Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Episode 1: “Black Widower”
Directed by Paris Barclay
Written by Kurt Sutter
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Tommy Flanagan, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Theo Rossi, Jimmy Smits, Dayton Callie, and Drea De Mateo FX
Air Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 10pm
Sons of Anarchy embarks on its “final ride” Tuesday, September 9th at 10pm on FX. Before we get to my review of the last season premiere (ever!!) of this compellingly violent show, some thoughts…
There will be spoilers (if you aren’t caught up)! Stop now or forever hold your “piece.”
The 2nd most brutal death ever: Gemma’s (Katey Sagal) “fork”-up wasn’t the most brutal death on the show. Was it cringe-worthy disturbia? Yes. Did it sweep away our happiness that at least Tara (Maggie Siff) and the kids would be away from the constant danger finally? Yes. Was Jax (Charlie Hunnam) our hero, sacrificing himself to keep his family safe? Yes. Tara’s murder over a misunderstanding sent an outcry through the fans, spawning countless tribute videos and fan reaction videos all over YouTube. It may not have been the most brutal death on SOA, but it hurt the most. It almost guarantees an unhappy ending for our protagonist. A show referred to as a modern day Hamlet, clearly cannot have a happy ending.
Juicy’s downward spiral: Juice’s (Theo Rossi) lowest moment is clearly holding his hand out to daughter-in-law murdering Gemma after shooting poor Sheriff Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) twice in the back. So far. The end of that path looks even further downhill. Juice has been internally conflicted for the last two seasons, first for being forced to rat on the club for fear they would find out he was half black. He shoots prospect Miles (Frank Potter) and frames him for stealing a brick of coke he stole for the police as evidence. He was so upset, he tried to hang himself. He confessed to Clay (Ron Perlman) first, then Jax, and got caught up between Jax and Clay’s conflict. Then, of course, his second is his betrayal of Jax in Season 6.
Tig’s daughter: THIS was the most brutally disturbing death I have ever witnessed. Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) seeking revenge for Tig (Kim Coates) shooting HIS daughter, chained Tig up to watch his daughter Dawn get doused in gasoline and burned alive. Her screams and Tig’s hoarse wailing made this moment almost unwatchable.
Jax Teller: We’ve watched this man struggle against the current for six seasons now, capable of great love for his children, his wife, and his club, trying to get them out of the weapons biz. His goal had always been to bring the Sons to the vision his father had, as revealed through his journals. John Teller lost his life trying to achieve that goal, and seems like Jax feels like he lost his when he lost Tara.
Next week’s thoughts: Opie Winston breaks our hearts.
Sons of Anarchy 7.1 “Black Widower” review: The title is apt. This episode takes place six days after Tara’s death by barbecue fork, and Jax is wearing his favorite orange outfit. He’s cold and empty and out for revenge. Where is he looking? The episode opens with prison-garbed Jax beating someone to a bloody pulp. Ah, showrunner Kurt Sutter never disappoints.
What is promised to be the bloodiest season ever, begins in blood. Jax thinks he knows who killed Tara. Does he? Is Juice headed for an earlier death than anticipated? Sutter told TV Line that Juice will come to a “revelation about himself” in episode 6, so he’s safe from death for now. Whether or not Jax knows Juice’s part in the cover-up, he still knows about Juice’s betrayal, ratting to Nero (Jimmy Smits) about being ordered to kill the mother of the kids who shot up the school.
Marilyn Manson makes his debut in this first episode. Gemma spends the episode being the loving mom that is by her son’s side through this ordeal, and Katey Sagal plays justification like no other. Look for Unser (Dayton Callie) to find clues faster than the actual police or the club, as usual. And as revealed in the trailer, Wendy (Drea De Mateo) cuts out of rehab early, and is mothering the boys. Tara trusted her for this job at the end, so I do too. Jax is too busy doing a complete 180 with the Sons. He wanted to get out for so long; now he has no reason to.
This episode gives just enough to satisfy our “what happens next” cravings, yet sets the bar to let us know this will be a season-long reveal. With the season and series ending in December, we have not long to wait til the end, to our simultaneous joy and lamentation.