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Sons of Anarchy recap: 'Toil and Till'

Jax makes a big move against Lin, Unser meets the new sheriff, and Juice refuses to leave.

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Prashant Gupta/FX

Sons of Anarchy

TV Show
Current Status:
Off Air
run date:
Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perelman, Katey Sagal

The final season body count climbs by 12 in this episode, which finds Jax starting his long-game destruction of Henry Lin by taking out everyone at one of Lin’s guns-for-heroin exchanges, plus the two local guys that Indian Hills president Jury volunteers for the job. The action is badass, but if we didn’t have six seasons of liking Jax Teller in our memory, the killing spree would be tough to take—even with that tear he sheds in the final seconds of the hour, presumably while thinking about what Tara would think of him now. Yes, in his misinformed mind, he’s doing this all to avenge his wife’s death, but most of the men he helped murder weren’t in Lin’s crew—they’re collateral damage, even if Lin’s crew had killed Tara. Maybe it’s because Jax and Tara’s love seemed so real and grounded that his larger-than-life response doesn’t initially compute: It’s like he’s snapped, but no one in the club sees it. Are they all blinded by their love and support for him? (Update: Tommy Flanagan hopes you don’t hate them.)

The opening: The show—known for its montages—starts without a song in this episode, which is especially powerful coming off the season premiere’s epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” ending. Jax wakes to the sound of a lawn mower, a barking dog, and his own breathing. Life goes on for the outside world, but inside that house, it’s stopped. There is no more joy, just the sight of Tara’s empty side of the bed and the spot where he cradled her lifeless body in his kitchen. It’s almost enough to make you feel guilty for being excited to see Charlie Hunnam’s bulked up torso. Almost. Go ahead, and tell yourself you’re just appreciating the Abel tattoo.

The smoke of his cigarette bleeds into Juice taking a drag as Unser sits bound and gagged in Wendy’s bathtub. Then it’s to Gemma’s smoke, as she sits at her kitchen table being served coffee by Nero (who is the best boyfriend ever). Does he wish he’d never bought her that drink? No, you find who you’re supposed to find, he says. Cue Wendy’s entrance, shippers. “Mom… dad,” she says, greeting them. They decide Gemma will write the check for Abel’s preschool, but Wendy will go check it out with her chauffeur, Nero. It takes a village, people.

Juice lets Unser go: Viewers would have been more afraid of Juice carrying that large knife into the bathroom if they hadn’t seen promos showing that Unser makes it out of Wendy’s alive. Juice frees his hands, and they have a nice chat during which Juice admits he’s hiding from the club because of “old sins.” Unser figures out Gemma’s hiding him, and instead of leaving, Unser sits down. (Who else wanted to reach through the screen and hug Uncle Touchy?) Hearing that Jax will kill Juice and that Juice has no plan to get out of Charming, Unser offers his help. It’s a heartwarming moment—until you remember Juice killed Eli, and Unser is a former Chief.

The Return of August Marks: The man still knows how to wear a suit. He’s happy to hear Jax has hooked the Chinese up with the Irish and that it’ll quench Lin’s thirst for payback for something that isn’t Jax killing one of his men. August promises they’ll find out what happened to Tara, but for now, he needs Jax to know the retaliation can’t land on the street, just like the Niners couldn’t retaliate against the Mayans for what happened at the junkyard last season. All the heat would crush the gun expansion. From the snarl on Jax’s face, August should know Jax doesn’t like what he hears. The greatest lesson Pope taught him, August says, was patience. And the man did have it, allowing Jax to keep Tig alive. Of course, we know how that turned out for Pope. “Clarity settles all scores, pays back all debts,” August preaches. Jax promises he won’t do anything until the time is right. Cut to Happy, looking straight out of Breaking Bad, getting rid of the body but saving Chris Dun’s head with the carving fork in it. Enjoy your mail, Lin.

The Rat and Tig Show: Don’t you want to hear all the stories Tig told Rat during their four-hour stakeout waiting for Lin to move his guns? (That’s a web series that needs a green light.) Rat grows impatient enough to spark the kind of exchange this show can get away with because you don’t really believe the characters are truly misogynistic, racist, and homophobic:

Tig: What if when we’re done here we go to your house, and I rape your mama?

Rat: What if you find her on top of your dad slamming a big black dildo in his a– while he’s calling out my name?

Tig: Nice touch.

Rat: Thanks.

When the Chinese finally move, Tig pushes Rat’s head into his lap and tells him to “think gay thoughts,” so Tig just looks like a driver on a backstreet getting cheap head. He keeps gyrating and talking dirty even after they pass by. Welcome to the club, Rat.

NEXT: Jax’s plan revealed