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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Sweet and Vaded”

Sons of Anarchy Sweet and Vaded Review
FX

Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 roars out its seventh episode of the year “Sweet and Vaded,” as Tara puts into action her plan to get the kids away from Gemma, while Jax assists Venus Van Dam (‘Justified”s Walton Goggins) with a family matter.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode “Salvage” saw the Irish bombing lead Jax to a desperate meeting with the assembled Sons of Anarchy charters, while DA Patterson (CCH Pounder) continued pressing Tara to roll over on her husband, so how does “Sweet and Vaded” 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 7, “Sweet and Vaded!”

The Sons salvage what they can from the Teller-Morrow rubble, temporarily setting up shop in an old ice cream parlor rented from Jacob Hale, who reinforces that the town has become uneasy with the MC. Elsewhere at the hospital, Tara takes a bag of her own blood, and Margaret assures her to keep focused on the big picture of her upcoming actions. Nero and his lawyer meet with DA Patterson to hear details of an offer to roll on the Sons, unaware that the DNA evidence from Toric’s hotel room will eventually exonerate him.

Back in the makeshift clubhouse, Jax updates the group on the state of their dwindling finances and the temporary Irish peace, before officially voting in Quinn, Montez, West, and ultimately Rat to full membership. Shortly thereafter, Jax meets with August Marks to make temporary peace while they settle matters with the Irish, and release Connor back to Ireland. Gemma meets with Nero in prison, explaining that Venus dropped by worried about her nephew Joey falling back into her mother’s custody, for which Nero panics and begs Gemma to have Jax take care of it.

Uncertain how to further press Nero, Patterson tasks Sheriff Roosevelt with squeezing Charles Barosky for information, while Jax and the others return to their new headquarters to find Gemma and Venus waiting. Venus explains to the boys that her nephew Joey fell back into Venus’ mother’s custody, wherein Venus herself had previously been the subject of child pornography, and the Sons agree to help get the boy out of harm’s way. Meanwhile, Lowen provides Tara with a custody agreement that Gemma won’t be able to challenge, while still needing Jax’s signature, and Tara asks Unser to help obtain a restraining order.

Barosky meets with Patterson and Roosevelt in his bakery, denying any official connection to SAMCRO, but incensed that Patterson would go after his retirement accounts to get him to turn on Jax. Meanwhile, Venus and SAMCRO arrive to Venus’ mother Alice’s house, forcing their way past Alice’s boyfriend to get the boy, starting a scuffle and subsequent car chase. During the chase, Venus admits to Jax that Joey is actually her son, but they had opted to spare him the truth of his parent being transsexual. Alice manages to escape with the boy in the chase, though Jax gets help from Barosky in tracking down the license plate.

Jax, Barosky and the others find an unconscious Joey at Alice’s portrait studio, the surrounding evidence confirming Venus’ stories of child pornography. Alice and her boyfriend arrive to the studio, for which Venus grabs Tig’s gun, though Jax ultimately talks her down. When Alice launches into a tirade however, spewing about how Joey will grow up to hate Venus for the life he was forced into, Jax shoots the woman dead himself. Barosky offers to dispose of the body as a favor to Jax, as Venus expresses her relief that Joey will have a chance to get away from their twisted family.

Bobby returns Gemma to the TM lot, finding Wendy waiting in a panic over Tara’s latest custody agreement to leave the boys in Margaret Murphy’s care. Gemma and Wendy storm over to St. Thomas, confronting Tara and Margaret in the public cafeteria, where Gemma visibly assaults Margaret and follows Tara to her office. Gemma threatens that Tara won’t take the boys away, but when she refuses to hit a pregnant woman, Tara throws herself into a table, bursting a blood pack concealed within her dress. By the time Wendy, Unser and Margaret arrive to the office, all corroborate that they saw Gemma assault Tara, for which the police take her away.

Jax arrives to the hospital, buying the story that Gemma assaulted Tara and cost them the pregnancy, ultimately agreeing to sign Tara’s restraining order to keep Gemma away from the children. Meanwhile, Venus and Tig put Joey on a bus to Seattle, Nero stews in prison, and Roosevelt eyes a repentant Gemma in one of his holding cells.

So, that was pretty dark! Don’t get us wrong, we’re happy to see ‘Sons of Anarchy’ keeping up the trend of balancing its season 6 gloom and doom with a few lighter moments, most notably “Sweet and Vaded”s joyous inductions to the charter, but Venus Van Dam’s child pornography past and Tara’s elaborate deception to remove Gemma from the picture certainly take some decisively final actions to meet their respective ends.

We’d guessed that Tara had been faking her pregnancy from the moment she told Gemma, but the deception to frame Gemma as a cause of the miscarriage certainly places Tara down a path from which she can find little redemption, even in protecting her children. Gemma has long deserved a comeuppance for her treatment of Tara and the boys, and particularly one that mirrors her actions with Clay at the end of last season, but we can’t deny the shock of seeing what manipulative lengths Tara would go to in the effort to keep her family whole.

The same goes for Jax in the Venus story tonight, as the SAMCRO head coldly guns down Venus’ mother for her hate-spew hitting all-too close to home in the manner Jax’s life has influenced his own children. Alice clearly struck a nerve in suggesting that Venus had damned her son solely by existing as herself, and all that before Jax came to believe his own mother’s violent ways had cost him an unborn daughter. If ‘Sons of Anarchy”s ‘Hamlet’ parallels still hold any weight, we’d have to imagine a rather tragic target placed on Gertrude Gemma’s back.

Apart from all the gloom and doom, we certainly enjoyed having Goggins’ effortlessly charming portrayal of Venus Van Dam back, even with Tig’s odd fixation on the busty character. Goggins clearly relishes the role, and a chance to play against type, which very much helps carry through such an otherwise dark tale. No real movement on the Irish showdown, and no Clay to speak of this week, though we’re continually surprised how much more level ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 continues to become in its second half.

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, “Sweet and Vaded”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ recap of “Los Fantasms,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on tonight’s episode with series creator Kurt Sutter!

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