Friday, September 18, 2009

What I’m Watching: Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy: Season 2, Episode 2 “Small Tears” (B+)

Katey Sagal really is a tour de force, and this episode showcases some of her finest work. Obviously Chief Uncer just happens to stumble upon her and as a result she has no choice but to trust him, but it’s particularly interesting that she now turns to Tara of all people to entrust her secret. It’s a terrific showcase of how far the show has come since the original relationship between the two leading ladies, and the most amazing part of it is that they still despise each other, they just know that they have to trust each other. Gemma’s explanation of why she needed to keep Clay in the dark and her refusal to even tell Uncer who it was is are pretty moving, and a tribute to an impossibly strong character. It’s incredibly interesting that, while Henry Rollins’ AJ is the muscle behind the new crew in town, it’s actually Adam Arkin’s Ethan who’s pulling the strings while keeping it hidden from AJ (“a friend from my church”). There’s a whole lot of secret-keeping going on here, and that’s not going to lead to anything good. Seeing Jax get angry is immensely satisfying, and his quip about how he wasn’t going to “Adriana” the porn director was amusing, especially when the actress who portrayed the Adriana in question actually plays the mother of his child on this show. All of the gang violence going on is also not going to end well, and seeing each and every person test their limits (like Opie) is very ominous of what might happen in future episodes. Tom Arnold’s guest spot was very appropriate for his particular talents, and despite it being a somewhat frightening plotline, he was both great as a dramatic actor and quite entertaining. As a nice piece of much-needed comic relief, Bobby throwing up on the porn producer’s bodyguard was very amusing. It’s good to have the big guy back.

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