Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Review “Suits of Woe”

Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Episode 11 Suits of Woe (6)
Gather round, fellow Sons of Anarchy fans. On the count of three, let’s all breath a collective sigh of relief. One . . . two . . . three . . . WOOSAH!!!!

At long last, we got the moment we’ve been waiting for since that fatal moment in the season 6 finale when Gemma brutally murdered Tara and Juice took it upon himself to help her cover up her misdeeds.

Charlie Hunnam is always great in his portrayal of Jax, but he took his performance to another level last night. Likewise, Jimmy Smits was also brilliant in capturing Nero’s shock, disappointment and hurt upon discovering the truth about the monster with whom he’d fallen in love. And that final scene with Jax and Nero . . . OMG. “I still love her. She’s my mom.” The tears. The emotions.

As expected, the journey towards the truth was not without its obstacles. Before the episode aired, I prepared myself for disappointment, as I honestly thought that Jax would be faced with repeated distractions that would result in us having to wait another week for him to verify what Abel said. Kudos to the writers for throwing in a few detours, but making it very clear by the end that Jax knew the truth and there was nothing Gemma could say or do to change his mind. I bash Wendy – and I still have mixed feelings about the character – but her telling Jax about Juice was key in keeping Jax focused on discovering the truth. Congratulations, Wendy. You’ve finally come through for Tara – and you don’t even know it. Abel seems to have warmed up to Wendy, so if the wee little Abel will accept Wendy, I shall begrudgingly accept her too. I look forward to her reaction to the truth about Gemma. She too has been far too susceptible to Gemma’s manipulations.

For what it’s worth, Wendy not being able to keep Gemma’s secret about Juice is a consistent character beat. She couldn’t keep Tara’s awful secrets about the fake pregnancy and her false claim that Gemma beat her and made her lose the baby. Wendy’s inconsistency between seasons 5 and 6 were my biggest pet peeves about the character. Her actions over the last two episodes have helped re-center the character for me. Granted, a part of me will always feel bitter about Tara not making it to the end, but that is no fault of Wendy’s.

Much to my relief, Jax was smart enough to caution Wendy about letting anyone else know that she revealed the truth about Gemma helping out Juice. It wouldn’t be Sons of Anarchy if Gemma didn’t get a few lucky breaks thanks to the undeserved loyalty of the men that inexplicably have an unwavering need to protect her. Thanks for nothing, Wayne, Nero, Chucky and Juice!

I was genuinely shocked that despite everything Wayne knows from his investigation and Jax’s cryptic remarks, it still didn’t dawn on him that Gemma could be involved. I don’t know if this speaks more to Wayne’s blind spot when it comes to Gemma or him being hit by the same stupid stick that seems to hit Jarry each episode in which she appears. I can understand why Chucky would pick Gemma over the club. She’s indulged in her fair share of mocking Chucky, but she is without question closer to him than any of the guys in the club. Nero’s reaction to the truth was probably far more painful than anything the club would have done to her. He was clearly disgusted by her actions and there wasn’t enough love in the world to save her from his rejection. Good. Good. Bring the pain!

Imprisoned and facing either death or a long term relationship against his will with Tully, Juice probably wanted his partner in crime to catch a break he’d never get, so he calls Gemma and gives her a heads up. Juice is nothing if not consistent at being inconsistent in his actions. Juice wasn’t a complete bust. In addition to finally telling Jax the truth about Gemma, he also got the truth about who spilled the beans to Lin about the Sons robbing his truck – freaking Barosky. You know, in hindsight, that should have been quite apparent, particularly after Jury very convincingly told Jax that it wasn’t him.

I’m struggling to find the words to describe how spectacular Charlie Hunnam and Theo Rossi were in the prison scene. The pain, hurt and desperation in Jax’s eyes countered with the pensive, tearful expression on Juice’s face as he heard what was going on with Abel was excellent. It was the first time this season, we’ve seen Jax showing the pain of losing Tara and the exasperation of a loving, concerned father as he pleaded with Juice for the truth. In that moment, I was reminded of the long history that Jax and Juice shared with each other. Jax, after all, was the one that pulled Juice into the club. In that moment, I saw two men who were once brothers and who would always love each other – despite the rifts created by Clay and Juice’s secrets. I liked that Rossi was so detached as he relayed the truth about Tara’s murder and that the news of Bobby’s death (and his role in it) is what momentarily brought him back from what was very likely his drug-induced numbness. I don’t know what will become of Juice, but I’m so happy that the writers gave Theo Rossi this moment. It was easily his best of the series and depicted a range and depth that I hope will keep him gainfully employed for years to come.

So Juice getting the truth from Lin was a good news/bad news deal. The good news is the club has the truth. The bad news is – Jury was telling the truth and Jax must now face the consequences of killing a fellow SAMCRO brother. Look, I’m the first one to get annoyed when the guys tell lies, but if there was ever a time when a cover up would be the right play, this is it. Jury’s words when Jax killed him, Jax’s impulsive decision to kill him and the reference to JT’s bike last night all feel eerily ominous. What will become of our beloved Jackson Nathaniel Teller when Sons of Anarchy ends?

Speaking of ominous, Gemma’s farewell tour left me a little teary. In particular, her goodbye scene with Abel captured everything that is both endearing and revolting about the character. Katey Sagal is always at her best when capturing the intersection between Gemma’s sincere love for “her boys” and her very misguided beliefs that the club life is actually a viable option for them. I’ve seen a lot of criticisms about the twins that portray Abel, but I actually think they do just fine. The kids aren’t meant to engage in long dialogues or emotionally demanding scenes. Abel’s “goodbye grandma” brought on the tears. In a very quiet, understated way, the child actors get it done.

The scene with Jax and Juice at the prison was only second to the final scene in which Jax sat at the table with his brothers and told them the truth about Gemma and Tara. The scene was rewarding on so many levels. To begin, it was nice to see him finally put his family issues on the table. The moment in which Jax asked his brothers to forgive him for the problems brought on by the family into which he was born and not the family he chose was just everything. Again, Charlie Hunnam knocked the scene out of the park – as did Tommy Flanagan and Kim Coates. Tig’s reaction was so important to me as a viewer because his love for Gemma has always been unwavering. Tig is also the last man at the SAMCRO table who knows the John/Gemma/Clay history and clearly had no problems with what they did to John and no problem helping Clay and Gemma hide the truth when bits of their shared histoory began to unravel in past seasons. I suspect that shared history is what also compounded the tension between Jax and Tig in season 5, which ultimately developed into what appears to be a sincere and mutual love. All of this complex history allowed for this wonderful moment in which Tig is hit with the harsh reality of Gemma’s misdeeds along with the compassion and love he feels for Jax. As an aside, I love how Tiggy has stepped up to help fill the void left by Bobby.

The club has a lot to contend with as we enter the final two episodes – Indian Hills, August Marks, Barosky and Gemma. Despite being severely understaffed, I suspect the club will go for one final blaze of glory and deal with all of them before the series ends. I’ve finally turned a corner with the Sons. Jax’s mea culpa, in which he owned his role in the madness and expressed his sincere love for his brothers got me back to that place where I was once again rooting for the club and hoping that they come up with another brilliant plan to get past their problems. I know this is Sutter’s way of making my heart full of SAMCRO love one final time before he rips it apart with whatever happens in the last two episodes. That is the pain and pleasure of being a Sons of Anarchy fan. The Shield, the series Sutter worked on before SoA, had one of the most heartbreaking, yet satisfying ends of any series I’ve ever watched. I have no doubt that the same will hold true for Sons of Anarchy. It might be time for me to go stock up on the wine and Kleenex!

No Abel face awards this week. This episode was all about the feels, so I leave you with an image of one of the many touching moment’s from last night’s episode.

Until next week!

You know the drill – hit the comments and spill all of your feels! One final thought – loved the subtlety of the musical selections. This was not the episode for supersized, adrenaline pumping montages. The hymn at the end, “Blessed Assurance” has been sung at every single family funeral I’ve ever attended in my more than three decades of living. I liked the use of it at the end of the episode. For obvious reasons, it connected with me emotionally and really added to the ominous feeling of the episode.