TV Review: Sons Of Anarchy 4.6 - With an X

‘With an X’ pretty much nailed every storyline it was pursuing, making it one of the best episodes of Sons of Anarchy's fourth season thus far.

rating: 4.5

If you€™ll excuse the pun - and you should - things got €˜Juicier€™ this week, in what was one of the strongest episodes so far in season four of Sons of Anarchy. While it pains me to say it as fan of the show, this season has felt a little disjointed and patchy - not that I can completely put my finger on why. It could be that the show is beginning to tread familiar ground, or perhaps it€™s just the slower pace to the start of this season. Season three was a disappointment to many fans of the show - but at least that season tried to do something ambitious with its baby kidnapping plot which spanned both sides of the Atlantic. But for all my concerns over the first half of this mixed fourth season, Sons of Anarchy strides confidently into its second half with an episode that€™s easily one of the best of the season so far - and if it€™s an indication of how the rest of the season will play out, I€™m quite prepared to eat some piping hot humble pie and scald the roof of my mouth. Following the aftermath of last weeks discovery of the stolen brick of coke from the cartel shipment, both SAMCRO and the Mayans vowed to immediately find the perpetrator and recover the missing drugs. Despite several members of both clubs witnessing Juice (Theo Rossi) acting shifty around the merchandise, the finger was swiftly pointed towards the prospects - Rat and Phil. In scenes reminiscent of Vic Mackey's torture of wrongfully accused suspects in The Shield€™s sixth season (go watch it) SAMCRO intimidated the pair with a game of Russian Roulette, while Juice watched on in anguish without saying a peep - the cheeky scamp. There was a brief moment during a one-to-one with Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) when it appeared like Juice might come clean over the ordeal - instead he devised a ploy in order for him to return the brick and rectify the situation without further problems. I was just about ready to forgive Juice at this point, but on retrieving the brick of coke he was caught by Miles (Frank Potter), leading to a vicous scuffle and what seemed like an endless stream of bullets into Miles€™ head. Sons of Anarchy isn€™t a show to shy away from scenes of graphic violence but this was one of the most brutal deaths the show has seen - all the more shocking due to Miles€™ complete innocence. Juice may have found himself an alternate escape ploy - but it'll undoubtedly lead to more problems in the long run. Not only are several of the Sons already suspicious, but it€™s hard to see an already nervous Juice being able to keep murder - even if in self defence - on his fledgling concience. Elsewhere, Clay (Ron Perlman) continued his ambition to become SOA's true villian, by marking Tara (Maggie Siff) to be assassinated by Romeo€™s (Danny Trejo) men. With Clay getting increasingly dangerous each season, we knew this was coming, but his cold-blooded and carefree approach to this was pretty shocking nonetheless. I particularly enjoyed Clay€™s bastardly switch-a-roo from planning the murder of his son-in-laws fiancée with Romeo, to then boyishly tapping Jax (Charlie Hunnam) on the shoulder and doing the whole €˜I€™m a great guy€™ shtick. Seeing as he€™s always been one of the more conflicted and likable members of the Sons, it was a shame to see Opie (Ryan Hurst) €˜pulling a Jax€™ last week and cheating on his wife with Ima the porn star. I was cheering for Piney (William Lucking), when he handed out some fatherly advice by knocking Opie down in the clubhouse yard. In fact with so many of the Sons becoming stuck on their own single minded paths, Piney is becoming the only character talking any sense this season - sadly it€™s unlikely to do him any good. We also got some new background this week on one of my favourite characters, with one of Tig€™s (Kim Coates) daughters visiting the clubhouse. Appearing out of the blue with a sob story about her sister needing to be put into rehab for a drug habit, she requested $12,000 from her father. It was obvious that she was fibbing, but the fact that Tig went along with it - just for an excuse to spend time with his daughter - was actually pretty moving. In the final scene of the episode, Unser (Dayton Callie) crept his way to Tara€™s car and left her a forged death threat, in a presumed attempt to scare her away from forthcoming danger. Seeing as Clay has already marked Tara for execution, it€™s going to be interesting to see what effect this note has. Tara€™s been in danger several times already, yet she€™s always put the club and Jax first - it€™s unlikely that she€™ll back down easily and without answers. One thing is for sure, it doesn't look like things are going to end well for SAMCRO. With Clay trying to kill anyone who gets in his way, Juice spinning a web of lies and pretty much all of the Sons becoming emotionally clouded by their own personal vendettas, things have never looked this bleak for the club. At least Chucky seems happy. _____________ Best Bit: The violent scuffle between Juice and Miles ending with a spectacular jaw-dropping and shocking death. Worst Bit: Porn stars fighting in the clubhouse ("you backstabbing gash!") Quote of the Week: Tig: I gotta go, my kid just showed up Jax: Which one ? Tig: The crazy one. Jax: ........Which one ? Sons of Anarchy continues on Tuesday nights at 10pm on F.X (U.S)

Cult horror enthusiast and obsessive videogame fanatic. Stephen considers Jaws to be the single greatest film of all-time and is still pining over the demise of Sega's Dreamcast. As well regularly writing articles for WhatCulture, Stephen also contributes reviews and features to Ginx TV.