TV Review: Sons Of Anarchy 4.7 - Fruit For The Crows

‘Fruit For The Crows’ was another standout episode, perhaps suggesting that this is a season that’s just stating to lay its best cards out on the table.

rating: 4.0

It€™s been an oddly subdued season of Sons of Anarchy, but last weeks episode €˜With an X€™ was a great one - pushing the season forward and satisfyingly rectifying the notable weaknesses of prior episodes. €˜Fruit For The Crows€™ has shown itself to be another standout episode, perhaps suggesting that this is a season that€™s just starting to lay its best cards out on the table. Juice€™s (Theo Rossi) storyline €“ being manipulated by the law and in turn betraying the club - has already been one of the most gripping of the season, but it reached a particularly gut-wrenching point this week. After being arrested by Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) on possession of cocaine after an entrapment set-up suggested by Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon), the terms of his co-operation were made explicitly clear. Returning to the clubhouse, clearly distraught, he was given a special patch by Clay (Ron Perlman) for his bravery during the messy situation with Miles. His tears as Clay held him was pretty heartbreaking €“ especially as it was becoming clear at this point exactly how distraught Juice had become by his actions. This all culminated in an emotional ending montage, as we saw Juice take his own life €“ or should that be attempt to? Wrapping a chain noose around his neck and jumping from a tree, we saw Juice struggle and choke, while the sound of a snapping branch €“ or neck €“ could be heard over the closing SOA logo. We€™ll have to wait until next week to see exactly how the writers are going to handle the fate of Juice, but I gotta say, as much as I like Juice as a character, to have him try to commit suicide only to survive at the start of the next episode will be as much of a disappointment as it will be a relief. Perhaps it€™s just me, but I€™ve always hated when a show builds up the death of a character, only for it to turn out to be a shock tactic. It€™s far-fetched and worst of all, a cheap way to wring out drama - it should have stopped with the demise of 24 and Prison Break. Nonetheless - if Juice is dead or alive - it was a suitably downbeat ending to a dark episode . There may very well be life in ol€™Juicy yet, but for how long? It was also a relatively action packed episode €“ often a bad thing €“ but it was actually pretty gripping this week. During a visit to the Mayan warehouse to see the handling of the drug shipment, a rival cartel pulled up to the compound and performed a drive-by, wounding several Mayans. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) transformed once again into Super-Jax and chased after the group of shooters by himself armed with only a pistol. For some reason all I could think of during this sequence was Charlie Hunnam€™s awful cockney accent in Green Street€ I€™ve no idea why. What started out as a routine dose of macho action, quickly turned down a particularly unpleasant path. Storming the apartment of the attackers uncovered a room full of young children and a frightened family. Despite trying to defuse the situation, things got messy, ending up with a mother being killed by one of the attackers. It was revealed that the family had been forced by a rival cartel to attack the Mayan stronghold under threats made against their own family. This scene made it clear what kind of trouble SAMCRO have gotten themselves in for by getting involved with the cartel. It€™s inevitable that an equally brutal attack is immanent on the Sons, how exactly they€™ll get themselves out of the mess is another matter. Still, the threat was enough for Bobby (Mark Boone Junior), who brilliantly and unexpectedly suggested that Clay step down as club president during a clubhouse meeting. After Clay€™s constant betrayal to his club and the selfishness of his actions, I loved seeing him finally cut-down in front of the whole crew. The sheer frustration as he slammed down his hammer to push the vote forward was a great touch. I can€™t wait to see how this vote will go down. Even though SAMCRO has become deeply conflicted over Clay€™s decisions, many of them will likely find it hard to force him to step down after years of loyalty. Likewise, Clay being voted out could potentially mean bad news for vice-president Jax, whose plans to wash his hands of the club won€™t exactly be helped if he€™s forced to take the reign. The note left by Unser (Dayton Callie) last week also made some waves in the clubhouse, with Tara (Maggie Siff) unsure (again!) over her decision to live alongside the constant dangers of the club. Despite not throwing accusations at Gemma (Katey Sagal) or Clay over the death threat, her conversation with Jax - in which she told how Clay cannot be trusted - has perhaps set off the first notion in Jax€™s head that Clay is plotting something really bad. While things haven€™t gone off between the pair yet this season, it€™s inevitable that Jax and Clay will go to war once again - especially if Tara is hurt after expressing her concerns. While Lincoln Potter was initially my favourite new character of this season, it€™s quickly turning around and becoming Sheriff Roosevelt. Potter€™s reduced presence in recent episodes coupled with his corruption and disregard for Juice€™s life, have made him less of a likeable oddball and more of a dick. Roosevelt on the other hand is simply trying to do his job - smashing up the clubhouse aside - and is actually hurting inside over the way he€™s having to treat Juice. In a similar way to the late Deputy Hale, he simply wants to do the best for charming - not entrap people and blackmail them with racial threats. €˜Fruit for the Crows€™ was another strong episode which has pushed us towards more difficulties for SAMCRO. With Juice€™s fate hanging in the air (literally), imminent danger from rival cartels and a vote which could change the future of the club forever, Sons Of Anarchy seems to be getting more and more gripping as the season goes on. __________ Best Bit: Bobby calling for a vote to make Clay step-down as club president. Worst Bit: The €˜is he dead?€™ cliff-hanger. Quote of the week: €œ Way to embrace the stereotype€ - Tig on the Mayans unique use of tortilla's. Sons of Anarchy continues on Tuesday nights at 10pm on FX (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.