SONS OF ANARCHY “Family Recipe” Review

Sons of Anarchy

SONS OF ANARCHY “Family Recipe” Season 4 Episode 8 – Lobos Sonora’s second driveby/shootout in two weeks is aimed directly at the Sons, and serves as a sort of courier service – for the delivery of decapitated heads. One of which belongs to Armando, the president of SAMTAZ, and another to a Mayan. One of the Lobos Sonora guys is caught and after a little chemical assistance he spills all; one of the Mayans, Pedro, is feeding info to Lobos Sonora.

The Sons and Alvarez feed Pedro false intel about the guns being moved to the warehouse and then lay in wait for Lobos Sonora’s guys to turn up. A van containing the bodies (to go with the heads) is driven up and left outside the warehouse, and the Sons and Mayans realise that Lobos Sonora is a step ahead of them. If they’re not just getting their intel from Pedro, who else could it be?

Meanwhile, the driveby attracted the attention of Roosevelt. He and his men take the opportunity to search about the clubhouse once more, which leads to one of the funniest things in Sons of Anarchy to date. Chucky found one of the decapitated heads just as the cops turned up, and so hid it in the only safe place – a pot of chilli. Which some of the cops then go on to eat from. I’m not sure which bit was funnier – Chucky’s face as he watched them, Gemma’s reaction when she saw the head, or the way she said it was Happy’s kind of spicy.

Gemma and Clay attend the fundraiser for the Charming Central Gardens. In a really great few scenes, Clay tells Elliot Oswald that they will be splitting the 75k needed to save the gardens between them, and then he hands over both checks to Rita Roosevelt after a speech in which he tells everyone how much he loves Charming, and how Elliot should be mayor. Poor Elliot’s had to deal with a lot because of SAMCRO the last few years, so it’s nice to see Clay finally acknowledge his worth.

And then Clay does his worst. The events of the episode delayed the vote once again, leaving everyone time to ponder which side they want to take. Jax goes to see Piney and they have a heated conversation in which Piney tells Jax that John Teller was the best man he’s ever known, and Jax tells him that he’s nothing like John. It was a thought provoking discussion – was John Teller really a great man? Jax is angry at him for shacking up with Maureen Ashby and fathering Trinity, but that aside, was J.T. a much better person and a better role model than Jax now thinks? After all, it’s only a few years ago that he was reading the manuscript and wanting to be just like his daddy.

Then Clay pays Piney a visit. Earlier in the episode, Piney had told Clay that unless he pulled SAMCRO out of the drug running, he would show everyone the letters the next day. Clay tells Piney that the current situation means that it’ll take a little longer to fix the situation. ‘What’s to prevent you from showing [the letters] even after I’ve killed the cartel deal?’ ‘That’s a risk you’re gonna have to take.’ Clay isn’t impressed with that answer. And so he decides to get rid of the risk once and for all – by killing Piney and framing Lobos Sonora.

That last scene was an info dump too. We learn that Piney sponsored Clay, was happy to see him patched in, and that he trusted him back then. It was yet another way of showing us how much the club has changed over the years – and it was effective. Piney’s death and Clay’s deviousness were even more upsetting because of this new information.

Piney’s death is yet another blow for the club, and a brutal one for Opie in particular. He’s still mourning Donna, his new wife has up and left him, and now his father has been murdered. We know he was already considering voting for Bobby, so will this turn of events fracture the club even further? And what will it do to Jax? He had an obligation to vote for Clay, but given that his best friend’s father has just been killed, apparently because of drugs, and he’s had to send his family away for their own protection, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Jax switch sides and back Bobby too.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the events of this episode figures into things with Juice. Chibs now knows that Juice tried to kill himself (although he managed to do so with nary a sore throat or stiff neck), and so he’s the only one who will be able to attest to how guilty Juice felt when and if the truth comes out. (I loved how angry he got at Juice – it’s nice to know someone cares that much for him.) But if the truth comes out, Juice will need more than sympathy to save him. If the Sons find out that Clay killed Piney then that, combined with the leak/Pedro situation, could potentially save him. After all, was what Juice did as bad as what Clay did? It’s a tentative thread of hope, but it’s there.

‘Family Recipe’ was a great episode. It had humor in spades, it gave us backstory, it amped up the tension with the cartels – and it kicked the situation with Clay into high gear. Piney was a great character and he will be missed, but I’m excited to see the effect his death has on the club. It’s getting harder and harder to see how SAMCRO could possibly make it through to the S4 finale without having fractured beyond recognition, and yet it’s so unpredictable that we can’t assume the worst just yet. Roll on next week!

What did you think of ‘Family Recipe’? Let us know your thoughts and speculation in the comments below!