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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Los Fantasmas”

Sons of Anarchy Review Los Fantasmas
FX

Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 roars out its eighth episode of the year “Los Fantasmas,” as DA Patterson (CCH Pounder) pressures both Nero and SAMCRO to give up a shooter, while Gemma unravels the truth about Tara’s deception.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode “Sweet and Vaded” saw Tara put into action her plan to get the kids away from Gemma, while Jax assisted Venus Van Dam (‘Justified”s Walton Goggins) with a family matter, so how does “Los Fantasmas” keep the season rolling?  Will ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 finally mark the end for SAMCRO?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 episode 8, “Los Fantasmas!”

While Jax tends to Tara at home, a locked-up Gemma admits to Roosevelt that it doesn’t matter what she says in her defense, as Tara’s likely-faked miscarriage gives her the upper hand in the matter. Jax rolls into the new SoA headquarters to find the gang concerned that their connection to the school shooting has already become the morning’s news, while DA Patterson shows Nero the headline from prison, having leaked the unconfirmed story herself to put pressure on his Byz-Lats.

Unser pays a visit to Tara to confirm that she planned the altercation with Gemma, warning her that Gemma will likely face manslaughter charges even if Tara doesn’t press them. Meanwhile, Jax urges the crew not to worry about Patterson’s leaked newspaper story, and continue on with their other business under low profile. A while later, Unser suggests to Roosevelt that he too has his suspicions about Gemma’s role in the fight, urging him to cut her loose for now.

The Sons roll up to find Fiasco and his Byz-Lat crew agitated about the increased police presence in their neighborhood, an undercover operative of which appears to be idling nearby, but Jax urges the crew to keep things above radar. Suddenly, the car down the street charges, running over and killing one of the thugs, as Jax and the others try to hastily hide the body from prying eyes. Elsewhere, Unser drives Gemma home and dodges questions of Tara’s plan pointing out that the stranglehold Gemma maintains on her family to be unhealthy regardless.

Lowen expresses her reservations to Tara about her actions in securing the custody agreements, but Tara refuses to divulge the extent of her plan, brushing Lowen off with plausible deniability. Meanwhile, Patterson meets with Barosky again, threatening to turn over control of the ports to the sheriff’s office if Barosky doesn’t have Jax identify the driver of that morning’s hit-and-run. Barosky calls Jax with the request, but Jax is interrupted to find Wendy waiting outside his door looking for Tara.

His time to make a deal nearly expired, Nero meets with Patterson once more and confesses to providing the gun to Matthew Jennings’ family, on the sole condition that Nero’s son Lucius receive the best treatment, and a close placement to Nero’s inevitable prison. Elsewhere, Tara arrives to the ice cream parlor to ask Bobby if he thinks Jax can successfully move the club away from guns, to which Bobby admits that Jax wouldn’t stand a chance if Tara left his side.

Jax and the Byz-Lats linger near the home of the driver from earlier, as Jax instructs his men to keep the Byz-Lats occupied while they wait for the cops to arrive. The Byz-Lats heatededly charge into the house regardless, putting a gun to the man’s head, but Jax quickly realizes from the photos on the wall that the man’s son was killed in the school shooting. Jax and the Byz-Lats agree to leave him alive, though when the cops finally show up to the scene, the man sticks a knife in his own neck and bleeds out. Patterson arrives shortly thereafter, realizing how the death reflects on her.

Gemma arrives to Wendy’s home looking to learn the truth of Tara’s plot, though Wendy refuses to divulge anything, even as Gemma insists that Wendy backed the wrong horse in the race. Wendy returns Gemma’s gun and asks her to take a ball of heroin that she’d purchased in distress, but Gemma insists she’ll need to make that decision on her own. Elsewhere, Barosky and Jax gloat that Patterson got what she deserved for leaking the story, though Jax seems apprehensive that Barosky continues to withhold Venus’ mother Alice’s body as leverage against SAMCRO.

Jax finds Gemma at the hospital, scolding her for her actions and proclaiming “grandma” to be dead, while Wendy shoots up back in her home. Patterson is forced to release Nero regardless of his confession, given the results from Lee Toric’s hotel room confirm Lee as the murderer, though Patterson impresses on Nero that the murdered children deserve as much justice as he would want for his own son.

That night after putting the kids to bed, Jax asks Tara if she regrets returning to Charming, to which she admits she’d have changed a few things in the last few years. Explaining how distant he feels from her of late, Jax begs his wife to let him back in to her good graces.

OUR REVIEW:

Season 6 has been somewhat weighted, even for ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ as Donal Logue’s early exit as Lee Toric forced the story to shift gears between all-out war with the Irish and the buildup of DA Patterson, a character we know little about other than her intent to hold SAMCRO responsible for the shooting. Not only that, but the first half of the season brought with it such an immeasurably dark cloud, between the shooting itself and the constant threats of death and dismemberment, we were bound to end up with an episode or two that accomplished relatively little beside positioning a few pieces for the endgame.

Sadly, that’s more or less what “Los Fantasmas” ended up giving us, as Tara’s shocking power play against Gemma seems to have proven transparent to all but Jax, who now carries with him an additional burden of guilt that we know to be of little consequence. For as much as Tara’s machinations took her character in a bold new direction, they ultimately hold little weight beyond the theatricality, and the rift it ended up creating between Jax and Tara herself. Gemma remains out of custody for now, while Wendy seems to have taken to the needle once more, but the characters with the most pivotal parts to play in the deception all seem to have their sympathies turned toward Gemma, rather than Tara.

The boys themselves aren’t given very much to do this week either, beyond keeping an absentee Nero’s crew calm in the wake of Patterson’s leak, or preventing the gangbangers on seeking vengeance for one of their own. It’s an intriguing moral conflict to be sure, as Jax ultimately opts to spare the life of the car’s driver after the loss of his son in the school shooting, though neither SAMCRO nor the Byz-Lats had much impact on his fate in the end. Much of the season has been spent on the Sons of Anarchy working to avoid punishment they rightly deserve for their role in the shooting, while the man’s suicide again absolves them of consequence for the time being.

By the end of the hour, we have a released Nero continually burdened by his conscience in the matter, Gemma gathering her forces to expose Tara, and peace with the Irish theoretically on the horizon, though few of the pieces actually seem to have been given any movement. Clay remains offscreen, as does Collette, though Barosky seems to tip his hand in holding one over on the club. Where we go for the final third of the season is anyone’s guess, but “Los Fantasmas” didn’t seem to accomplish much of anything toward that end.

What say you? Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ action?  What did you think about tonight’s all-new episode, “Los Fantasmas”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ recap of “John 8:32,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on tonight’s episode with series creator Kurt Sutter!

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