[This is a review of Sons of Anarchy season 6, episode 6. It contains SPOILERS.]
As season 6 rolls along, we are starting to get a clearer sense of the various forces at play in both the larger and more personal arenas of the Sons of Anarchy universe. Jax continues to undertake a movement of non-aggression (at least against groups prone to placing C-4 in beer kegs) that sees him taking his crew out of town to make an impassioned speech about distancing the Sons of Anarchy from the gun business, though it's motivated mostly on purposes of practicality and an aversion to doing serious time behind bars.
But while certain forces are pushing the MC away (or at least attempting to) from the dangers associated with running guns for the IRA, that's not the only seemingly irresistible force at work at the moment. With the maniacal Lee Toric out of the picture, the spotlight is on DA Tyne Patterson more than ever, and although the audience isn't shown the public's cry for an arrest to be made in connection with the school shooting earlier this season (or a few days ago, in SoA time), it's safe to assume that Tyne is feeling her own pressure with regard to the case.
Of course, Toric's extracurricular activities involving dead call girls, Nero's SUV, and a hotel room full of automatic weapons and drug paraphernalia create a serious problem for Tyne's case against Nero, SAMCRO, and Tara. All of which is pointed out and underlined very distinctly by Eli Roosevelt, who has regrettably been reduced to little more than delivering snippets of exposition intended to put all the characters on the same page and otherwise providing a little foreshadowing of events to come.
In that regard, season 6 is building toward the eventuality of more criminal charges being brought against the club. Legal cases and criminal charges in the world of Sons of Anarchy are a fairly regular occurrence, even though none of them manage to stick or result in upsetting the status quo much. Even the events of season 3, which then led to the time jump starting season 4 was intended more to hit the reset button on Charming than to demonstrate a real sense of consequence for the club. But characters still hold on to a fear of lengthy prison terms, and of just being caught in general.
To that end, Otto's legacy and the memory of his hellish experience in prison actually serves to justify his character beyond his being the recipient for whatever extreme punishment seemed to have been lying around the Sons of Anarchy writer's room.
Despite their allegiance to the club or the idea of the group as an entity larger and more important than the individual, most members are essentially driven by the notion of self-preservation. This typically makes the threat of betrayal as potent at the thought of the retribution that will potentially be metered out in response to it (unless your name is Juice).
As the season moves forward, forces are pushing most heavily against Tara, compelling her to betray Jax and the club. So far she's stood tall against Tyne's offer of immunity, but should she waver, the only question is: Could that betrayal be any worse than what she already has planned?
Sons of Anarchy continues next Tuesday with 'Sweet and Vaded' @10pm on FX.