Forty-Four Episodes Into Sons Of Anarchy, Our Marathoner Is Starting To Think These Guys Might Be Bad People

But she’s fine with it.

Photo: FX

Photo: FX

Marathon Diary Entry 5: October 22, 2013

I'm happy to report that my Sons of Anarchy marathon is still moving along at a brisk clip. Since I last checked in, I’ve torn through another thirteen episodes of the series and am now almost midway through Season 4. My goal of watching seventy-five episodes in a month is tantalizingly close. I am simultaneously disgusted by and proud of myself.

Plot-wise, SO MUCH stuff has happened since I last wrote, including: Tara (Maggie Siff) getting pregnant and having a baby, evil Agent Stahl (Ally Walker) finally getting what was coming to her (a bullet in the back of the head), assorted Irish shenanigans (such as Jax (Charlie Hunnam) almost banging his Irish half-sister and then continuing to flirt with her awkwardly even after he learned she was his sister), Charming coming under the jurisdiction of the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department, Opie (Ryan Hurst) and Lyla (Winter Ave Zoli) getting married, SAMCRO jumping into the drug trade, and Jax deciding he wants to leave the club, just as soon as he kills a few more people. I want to comment on all of it (and I have two full pages of notes peppered with outraged exclamation points), but I will restrain myself and only make a few pertinent observations:

  • Most of Season 3 is spent in Belfast, and thus, the powers that be over at SoA HQ felt it necessary to add in a large dose of pennywhistle to the theme song. As a passport-carrying Irish citizen, I think I'm authorized to say that the Irish version of the SoA theme is, officially, racist. But I hummed along to it anyway. This is also a pretty apt metaphor for how I feel about this show.
  • Also in Season 3, perhaps to differentiate himself from all of the American actors overdoing the Irish accents, Charlie Hunnam really cranks up the New York wise guy accent, and it hurts me.
  • I get really distracted by the guys’ changing hair- and beard-do's, to the point where I find it difficult to concentrate on the plot because I’m so disturbed by people’s hair and beard choices. In Season 3 Episode 6, for example, when Jax is rocking that weird blond devil’s beard, I want to reach through the screen with scissors and perform a mercy cutting. And let’s not even get me started on Opie’s bold choice to forego his knit hat and let that greasy, long mane of his just hang out for all to see. Bluh. Put that thing away, Opie.
  • I’ve noticed that if I leave the room or look away from the screen for even a few seconds, things blow up (literally) and I miss major plot developments. In Season 3 Episode 10, for instance, when things are starting to go pear-shaped in Ireland, I get up to retrieve something from across the room and when I come back, some guy is on fire. (When I ask my husband who is on fire, he answers, “Some leprechaun guy.” HELPFUL.)
  • The gender dynamics in this show are killing me. It’s like a misogyny master class over here. Example: in Season 3 Episode 12, when Gemma (Katey Sagal) tells Opie to marry Lyla so that she’ll “start earning her living with her legs shut,” I feel like I need to donate money to my local feminist bookstore just to compensate for hearing that. Also, in Season 4, when Jax tells Tara he wants to leave SAMCRO and go legit, despite having no skills apart from riding a motorcycle and being able to kill people, she says, “That’s fine; I’m a doctor. We can live off my salary.” But Jax is like, “I may have no skills whatsoever, but I’m not gonna live off my WIFE.” Insert giant eye-roll and exasperated sigh here.
  • The deeper I go into this show, the more I notice repeating tropes, such as Gemma and/or Tara stumbling across hugely significant private correspondence while tidying. When will people learn to put their highly sensitive documentation full of explosive secrets away properly?
  • Back to Opie’s hair for a second: it seems the increasing grossness of his hair correlates with the increasing grossness of his decisions. Like in Season 4 Episode 5, when he cheats on Lyla with another porn lady because he's found out Lyla's been using birth control (gasp!), I almost go into a rage coma. Opie, at this point, is almost as big of a dickbag as Clay, which is really saying something.

Before wrapping this diary entry up, I’d like to offer a little insider's tip on effective marathon-ing of this show: GOOGLE. I’ve started Googling as I watch, and I've found out all sorts of SoA fun facts. For example, did you know that the guy who plays Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) is the spokesperson for Irn Bru, the delicious/weird Scottish pop that tastes like orange-tinged metal? Well, he is. And did you know that the woman who plays the hospital admin with a heart of gold (McNally Sagal) is actually Katey Sagal’s sister-in-law? SHE IS. Also, the girl who plays Jax’s half-sister/almost sex partner, Trinity (Zoe Boyle) also played Lavinia on Downton Abbey. (After I noticed this, I couldn’t stop feeling sorry for her. Poor old Lavinia.) Another fun fact: according to an entirely too detailed Wikipedia entry, the Sons have charters all over the world, including in Poland, Sweden, and Manitoba. I don't know about you, but I would totally watch a show about SAMAN (Sons of Anarchy Manitoba). Someone tell the network.

Well, I’ve still got a good chunk of this business to get through in the next two weeks, but given my pace so far, I’m feeling okay about my chances. I just need to stay focused and not let things like sunlight, fresh air, or human interaction get in the way. Shouldn't be a problem.

Episodes Watched: 44
Episodes To Go: 35
Days Remaining: 16

Previously: 1, 2

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  • http://arandomlottery.tumblr.com/ Lis

    I am often infuriated (ok, annoyed) by the acronym idiosyncrasies of this show... like, ok, SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) I get, but then SAMBEL is just Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Belfast, and I realize that SAMCBEL doesn't roll off the tongue, but then why bother? CLUB is like the most important part of the acronym no? Then you get SAMTAZ at one point, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Tuscon AraZona... I mean really? And there are other charters for which we never hear an acronym, presumably because they couldn't think of one that was fun to say... I know I shouldn't care, but I do.

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