[This is a review of Sons of Anarchy Season 6, Episode 7. There will be SPOILERS.]
Normally, while Jax is off dealing with mad Irish bombers, revenge-driven businessmen, or moving the MC into an old, abandoned ice-cream parlor to temporarily replace the clubhouse lost on account of the aforementioned mad Irish bombers (which goes a long way in suggesting that, deep down, maybe the Sons are just boys playing some violent game), Tara only becomes a part of the storyline when Jax's business or Gemma somehow pulls her into the fray.
But this season of Sons of Anarchy, Tara has been more than content to be pushed to the margins of everything going on with Jax Teller and the rest of SAMCRO, as it's allowed her the freedom to maneuver the various pieces of her great escape plan in such an exacting way that when she finally sets it in motion – as we see in 'Sweet and Vaded' – there's very little anyone can do (or even knows enough) to stop her.
It's all been a long time coming, and frankly it's good that we finally get to see what Tara's plan actually entails, rather than have yet another episode be spent with her suspiciously in Wendy's company, or reassuring her lawyer she understands the ramifications of the actions she's about to take.
Tara's been up to something for the last six episodes, and as much as Kurt Sutter seems to enjoy the moments before a plan comes together, there's only so much build-up the audience is interested in seeing before curiosity and expectation are eventually trumped by the need to move on.
So we see that a major part of Tara's plan was to get Gemma riled up enough that she would assault Margaret Murphy in front of the hospital cafeteria, before storming off to find her daughter-in-law and presumably do much worse.
This is the same fight that's been going on since the end of season 4, so it stands to reason that anyone with even the slightest knowledge about the often-confrontational relationship these two women have would believe Gemma might kick Tara in the gut, despite having been told she was pregnant. And we see when Jax signs the paperwork deeming Gemma an unfit grandparent, Tara's lie was not exactly a tough sell, even to the son of the woman she was accusing.
Despite the big moment of Gemma's arrest and Jax's obliging his wife's request, 'Sweet and Vaded' passes most of its time following the return of Walton Goggins as Venus Van Dam – which makes you wonder just how large a part Tara and her plan will play in regard to the overall storyline. On the one hand, she's one of the few characters left to root for from a moral standpoint, as the rest are either off the map completely or just otherwise confused about the concept of morality.
As a terrific example of this, Bobby actually calls Hale "the real bad guy," suggesting that, to the MC, white-collar crime and political malfeasance trumps funneling automatic weapons into the hands of pre-teen school shooters any day of the week.
But on the other hand, if Tara succeeds in taking Jax's family away from him, it raises an interesting question: Will that loss force him to fight for something other than the survival of the MC, and therefore cause him to leave SAMCRO behind, or will it just send him deeper into the Reaper's waiting arms?
Sons of Anarchy continues next Tuesday with 'Los Fantasms' @10pm on FX.
Photos: Prashant Gupta/FX