TV Recap: Sons of Anarchy, ‘Suits of Woe’

Written by David Oliver

SONS OF ANARCHY -- Pictured: Key Art. CR: FX

“Suits of Woe” Plot Summary:

As one large secret starts to pour out, it affects each character in heart-wrenching ways.

So, um, that was the best episode of Sons of Anarchy, I think it’s safe to say, and perhaps one of the best episodes of TV ever. It was close to two hours, so there’s a lot packed in, but bear with me, because it’s all important.

Jax (Charlie Hunnam) stayed in Abel’s (Ryder and Evan Londo) room all night, reeling from what his son told him about Gemma (Katey Sagal). Gemma, meanwhile, is talking out loud to no one about how she didn’t hurt Abel, as Juice (Theo Rossi) talks to himself in prison. This proves to be rather telling later.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Since Jax told Abel the truth about Wendy (Drea de Matteo) being his mother, she feels like she can’t lie to him anymore and tells him about helping Juice and Gemma’s part in that, not wanting anyone else to get hurt. Jax informs Wendy he’s off to look for answers and says, “You take care of our boys.” Aww, he called them “our” boys.

Jax confronts Unser (Dayton Callie) about the night of Tara’s (Maggie Siff) murder and wants face-to-face time with Jax in prison. Unser is starting to get fed up with the lies and brings up that Juice and Gemma ID’d the wrong Chinese man, to Jax’s surprise – giving Jax even more reason to need to talk to Juice.

It’s all set up for Juice to kill Lin (Kenneth Choi). Lin is chained to a pipe in the boiler room and when prodded (and on audio tape), says that Charlie Barosky (Peter Weller) gave up the location of the guns. Juice, who told Lin he wouldn’t hurt him, then stabs him in the neck. “I’m a rat,” Juice says. “What makes you think I wouldn’t be a liar too?”

Unser lets Gemma know that Wendy gave up the truth about Juice to Jax and tries to put together the night of Tara’s murder and Gemma’s part in helping Juice, but Gemma is more concerned Jax is onto something.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Tully (Marilyn Manson) brings Jax Lin’s taped confession, and Jax and Juice sit down for a chat. Jax questions him why he went to Gemma to hide from the club, and Juice explains they owed each other. Jax tells him what Abel said and adds what we didn’t see: Abel telling Jax he overheard Gemma apologizing to his little brother. Jax says, “Every scenario seems insane to me,” regarding if Abel is “delusional” or “tortured” by the truth. Jax wants to know once and for all what happened, before he gets therapists involved with his son. And then, Juice does what seems unthinkable on this show: he tells the truth, about finding Gemma and how brutal it was, about killing Eli (Rockmond Dunbar), the lie they came up with, everything.

Jax told Juice about Bobby’s (Mark Boone Junior) death and not to apologize or say anything. “Thank you for telling me the truth. I’ll make sure it’s quick,” he says. Whatever that means. Is Juice a goner?

Juice calls Gemma and says he told Jax everything. Side note: A skull in the room with Gemma during one scene? This show is Hamlet with motorcycles, officially, in case anyone had any doubts.

Jax tells Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) and Tig (Kim Coates) that Juice took care of Lin and that it wasn’t Jury (Michael Shamus Wiles) who told the Chinese about the guns after all, which will lead to charter complications, presumably in upcoming episodes.

Gemma starts packing but gets interrupted by Wendy, who explains to Gemma why she told Jax about protecting Juice and about how Abel knows she’s his mother. “I’m glad he knows you’re his mom,” Gemma says. Gemma then cuddles the baby.

Meanwhile, Nero (Jimmy Smits) sells Diosa to the the Mayans president (Emilio Rivera). Chucky (Michael Ornstein) helps hide his “best friend” Gemma when the club starts looking for her per Jax’s request.

Jax tells Unser to get a hold of Gemma, but Unser starts laying it on Jax about being a thug instead of dad. Jax punches him out and Jarry (Annabeth Gish) sends cops after him. He later gets involved in a car chase while waiting to see Barosky, but he gets away.

Jarry and Unser meet with Juice, and after some puns regarding his dalliance with Tully, Juice tells them that he told Jax the truth and that Gemma knows the truth. “She’s the gatekeeper,” he says. He adds, “It’s too late. For all of us.” And frankly, he’s right: the damage done this season is irreparable, but perhaps there is time to prevent future harm? Juice later gets beaten up a bit in prison.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Gemma calls Nero and gives him an address to meet with her. She talks about her parents and parenting, saying she was a good mother. Jax calls Nero, who covers for Gemma and wants to know what’s going on. Jax tells him the truth on the other end of the phone while the audience is forced to watch his heartbroken reaction. He asks if it’s true, which she confirms, and he tells her to go. After, he breaks down crying.

Gemma goes to see Abel (she isn’t supposed to, remember) outside of the fence. She gives him his grandpa’s ring that says “Son,” to wear when he is a member of the club. GEMMA, WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU GIVE THIS TO HIM?! WILL THE VIOLENCE NEVER END?! (End rant, apologies).

Abel’s teacher (Courtney Love) sees Gemma and says she will report her unauthorized visit, but Gemma thanks her for watching out for Abel.

Jax wants to work with the Mayans to bring peace. He sits the rest of SAMCRO down and tells them what’s been going on and takes all the blame (despite it really being Gemma’s fault) but that he plans to make it right going forward. He apologizes that his real family has caused so much trouble for his club family, in a powerful line delivery.

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Nero and Jax have a talk, and tells Jax that killing his mother would be “a wound that’s too deep to heal.” Jax says that despite everything she’s done, he still loves her (!) and that she’s his mom, before crying in Nero’s arms, wondering how she could have killed Tara. I mean, I guess blood is thicker than water, but what she did hurt SO many people. Jax, she needs to pay for what she did. You can still love her, but there needs to be justice.

The last scene is Gemma singing in the car, driving away…with two episodes left of the entire series, we’re poised for a fitting send-off to a remarkable series that I’m truthfully going to miss more than I thought I was.

Rating: 10/10

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