TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Episode 11 – “To Thine Own Self”

Written by Jesse Gelinas November 27, 2012

A celebration of life after a near fatal car crash on "Sons of Anarchy"

“I know you want to die… and you will.”

Eleven episodes in, and “Sons of Anarchy” seems to have found its stride. Building on last week’s near-perfect episode, “To Thine Own Self” lets the momentum roll, picking up more and more speed, and introducing even more threats to the Sons’ livelihood. A new face has arrived in Charming, and he’s out for blood. Sons blood. There are only two episodes left, and it doesn’t look like anyone can put out all these fires before they consume everything in Charming.

We begin like so many times before, with Jax and Tara at home, dealing with the aftermath of Otto’s brutal revenge. Tara offers Jax an ultimatum: if they get clear of the accessory charges, they leave Charming, and the MC behind. Jax has more pressing matters at hand though, as he sets in motion a plan to cut ties with the Cartel. Meanwhile, things at home seem pleasant for Clay and Gemma. Contrary to Jax`s request, Gemma seems to be the one letting secrets slip to her husband.

“When a man is forced to put away what he does, he sometimes forgets who he is.”

Inside Stockton, Otto is accosted by a prisoner (Donal Logue) who is armed by a guard and allowed to beat the living hell out of the former Son. Back on the outside, Nero’s new base of operations is up and running, but his old crew comes knocking for reparations. A deal is struck, and the Sons agree to arm the gang at a discount in exchange for peace.  That deal quickly goes south and his gang ambushes Jax and the boys, with them narrowly escaping. Nero assures Jax, he’ll make things right with his former colleagues, while Clay tries to warn his stepson not to cut ties with the Cartel (revealing that he knows they’re CIA).

Donal Logue makes introduces a new threat to SAMCRO on "Sons of Anarchy"

Back at Stockton, a bloodied and battered Otto is visited once more by his attacker, obviously not a prisoner. The man introduces himself as ‘just a citizen’, and thanks Otto for “giving him something to want”. He then makes a not-so-subtle threat and leaves. Back at Clay’s place, Juice succeeds in finding the legal documents Clay has been hiding from the Nomad attacks. Jax makes arrangements to have them shown to the club, while also juggling a new deal with the Mayans and the Chinese to fill SAMCRO’s obligation to the Cartel. He is then kidnapped on the road.

“These next few months will be the most excruciatingly painful time of your sick and miserable life.”

Nero visits his old gang, looking for info on Jax, and ends up killing a member when he doesn’t get answers. This is us finally seeing Nero off his leash, and it’s actually kind of scary how quickly he turns back to his violent ways. Jax’s kidnappers are revealed to be the Cartel, but they let him go after hearing his plan to set them up with new gun suppliers. This does however, ruin his plans to reveal Clay, and the former SAMCRO President is able to hide the evidence again, forcing Jax to reveal some of Clay’s older dark secrets to Chibs and Bobby. Bobby surprisingly is shown going to Clay to ‘keep him alive’. Back at the hospital, Tara is leaving for the day, and is followed by Otto’s mysterious visitor.

Nero goes back to his roots on "Sons of Anarchy"

“Sons of Anarchy” has never been high art, but this season is at least showing that it can manage to hit heights of tension and drama that rival any other major cable player. This episode flows smooth, with not a moment of screen time wasted. The action is tight, and the drama is real and deep. The new threat in the form of Donal Logue has already made an impression as a dangerous force in less than 3 minutes on screen. It’s down to the wire now, with two episodes left, and next week promises a lot of blood and bullets if the trailer is any indication.

My Ratng: 10/10

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About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

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