‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Some Strange Eruption”
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 7 roars out its 5th episode of the final year, “Some Strange Eruption,” as Jax's best-laid plans with the Chinese are forced to a head by the latest attack, while Juice continually unravels in isolation, and Nero's loyalties become torn.
Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ installment, “Poor Little Lambs,” saw Jax forced to dig into an earlier club mistake with Venus Van Dam (Walton Goggins), while Juice's situation worsened, and the Chinese made a deadly play. So, how does “Some Strange Eruption” keep the series rolling toward its inevitable conclusion?
Read on for your in-depth review of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 7 episode 5, “Some Strange Eruption”!
‘Sons of Anarchy’ has a problem with misinformation. Dramatic irony remains a staple of tragedy, as should it always, though too much of a good thing inevitably damages the proceedings. It’d be one thing if a character’s lacking awareness produced a tectonic shift along the likes of Gemma murdering Tara, or any other dozen of the FX biker drama’s past killings, though keeping 95% of its characters in the dark has paid few dividends for the final season.
We’re five episodes deep now, and have borne witness to Jax and the club enacting all manner of vengeance upon the Chinese, the likes of which killed off the majority of the show’s female cast last week, yet only Gemma and Juice know of the true tragedy behind all the carnage. That’s given rise to some strong work from Theo Rossi and Katey Sagal, certainly, though Emmy-caliber performance shouted into the void do little for the series at large.
That isn’t to say that that Jax or his SAMCRO brethren can’t display a range of worthwhile emotions under the limited knowledge they have, or that ‘Sons of Anarchy’ lacks for compelling drama amid its endlessly shifting loyalties, criminal carnage, interpersonal stakes and lasting legacies, of course. The problem instead lies in the eight overstuffed episodes to come, as we inevitably find that the conflicts, rivalries, gang wars and bodies dropped will only circle back toward a single point: that Gemma’s selfish coverup doomed them all. We’re essentially watching little more than each cast member constructing their own gallows, operating under the same pretense that deadly power serves a more relevant purpose. Nupe. Sorry.
At best, the seventh season has afforded us at least a few innocents with which to garner sympathy, as Nero seems to reach the end of his rope with trusting Jax, at least acknowledging that his bond with Gemma remains the only tie in an otherwise losing bargain. Moreover, the final ride has thrown a few new dynamics worthy of redemption, tonight’s installment granting the honor to Chibs and Sherriff Jarry*, though the season at large remains somewhat frustrating without at least one the many characters in conflict stopping to smell something rotten in the state of Denmark.
*Much as I miss Eli Roosevelt, credit must be given to Annabeth Gish for establishing a unique dynamic between SAMCRO and Jarry I nsuch a short time, as we learn the altruistic purposes behind her getting into bed with the club, both literally and figuratively. Rushed though the relationship between she and Chibs might be, it’s especially impressive how integral the character has felt thus far.
Of course, even among those burdened by the truth, “Some Strange Eruption languishes without very much for Juice and Gemma to do, instead concocting yet another uninformed murder for Juice until the episode finally pairs the two on the road, with nothing but truth to divide them. We’d have to imagine that Juice’s revelation and subsequent confrontation with Gemma inevitably bring the character back to Charming with hopes of a pardon from Jax, though why we had to wait upwards of 5 episodes for conflict to erupt remains as inexplicable as the show’s ever-increasing runtime.
Don’t get me wrong, tonight’s installment still brought some powerfully intriguing plot points into the mix, as Peter Weller’s Barosky seemed to take just the slightest shift downward into amorally villainous territory, or Gemma faced a more localized outcome to her lies in Abel’s outburst. Still, with near of every conflict languishing under a single plot point like Gemma’s lies, hours like “Some Strange Eruption” end up losing steam enough to earn its title.
AND ANOTHER THING...
- No mention of Jury this week, curious considering the likelihood of his betrayal, and the vague mystery we've seen set up around his dead pals.
- Let it never be forgotten that 'Sons of Anarchy' had restraint enough to avoid putting a flute in someone's rectum.
- Seriously, why the hotel employee neglected to identify himself, or why Henry Lin didn't attempt to reinforce his bewilderment of Jax's accusations strain even TV logic. At least it was a cool fight scene, right?
Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ action? What did you think about tonight's latest, “Some Strange Eruption”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ review of season 7's latest “Smoke 'em if You Got 'em,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on season 7 from cast and crew!