Tell me you love me…
Wow…what a crazy two weeks in SoA land.
I have mixed feelings about these episodes. Obviously, they’re sort of awesome…but in a sense, they’re also incomplete emotionally. So much has happened and so much has been revealed to and amidst our various characters, but so little of (aside from Clay being shot) it is new to us as the viewer. This, of course, isn’t really a problem–at least not in any traditional sense, but it does suggest an interesting sort of relationship between us as viewers and our material. The reason I have so much trouble figuring out where I stand when it comes to what’s happened is that the show has done such a good job of making all of the requisite cases. I think Gemma’s right: even if Jax just walks away, he’ll never walk away. SoA is who he is (notice how easily he shoots the cars following them in the chase…it is no accident, I think, that he is shown as taking the initiative there). He could no more let go of the club than he could remove the tattoo on his back (i.e. he could remove the tattoo, but it would him deformed). Similarly, of course, we can easily see Tara and Jax’s perspective: they’ve got to get out.
Enter John Teller’s original mission.
Of course, also throw in weird stuff with the Mexicans (what’s their play? Is their person on the inside unreliable? Or are they up to something else?), the US government, (now) the Niners, the Irish, and the rival cartel (not to mention the Clay, Tigg, Bobby, and various jailhouse storylines) and you have an amazing powder keg just waiting to explode. It’s really amazing how much the show has managed to do and reveal (did we ever think the letters would make it to Jax? That Clay would be almost fatally wounded?), and yet these revelations have only increased the overall uncertainty. This is a testament to the show, I think.
Funnily enough, the last two episodes have restored my interest in the show! Granted, Sons‘ overall pattern hasn’t changed – the long slow buildup followed by the swift catalyst of events, but when the show works, it works. I’m with you on all of these themes, and I agree, there’s nothing really new that happened these last two episodes. But they’ve done something more satisfying, which is to finally stop drawing out the suggestion of a threat – J.T.’s letters – and give us an emotional payoff. There’s two things the show does exceptionally well – sudden explosions of violence (and you’re right, we’re sitting on top of a powder keg for the finale, with the war with the Niners only the newest measure of volatility) and quiet moments of tension and revelation. Last week, Opie’s discovery of Piney was kind of a mixture of both (and man, was Ryan Hurst phenomenal in that episode), and this week, it was the conversation between Jax and Gemma. The look on Jax’s face as, finally, the truth about his father was given to him was astonishing. Jax spends an amazing amount of time trying to catch up with what’s going on around him (“What are you talking about?” has to be the most common line of dialogue Charlie Hunnam is given), but when he’s in a position to act, it’s done with power and with decisiveness. Even Donna’s death in season 1 didn’t give him such a powerful incentive to dethrone Clay. On the other hand, caught between Gemma doing her best Lady Macbeth and Tara’s eerie “tell me you love me” (seriously – wtf?), this leaves things, as you say, even more uncertain. He’s clearly not leaving Charming, no, but short of Tara’s death or leaving, either of which seem possible given her strange fugue state this episode, I can’t see how it’s going to happen. A lot of unanswered questions for next week.