Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Sons of Anarchy" - "Brick"

Spoilers for the latest "Sons of Anarchy" after the jump:

A lot of very interesting things happened in this week's "Sons of Anarchy", and that was enough (for me, anyway) to make up for some rather weak storytelling. For starters, the show finally confirmed something that we've suspected for over three seasons: Clay Morrow did indeed kill John Teller. Or at least he had him killed, with Gemma's knowledge. And Wayne helped cover it up. Most of us probably figured that's what happened, but it's still a bit shocking to finally hear it stated out loud.

I only wish the letter plot had been handled a bit better. Piney's threat and Clay and Gemma's search for said letters were riveting, but the conversations between Wayne, Gemma, and Clay were almost too subtle. Indeed, there was at least one point where I had to break my general rule never to read other reviews before writing my own because I just wasn't sure what was happening. And in truth I'm still not sure how much each character knows or suspects: only that the letters are still out there. There's a difference between complex and unintentionally confusing, and I think this episode offered far more of the latter. (Or maybe I just missed something.)

Juice's problems, on the other hand, are all too simple. I know others have issues with the idea that he's turning rat just to hide his racial background, but I for one don't have an problem with it. We haven't really gotten an explanation for why he's so afraid, but what matters is that he is and that I believe it. As such, his actions in this episode struck me as perfectly reasonable. Stealing an entire brick of the cartel's cocaine could have far-reaching consequences for both him and SAMCRO, which will almost certainly make for some great TV in the coming weeks.

And finally we come to the search for Georgie, brought on by Otto demanding the club find Luann's killer. Most of this storyline worked very well, and I came away very impressed by the way it all tied into the subplot involving Charming Heights. It also led to a chance discovery by Opie that Lyla's been using birth control while they've been supposedly trying to have kids. Compelling stuff all around, with one exception. And that would be Bobby choosing to lie to Otto about Georgie being dead. I get that Bobby's a bit scared of Otto, particularly after he's just admitted his relationship with Luann to him. But this lie is going to hurt the club once Otto finds out about it (and he will, I'm sure), something Bobby knows full well. In short, this feels like a major stretch on both a plot and character level.

None of the problems with "Brick" are too major, but in combination they result in an episode that's not nearly as good as it should be. It's all interesting and watchable, but the flaws in the execution hurt the overall quality. "Sons of Anarchy" is a good enough show that I'm sure the complaints I have will be dealt with at some point. Until they are, though, episodes like these just aren't going to get that high of a grade. This one was good, but nowhere near the level of, for instance, these last few "Breaking Bad" episodes. Or for a more fair comparison (since pretty much nothing on TV right now is as good as these last few "Breaking Bad" episodes have been), nowhere near the level of a number of season 2 installments of this show. Again, not really worried... just the tiniest bit concerned.

Other Thoughts

- I really like series creator Kurt Sutter's performance as Otto. There's always a sense that he's holding back a tremendous amount of rage, which of course makes Bobby's decision to lie to him all the more hard to buy into. Does Bobby really think he won't find out?

- I honestly don't think Georgie did it. He's the most obvious suspect (as well as a rather detestable character), but something about his protests rang true to me.

- Apologies for missing last week's episode, which I very much liked (I'd give it an A-). Hopefully it won't happen again, although I'm not making any promises.  

Grade: B

1 comment:

  1. The descriptions with detail here are very well done. If I would choose one word to describe this show, that word would be “awesome”. Now that I have Sling technology with DISH Network, I never miss any episodes of Sons of Anarchy because I can use my iPhone to watch shows anytime I want. Being that I am a customer and employee of DISH I can’t recommend the TV Everywhere feature enough to anyone who likes TV on the go. Right now new DISH Network customers can get a free Sling Adapter. Check it out!