By Edward Peña
Sons of Anarchy’s second episode of season one, Seeds, aired September 10th 2008 on FX. FX's synopsis of the second episode is as follows: "As the club deals with the aftermath of their illegal arms warehouse attack, the Deputy Chief of Police poses a new threat to SAMCRO's reign over Charming. Jax continues to worry about the fate of his newborn son and begins to question the club's rough way of doing business. Opie's financial struggles leave him with a difficult choice.”
As I shared last week, I will be watching the series week by week and break down, dissect, and recap the episodes throughout my first time viewing the series. Spoilers ahead! You have been warned.
Last week’s episode set up the following drama in the story:
- Jax’s son Abel, prematurely born, is facing a recovery battle following intensive surgery.
- Two bodies were found in the Sons’ safe house.
- The Nords and Mayans have teamed up.
- Jax is being influenced by the journals of his father, John Teller, on how the Sons of Anarchy are not the club they are supposed to be.
Seeds opens with the Deputy Chief of the Charming Police Department, David Hale, investigating the explosion of the Sons’ safe house from last episode, removing Sheriff Trammel from the scene. Hale finds the dead bodies under the floorboards. Trammel is obviously terrible at his job since a few days must have passed and the bodies are still there.
As the Sons finish their hearty meal of muffins and tequila, Gemma is still worried about John Teller’s journals and their effects on Jax. Clay is over talking about it.
Tig takes Clay aside and shares that he knew the two dead women under the safe house. Turns out Tig ended up sleeping with the two women – and spread a little “Tigger Juice” in the ladies. Nice wordplay with the episode title Seeds – although I would have preferred “Tigger Juice.” Speaking of Tig, he comes up with an idea on how to fix the situation. “I’ll flush their guts with bleach,” he says. Clay is disgusted and questions his upbringing. The DNA inside of the women is an issue since Tig has a previous record and the DNA can be used to implicate him and the rest of the Sons, as Hale is really looking forward to taking down the motorcycle club. Clay, recognizing this, meets with Chief Unser who is another officer on SAMCRO payroll. Clay tells Unser to have Hale back off, to which Unser reminds Clay that he has cancer and is retiring. However, if the Sons are able to escort a truck of objects across the border, Unser will do his best to impede Hale.
A secondary plan is made, since the Sons realize that Hale needs a forensics team from Lodi, a neighboring city. Jax, Chibs, Half-Sack, and Juice will take bodies from Skeeter, a cemetery worker, and plant them in Lodi to make it seem like a racist murder involving the Nords, a murder that will require a forensics team. It is important to note that Clay wanted to just murder people in Lodi and Jax changes the plan, since he is in John Teller pacifist mode. Prospect Half-Sack is given the task of unburying a body to be used, newbie chore. Skeeter agrees to the plan only if the Sons get Emily Duncan, a woman known intimately by SAMCRO, to sleep with him. Jax agrees and later chats with Emily Duncan. Jax is like; “We need you to sleep with Skeeter,” to which she responds, “I’m not a whore.” Jax is like, “Oh come on” to which Emily is like “Ok, I’ll sleep with him but only if I get to sleep with you – BUT I AM NOT A WHORE.” Jax is like “Um OK!”
Jax visits Abel and Dr. Tara indicates that the infant will make a full recovery. Also, Wendy is still alive – was not expecting that. She also asks about Jax’s status with Wendy – because EVERY woman is all about Jax Teller. Another father-son moment featured Opie chatting with Piney. I learned this episode Opie is Piney’s son, so hooray me! Opie is struggling financially. His dad gives him the best fatherly advice of all time: “Grow a dick and take care of your business.” Yeah Opie. Get your shit together and listen to a good old heart to heart. Piney suggests to Opie to help Clay escort the truck and make some money. Opie, a character introduced last episode, went to jail for the Sons of Anarchy and has struggled to get back on his feet with honest work since coming back. Jax gave him an out last episode when Jax took over the explosives position at the Mayans safe house, but it seems Opie’s situation will lead him back to the club. I feel for Opie, he’s trying hard to get his situation with his family together but he’s becoming limited in his choices. In a later scene, Donna, Opie’s wife, can’t afford groceries. Gemma notices this and purchases the groceries for her but Donna is bitter about the Sons letting Opie go to jail and ignores her charity. Charity would be a strong word, as Gemma’s character is stone cold in personality, reminding Donna about the family that is SAMCRO. Gemma remains stoic when Dr. Tara, believe Gemma gave Wendy the drug filled needle, blames her for Wendy’s close call. Personally, I feel that Gemma’s character will be instrumental in destroying the relationships within SAMCRO. She was married to one of the leaders in John Teller and after his death remarried another leader in Clay. Gemma’s lack of empathy and ruthlessness will be the downfall of all of those around her.
Jax and the body planting team are cut off by a red muscle car on route to Lodi, which forces Jax to swerve into a barrier and damages the vehicle carrying the bodies. On their way back from successfully planting the bodies, they notice the red muscle car in a gas station. Jax walks into the gas station convenience store and beats up the driver. The man pulls a gun and opens fire but the clerk of the gas station takes an AXE TO THE SHOOTER’S SKULL. This was an insane scene that saved Jax from having to murder someone. It was a little difficult to believe that Chibs, Juice, and Half-Sack did nothing to help stop the shooter but the clerk was the hero. GIVE THAT MAN A PROSPECT PATCH. I think it is important to note that Jax remains his high and mighty pacifist grind, yet he has gone out of his way in back to back episodes to fistfight another human being. Last week’s episode he left one of Darby’s goons horrifically injured. In Seeds he brutalizes a guy who CUT HIM OFF. That ends up getting that guy killed. WTF Jax?
Clay ends up betraying his deal with Unser, and instead delivers the truck of goods to Jimmy Cacuzza, who appears to be the leader of some kind of Italian gang. Unser is not pleased, and Clay encourages him to be Chief for six more months or else more of his trucks will be hijacked. Unser tells Hale his plan to not retire, because of course he agrees to Clay’s terms. Hale threatens Clay and SAMCRO later. He is not done and will be doing everything he can to take down the Sons. It is obvious that Unser will die of cancer while Chief and the impact will be immediate with Hale bringing the hammer down on the Sons.
The Sons finally remove the corpses from the warehouse and cremate them at Skeeter’s. Tig utters a prayer for the bodies, showcasing a shift in his character. Potentially it may be that Tig does feel bad about what happened to the two women. This scene serves to humanize him, since he has not been scene in emotional interactions with other characters.
The episode ends contrasting Gemma putting together a dinner for the Sons and Opie’s family having dinner. It shows the difference between those involved completely in SAMCRO and those who try to struggle against being a part of the club – or against Gemma.
Overall, this episode was significantly stronger than episode one. Episode one served to throw a bunch of plots at a wall and seeing what stuck. The commentary and relationships between characters was deeper and felt much more genuine than the premiere episode. Additionally, this episode had some of the best quotes, some of which I shared. Another gem is when Juice is telling Half Sack, “You’re an idiot. It’s not gay. I’ve been shaving my shit for years.” I appreciated the concentration on fewer characters because it allowed me to start investing in storylines. Gemma is HBIC but Tara is willing to go toe to toe with that. Opie and Donna’s life really sucks right now. Jax is a contradictory character that still appears to act like a spoiled brat at times. Only a few questions linger: What is Hale’s end game? Why his obsession with the Sons? Also, will Jax every get a rest from all the women that are interested in him – he has a job to do. Will the gas station clerk get recruited and rise through the ranks of the Sons? Will Jax continue his fistfight streak and can he keep his hands in healthy shape to keep busting up faces?
Why did Gemma burn a photo of her marriage? Also, she is pregnant in the photo – is the child John or Clay’s? TELL ME!