Sons of Anarchy: Season 2, Episode 7 “Gilead” (B+)
It’s quite jarring having most of a show’s characters in prison. They certainly know don’t act like they’re going to be locked up for long, though this is one volatile show that, in the FX tradition, isn’t afraid to pull out all the stops and really take a wild turn (see “The Shield” for examples of how this works and “Nip/Tuck” for examples of how it really doesn’t). This path for the show is a fascinating one, and it’s especially intriguing to see Opie as the one man on the outside trying desperately to operate the whole club’s business all by himself and spring his fellow members from prison. Gemma does a pretty fine job of taking care of business herself as pushes Elliott to come up with the bail money. The disgusted reaction from both Gemma and Tara at the babysitter Opie sent to take care of his kids was both amusing and terrifying, and the two women really have bonded in their similar journeys as old ladies. Their men finally went at it in one of the fiercest brawls that’s ever occurred on this already quite violent series, and the rage in both men’s eyes was more than palpable. The reappearance of Agent Stahl really put things in perspective for the show, in terms of how Zobelle is seen as such a threat that the stalwart agent would be willing to right all of the club’s wrongs to get a shot at taking him down. Juice’s undercover mission seemed comic until the poor guy got stabbed, and hopefully he’ll come through okay, because the team is really losing steam lately after Chibs’ car explosion and nearly the whole club being in jail.