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Sons of Anarchy Review: Season 7 Is the Beginning of the End

Dan O'Halloran | 12 Sep 2014 08:00
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Even though Jax is dead-eyed in most of his scenes, he does know what he is becoming, I think. This is why he refuses to see his sons after he gets out of jail. He doesn't want them to see him like this. And to drive home just what he has become, Jax decides that one of the bodyguards of the Asian gangs was responsible for the death of his wife and tortures him in an extended sequence before killing him gruesomely. Which, honestly, I find ironic given how upset he was about the torture porn ring they broke up self-righteously last season. That prolonged torture and killing session of the unfortunate Asian bodyguard was pretty much the definition of torture porn for the audience, complete with leering MC members enjoying the victim's agony and muffled sobs. I know the show wanted to show what Jax has become with the death of his wife fueling his rage and it couldn't be any more clear with this scene.

Jax has an endgame in mind for the club, but it's not quite clear exactly what that is just yet. He says he is concerned with its survival, but then pursues a personal vendetta that may put him at odds with very dangerous enemies. He hopes to keep the death of the bodyguard quiet (as indicated by having a black gang member who owed him a favor do the actual abduction in case there were witnesses), but what now? How will he ensure SAMCRO's continued existence in the face of "the coming storm"? Whatever it is, the preview clips of the rest of the season looks like it includes a lot of gunfire and explosions.

The other fascinating character to watch this season is Gemma. Her guilt at killing Jax's wife for the wrong reasons and seeing the pain that has caused him is tearing her up. Watching Katey Segal struggle with this in almost every scene is mesmerizing. I'm glad they took the time to have her explain how she bears it in her scene with Juice: she does it for her grandkids, so they have a strong woman to look up to as they grow. Justification for her bad behavior? Yes. But she's always used family as an excuse for her more screwed-up behavior. Jax's ex-wife Wendy may just be that woman the boys need, though, so Gemma has her hands full with that one.

The other character developments of note in this double episode premiere is that Nero and Gemma look like they are growing closer again and Juice takes Unser captive when the old man finds him hiding out from Jax at Wendy's after betraying the club last season.

Overall, I thought this premiere did a good job of picking up where the season finale left off and presenting us with new conflicts and twists for the show's most fascinating characters. Where it goes from here has me intrigued. Whether or not Jax will survive the upcoming gang war brewing or even if the motorcycle club survives is in question. How far will he go to protect the club and what price will he have to pay to make sure it does? The show hasn't shied away from taking it to the extreme in the past so I have hope that it won't go for the ambiguous ending a la The Sopranos.

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