TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Episode 8 – “Ablation”

Written by Jesse Gelinas November 01, 2012

Gemma lies to jax and Tara on this week's "Sons of Anarchy"

“You need to accelerate the endgame.”

It’s strange to watch a series without the seasonal ‘Big Bad’. The Sons of Anarchy have faced one every year now, but season five seems to be the odd one out. Pope is obviously a threat when he’s an enemy, but with the SAMCRO alliance it seems unlikely he’ll be taken out any time soon. The season is winding down and things are picking up, coming to a head. But where exactly is it going? I’m really not sure. The future of the MC is cloudy, but we can be sure there’s a lot of blood and a lot of bullets between them and the end.

We find paramedic tending to Gemma following her near-fatal car crash at the end of last week’s episode. Yes, non-fatal; Abel is alive. They’re all rushed off to the hospital where Jax and Tara are ready to crucify Gemma for endangering their boys. Lucky for her, Clay lies for her, insisting she was run off the road. It’s strange to see Clay still so devoted to a wife that tried to have him killed just a few months prior. Love is a funny thing. It’s an easy lie for Jax to buy after he and Chibs were attacked as well.

“I don’t make mistakes. Not like you.”

Sheriff Roosevelt’s investigation into his wife’s murder is also not going away and he begins pressing Juice for info on the missing nomad (Frankie, the only one not killed by Clay and Unser). This is a cop that’s hard to hate despite his contempt for the club. He’s beginning to look more and more like a vengeful husband and that is something viewers can connect with and root for. God knows we’re still waiting for Tig to take vengeance for his daughter, and Jax for Opie. Clay also seems to suspect something is up with Juice at this point.

Jax delivers SAMCRO justice on "Sons of Anarchy"

Jax, Chibs, and Happy see Pope for info on their attackers, and quickly find him and the van used in the shooting. The honest info from Pope also crosses him off the list as a suspect. It’s soon found out that Frankie himself hired the shooters, and Jax summarily dispatches the triggerman. Hap and Chibs do not look enthused at Jax’s continued regression to murderous tendencies (and Happy’s usually all about that shit). Honestly, he’s going to be Clay Jr. by season’s end. Mark my words.

“Everybody at that table’s done something that puts them outside the reaper.”

A trip to Nero’s new digs proves fruitful in the worst way as Frankie shows up to hold Jax and his brothers at gunpoint and demand payment before he leaves town. They pay him, and he leaves, but not before ratting out Clay as the ringleader, shooting Lyla in the leg, and kidnapping Chibs for insurance. I hate this man a lot more suddenly. Nero lectures Jax on the bloody side of his business and informs him of the truth about Gemma’s crash. This of course leads to a tearful confession from SAMCRO’s Queen that she was high while driving. Tara decks her. Jax disowns her. No surprises there. It’s good to see Tara’s transformation this season into a strong, willful ‘old lady’ of the club. It’s also slightly disheartening, as we know it means her becoming more like Gemma, whether she admits it or not.

Jax, Happy, and Chibs chasing down their attacker on "Sons of Anarchy"

Toward the end, Frankie knocks Chibs out and escapes with his money with two unnamed accomplices. We can be sure he’s not gone for good. Meanwhile, Roosevelt gives a proposition to Jax: he wants Frankie, in exchange for revealing who else ratted on the club during the RICO case. This could spell the end for Juice fnally after both betraying SAMCRO and killing Miles to cover it up. Jax informs Tara of his new info about Clay but assures her he has a plan to get proof for the Club. He offers Gemma a chance to see her grandkids again if she gets back together with Clay, in the hopes that he’ll reveal his dirty secrets like he used to when they were scheming together. The plan leaves little margin for error, and we can be sure that at least one of the parties involved will be dead before the season is out.

“Get used to living in a brothel, because hookers and bangers are going to be your only family.”

Overall “Ablation” was a bit of a rollercoaster. We had gunfights, Mexican standoffs, tears, lies, secrets, and even a few laughs. It’s good to see an episode that embodies the fragile balance Sons of Anarchy” maintains, however frailly. It is still a bit difficult to see what the season is building toward. I doubt Frankie is being set up as a ‘big bad’, and Pope still seems unlikely. Sutter assures us Clay will be around until the series finale. Someone has to die. And we have no idea who it will be.

My Rating: 8/10

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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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