Sons of Anarchy: Season 2, Episode 8 “Potlatch” (B+)
It’s incredible how volatile this show is to the point that the club getting guns pointed at them or shot at is almost expected. It’s difficult to keep track of all the different groups that have beefs with SAMCRO, and it seems they’ve all come together in one episode to make life impossible for the club. The strain in the relationship between Clay and Jax really is tearing them apart, and their subsequent experiencing of various problems makes for even more drama. The bond that Jax and Opie have defended with the girls at the porn studio seems destined to be ripped to shreds as their acts of intimidation result in a deathly and undeserved retribution. It’s unnerving to see Gemma scared of someone, and it also seems that she’s rubbing off a lot on Tara, who seems unable to contain her temper and refuses to take any of the crap Jax and Gemma continue to dish out to her. Gemma’s potluck is a gathering that seems all too peaceful for this violence-infected community, and the quiet, serious arrival of Hale is a tremendously effective, subtle scene which sets everyone off. It seems like nothing will ever be calm or go well for this crew, but watching them come apart is truly mesmerizing. Mark Boone Junior is doing a particularly impressive job and standing out as the seasoned Bobby, trying hard not to take sides in the war between Clay and Jax while keeping the club as together as possible, under the circumstances.