TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Episode 7 – “Toad’s Wild Ride”

Written by Jesse Gelinas October 28, 2012

The Sons of Anarchy are rocking some new bikes after trashing their old ones.

“There’s no such thing as an ex-cop.”

“Toad’s Wild Ride” is a phrase that brings a pretty vivid picture to a person’s mind. Perhaps some traumatizing Disney memory they’re trying to repress. Something with a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of ‘what have yous’. It’s rather fitting then for our mid-season mark of “Sons of Anarchy” this year. Things are all over the place, and so is the episode.

We start out learning more about Clay’s dastardly plot with the nomads. In exchange for destabilizing the club with their break-ins, Clay promised the trio a cut of his retirement fund once he regains the gavel. This looks unlikely with Unser sniffing around, and quickly putting the pieces together. Rather impressive for an old man. Unser clues Jax and Bobby into what’s really going down, but they’re hesitant to throw fellow Sons under the bus without proof. We’re seeing a lot of clandestine activity on Jax’s end this season. It seems like he’s got secrets with Tig, secrets with Bobby, with Chibs, and barely anything he does is known to the whole club. He’s looking more like Clay every day.

“Women like your mom … they don’t do so good without family.”

At the other end of town, a one-night stand turns into grand theft auto, leaving Gemma stranded. Once Nero, and the Sons of Anarchy show up the guy (an odd cameo by “Community” star Joel McHale) is quickly found and they take back what’s theirs. Nero promises further reparations. This is all part of Gemma’s season-long downward spiral. Honestly, it is getting a little tiresome at this point. It’s especially hard to stomach since we stopped loving Gemma about two seasons back. Meanwhile, Clay conspires with two of the nomads to take out the threat Unser poses.

Joel McHale makes his second guest appearance on "Sons of Anarchy".

Clay has a sit down with Unser, trying one last time to dissuade him from digging further into Clay’s involvement. The trap seems ready to snap, when Clay suddenly helps Unser kill the two attacking nomads, saving his life. His depravity knows no bounds. Now he’s got a nice alibi for the club. Unser’s been a source of heart and soul for this show since the beginning, and it’s good to see him alive and well.  I think we’d all die a little inside if he went out like that.

“I put a nine in his skull ‘cause he kept coming at me.”

The episode comes to a close with Jax letting Clay know that he’s not stupid, and won’t let him get away with what he’s doing. Clay is his usual snake-like self. Afterward, Jax and Chibs are attacked on the road and nearly killed by two assailants who look to be from Pope’s crew. It’s an odd twist to take, if that is where the show is going. The deal with Pope has seemed solid enough, and we’ve been led to assume it’d be SAMCRO to draw first blood on that front.

Former Chief of Police, Wayne Unser, still a great ally to the Sons of Anarchy

After all this other scheming and conniving, we see a very inebriated Gemma pick up Jax and Tara’s boys from the clubhouse, while Tara heads to the cabin to unwind. Unsurprisingly, she gets into a bad accident. What is shocking is the heavy amount of blood we see coming from Thomas, the eldest son, as the credits come in. Sutter has said no one is safe this season, but I didn’t think he’d be in the business of killing toddlers. Bravo, good sir. Brave move.

“Let SAMCRO decide who lives and dies.”

Overall, the episode is a bit unbalanced with a lot of threads going off at once. It does manage to hold it all together and even spares us the devastation of killing Unser. We all know he’ll outlive every member of the Sons of Anarchy. It just goes with the territory. We’re halfway in now, and seemingly no closer to the finish. I can’t be sure SAMCRO is actually going to win this one with allies dropping like flies and enemies making bold moves. Clay is as dangerous as ever, and Pope is a scary presence even when he goes unseen. The season is shaping up to be the best of the last few years.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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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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