‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Playing With Monsters”
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 7 roars out its 3rd episode of the final year, “Playing With Monsters,” as Jax plays the Niners against each other to take revenge on Henry Lin, while Juice gets closure on his relationship with Chibs, and the new sheriff makes her plans known.
Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ installment, “Toil and Till,” saw Jax enacting a new plan to seek vengeance against the Chinese, while Juice weighed the need to leave town, and Unser started work as a consulting investigator under Charming's new Sheriff.. So how does “Playing With Monsters” keep rolling the series toward its inevitable conclusion?
Read on for your in-depth review of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 7 episode 3, “Playing With Monsters”!
We’re going to keep this one relatively short, given a lack of any major developments, and the wealth of other premieres starting this week. Where last week’s “Toil and Till” sought to slow things down considerably from the premiere, give or take a truck heist, tonight’s “Playing With Monsters” brought things ostensibly to a crawl, dabbling mostly in inter-gang politics with a few scraps of momentum here and there. It’s tough to gauge who to root for these days, with Jax still seemingly so unhinged in the wake of Tara’s death, causing mayhem on every front and burning two allies to make one, that episodes like tonight’s tend to fall apart without some kind of moral compass.
On the one hand we have Unser, though the character remains in dramatic irony’s clutches with little-to-no knowledge of Tara’s true fate, even as he helps hers and Eli’s killer make their way out of town. Gemma remains conflicted as ever, continually talking to herself and attempting to justify to Abel that Jax remains a good man, even as she aids in his mercilessly beating Sandy’s disruptive father. The “Playing with Monsters” reading metaphor seems especially apt, as Gemma attempted to instill in her grandson that the monsters are his friends, much like the ones atop motorcycles that surround him every day. Honestly by this point, everyone seems either blissfully in the dark, or to have dived head-first into, well, anarchy, making the final season a morbid waiting game with some pleasant distractions here and there.
Most compelling of all tonight proved Juice’s final confrontation with Chibs, and that’s saying something when the extent of the B-plot amounted to Juice asking for forgiveness, being flatly denied, and ultimately deciding to leave town exactly as he declined last week. Whether Jarry’s APB or his own conscience ultimately brings Juice back to town, “Playing with Monsters” seemed only to kill an over-stuffed hour from the final ride with a false sense of closure all around.
On the bright side at least, Annabeth Gish’s Sheriff Jarry has set herself up as a unique foil for SAMCRO, and Chibs in particular, while we’re reminded of Kurt Sutter’s Comic-Con warning "You see a LOT more of Tommy (Flanagan) this season. Literally. Like, a lot." And then there’s Jax, playing Niners against Niners, against August Marks, and it all ties into revenge against Henry Lin somehow. Also, the Mayans are upset about stuff. RoboCop seems to have fallen pretty far from his directives on the subject.
So that’s it, really. No movement on Jury’s connection to the two-dead peckerwoods from last week, beyond a pair of dogtags that he seemed to grip pretty tightly when Bobby called feigning ignorance on the matter. Just killing time in Charming, literally and figuratively.
AND ANOTHER THING…
- I get the feeling this is not the first iteration of “Skankenstein” the porn industry has birthed. No pun intended, because eww.
- So, Rat still has a girlfriend, and it’s a thinly-veiled retread of Wendy’s old relationship with Jax. Surely that won’t resurface, at all!
- Help me out, when did the Niners suffer an attack from the Mayans, the first time around? And why was Jax having the Bastards impersonate Marks’ crew to rile up Henry Lin’s gang, again? This is all very complicated.
- Is anyone counting how many times Chibs and Juice have fallen out, and gotten back together?
- To the episodes’ credit, it seems like Bobby at least finally cares how quickly Jax is dragging the club to hell, offering his understanding should Jax wish to slow down their maniacal revenge plans.
Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ action? What did you think about tonight's latest, “Playing With Monsters”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ review of season 7's latest “Poor Little Lambs,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on season 7 from cast and crew!