TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Episode 9 – “Andare Pescare”

Written by Jesse Gelinas November 11, 2012

Chibs and Jax plotting on "Sons of Anarchy"

“We all have a choice.”

We’re in the home stretch now. Four episodes to go and the season still has no clear direction. But it’s been a wild ride so far, and the Sons of Anarchy are gearing up for something big, we can be sure. That said, this is not exactly a week in keeping with this season’s quality. Sutter may be slipping, or it may be a fluke. We’ll have to see.  One thing I know is that Sutter has yet to make it up to us for Opie, and nearly killing Chibs was not a good start.

First off, the crew finds Chibs, alive and intact, after evidently forgetting about him completely in the previous episode. Honestly, that was a little disconcerting. Once he’s back at the table, Clay and Happy present new info on where Frankie has run to, and how to find him. He’s apparently bought himself mob protection, but SAMCRO decides to pursue anyway, and vote on him “meeting Mr. Mayhem.” This is the first time we actually see the Sons vote on the murder of a member, and it was cool actually seeing them mention Mayhem. The verdict is unanimous, but of course Jax has other, secret plans.

“That’s a lot of moves. A lot of lies.”

Jax and Bobby conspire to make sure they keep Frankie alive long enough to provide proof of Clay’s dirty dealings. Meanwhile, Tara is on a shrinking time-frame to get Otto to recant his testimony against the club. She seems to get through to him by bringing his late wife’s perfume. This bit gets weird later. Sutter’s not a bad actor by any means, but his scenes seem a bit superfluous this season. I had actually hoped to see Otto’s character dead by now, after more than five seasons on Death Row. But I digress.

Clay corners Frankie on this week's "Sons of Anarchy"

SAMCRO pays a visit to the mob, while Clay takes Juice to the cabin Frankie is hiding at. Clay’s sources reveal the location and he pounces on it to prevent Jax from learning of his connection to the Nomads’ crime spree. After a short shootout and a gratuitous explosion, Clay seems primed to take Frankie out. Fortunately, Jax and the boys arrive and stop him. But unfortunately again, the mob boss is so angry he shoots Frankie dead immediately. The Clay & Jax melodrama is allowed to continue for another week.

“I am tired of burning friends.”

Tara manages to see Otto again, and this is where Sutter goes a bit strange. After a long, tedious scene of awkward silences and vague instruction, we see Otto break down. The scene concludes with Tara holding the former Son’s head while he sniffs her pocket, masturbates, and weeps. Yes, that sentence is accurate. The oddest part is that Tara seems oddly moved by the whole sticky ordeal. Sutter seems to be getting a bit too self-indulgent here. After not rearing his head for the first half of the season, I guess he’s trying to come back with a bang.

Jax and Tara in a brief moment of tenderness on "Sons of Anarchy"

With Frankie dead, Jax has no bargaining chip for Sheriff Eli’s proposal. Roosevelt refuses to give up Juice as the rat, but Jax has already figured it out. Yes, this also makes much of this plot-line entirely pointless. In the end, we watch as Jax tails Juice in his truck, while Tara stays home and touches herself while sniffing Otto’s wife’s perfume. I suppose they’re going for that gender-balanced sexualisation thing.

“I am not gonna be responsible for another dead body.”

You might notice I haven’t mentioned Gemma yet. This episode clocked in at just under 50 minutes. A third of that was dedicated to Gemma scenes, and every one of them was pointless. She kisses Nero, meets his son, pours his sister in a pot, looks at Clay, whispers at Jax, and then kisses Nero again. I want more Jimmy Smits and less Gemma. I know she’s Sutter’s wife, but pretty soon she’s going to need her own spin-off to justify this much needless attention.

Clay and Gemma re-familiarizing on "Sons of Anarchy"

I have to believe this is “Sons of Anarchy” at its weakest. For the first time this season, I’m actually disappointed in Sutter. This has to be him at his most self-indulgent, and it is glaringly obvious. Yes, we get some decent action, some more scheming, and one satisfying (if a little convenient) death scene, but it just drags. I am so over Gemma I can’t even properly express how much. She’s overstayed her welcome and her growing screen time is just becoming grating. Sutter better be building to something good, and I have to hope this episode is just one weak link in what has been a strong chain so far. Because this whole episode just feels like Sutter playing with himself, and trust me, that is a sad sight to see.

My Rating: 5.5/10

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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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