Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sons of Anarchy, "The Pull": Sex and death

Spoilers for "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I steal an ambulance...

Whoa. I think any reservations I had left about "Sons of Anarchy" went out the window after that one.

After a relatively slow build over the first seven episodes, everything begins to hit the fan with "The Pull." The Aryans make the mistake of trying to ally with the Mayans, the Mayans decide they're going to take everybody out and SAMCRO goes to the mattresses. And just as we're bracing for all-out war, the episode takes a massive zig when we're expecting a zag with the return of Agent Kohn, whose crazy stalker hostage scenario is just as creepy as intended -- but nowhere near as disturbing as Tara and Jax making the beast with two backs while Kohn's bloody corpse lies on the carpet a few feet away.

Again... whoa. Kurt Sutter seems determined to wear the "It's so wrong" mantle now that "The Shield" is winding down, doesn't he?

As I wrote last week, angry, vengeful Jax is a lot more interesting than thoughtful surfer dude Jax. And the only reason those last 15 minutes weren't as tense as the corresponding final 15 minutes on Tuesday's "The Shield" is because we didn't have seven years of history with these characters the way we did with Vic, Shane and Claudette.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

What did everybody else think?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any idea how these scripts were laid out? I wonder if, as the filming went along, the writers noticed they needed to make Jax more Henry V and less Hamlet. Good stuff, more akin to the "Hell's Angels" bikers of Hunter Thompson fame.

Anonymous said...

I discovered this show a few weeks ago. The whole anarchy theme is unlike anything I've ever seen on television. Also the idea where Federal Agent bad guy and Biker Gang Member good guy is something we could have never seen on television as recently as five years ago.

I'm waiting for the main stream to discover this show and condemn it because of the ideas it embodies. However you must admit that it is one excellent and compelling show.

I can see aging baby boomer poser bikers watching it and also young gamers. Anyone with the slightest rebellious streak will like it.

The one suggestion I would make is for the producers to hire a real outlaw biker as a consultant for the show to give SAMCROW a tad more credibility as an outlaw biker gang. I sense that the writers are somewhat lacking in that area. But don't get me wrong, I love this show.

Tony Dayoub said...

I love this show from the beginning, and last night's events sealed the deal.

Dan said...

That bedroom scene seemed like an hour by itself.

That was one entertaining episode of television, when it was over I was thinking how did they do all that in just an hour.

Hatfield said...

Yeah, whoa about sums it up. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Gemma still brought to mind Peggy Bundy too much (though I admitted that was unfair), but that is gone. The sneaky and subtle way they've brought characters along really hit me tonight, especially Tig, Half Sack and Opie. With Tig we're noticing that he may have Clay's ear almost as much as Gemma, and he's certainly as big a badass as the club has; Half Sack is coming into his own, after being allowed to have his woman and being forgiven by Clay for winning the boxing match he now seems to feel a real part of things, and though they tease him still the rest of the guys seem to think so too; and Opie has slipped back into the life rather smoothly after the reservations he had in early episodes--do you think Mrs. Opie would have been too pleased with that fuel truck holdup? Excellent use of the helmet, by the way.

And then we have the whole disturbing final sequence, which really had me edgy. Maggie Siff gets opening credit billing, but that didn't mean they wouldn't mess her up but good. The whole thing was a nice juxtaposition to what Jax had just said to her, assuming that his lifestyle was too much for her, only to have her call him, knowing that if she did Kohn was a dead man. I am in love with Siff, and yet I don't think I've seen a creepier sex scene than that one. Well done, Sutter.

Alan, do you know how many episodes they have for this first season? 12 or 13?

Mark Madel said...

I got the feeling that Jay Karnes really enjoyed sinking his teeth into the role of Kohn - after playing such a (mostly) sensitive guy (opposite the sociopaths at the barn) - great job by him. It's rather a shame to see him gone already.

And I can't imagine seeing that particular type of disturbing musical montage ending without the previous work of D. Chase.

kevin michaels said...

The show keeps getting better and better. I never expected the return of Agent Kohn in the middle of the Mayan/Aryan/SAMCRO storyline, but it worked beautifully and like other posters, I was especially enthralled/creeped out by Jax and Tara making love with Kohn's corpse on the floor. Creepy but very cool. Angry Jax is such much more of a compelling character - you just want to know what the hell makes him tick and what it is that drives him.

I think as the episodes progress Sutter's been able to define each character a little more and I like the depth, especially of Tig. Nice little insertion about Tara's pregnancy....in the same ep that Jax gets to hold his son.

BTW - Sutter has two outlaw bikers on the show as Technical advisors and according to his blog, they advise on the parameters of the 1% much the same way that TA's from LAPD advised on The Shield.

Love where this is going on a lot of frotns (The Mayan war - The Aryan - The IRA....). We need 24 eps - not 12/13.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, do you know how many episodes they have for this first season? 12 or 13?

Just checked. 13.

Hatfield said...

Nice, then we're only halfway or so. I'm glad you're into it now too Alan; your write-ups always augment the viewing experience, whether they're relatively brief like these or the incredibly in-depth ones you do for shows like Mad Men and The Wire. Good to have you around!

Eric said...

If FX does a marathon, can you let your readers know? I passed when this show started, and I'd like to catch up before the DVDs come out.

Bill said...

"If FX does a marathon, can you let your readers know? I passed when this show started, and I'd like to catch up before the DVDs come out."

If your cable provider has On-Demand, the episodes are available there (in HD, as well).

jim treacher said...

That was absolutely harrowing. When she realized he was her house and he lurched through the doorway, I literally jumped. And when it was over and they cut to the iPod with that same song over and over, I literally shuddered.

Now I can't get that song out of my head. Best ironic use of schmaltz since Blue Velvet.

And to think, up until now I wasn't sure why Maggie Siff is on this show...

ThreeSheets said...

I realize it was probably done for dramatic effect, but why would Dutch need to put the same song on over and over. All he has to do is set the iPod to "repeat." That way, he'd have plenty of storage space for other deviant behavior songs. (I believe that was Sinatra's follow up to Songs for Young Lovers...Songs for Deviant Behavior).

jim treacher said...

I realize it was probably done for dramatic effect, but why would Dutch need to put the same song on over and over.

Never hurts to be sure! I can just see him on the flight from Chicago with his iPod buds in his ears, smiling quietly to himself...

Something tells me his body is going to be a bit tougher to bury and keep buried than the ones they're used to.

joy said...

I was totally blown away by the ending of this eppy.

While I knew that Kohn was *totally* not gone (who actually believes anyone's left when someone says, "I saw him leave town"), I think I let out an audible gasp when Jax shot him. (Then I almost fell off the sofa grabbing for the remote when Rachel Menken started screaming bloody murder.)

Yeah, that last scene with them was totally wrong. And yet, fitting.

gina said...

Eric, I believe all of the episodes are up on Hulu.

Alan, I have been really enjoying the slow-burn of the drama on this and the time they have taken to develop the characters. This week's episode was amazing. I couldn't believe when I paused my DVR after the Mayan's attack on Clay that the show wasn't even half over. Little did I know that the second half would be even crazier!

dez said...

I wonder if Jax will ask SAMCRO for help with disposing of Kohn's body? That would sure erase the doubts they have about his ability to pull the trigger if needed!

jim treacher said...

Or it'll give Tig more leverage...

jengod said...

Just voting for a new SOA post whenever you have time. Know you're wicked busy. Happy Halloween!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone noticed how truly fitting this episodes name is. I mean "The Pull" is truly omnipresent in the different aspects of the storyline. Jax's final pull of the trigger as the ending scene, but more importantly, the trigger pull kinda strangely symbolizes the shot that starts the war between the Mayans and SAMCRO. Is anyone else recalling the "shot heard 'round the world"?