Sons of Anarchy, Season 7, Episode 7, “Greensleeves”
Directed by Paris Barclay
Written by Kurt Sutter
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm on FX
Jax Teller’s braggadocio is officially out of hand. Up to this point, the season has consisted of a variety of stupid plans from Jax, but they have seemed to be the right choice, at least from his point of view. Even if the audience can see clearly that his manipulations of rivals and lies to the club are bad ideas, his confidence in them has done enough to make his decisions believable. During Tuesday’s episode, however, Jax finally commits to throwing all caution to the wind. Having Jax stop offering any sort of explanation when he gives orders officially places the final season squarely in nonsensical territory and unmoors it from responsibility to reason all together.
The blind confidence Jax has all episode that every plan he moves forward with will work ends up not working in a big way. For the first time this year, an important member of the club pays the price for Jax’s idiocy and only time will tell if he actually learns anything from his missteps. Sons set up a few members of the crew to potentially be sacrificed for the cause over the course of the season, Bobby Elvis being one of high probability. He hasn’t had much to do in recent episodes, what with Chibs getting most of the screen time due to his relationship with Jarry. Even so, watching him fall prey to Marks’ torturous tendencies is tough to take, seeing as he is still one of the most compassionate and committed of the remaining original SAMCRO members. Fortunately, the footage sent to the boys does not confirm Bobby’s actual death, just his lack of an eye, leaving the door open for his loyalty to the crew to waver and for Mark Boone Junior to get a proper goodbye.
Juice’s reconnection to Jax and the rest of the crew is a necessary next step for his journey this season, although even something as exciting as a highway police chase and his subsequent jailing seems boring when stretched out over the episode’s hour and a half runtime. Paris Barclay gets the opportunity to show off his talents with all of the highway rides this episode and framing the return of Juice’s kutte against JT’s memorial rock is a nice touch and an organic way to tie John’s death into this present cycle of betrayal and forgiveness. Making good with the club in order to take out Lin at the very least puts Juice in a position to do something other than hide from the group and mope around, although it is not yet clear whether him hanging out in a jail cell and having elicit conversations with contacts will be any more entertaining than before.
Gemma not getting looped into the grand scheme of things by the club spurs the most extreme increase of her paranoia up to this point. She has every right to be worried that Juice told Jax her secret when she receives unclear orders about going to a rural cabin. Anyone connected to the club who does not get details about going to a location where multiple club members have died previously is in the right when reticent about following these orders. It ties right back into Jax’s flippant nature when giving orders to his men – if he took five more minutes to explain why Happy and Ratboy needed to go get Gemma in the first place, Unser would feel more confident about coming back to her side and Bobby would never have been on the road alone. Jax always has something more important to do, so everything he does from now on only gets half his attention. Happy and Ratboy admitting they’re scared of Gemma is a nice touch amidst that mess, though.
Abel finding out his grandmother killed his mother is a surprising development and could lead to Abel committing an act of violence at a young age, officially sealing him into the life his parents never wanted for him. Having him watch Gemma confess to his little brother what she did is scarring for him either way and just one more event to add to the list of ever-multiplying horrific things he has already seen. There is a definite theme building around Abel’s mental state but only Wendy seems to notice or care. Whether Jax, Wendy, Unser, or anyone else will protect him from falling prey to his father’s lifestyle is the crux of how Sons of Anarchy wants to go out. Will it finish the way it started, with nonsensical violence among thieves? Or in a more positive direction, with hope for the next generation of Tellers. Your move, Sons. Make it a worthwhile one.