Nero are moving forward with plans to expand Diosa into Stockton. We are introduced to madame Collette Jane, played by Kim Daniels (who is now Madison on Fear the Walking Dead). She’s sleeping with Jax by the end of the first episode of the season (sorry, Tara).

Bobby ‘Elvis’ Munson is on an extended road trip after giving up his vice-presidency at the end of last season. We are led to believe that he is forming his own Nomad club, but he’s not: he’s recruiting more members for SAMCRO, whose members seem to be dropping like flies.

Crazy ex-U.S. Marshal Lee Toric is back, still trying to avenge his nurse sister’s murder by taking down the Sons, and actor Donal Logue is playing him to the hilt. At least he is until Otto Delaney kills him with a shiv provided by Clay Morrow (who is also incarcerated now, for a murder he didn’t commit). Logue seems to have had fun with this role. He also killed a prostitute from Diosa and framed Nero Padilla for it, brutally tortured some Byz-Lat gang members, and generally created chaos until he was killed. He tried and failed to get both Clay and Tara to rat on the club while they were behind bars. His murder didn’t affect me deeply, but it was a surprise so early in the season.

CCH Pounder, who has been in about every show I’ve liked for several decades now, joins this show in season 6 as DA Tyne Patterson. She wants to pin a Catholic school shooting on the club, who did provide the weapon that the shooter used to kill four children. She is the force behind many of the behind-the-scenes machinations in this season, up to the very end when she is nearly successful at getting Tara to rat and take her boys into federal witness protection. CCH Pounder plays some version of this character in everything she’s in, but I love her as a performer. She shines this season as well.

Meanwhile, Jax is trying to get the club out of gun running. The Real IRA, and Galen, don’t like this. They end up stirring up animosity with the Chinese, and using the Sons to break Clay out of prison during a transport. Jax capitalizes on this turn of events to kill both Clay Morrow and Galen. Clay was also a surprise, sort of. I expected him to die at some point, just not when he did.

The body count is high in this season, and as the season ends, it seems like the violence will continue. Nero has dumped Gemma and returned to his role as the leader of the Byz-Lats. It seems that the Latinos and Chinese will be teaming up against the black and white gangs, which will put Nero and Jax on opposite sides. Nero no longer trusts Jax because Jax had Juice (who is still alive) kill the old lady of one of Nero’s gang members and didn’t tell him. Since Juice leaked this info to Nero while he was overdosed on Oxy, Jax no longer trusts Juice. Again.

But, when the season ends, Juice is still alive. His survival this season has also been a surprise.

During the final episode, Jax convinces Tara to not rat out the club. Instead, he makes a deal with Patterson to turn himself in as the supplier of the school shooter gun, in exchange for Tara’s immunity from prosecution in the murder of Lee Toric’s sister. He is preparing to turn himself in when things take a sharp left turn. Gemma, who knows nothing about the deal, still thinks Tara is turning rat. She murders Tara, is caught by police lieutenant Eli Roosevelt (who I also liked). Then Juice comes in and kills Eli as well. Juice gets rid of the murder weapon and gets Gemma out of there.

The last scene of the season is Jax’s discovery of the bodies, and his heartbreak while cradling his dead wife in his arms. This is what got to me. Hit me right in the feels.

Now that Clay is gone, it seems Gemma is stepping up to take her place as the most heinous character in the show, while Juice remains the weakest link in the club. I’ve got thirteen episodes to go before I’m through with this show. I can take it.

The question is: Who will still be standing after the finale?

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