Sons of Anarchy Review: Brides, Brothels and Beatdowns

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Pssst, Chibbs: That was a beautiful speech you gave at Jax and Tara's wedding tonight. But while you're praying for God to not close His hand too tightly around the newlyweds, can you pass the same message along the Pope and those no good Nomads?

Because SAMCRO is getting seriously squeezed from both ends after "Authority Vested."

Gemma and Nero

Following an explosive season premiere, Sons of Anarchy slowed things down a bit this week, by which I mostly mean no characters were burned to death. There were still cars giving chase, punches being thrown, rape being simulated and vows being exchanged.

Let's start there: Congratulations, Jax and Tara!

These two have kept it together through murdered FBI agents, stolen babies and broken hands. They most definitely belong together, but at what cost to Tara? She's doing her best to remain tough in the face of Gemma and as the Old Lady of the SAMCRO President, but it's not her nature - is it anyone's? - to encourage the sort of reckless behavior Jax often exhibits in the name of his biker family.

She's trying, she acknowledged that in a nice quiet moment between the couple this week, but it takes a special sort of woman to get married inside a brothel and wish her man good luck in prison on their wedding night.

It also takes a special sort of friend to get himself arrested in order to protect a pal, but that's Opie for you. I'm not sure how much I buy him needing Clay to cajole him back to the table - did Clay really say anything especially profound? And would Opie really listen to a thing Clay utters at this point? - but I do know I smiled and fist-pumped when he struck down those officers and joined Jax in handcuffs.

It just isn't Sons of Anarchy without this menacing teddy bear of a member.

However, no way can Ope be my favorite character at the moment, not when Nero is gleefully playing chicken because he "doesn't get out much" and is admittedly trying to impress Jax. What a ride it's been for Jimmy Smits through two episodes. The guy seems almost too good too be true, what with his caring for his son... and his protection of Gemma... and his no-questions-asked policy when housing the Sons.

But why speculate about the demons that may come out or the turn this may take when we can just sit back for now and watch a very different kind of outlaw sweet talk across the television screen each week. Nero has been a breath of fresh, fun air in Charming so far.

Elsewhere on the episode:

  • Another emotionally grueling scene for Kim Coates and Tig. If Smits has been having a blast for two weeks, it's hard to imagine how Coates felt while filming the murder scene with one daughter and then the hate-spewing scene with his other offspring. Painful stuff, beautifully performed all around.
  • Clay sort of came clean to the club. Now he convinced Opie to return. What game is he playing here? Does it involve what might happen inside the prison? Is he positioning himself to take over again if certain events befall Jax and Opie, the two men who know the truth?
  • No idea what the Nomads could possibly what with Clay's documents. Something related to the First 9 I'd have to imagine.

What did everyone else think of the episode? And what should we get Jax and Tara for a wedding gift?

Authority Vested Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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