Sons of Anarchy, “Toil and Till” (7.2)-TV Review



Sons of Anarchy, Season 7, Episode 2, “Toil and Till”

9/16/14, 10 PM (EST), FX

Soon after it premiered, many critics pointed out how Shakespearean Sons of Anarchy was, comparing it to Hamlet more than his other works. While the resemblance is there, Kurt Sutter hasn’t given an answer one way or another (though we’ll have to wait for the finale to see how close it is).

The opening scenes of Jax, Juice and Gemma provided an interesting juxtaposition all involving them smoking and staring off contemplating their past, present and future. Jax, in the past, as he stares into his kitchen where Tara was murdered only a short time ago. Juice, in the present, with Unser sitting bound and gagged in the bathtub, figuring out his next move. Gemma, in the future, wondering what may become of her and Nero. Their relationship has been screwed up before due to her negligence. Is it possible for her to find happiness without the constant threat of violence and death that Clay brought her for so many years?

Perhaps Gemma will surprise us in the end. Her conversation with Abel about Tara being in heaven because that’s where angels go and how Tara was angel almost had us convinced she’s remorseful about what she did. I’d love to believe that, but we know Gemma won’t just give herself up unless she has something to play in return.

Juice is one of the most tragic characters in the show other than Jax. He’s always been an outsider, partially because of how Clay treated him, and partially because he didn’t want the club to find out he was half African-American. He was also one of the few characters that maintained a conscious in the early seasons, which was one of the reasons he attempted suicide shortly after earning his Men of Mayhem patch. He’s already showing signs of breaking down over everything that is going on. Part of it is he knows Jax will kill him if he’s found out. Part of it may also be he’s tired of running from his problems. Juice still has some miles to go, but whether he will finally clear his conscious to give him peace is yet to be determined.

Jax’s insistence of the continued violence against Lin and the Triads, whom he believes is responsible for Tara’s death, is completely frustrating. When we first met Jax, he was a young and naïve, yet ambitious man who had plans for the club. After finding JT’s manifesto and getting sucked into the non-stop violence with the MC, he really seemed like he would turn over a new leaf with Tara and getting out, even if it meant selling out his friends so he could live a happy, normal life. His sudden change of heart after Tara’s death just doesn’t add up. We understand his need for revenge, but Jax is smarter than that and has always thought of the big picture. Hopefully he can come to his senses before he has to bury what little family he has left.

One of the most interesting chess players in all of this has been Unser. How he has managed to survive this long, even with battling cancer, is beyond anyone. After he is let go by Juice without harm, he’s beginning to move the pieces around again. Unser has always towed the line when it came to the MC, even knowing some of the worst stuff they’ve done. Now that he’s a consultant with the sheriff’s office, it’ll be fascinating to see where he ends up in the end. For now, we’ll just have to watch him work his way around.

With Roosevelt dead, we’re introduced to the new sheriff, Althea Jarry. She already has her eye on SAMCRO and with Unser’s help, perhaps she may be the one to finally take them down. She’ll certainly be living up to high expectations. Of course, the last time a woman tried to take down Jax and company was Ally Walker, and that didn’t end well for her. I hope we get more insight in Jarry in the next episode or two so we can establish her role and she how she’ll be different. At the very least, she’s already been warned that SAMCRO aren’t a bunch of red necks and that Jax is a formidable foe. Maybe Unser’s position is starting to become clear after all.

[The Roundup]

  • Rat and Tigg are an interesting comedic pair to say the least, despite how long that scene went on for.
  • If Happy were on Breaking Bad, I think Gus would’ve lived.
  • As smart as Unser is, how dumb is he to leave Tara’s case & his consultant information in the open where of course Gemma will see it?
  • Speaking of Happy again, I don’t want to know why he knows of a thousand places to bury bodies.
7.5 GOOD

Jax’s bloodlust has no end in sight, and we get a glimpse into the actions of several characters and how it may play out.

  • GOOD 7.5

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