Two recent episodes of Sons of Anarchy have continued to show the tensions within the motorcycle club, most of them revolving around the decision to move cocaine for the cartel. Fearing that the police reveal his mixed race background to the Club, Juice is manipulated into stealing a sample of the cocaine in the episode “Brick.” Complications ensue as a result, and he ends up stealing an entire brick—the absence of which is missed. By the end of the following episode, “With an X,” one member of the club is dead and Juice is wounded as a result (although he has successful concealed the fact he himself is the thief).
Some of the problems pre-date the cocaine troubles. Tara has in her possession a set of letters from John Teller that both Clay and Gemma are desperate to get hold of. As Clay comments, the letters reveal that “I had John Teller killed while bedding his wife. We gotta stop this. Otherwise we lose everything.” If the cocaine trade doesn’t tear the club apart, the surely the revelation of that bit of news would.
In “With an X” in particular, domestic problems add to the troubles of the club. Newlyweds Opie and Lyla are living separately by episode’s end. After discovering that Lyla is taking birth control pills, Opie has revenge sex with Ima in the club’s apartment. In series that is regularly problematic in its depiction of violence against women, what follows is one of the most egregious scenes of gratuitous violence in the series. Jax pretends to let Ima seduce him, and once in her dressing room, slams her head down against a table, and leaves her stunned and bleeding in the floor. If more scenes like that are in store, I may soon be abandoning the Sons of Anarchy.
On the plus side, there continues to be some of the odd humor and casting that I enjoy in the series, including inspired roles for David Hasselhof (a producer of porno videos) and Tom Arnold (as Georgie, a recurring character, who is involved a the moment in manufacturing sex dolls).
With all the conflict, there was not much hugging in either of these episodes, with only one full-on man hug between the two episodes (Clay hugging the leader of the Mayans), and then one half-hug, between Clay and Jax. The half-hug begins with a shoulder tap (which usually ends the man hug) and then proceeds to each putting one arm around the other (half-hug, as they don’t use both arms). The half-hug does take place just after Clay contracts to have Jax’s wife Tara killed, so that, at least, makes the duplicity of the hug all the more apparent.
Man hug season total: 16.