We finally got there.
After that whole season-long debacle in Ireland, after the season that ended with that weird Deus Ex Danny Trejo, after enough gratuitous sex scenes to make a 14-year-old who just discovered Google blush, we finally made it!
Jax vs. Gemma. The Main Event. No Holds Barred.
“Faith and Despondency” is another 70-minute episode that’s got a lot of fat to trim (mostly involving sex montages and prison sex and, hey, did you know these characters sometimes occasionally have sex?), but I’d imagine the only thing any of you care to talk about is the episode’s final scene, so let’s get to it.
Abel’s mental collapse has been one of the series’ most underrated plot lines, something a little bit subtle for a show that doesn’t know the meaning of the word. But the little man’s disturbing trek down therapy lane finally boiled over Tuesday night, as Jax’s well-intentioned confession that Wendy is the boy’s birth mother causes Abel to tell Daddy about Gemma’s involvement in Tara’s death.
This opens up a couple of interesting avenues for SAMCRO’s Lady Macbeth, especially with the gangland chessboard effectively cleared by the events of “Faith and Despondency” (more on that later).
I don’t think it will be all that long before Jax raises Abel’s confession to Gemma, even if he himself doesn’t necessarily believe it. Gemma, fierce maternal instincts notwithstanding, is way beyond redemption by now, so she’s likely to put her survival ahead of Abel’s well-being.
With the spectre of therapy already raised, I could see Gemma trying to have Abel written off as insane to avoid paying the price for Tara’s murder. The possibility of that kind of move, which would betray Gemma’s entire motivation for Tara’s murder in order to avoid suffering for the sin, is the kind of moral quagmire that keeps “Sons” entertaining even after so many missteps.
There are plenty of variables to consider now that we’ve finally got Gemma and Jax likely standing on opposite sides of a line in the sand. Is Nero going to serve as her pawn or finally realize that he’s in love with a sin-soaked woman? Will Wendy be able to shake her recent friendship with Gemma and remember this is the same woman who nearly caused her to commit suicide way back in the pilot? Is Unser going to end up staring down a gun barrel at the woman he once loved?
The final confession has really kick-started the engine on what should hopefully be a tense and mortifying final three episodes.
Beyond that, “Faith and Despondency” is a perfectly serviceable “Sons” episode, replete with the raunchy fun that appeases the show’s fan base and just enough gunfire to keep the installment from dragging too much.
The 70-minute length (without commericals) is still completely ridiculous, as is the sex montage and random pit stop to check in on Rat’s “relationship,” but this episode did more than enough right to make those scenes palatable.
There’s nothing spectacular about Jax’s long con of Moses or the eradication of the more onerous members of Tully’s little Nazi day camp, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take pleasure in seeing Bobby’s tormentor maimed after Unser gunned down Leland.
Bonus points for having Unser actually feel guilty about taking a life. The human cost of this show sometimes gets lost in the endless bloodletting.
A little more than three hours left to go in Charming, and business has most definitely picked up.
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