Sons of Anarchy, Season 6: Episode 10 – “Huang Wu”
Written by Kurt Sutter and Charles Murray
Directed by Billy Gierhart
Airs Tuesday nights at 10 on FX
Oftentimes, a TV series unintentionally develops a weak link in its cast. If any of you are viewers of The Walking Dead, too, you could easily point out who that person was last year. Sons of Anarchy has mostly avoided that pitfall – having that character that is universally disliked. But season six really hasn’t done any favors for Tara. Her story has been a distraction at best; at worst, it’s made mediocre episodes out of otherwise good material, and Sons can’t really afford to have muted attention going into its last season – it wants to go out with a bang. So, when “Huang Wu” passes judgment on Tara and lets us watch her unravel, it’s the kind of satisfying moment that something like The Walking Dead wasn’t able to give us with its dragging character last season.
Even if “Huang Wu” had dropped the ball with the Tara stuff, though, it is – again – filled with otherwise good material. The unlikely pairing of Nero and Unser is something this series regularly misses out on (usually, it’s the same small group of characters dealing with different drama). Eventually, the two end up sharing a cup of tea (Unser having offered his weed) during the ending montage, which brings a smile to my face. Both characters love Gemma, and given that Gemma isn’t an absolutely horrible person this season, it’s great to see her compatriots getting along.
That montage, by the way, is one of the best Sons has done in recent memory. They’ve drawn from the White Buffalo well a few times for some of their music, but “Oh Darling, What Have I Done” is way up there, especially since we get one more short scene of acting immediately after. Tara tries to get her deal back with Patterson, but Patterson is in no position to offer it at this point. I’m not sure if this was played with the intent of making us feel kind of bad for Tara, but it did the exact opposite. That was the final flourish of seeing Tara get her just desserts.
It’s great seeing Kim Dickens, who has been underused this season, again as the Sons get their legit business in order now that the guns are on their way out. Diosa has always been an interesting setting for this series, so having it up and running in addition to building the clubhouse back up gives Charming a much stronger fortitude going into next year. That said, Dickens’ inclusion makes me miss Peter Weller, which is a credit to Sons of Anarchy that it can throw in so many guest actors that actually feel somewhat full the first episode we see them. And yet the main crew does just fine at anchoring “Huang Wu.” Bobby, Tig and Chibbs make Jax much more interesting just by proxy, so when those four heads are together, there’s a nostalgic feeling embedded that harks back to when Opie and Piney were still around. And even if Hap is much less developed that those four, he gets his scene, too: laughing maniacally to cartoons while eating noodles, handcuffed and being watched over by the Chinese. Well done, Hap. You get the crazy award.
– Sean Colletti