I just can’t say enough about how continually blown away I am by this show. It maintains such an incredible pace storytelling by weaving together so many different story lines. Kurt Sutter has really built a world in TV that never fails to impress and keep us interested. Last night was another great episode to another great season. Tara turning to Jax and simply saying in rage “look at what you’ve done to me!” was a great line. It’s right up there with Walt telling Hank that if he doesn’t know who he is talking to maybe he should tread lightly on Breaking Bad. It was just an original phrase that really drove the point home. It’s not about him cheating, it’s not about the things he has done, or the danger he has put her in. It’s about the person he has turned her into and she can’t live with who she has become. That makes their rift so much deeper because she isn’t angry about something that can simply be fixed, and it’s obviously way too late for that anyway if she is willing to go back to the DA. I love that when she tries to flip on Jax and turn him over to the law that she can’t even accomplish that because he is three steps ahead. It reminds me of Vic Mackey and I think this show has finally reached a point where it’s just as good if not arguably better than The Shield.
I want to take an opportunity to simply mention how much I think Jimmy Smits has brought to the show. When he was first cast I didn’t think it was a great idea and I stayed on the fence about him for some time. Even after he had proved to be a great character I stayed on the fence but at this point I don’t even know why I ever had doubts. He has been an incredible addition and I have really come to like the character a lot and how he fits in with Jax’s power structure.
There is something else I would like to say in regards to Walton Goggins playing Venus Van Dam. I wrote a bit critically about the episode that centered completely around the character because I thought it was a bit much. Not because of the cross dressing aspect at all but simply because I didn’t think it fit into the story all that well. I don’t see the men of this club being the type of people open minded enough to be so willing in helping a transgender person and I had doubts that this was going to be something widely accepted by the target audience for the show. So for the record, I don’t think there was anything wrong with a transgender being on the show, or Walton Goggins playing the part. I wanted to say that just because I see SO many negative things being searched when people come to our blog to read what I wrote. I understand people who are uncomfortable with it, but I don’t think such an enormous amount of hate is necessary. I think Walton Goggins was great in the part, and I think that he is such a badass he can play this type of part and not be criticized for it. I thought it showed his diversity as an actor and his character as a person because I think it was originally intended as a joke on him. He took that and made it something serious and compelling. I think it might have gone on a bit more than necessary but I think it was awesome despite that. As a fan of Kurt Sutter, Walton Goggins, and the shows they have done together I think it was really smart and I appreciate what they did.
I’ve been looking forward to this show’s return since the end of an incredible season last year. So much so that I got up at 4:30 this morning to watch it before coming into work. I saw plenty that I liked but at the same time don’t know how I feel about others. I think this show is one of the best out there right now because it has steadily gotten better with each season. I hope that is a trend that continues this year.
What I saw in the first episode was a lot of what has made the show so great over the last few seasons. Great set ups in an ongoing and congruent story that offers plenty of shockers all throughout. I think the continuing investigation into the club by a new threat offers plenty of possibilities. The retired U.S. Marshal played by Donal Logue is a really nasty character and I’m nervous every time he is one on one with Tara because he obviously isn’t opposed to rape. I really hope that never happens but with such a scary character there is no telling what will happen. The guy is really pissed off, has a lot of reach, and seems capable of anything. He has his weaknesses with drugs though and we will eventually see that come into play somehow. Also, on a side note, kudos to FX for finally finding a niche for Donal Logue. I am a fan and was a little disappointed that his last run with the studio didn’t make it.
I really don’t like the image of the club in this first episode. Jax only has three other guys with him and they seem to be operating as babysitters in a few scenes. Something about these guys watching Jax’s kids just doesn’t sit right with me and I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing. Jax is clearly still in a bind over Tig because Pope’s successor also wants his head. I think this is the only reason Juice will be allowed back into the club because Jax really needs that fourth guy to stay eligible. The scene when Tig kills the Iranian shows us that he’s definitely not alright and his behavior might eventually become a liability for Jax. I like Chibs but don’t like that he is second in command now. I hope Bobby comes back because more often than not I find myself wondering what the hell Chibs just said. Bobby is a badass and I hate that he is on the outs with Jax. It looks to me like he is trying to set up his own MC in an open location but I think this eventual drama will end with Jax and Bobby having to unite their two clubs over some mutual threat, possibly this retired U.S. Marshal. Clay still has plenty of juice as a character and I am interested in where this is going. I like that he intended to keep his mouth shut but really liked the scene when he changed his mind, can’t really blame the guy can you? It was a scary window through that door. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Marshal had specifically arranged for the men standing outside the door to be there to scare Clay. That many black prisoners meant certain death was waiting once he walked through that door and Clay obviously isn’t ready for it. Tara, as always, is all in on being a badass but her actions won’t bode well for her efforts to make bond. We might be in for a lot of prison Tara this season and I am really interested in how she will get out of this problem. I imagine the Marshal’s drug problem will ultimately be used to discredit him and destroy his case.
My biggest problem with the show last night was the school shooting. It was a rough thing to see and a rough topic to cover given the rate at which these things happen. To start this kind of story line so soon after the Sandy Hooks shooting (within a year is too soon) just seemed wrong. I can see where this is going and I understand the story line but still feel it was too much too soon. The kid pulled a machine gun out of his book bag before walking into what is obviously a private school where plenty of the victims will have powerful parents. When the public outcry gets really nasty the question of where the weapon came from will be topic number one and will put a lot of heat on the local criminal organization known to run guns. That’s my bet on where it’s going, but I don’t like it. It’s just a topic that hits too close to home for too many people and I imagine there will be plenty of uproar over it.
Nevertheless I think the show was great overall and look forward to where everything is going in season 6. I didn’t get to see the preview for the upcoming season after the episode this morning because I was pressed for time. Right now the not knowing what to expect makes it all the more exciting. If you’ve made it this far you must be a big fan of the show so don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your own thoughts on last night’s episode. I haven’t seen the news today but expect last night’s episode will be in it. I’d be specifically interested to know how other fans feel about the school shooting story line and where it is going.