‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Salvage”
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 roars out its sixth episode of the year “Salvage,” as the bombing leads Jax to a desperate meeting with the assembled Sons of Anarchy charters, while DA Patterson (CCH Pounder) continues pressing Tara to roll over on her husband.
Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode “The Mad King” saw Jax attempting to broker a peace with the Irish, while Roosevelt closed in on Nero for an escort’s murder, and Wendy found her loyalties divided between Tara and Gemma, so how does “Salvage” 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 6, “Salvage!”
Chibs and Jax look through the burnt out remains of Teller Morrow, finding only the club’s gavel intact, as Chibs swears they’ll figure it out. Jax brushes off Roosevelt’s inquiry into why the IRA would blow up their headquarters, as Roosevelt voices concerns that the bad of SAMCRO’s presence in Charming has begun outweighing the good. Over at the station, Gemma gets herself thrown into a cell with Nero, hoping to find a way to stay together even as she continues to support her family.
SAMCRO makes temporary headquarters in Gemma’s dining room, negotiating over the phone with the Irish that Clay will take over the gunrunning as planned, while the Sons will help facilitate the transition. Jax agrees to let Connor and the others loose, surprising the Kings, whom Gaalan had convinced were already dead. Outside, the group prepares to ride north to meet with the other charters, as Gemma is returned home, and Jax advises her to tell Clay about the plan to proceed with the Irish.
DA Patterson drops by Roosevelt’s office to ensure Nero gets processed, even as Roosevelt voices his concerns that Toric likely set him up for the dead escort’s murder. Meanwhile at the hospital, Tara brings Unser up to speed on the plan to get the boys away from the club, allowing Wendy time to play with Abel.
Out on the road north, two smarmy biker cops pull over the Sons with fraudulent concerns about a rash of stolen bikes, opting to detain and inspect their vehicles even after they cooperate. The leader handcuffs Juice to his bike and shoots out the tire, for which Juice attacks, and the boys are forced to leave his bike behind and flee from approaching reinforcements. In the chase, Juice manages to leap from the stolen police motorcycle into Rat’s van, flipping over the pursuing car in the process. After the commotion, Jax and the others pull into a resort to meet with the other charters, including Bobby and his new crew.
Gemma meets with Clay to reveal the fate of the clubhouse and relay Jax’s instructions, reluctantly asking his help in clearing Nero’s name from Toric. Clay walks out in anger, but Gemma points out that he owes her for when she previously cooperated in a forced sexual encounter with the guards. Meanwhile at the resort, Jax delivers an impassioned plea to the entire assembled club to follow his father’s example and move the club out of guns, which had cost the Sons of Anarchy 20 members in the last two years alone. Jax admits that moving the revenue stream back to escorts and porn will mean a financial hit for all involved, though one ultimately in their best interests, to which entire club pounds their fists to the table in support.
Looking for Roosevelt, Gemma finds Patterson operating out of his office, and pleads to both of them that Nero had been set up by Toric and had nothing to do with the school shooting. Patterson agrees to allow Roosevelt to search Toric’s motel room, which reeks of bleach and poorly conceals the two bullet holes under the carpet, though Patterson insists the evidence as circumstantial until DNA results return.
Following the SAMCRO meeting, Jax assures Tara over the phone that their baby will be a girl, before Lowen interrupts with news of a potential deal offer from Patterson. The DA admits that Toric’s methods were wrong, but stresses that she shouldn’t go to jail for her husband, and offers full immunity in exchange for tying the Sons to the shooting. Lowen urges Tara to think about it, though she flatly refuses. Back at the resort, Bobby reveals to Jax that his recent recruiting efforts weren’t to start his own Nomad chapter, but rather to bring an influx of new trustworthy members to their charter.
Back at Diosa, Gemma is surprised to find an old associate of Nero’s waiting for him in his office, none other than Venus Van Dam (‘Justified’’s Walton Goggins)! Venus explains how Nero had selflessly taken her in at a young age after her mother left, though she again needs his help. Meanwhile, Jax and the refurbished SAMCRO crew roll up to a junkyard the dirty cops had earlier attempted to drag their bikes to, and force their way inside, finding Juice’s bike stripped along with the supposedly stolen motorcycles.
Following Lowen’s refusal of Tara’s deal, Patterson removes her wig in the bathroom and psychs herself up, telling Tara she’ll be prosecuting the case herself in three weeks time. Back at the junkyard, the two cops respond to SAMCRO’s phony call to find the club waiting for them, as Jax forces the pair to issue apologies for their attempted scam.
At long last, the fog of brutality has lifted on season 6, and 'Sons of Anarchy' has gotten itself a much-needed win after the impressive destruction of Teller-Morrow and the clubhouse. Of course, no one's forgetting that this same series perpetrated a school shooting, hacked the limbs off of beloved cast members, and nearly obliterated a young boy in an explosion last week, but we needed a bit of triumph to ease the numbing perdition the FX drama has found itself in since introducing Lee Toric last season.
It isn't all sunsine and roses of course, as Tara seems destined to suffer for her husband's deeds, now that DA Patterson has decided to take off the gloves (and wig) in prosecuting her case. The Irish seem a bit too easy to forgive and forget as well, though surely Gaalan lost of bit of his own standing in overestimating the threat SAMCRO posed, so we've not seen an end to the back and forth rivalry.
More than simply lift the fog however, "Salvage" affords us the opportunity to witness one of the series' defining moments, a catharsis built to with John Teller since the very first episode, in which Jax looks back on all the violence and successfully convinces his brethren to shed the gunrunning lifestyle that had brought nothing but destruction. No doubt Kurt Sutter and Charlie Hunnam had prepared the series to arrive at such an impassioned plea for years now, and the moment feels rightly earned after all the doom and gloom of the previous weeks. Not to mention the cherry on top it all, that Bobby had actually been recruiting for Jax and SAMCRO, rather than preparing a pointless side-story of the world-weary ex-VP's nomad adventures.
We're just about to the midway point of the season, and while Lee Toric's unexpected exit certainly shook up our expectations for the major conflicts going forward, the fraternal bonding and liberty inherent to "Salvage" served us well in parting the clouds a bit, taking in the view of better days before things inevitably go to hell in the coming weeks.
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, “Salvage”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ recap of “Sweet and Vaded,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on tonight’s episode with series creator Kurt Sutter!