'Sons of Anarchy': It's Bottled Beer From Here on Out

Tommy Flanagan Charlie Hunnam and Katey Sagal in Sons of Anarchy The Mad King

[This is a Review of Sons of Anarchy Season 6, Episode 5. There Will Be SPOILERS.]


As far as responses to last week's bloodbath go, the deaths of Lee Toric and Otto wind up being filed under "inevitable" – which is pretty much where they should be filed, considering the half-cocked and foolhardy way Toric was conducting his revenge against the Sons. And, well, there really wasn't much of Otto left by the time 'Wolfsangel' rolled around, so his demise felt more like putting a wretched creature out of his misery than anything else.

But Otto's final actions managed to bring another inevitability to season 6 of Sons of Anarchy, by allowing CCH Pounder's Tyne Patterson to take point on the growing legal case against SAMCRO, which stems from their connection to the gun used in the season premiere's school shooting. So far we haven't seem much of Tyne that would make her more of a character than Donal Logue's Toric – who wound up being more of a complication than a fully fleshed-out personality – but aside from a similar level of drive and desire, the DA seems to share few qualities with the unruly marshal.

That's a good sign; just to keep the series fresh, the Sons sometimes need to tangle with opposition that isn't willing to do anything in pursuit of their goal, and as the issue with the Irish Kings escalates, having a more grounded adversary who is limited in her line of attack because she also wishes to uphold the law makes for a more compelling conflict and character. Again, we don't know too much about Tyne at this point, so she could wind up being as bent as Toric was, but so far that doesn't appear to be the case.

Tommy Flanagan and Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy The Mad King

Speaking of the Sons' conflict with the Irish Kings, while Galen continues to descend further into the realm of grinning madman, his rival attempts to broker for peace. But rather than depict Jax's attempt to call a truce with the rest of the Kings' white-haired decision makers as a shift in the character's thinking about moral concerns stemming from the KG-9 used in the school shooting, it's depicted more as a logical and practical move.

Ultimately, the move blows up in his face (literally), as Jax's attempt to pass off the gun business to August Marks is seen as an insult by the Kings and also puts SAMCRO's president in a bit of hot water with his veep. Seeing a character's good intentions – driven by self-preservation as they were – come back and bite him could result in some compelling drama. It will be very telling in terms of Jax's growth how he responds to the bombing of Teller-Morrow and, more importantly, why he chooses to do whatever it is he plans to do.

The conflict with the Kings leads back to the issue of guns. Thus far the Sons have attempted to get out of the business primarily for the purpose of avoiding future legal worries. That works well within the context of the series and this season's narrative, but the storyline hasn't really discussed the ramifications of the larger gun culture outside the somewhat limited framework of Jax & Co. not wanting to go to jail. And for a series that seems to have certain storytelling goals, that aspect continues to feel like a great opportunity that's just waiting to be seized.


Sons of Anarchy continues next Tuesday with 'Salvage' @10pm on FX.

Ad Astra Reviews Critics vs Audience
Why Critics Love Ad Astra (But Audiences Are Divided)

More in TV Reviews