Sons of Anarchy
The Mad King

Episode Report Card
Sobell: A | 51 USERS: B+
That's One Way to Renovate an Office
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Like war -- irregular dashes of excitement that punctuate lengthy stretches of boredom -- so do we have the outlaw life. The SAMCRO crew is busy staking out the Irish crew’s usual haunt and sitting silently next to a grown man in a car is really nobody’s idea of a good time. Back at the clubhouse, things are equally quiet and tense: Gemma is fussing over assorted crow eaters and their children, then goes to check on Tara, who’s resting (but not sleeping) with a child on either side of her.

Clay’s in gen-pop, by the by. I’d say something about placing your bets on the remaining length of his life, but come on.

On ticks the people-are-not-having-a-pleasant-night montage, and eventually, the bikers decide to go home. I am probably reading too much into it with Tig and Juice being in the same car, but given that Jax is casually gambling with the life of one and keeping the other on a double-super-secret probation, I think my over-analysis is justified.

When morning finally breaks, we see Gemma heading up a pancake hootenanny in the clubhouse, delivering a buck-up-little-camper speech to Chuckie (who had, you will recall, been delivered unto the club via Otto’s auspices back in season one), and generally thriving in her element.

Sidebar: Gemma is one of the great Freudian monsters on television, but I think she also represents one of the most heartbreaking characters to come along too. She is basically the walking embodiment of thwarted potential. Gemma’s own mother abandoned her when Gemma most needed her (we covered this in season three), and Gemma lives every day with the ceaseless grief of losing a small child. Those powerful maternal needs – to be mothered and to mother without fear of loss – come out in a variety of warped ways. And I think she’s also a product of her time and her socioeconomic status, and that’s why a fiercely intelligent and ambitious woman like Gemma has spent her life using men as a proxy for her own accomplishment or power. Had Gemma been born into another family, she might have gone to Berkeley in the 1970s, fallen in with the Chez Panisse crowd, and then devoted the next 30 years to browbeating America’s entire food industry into organic, free-range standards by 2007. Instead, she serves pancakes to crow eaters and ignores the identity crisis that bubbles up every time she sees Tara with two little boys.

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Sons of Anarchy




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