Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Lincoln Potter gives his team a pep talk just before they bust up the 3:00 meeting. And then--and I swear when the truck pulled in bullets would fly--but BADGES. Turns out Romeo and Luis and their cartel are backed by American CIA and 2 other agencies--their mission? To destroy another cartel. "For the greater good," Potter explains to Roosevelt.
It's anticlimactic to watch Potter pack his bags and leave. His conversation with Roosevelt was pretty good, though.
The Irish arrive and Jax tries to deal with them. No deal. They don't trust him--only Clay. After they leave, Romeo and Luis privately flash their badges and tell Jax the truth. The look on his face when he registers exactly how hard he's pinned against the wall: Continue the cartel OR every single person associated with SAMCRO goes down. Clay has to live in order to broker deals with the Irish. The Sons have to continue muling drugs and guns. Jax has to lead the charge.
The rest of this season finale parses this game-changer out relationally, which is exactly why this show kicks ass. It's about the characters. When the game changes, where do they land? How does it affect them?
First, Jax. He has to make peace with his dad, knowing he's got to go down the road his father wanted to avoid. He's got to let his dad's death go unavenged. He's got to deal with Clay (and when he does, it's almost worse than if he'd killed him). He's got to deal with Tara, Gemma and Opie.
Then there's other fallout. Juice gets released and there's a touching moment between him and Roosevelt when new lines get drawn in the sand. Back at his house, Juice sets a photo of his father on his nightstand, tears the file in half and grabs his leather to head to Church.
Other noteworthy moments:
Opie's reaction to Jax asking him to be VP. On one hand, Opie will take a while to come around. He has strict moral rules about wrong and right and he's unconvinced. Plus he's got vengeance in his heart, so leaving him renegade outside the club is dicey and full of possibilities. That said, he could just as easily take the seat to Jax's left. Spoiler: he never arrives--two people walk in late to Church, but Ope's not one of them. Jax has promised to tell him--and the club--everything when the time is right. The big question is: does Opie trust Jax?
Happy seems happy Jax is president.
Tig gets pushed aside and Chibs takes his place. I predict Tig will be around, though his loyalties might shift. Or not. I'm glad to see Chibs taking a spot beside Jax and I do think aside from Tig's stronger alliance with Clay, the remaining SAMCRO members will support Jax heart and soul.
Gemma realizes Jax has NOT killed Clay. She also realizes she is NOT Jax's first lady. She's destroyed all evidence of her part in JT's death, but Tara lording knowledge over her is a dangerous thing (for Tara). Things have shifted in a major way for her, but I doubt shell end up on the sidelines knitting sweaters for her grandsons.
Tara learns the truth from Jax and he tells her to take the boys and go to Oregon. She's one of the people showing up late to Church. Which I didn't like, because even though this show does involve the women to a large degree, Tara's not a club member and did not belong at the table. It was a contrived moment to stage her and Jax like Gemma and JT in that old photograph (with Gemma watching from the door).
We learn that the woman killed by Tig is the daughter of a 'major player.' Bet on the Oakland gang being a major storyline at the start of season 5. We learn this through Sheriff Roosevelt, which tells me he'll be around next season--yay!
Bobby's in prison, strumming his guitar.
Wayne is sitting at the head of Gemma and Clay's dining room table.
There are a lot of empty chairs around that table at the Clubhouse.
Oh, and Potter shows up at the Charming city council meeting and outs Hale's investor as a porn/pedophilia manufacturer. It's an awesome scene only because Potter is such a strange and quirky character (I will miss him. Wish I could fathom how he'd return, but I cannot.). He walks out, saying "Good day" and Hale chases him to the door demanding "Why did you do this?" Potter replies, ""Because I don't like you. And the good guys need a win." For now Charming Heights is not going to happen. Long term? The storyline with Hale is not over.
So. Jax is following in the path cut for him by both father and stepfather. Circumstance determines the destiny everyone wants for him and there is a change in his demeanor as well. Watch an episode from Season 1 and his metamorphosis is startling. Well played, Kurt Sutter. Well played.