Spoilers for Wednesday night's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I toke up...
"Hell Followed" was, by design, an aftermath episode, and so it wasn't as intense as the events of last week's "The Pull." But there was still a lot of fascinating stuff going on, as characters shifted their loyalties, made new alliances, or simply went back to old ones.
Tara finds herself back in the ring of fire with Jax, and admits for the first time that she returned to Charming because she knew he could save her from Kohn. Opie tries to get back into the club full-time but realizes he's lost the ability to kill in cold blood (particularly such a harmless-looking civilian). Clay cuts a deal with the head of the Mayans that brings peace at a heavy price for the Mayans -- and, in between negotiating, proves that while he may be old, he still has enough punches left in his right hand to show Darby who's the man. (Old man fights are almost always awesome -- see also Tigh vs. Adama last season on "Battlestar Galactica" -- and I loved the moment when Darby admitted he had asked a stupid question.) And Jax throws himself much deeper into the violence side of SAMCRO, but still can't bring himself to get rid of his dad's manuscript.
It was another winner for a show that is definitely living up to the potential it didn't quite achieve in the early episodes. I'm trying to figure out whether this is a situation like "The Wire," where the first few hours had to lay on so much exposition to set up what's happening now, or if Kurt Sutter and company just needed a while to figure out how best to use characters like Clay and Jax. (Gemma's the only character who didn't need improving from the jump.) Either way, it's a hell of a show now.
A few small touches I liked:
• Juice, who gets dumped on by the others almost as much as Half-Sack, is so grateful to get praise from Tara for saving the Irishman's life.
• Bobby lies to Clay about what happened with the hit, which is going to lead to a problem for either Bobby or Opie (or both) down the road.
• The Mayan leader profusely thanks his son for making the gun deal with SAMCRO possible, right before he knows his boy's about to be shivved.
What did everybody else think?