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Sons Of Anarchy the penultimate episode

Sons of Anarchy poster

Written by : published Wednesday 18th April 2012

Sons Of Anarchy the penultimate episode main image

A week and a half ago I wrote my first post about Sons Of Anarchy. While initially intending to write a review about the fantastic episode 12 “Burnt and Purged Away”, it ended up being more of a commentary on my journey of watching Sons Of Anarchy. As it was the first time I had written about the show I had so many thoughts and ideas to write about. My first inclination was to write a review after each episode. Well the last two anyway seeing as there were only 2 left this series.

So while watching episode 13 “To be act 1” I was constantly thinking about what I could write as part of my review and that I should get started as soon as the episode is finished. As this would mean that I could post it on the TheTVKing while people were still “talking” about the episode. What I then realised was that I was now watching a show with the mindset of writing a review. Picking on scenes or dialogue and thinking how a review could be built around. This I have to say spoilt my viewing experience, instead of being immersed in the show and thinking about the meaning of scenes in the context of the story and characters I was being distracted by thinking how could I write about this.

OK, so I am not a professional TV critic/reviewer, but when watching the episode knowing that

I was going to write a review, the episode lost its magic. It makes me wonder, is this why the professional and aspiring writers love or slate so much TV? When they started out, they probably watched a TV show or film and then felt inspired to write a review good or bad to voice their opinion. The reason though usually is the same they wrote the review because they felt something not because they were being paid or felt they had to get the review out as fast as possible in order to get the most views on their blog. Now the critics are paid they sit down to watch TV knowing they need to write a review about the show. Their editor/boss is probably looking for some inciting sound bite and as result the critic no longer embraces the show for what it is but as a piece to be scrutinised.

While typing professional the predictive text decided I should be typing prostitutes. Which seems apt as just like everyone else trying to earn enough to keep afloat, critics have to turn to cheap tricks to review shows. Which when they started out they hoped they would never have to do.

So after feeling slightly deflated from my first watching of episode 13 “To be act 1”, I watched it again to watch it as a fan. It felt good again. My mind was wandering off but this time to places that were inspired by the episode and not writing a review. I have then just watched the episode for a 3rd time. I know, but it is good. This time I wanted to watch it to think about the review, stopping and starting to make sure I had remembered stuff correctly. I mean I had watched the episode as a fan and been absorbed into it, now I had to watch it as for want of a better word research.

I know most critics are pushed for time like most of us, but I believe that if they were given the time to watch a show as a fan. Then once they had the time to digest their thoughts and feelings about the episode go back and watch it a second or third time as a critic before laying finger on key. The result would be better for all concerned. When I find the door to Utopia, I will let you know the way.

After last week's cliff hanger, was Clay dead, what would Jax do to Opie, how would the club react? I couldn't wait for this week's episode to start.

The episode couldn't have got off to more of an explosive start, Clay not being dead, and then Jax taking Opie down with the shot to the hand. Would this end Jax and Opie for ever? You would think so but having seen the deep bond between Jax and Opie. The life they lead and what they have to do to survive this was nothing more than getting a swift right hook for being a dick. The most important thing I got from this was the in built desire to protect the club above all else and pinning it on the 9ers never got a 2nd thought.

The news of this and the reaction by Tig seemed to do the trick and snap him out of air of despondency. Although starting a war with the 9ers maybe swinging just a tad too far the other way. Did you see Tig snarling while ramming the café? It should be scary but Tig just make me smile now.

We also got a first glimpse of Tara showing here readiness to succeed Gemma as the queen of the Sons. While Gemma thought she was getting the upper hand in securing the letters from Tara. Tara now has the assurances she needs with both Gemma and Jax confirming their love for her. We then see Gemma reading those dam letters. It was nice to see the pictures of a youthful Gemma and JT adding extra weight to the scene. Sons of Anarchy's very own poison chalice or the one ring if you prefer. Whether the letters and the manuscript help you to see the light and follow the path envisaged by the chosen one (John Teller) or threatens to destroy everything you have been working for. It's a story that is centuries old wars have been fought people have died and once again ink on paper is doing it's thing and ripping the Sons apart.

For me the final minutes of the episode are the most powerful, seeing Gemma go all in and unloading on Jax. And as I have already said the emergence of Tara. Will this be the final nail that stops Jax leaving and finally sees him crowned king? After all he has seemed rather presidential during this episode. As we have become accustomed to Sons has a great sound track but the song picked to accompany Jax's reading of the letters was nothing short of perfection in my eyes. Surly it had to be have written for the part? It appears not Ryan Horne - Terrible Tommy.


Oh and the Cartel need to start paying a lot more money for their info.

So what is going to happen at the meet now? I for one can't wait. As I type this I have less than 5 hours to wait. Will Jax finally end Clay? Surly Jax and Tara realise that they can't leave the club now.

As with most Sons episode Sutter seems to splice in moments of comedy Jax's “You need a bigger bowl” to filthy Phil “I like cereal” with his mixing bowl full of cereal. There won't be any cereal left in that box, and I thought I ate a lot of cereal. Then we have the line only Happy could say “he's gotta die, like a lot” . Did we see a little dig at Ron Perlman's fondness for Nicaraguan cigars? With the quip from Happy “go dam cigars” when we are told Clay has a lung problem and is back in surgery.

Another fantastic episode, well written which for me the closing sequence was more pertinent than Opie shooting Clay.

The one thing I hate about watching TV shows live is adverts! The spoil the flow although the mini cliff hangers if timed right can add to the ebb and flow. One positive is that it give me chance to tweet during the adverts.

I have a few episodes of WTFSutter to catch-up on which I haven't watched due to @SonsOfAnarchy saying they contained spoilers but tonight I will get to see them.

So there it is my review of sorts for the penultimate episode, if you want to catch-up or refresh before tonight's finale you can still on Demand Five.

I would love to see your thoughts and answer your questions. You can use the comments below or send me a tweet @thetvking.

Don't forget the season 4 or series 4 final episode 14 “To Be act 2” will air tonight on 5 USA(Freeview channel 31) at 10PM, 5USA +1 if you have it and online on Demand Five from about 11PM tonight. 5USA will also be repeating the final episode this Friday at 11:50PM.

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