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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “You Are My Sunshine”

Sons of Anarchy You Are My Sunshine Review
FX

Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 roars out its 12th and penultimate episode of the year, “You Are My Sunshine,” as Jax settles accounts between the Chinese, Irish and August Marks, while Tara makes her last play to flee Charming with the boys, and Juice wrestles with the weight of his conscience.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode, “Aon Rud Persanta,” saw Jax put into play his ultimate plans for both the Irish and Clay’s escape from prison, while Tara faced a difficult choice posed by DA Patterson (CCH Pounder). So how does “You Are My Sunshine” keep the season rolling toward its inevitable conclusion?  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 12, “You Are My Sunshine”!

Jax meets with Patterson publicly to insist that he held up his end of the bargain, at least from the public’s standpoint, but Patterson remains unconvinced. Patterson immediately thereafter calls Tara to facilitate witness protection in exchange for Bobby’s bullet, though Tara remains under guard treating Bobby at the cabin, so they agree to meet at the hospital. Elsewhere, Tig and Quinn oversee an Irish delivery of guns to the barn, killing the delivery men in the process.

The Chinese arrive to the barn to meet Jax, to which he offers them the shipment of guns in exchange for Happy, but Lin insists on at least taking Gaalan’s successor for personal vengeance. Over at Diosa, one of Nero’s Byz-Lat crew pay a visit to remind him that all of his attention has been preoccupied with SAMCRO, scattering needed focus from his own crew, while Marcus Alvarez has reached out for a meeting. Back at Gemma’s house, Wendy questions if Gemma is using her against Tara again, but Gemma admits that she’ll need help raising the boys if Tara goes to jail.

While Tara fakes a need to visit the hospital for supplies, Juice sits with a recuperating Bobby, as Bobby urges him to relax at Diosa with some oxycontin to cool his nerves after what happened with Clay. Meanwhile, Nero meets with Marcus Alvarez, who reveals that SAMCRO deferring gun business to August Marks creates a power imbalance in Oakland, for which the Mayans will set up a new chapter in Stockton, potentially pitting Nero’s crew against SAMCRO. Elsewhere, Jax convinces Connor to finally meet with Marks, pinning the murder of his delivery men on the Chinese.

Tara finds Gemma waiting in her office, quickly sending her away, unfortunately straight into the path of Patterson and her men, though Patterson covers for her presence at the hospital. Afterward, Tara agrees to meet Patterson later that evening with the bullet, once her new lawyer has approved the WITSEC documents. Upon returning to the cabin, Tara sends Bobby back to bed for his drinking, and apologizes to Jax for everything that’s happened.

Juice arrives to Diosa somewhat high from the oxycontin and emotional about what happened with Clay, for which Lyla takes him to meet with a masseuse. Once alone however, Juice stares vacantly at himself in the mirror, and downs more of the drug. Meanwhile back at the cabin, Tara manages to sneak away from Bobby and her escort detail, while Jax takes Connor to meet with Marks at the barn, instead handing him over to Lin as vengeance.

Jax invites Lin to take the van full of guns once more, only this time the Niners spring out and mow down all of the Chinese, Lin included, while Happy gets the final shot. Jax assures a rattled Connor that they needed to take down the Chinese in order to save him, and send a message of August Marks’ new control over the trade. Marks himself arrives a short while later, offering to double the True IRA’s gun business in California, forking over an exorbitant amount of money as a show of faith, which Connor agrees to take to the Irish for consideration.

Back at Diosa, one of the girls begs Gemma and Nero for help with Juice, who has since overdosed. Gemma and Nero manage to get him to throw up the pills, reasoning after that it might have been a suicide attempt, before Tara calls Gemma with a fake excuse about needing assistance with Bobby at the cabin. Nero gets Juice on his feet to talk it off, before Juice reveals in his haze that he killed Nero’s cousin’s wife Darvany on Jax’s orders, and had carried the guilt with him ever since.

Tara arrives to visit the boys with Gemma and Wendy, first claiming to want to take them to dinner alone, though when Unser interferes, Tara covers Abel’s eyes and pulls her gun to show she means business. Unser reluctantly allows her to leave with the boys, during which Wendy blurts out that she’s Abel’s real mother, before Tara strikes her. Once she leaves, Unser alerts Gemma to the deception. Meanwhile out at the barn, Connor relays that the Kings have agreed to give August Marks a try, effectively ending SAMCRO’s involvement with guns.

Tara attempts to justify her actions to Abel on the car ride, singing a verse of “You Are My Sunshine” before tearing up at Abel’s questions if his father will be present where theyre going. Patterson and the others realize that Tara has duped them, while Jax returns home with Gemma, and comes to the conclusion that Tara must have made a deal for witness protection. Nero arrives to see Jax’s despair as well, but offers a comforting hand, rather than his fist.

OUR REVIEW:

Following last week’s monumental (if overdue) developments, and a holiday break in between, it’s only natural that ‘Sons of Anarchy’ would settle down a bit in its penultimate installment of season 6. We’re hard-pressed to imagine that only two weeks ago the series accomplished one of its most shocking developments to date, considering the past-prime nature of Clay’s execution diluted its relevance toward the over-arching story. With that bit of business behind us, and a bit of ribbon-tying thereafter, it’s back to the family drama with an eye toward the big finish.

To that end, we felt a bit numb watching Tara make yet another play to keep her children out of harm’s way, presumably backing herself into a corner before next week, considering she seemed to have reasonable outs in place. Her ultimate love for Jax prevented her from following through on Patterson’s plans, though the madness and continuously short-sighted nature of her plans becomes difficult from a storytelling standpoint. The series undoubtedly needed one last push for the season after apparently wrapping up ties with both gunrunning and the Chinese, but the last thing we need is a reminder of season 3′s lengthy plot to reclaim Jax’s children.

Instead, we’d much rather focus on developments with Nero, who seems to have finally been given the last straw in his partnership with Jax. Marcus Alvarez’s appearance makes it clear that Nero’s innate loyalty can only hold for so long, though we liked the strong character moment and cinematography that highlighted Jimmy Smits’ seething intensity with only a hand toward Jax’s sullen head. We’d imagine that the power-shifts could bring things full circle in the final season with a Mayan rivalry, though for now, we’ll have to make do with Jax’s pursuit of Tara and the boys.

If nothing else, acclaim should also be afforded to Theo Rossi for his continually conflicted portrayal of Juice, finally paying off the thread of his murdering Darvany, though Juice too seems like a character long past the point of redemption, at least from a narrative standpoint.

What say you? Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ action?  What did you think about the big shockers of tonight’s “You Are My Sunsine”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ recap of season 6 finale “A Mother’s Work,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on season 6′s end with series creator Kurt Sutter!

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