‘Sons of Anarchy’: Inside Those Emotional Jax, Juice, Nero Scenes

We’ve covered this show before, mostly the pieces in our “Ten F*cked-Up Things That Happen On…” recurring feature. If you want to read them, check out the first one here from 2012. Then Season Five got so horrifying and shocking we made another list just for that season, which you can find here. Both cover a lot of ground, and we try to avoid spoilers in them, but if you plan to watch the show and haven’t yet, just read the original one in which we try not to name names… if you read any. There are others, mostly post-show interviews after really heavy episodes like this one–you can just type in Sons of Anarchy in the SEARCH box at the top of the page–but they are all spoiler-ridden, so proceed with caution. There are some very shocking reveals, and you don’t really want to spoil them for yourself, do you?

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Now, if you DID watch “Suits of Woe,” we think you’ll agree with us: best Sons of Anarchy episode in a long, long time. Jax finally manned up and said every mistake he’d made was on him, Nero got a phone call with possibly the worst news he’s ever received, and two very macho, bad-ass career criminals who have murdered men in cold blood in the course of business (Jax must have a kill-count in the low three figures by this point in the series, and some of those people trusted him) broke down and wept, sobbing openly and loudly while hugging.  Remember again, DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED YET! Click “View Original” in the lower left to read the entire piece on EW.com.

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Ten F*cked-up Things That Happen on “Sons of Anarchy” (FX Networks)

This Spring, I happened across an article– wish I could remember where, possibly Vulture— titled, “Ten F*cked-up Things That Happen in The Hunger Games“. That’s actually a good idea, I thought (after I purchased a used copy of the book online immediately after I finished reading the piece). I’ll point out some really disturbing things that have happened on TV dramas that are in no way labelled horror, but probably pretty horrible as described to anyone reading (even if they watch the show).  I had one written for “Ten Fucked-up Things That Happen on Nip/Tuck” (that one was pretty easy) and before that, “Ten Fucked-up things That Happen on Spartacus“.

The latter is on hold –but only temporarily–because I can’t find the goddamned document on my hard drive, even though I made a back-up copy, and the Nip/Tuck list I plan to save until closer to the American Horror Story: Asylum  premiere date, since Ryan Murphy created both of them. I’m definitely working for one on The Shield, then there’s HBO’s The Wire and Oz. Also Boardwalk Empire and definitely Deadwood. But since Kurt Sutter‘s biker outlaw crime drama Sons of Anarchy has its fifth season premiere this Tuesday the 11th (on FX, the only basic cable network that’d let Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, and Nip/Tuck  get away with some real jaw-droppers), I figured there was no time like the present.

Yup, Stephen King himself (a big fan of the show) got a cameo as a ‘Cleaner’ (you know, the kind who gets rid of an inconvenient body that needs to vanish 100% –that guy.). He was a real scream. Even Gemma and Tig thought he was kind of creepy. Scroll down a little for an update.

9/24/12 Update: I’ve been asked for the 411 on King’s guest appearance. His character is named Bachmann (raise your hand if you can guess what his character’s first name is …yeah, I know). He was in the episode “Caregiver” (one of those patented Sutter episode titles that becomes sickly ironic after you watch the episode and get the double meaning), from Season 3, episode 3.  Every review and plenty of fan comments I read just destroyed  his cameo– most bitched that it was self-indulgent and unnecessary. Aw, lighten up, critics.  Didn’t have a problem with it, myself–it was brief, he only had a few lines, and was appropriately quiet, professional, and sociopathic.   I’ve seen way stupider things on SOA, and King’s guest appearance wouldn’t even make my top twenty list of complaints. Here’s the link I finally scraped up for you to watch his brief scenes …enjoy!

This was another list where I didn’t exactly have to dig deep to remember horrifying, revolting, and/or shocking things that happened …so far. I tried to not get too graphic, but you’ve been warned: Kurt Sutter is a talented guy, but I learned from watching The Shield that he can come up with some INCREDIBLY fucked-up material. He wrote or co-wrote lots of the really dark, twisted Shield episodes. So here’s Ten Fucked Up Things That Happen on Sons of Anarchy, in no order of importance. I had to leave a few out because they were exceptionally nasty. I’m not going near some of the things that happen in/around the porn studio the SOA buy into as ‘legit’ income, club members in jail, or the club member named “Happy”, who is a little too happy to help when someone unfortunate enough to be on the club’s bad side needs torturing because they won’t give up intel. That character makes Tig seem  like warm, fuzzy boyfriend material.

Ten Fucked-up Things That Happen on Sons of Anarchy

1.  An Irish biker gives a man who betrayed him a “Glasgow Smile” as retribution (if you don’t know what a Glasgow Smile is, look it up, I’m not describing it here), then uses the same curvy blades to kill him.*

2. The mayor has a major land deal destroyed when, during official proceedings to finalize it, a cop walks in and reveals the silent partner supplying all the funds was the #1 maker of adult toys in Japan (and dumps a large grocery bag full of them on the table as visual aids) which include “real dolls” (look that one up too) …of  what he calls (and displays a real doll of) “Sum Yung Boy” for, as he puts it, “the discerning pedophile”.  End of that  land deal, since this appeared to be a wholesome Town Hall meeting.

Clay:  What kinda nasty shit did your mother do to you?
Tig:  (honestly confused) What do you mean?

3.  A woman and a man have passionate make-up sex …maybe two yards away from the bloody body of an ATF agent they just shot to death less than five minutes ago (in self-defense, to be fair, long story). They pan from the intense sex, to the lover’s hastily-discarded clothing on the bedroom floor …over to the dead-as-a-doornail ATF agent, blood spreading from an already-large pool under his head.

4.  A compulsive masturbator (Chuckie) who gets caught stealing from the Asian mob has all his fingers (except for one index finger, so he can ‘still use an adding machine’) and thumbs cut off as payback (Hey, don’t look at me, I’s just documenting this!) **

5. A woman holds a loaded gun to an infant’s head in front of a room full of midwives and nuns (only as a negotiating tactic …I hope).

6.  A powerful local businessman’s 13-year-old daughter is raped (offscreen) by a carnival clown (Episode Title: “Funhouse”)…

7. …and after the bike club catches him and fucks him up, they cut his nuts off (the clown’s, not the father’s), let him bleed out, and later stuffs his junk in a mailing envelope, mailing them to the politician’s home address  to remind him he ‘owes them one’.

8.  An ex-member of the bike club shows up back in town, but was supposed to have had the giant SOA back tattoo all the club members get when they formally are voted in either REMOVED, or at least keep his shirt on and not flash it around (which he does, at a high-profile charity event in town).  Surprise surprise, that doesn’t go so fucking well, and they chain him up in their auto-body repair shop and give him the choice of having it removed by knife or blowtorch. He picks blowtorch, and afterwards the club dumps him out of the back of their van in front of the ER (and none too gently).

And for the last two slots on the list, here’s a two-parter:

9.  In an episode titled, “Family Recipe,” a rival drug cartel (after performing a drive-by shooting with automatic weapons at SAMCRO headquarters) drops off a duffel bag before they split. When it’s unzipped, it reveals FOUR fly-blown severed heads, including the leader of a Latin gang. As everyone scrambles to get rid of the evidence…

10. …A couple local cops show up unexpectedly. Thinking fast, Chuckie (see Fucked-Up Thing #4) stows the last severed head in a biiiiiiiig pot of spicy chili cooking on the stove for a fundraiser that night!  Take a wild guess on what the two cops are hungry for a bowl of once they smell it cooking, and where the chili in the bowls comes from?

Here’s some bonus dialogue that came in episode two, after the 90-minute pilot episode aired, and keep in mind this was the ‘cold open’, before the credits:

After a mother and her underage, teenage daughter’s corpses had to be disposed of in the pilot episode (I don’t remember the exact details, and the club didn’t intentionally kill them, but the guys found the bodies and they were in grisly condition: “They died hidin’ from that fire, man.”):

Tig Trager:  I, uh, gotta tell you something, man, it could be bad.
Clay Morrow: It already is.
Tig Trager: Those two dead Mexicans in the warehouse hole… I was hittin’ them.
Clay Morrow: Oh Jesus Christ. Both of them?
Tig : Oh yeah, yeah. Kind of a taco two-fer thing.

Then THIS dialogue transpired:

Clay: Tell me one of them doesn’t have a belly full of Tig juice.
Tig:  Yeah, they both do.
Clay: Jesus Christ. We’re in trouble, shithead, you are in the DNA database… so what, you think you’re just gonna stroll outta there with two dead Mexi whores draped over your shoulders?
Tig:  (very calm and casual) I’ll gut them dead bitches, then I’ll flush their bellies with bleach, no DNA.

Causing Clay, arguable the most evil male lead currently on the show, to pause, appalled, then ask him with disgust:
Clay:  What kinda nasty shit did your mother do to you?
Tig:  (honestly confused) What do you mean?

I remember my jaw just dropping in shock at the time; what he was saying was horrible, but the casual, ‘just another day at the office’ tone he said it in was much worse. Then another surprise when Tig said a prayer respectfully when the bodies of the Mexican woman and her daughter were “cremated” unofficially later by the club. During seasons three and four, Tig’s words and actions showed that he wasn’t a total sociopath and that he was capable of love for his two teenage daughters. What cinched it for me was that it was revealed he still carried a photo in his wallet with “My girl, Missy” hand-written carefully on the back.  When he turned the photo side up, it was revealed that Missy was a pet dog he lost under some tragic circumstances and missed every day. The latter reveal shocked me even more than the lines above; now that is some great writing and acting.

Oh yeah, some REALLY charming things go down every episode in Charming, California.

Awwww! And such charming things happen every week in the quaint little town of Charming, California!

I almost saved a slot from an as-yet unknown hideous event that happens to a club member during the Tuesday season five premiere, one that TV Line’s Michael Ausillo called “ghastly”. However, I want to post this before the S5 premiere. I have some guesses, but I’m not going to speculate at this point —you’ve read enough fucked-up things that happen on Sons of Anarchy for one day!

Finally, here’s a montage of some dirty dirty sex ‘love scenes’ and filthy dialogue from Seasons 1-3. that I’m going to go out on a limb here and say is probably NSFW. If you haven’t watched the show before, this will give you an idea of just how wholesome Kurt Sutter can be. Enjoy!

*Trivia: Tommy Flanagan, the amazing Scottish-born actor who plays the character, has scars on his face due to being given an actual Glasgow smile (see Wikipedia) after he was jumped by a couple of thugs in Scotland while just minding his own business, and at the time had been training to be an actor. The fact that his face was scarred was even more upsetting to him as he thought that now would never be able to get an acting job. To the contrary, his friends supported him during his recovery and the casting calls and roles finally became steady.

**A season or two later, Gemma breaks down and finally gets Chuckie some prosthetics  (“I bought him fingers.  Those freaky little nubs were freaking me out.”)