Review: 'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Booster': Little green bag
A review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I tell you to be the badge...
"Don't go setting fires where there's nothing to burn." -Clay
"Booster" ends with the SAMCRO clubhouse trashed and the club itself on the verge of falling to pieces over Clay's plan for them to become drug mules for the cartel. The guys begin cleaning up the place, and Tara briefly lightens the mood by announcing that she and Jax are engaged, but the wounds inside the club seem like they'll be much harder to repair than the damage Roosevelt(*) and his men did.
(*) Rockmond Dunbar had a terrific introduction last week, but boy does he really announce his presence with authority in this one. I like how Roosevelt gets a little too into the whole performance. He's a by-the-book kind of guy, but he's perhaps too tightly wound, and being around the Sons has a bad effect on people like that.
And it's here that I want to bring back Jax and Tara's conversation from the premiere. Again, I understand the culture Jax was raised in, and I also recognize that for all he talks about wanting to get out of SAMCRO because of the violence, he had no problem being part of that violence last week. I get where he's coming from; this world is more a part of him than he wants to admit. But at the same time, Jax knows just how reckless and stupid this plan is, on top of taking the club further and further away from its original ideals. He told Tara last week that he'd stick around for a while because the gun deal with the IRA was smart and low-profile - a way to make a lot of money without exposing himself to a lot of risk. This is not that. This is the exact kind of thing that could put take Jax away from Tara and the boys for a very long time, and while in theory it could allow him a cleaner exit from the club (this time with Clay's approval), the downside just seems way too huge.
I wouldn't say it's exactly out of character for Jax (he's done dumb, short-sighted things before), but it does feel like a case where the needs of the plot - the writers want the Mexican deal to happen, and they also need an excuse to have Jax stick around Charming for many hypothetical seasons to come - wind up making me think significantly less of our hero.
On the plus side, though, the deal allows the show to bring in both Danny Trejo and Benito Martinez(**) as the cartel's representatives, and the presence of both gentlemen is welcome. And I did like seeing some of the other club members like Opie, Tig and Bobby all reacting to both the deal and the dawning realization that they're all on the outside looking in. Tensions within the club are always good for the show, even if the source of those tensions have to be contrived sometimes.
(**) Anyone care to predict which "Shield" alum will next follow Martinez, Kenny Johnson, David Rees Snell, etc., etc. onto this show? If/when Lincoln Potter fails to put the Sons away, is it time to give CCH Pounder a call?
Meanwhile one character acting entirely in character - but in a way that can be trying to watch sometimes - was Gemma, who does her whole damn-the-torpedoes thing in rifling through Tara's office in search of John's letters. This is who Gemma is and what she does, but I was definitely much less interested in seeing her relentlessly dig for those letters than I was with her later conversation with Unser. Once again, we're getting a very strong hint that something other than an accident killed John Teller - and for the first time, there's a suggestion that Clay might not have been involved in what happened. (That, or he was entirely responsible and they don't want him to know that anyone else knows; we'll see.)
Overall, some positives and some negatives here, one terrific scene involving Roosevelt at the clubhouse, and we'll see if the ends (whatever happens within and without the club) justifies the means (characters making really bad business decisions).
What did everybody else think?
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
Let Streaming Genie help you.