Quick spoilers for last night’s Sons of Anarchy coming up after the jump:
Sons of Anarchy is quickly becoming a must-watch for me this year, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that’s made the difference from last season. Maybe it’s the writing; maybe it’s just me. But I think it may also be the accumulation of story. When the show began, the central conflict, between Clay and Jax, seemed less urgent and interesting. (Owing, I think, partly to the fact that at the start Clay was just a better-written and -acted character than Jax.) As the series has continued, the various characters in SAMCRO have been fleshed out, and the differences between Clay and Jax have been complicated, the differences between their visions of the gang have come to mean more.
So in last night’s episode, “Gilead,” as Agent Stahl’s attempt to divide and conquer led to a long-overdue jailhouse brawl between the two, the fight was primal and intense—and it left the gang, which might have been brought together by their jailhouse jeopardy, more deeply divided than ever between Clay’s way and Jax’s desire to go legit. Last night also brought an excellent performance from Ally Walker returning as Stahl, deftly (if unsuccessfully) trying to turn their division to her advantage.
From where the episode ended, it looks like things will only get more unpleasant between Clay and Jax. I can’t wait.