Monthly Archives: December 2014

One-Hitters: Homeland, Marvel’s Agents Of Shield and Serial

I’ve been wanting to get to the fourth season of Homeland and the half-season of season two for Agents Of Shield for a while now, but time didn’t permit me to do so. Well, I have a laptop again, so it’s on, so here are a couple of recaps, along with a bit on Serial, which became something of a phenomenon, although I was mad late to the party. Let’s go….

Homeland

I was fully prepared to throw Homeland in the bushes after a terrible third season, but they pulled me back in at the end, so I decided to give it a go. This was probably the best season since the first, and the middle part, basically after the kid died, might have been the best stretch that Homeland has ever had. Claire Danes was great as usual as Carrie Matheson, and I’ve given up on getting mad about the CIA allowing her to do what she wants, because there is no show if they don’t. I hope that people weren’t surprised by Carrie sleeping with the kid who was Haqqani’s uncle, because we know she’ll do ANYTHING to get the information that she wants. Saul being out in the field and becoming a hostage for half the season was pretty good, and Quinn was probably the MVP of the season, although he should have known that Carrie isn’t a relationship person.

However, the season wasn’t perfect at all. I’m not buying Carrie as a mother and even though the finale showed us a glimpse into why Carrie is how she is (a strained relationship with her mother), I just don’t care. Also, there was no resolution with Tasneem, the ISI agent who didn’t let Aasar Khan call the troops after Carrie and Saul’s motorcade got bombed. She was straight up evil, and I would assume she’ll be back next season.

I didn’t mind the finale as much as a lot of people did, although it took me a minute to process that Saul is actually getting behind Dar Adal’s deal with Haqqani (or is he?). I never trusted Dar Adal anyway, and I think Saul has a plan to set him up somehow. Carrie gave him a good Carrie Face, but she has to trust Saul, although I wouldn’t be mad if Saul was tryna fuck her after what happened in “Halfway To A Donut” (episode 8).

Thumbs up, Homeland, that was quite the recovery. And the less we see any members of the Brody family, the better.

Marvel’s Agents Of Shield 

I got into AOS after watching Captain Marvel: Winter Soldier, and I still need to go back and watch the first season, but I got enough information to figure out what was going on. First of all, fuck an ABC budget, Marvel must have brought their own money to the table because I keep forgetting I’m watching a TV show; the special effects are incredible. Anything that involves cloaking, I’m in. It was fun getting to know all the characters, which is why I need to watch season one, but based off the ten episodes I’ve watched so far, I’m not really partial to any characters; they all play their roles very well. Skye obviously stands out because, well, she’s part-friggin’-alien and her father is nuts. May is a beast and will wreck shop anytime she gets a chance; that fight scene between her and Agent 33 (aka bad May) might have been my favorite of the half-season so far.

I’m still unsure as to how Hydra even works other than to know that they’re some bad mufuckas, but again, I think watching season one will help with that. It has been somewhat refreshing to come into AOS without knowing much about the characters or the story because anyone that knows me, knows I’m not much of a comic guy. That allows me to focus on the story more and how they’re telling it, but I’m definitely missing out on some pieces of information. Meh. I’ll figure it out.

I’ve been entertained by AOS so far. There hasn’t been much I haven’t liked about it, outside of the Lance Hunter character, but that’s just me being picky and really, it’s not that big of a deal. As far as network shows go, Agents Of Shield makes you forget you’re watching a show; each episode feels like a mini-movie.

Serial

Alright, so I got into Serial super late. I saw a couple of Facebook friends talking about it and decided to give it a shot on a Tuesday since Sons Of Anarchy and Agents Of Shield were done. I burned through the first 11 episodes by the finale on that Thursday and for those who are all, “how did you do that?”, it wasn’t hard. That is the beauty of podcasts (yeah, it’s not on TV, in case you didn’t know); you can listen to them as you’re doing other stuff and the longest episode of the season was 54 minutes or something, so it doesn’t take that long. It was explained to me as an old-school type of radio show in which there is a narrator telling a story, and that, for me, was the best part of Serial. Sarah Koenig did an excellent job of just telling the story and laying out the facts as she saw them, and that is why I’m not even mad at the ending, which was less than concrete. Remember, she isn’t a lawyer and I’m not even sure she’s a real journalist, she was just someone intrigued by the story. I figured out about halfway through that it was gon’ end like this. She gives off the proper amount of “shit, I don’t know”, that we as listeners have.

So, as for the story? My biggest problem with the entire thing was that Sarah never got to speak to Stephanie, who was Jay’s girlfriend and very close to Adnan. I don’t think she wanted to speak to Sarah, and that’s fine, but she knows something, she has to based on her relationships with the two people that are most important to the case. Also, I’m not sure if Adnan’s lawyer, Christina, was occupied with being sick, or she did throw the case to get up on the appeal (and make more money), but one thing is for sure: she didn’t do a very good job. I don’t buy the story of a serial killer based on that story about another Asian woman being strangled in her car and buried, it just all seemed too convenient. My money is on Jay, who had more to do with it than he let on. We know he helped Adnan bury the body, so he says, but I think he helped with the actual killing, or even did it himself because he was jealous of Adnan and Stephanie’s relationship. He had Adnan’s car and phone to go shopping for Stephanie’s birthday at Adnan’s request. I pretty much got that feeling by the end of the first episode, and nothing that I heard over the last 11 episodes did nothing to dispel that theory. Not to mention, the cops were fucking shady (where have we heard that before) with Jay, who somehow didn’t get in any sort of trouble for admitting to helping bury a body. I don’t know how plea deals work, but damn. And remember that the prosecutor yelled at Don (Hae’s new boyfriend) for not making Adnan sound worse on the stand? Yeah, that side was shady, but the defense couldn’t (or wouldn’t, depending on who you believe) take advantage of it. What I do know is that Adnan didn’t do a lot to help his cause, saying that people will think what they’re gon’ think, and that is enough to leave the door open for people to suspect him.

Overall, I think the way that I listened to it (basically the entire series in a 48-hour span) has an effect on how I view the case. Had I had all week to wait for another episode, I probably would have come up with more wacky theories. But Serial might have changed the way people look at podcasts, and I know I’ma give This American Life a go now. I’ve been meaning to as a number of podcasters I listen say that is their favorite, so that will go down in the new year. It was an engrossing experience that got me from the very beginning, and I’m interested to see how the second season goes.

Shoutout to the opening theme. That piano loop, though? My goodness. That is so nice.

Thanks for rockin’ with me in 2014, folks. Happy holidays however you celebrate, hug your loved ones, and I’ll holla in 2015.

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American Horror Story: Freak Show S04E10 – Orphans

The 10th episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, “Orphans”, packed a lot into an extended episode. We got a few backstories, confirmation that the creators, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, are indeed calling back to the past editions of the show, a few old faces return and it was actually well written. Let’s go……..

-I never knew his name, but Salty has died in his sleep and Pepper is a mess, which is fair enough as the two were basically inseparable. Elsa says he dies of a stroke, but I don’t believe and just then, Stanley approaches her, so I definitely don’t believe her. He tells her he received a telegram from the TV network saying that Elsa has to go to Hollywood in three weeks, so she needs her rest, but Elsa wants to take care of Pepper, which also means Salty’s body. Stanley says he’ll take care of it, which means cutting his head off and sending it to the morbidity museum. So, that is two weeks in a row that a head is cut off before we get to the opening credits of Freak Show, and I wanna say it’s the third beheading of the season along with Ethel and Gloria Mott.

-Desiree reads Pepper a story and then tries to leave to prepare for her show, but Pepper throws a fit and starts breaking stuff. Desiree asks her if she is done yet and orders her to clean everything up, because Angela Bassett is not here for your shit. Ms. Bassett has been underused after wreckin’ shop on Coven. She looks like she’s about to give Pepper some sympathy until Pepper throws shit in HER direction and she’s like, nah, bruh, not here. Dell tries to interrupt during this exchange and beg for Desiree back, but again, she’s not here for your shit. She all but says, dude, you like penis, go do that.

-She goes to Elsa’s trailer to tell her about Pepper, which sparks Elsa to tell Desiree about Pepper’s story. Elsa wanted to start her own freak show and needed to find freaks, so she went to the place where people throw away what they don’t want: an orphanage. She finds Pepper and starts playing with her, and takes her to the show (just walking her out of the orphanage because the adoption process wasn’t shit back then, apparently), where Pepper starts dancin’ around, partyin’ like shit. I’m not sure what was entertaining about this to people, but I’ll let it rock because Pepper is one of the few genuinely good and pure things left on Freak Show, which scares me that she’ll die. She was also left at the orphanage by her sister, but more on that later.

-We also learn the story of Ma Petite, who came with a Maharaja that came to see the show, and Elsa wanted her, but the leader was like, nah. So, she offers him a Dr. Pepper…..and he loves it so much that he trades Ma Petite for three cases of the shit. Now, if I’m following this great leader, I’m like, dude, your negotiation skills are terrible. But Elsa gets what she wants and Pepper has to look after her, which gives her a purpose. Then Salty comes from a boys home in Cincinnati, and Elsa marries the two eerily similar people. This story in a nutshell is why you love American Horror Story. Desiree tells Elsa that she has to take Pepper to her sister since she has lost Salty, Ma Petite and Elsa will be off to Hollywood soon, and Elsa reluctantly agrees.

-Desiree comes through Maggie’s tent with her new man, Angus (THEO HUXTABLE), and we learn that Angus is a travelling salesman. Now, I have written down, “does Theo know about the triple-tittay action?” and literally, two seconds later, Desiree saunters on stage just shakin’ and swingin’ them shits, so I wrote, “well, there goes that”. Then Maggie goes on a rant about everything is going to go downhill for Angus and Desiree, and the two storm out of the tent, but Angus says something about being a Christian and not believing in future-telling. I wonder if there is anything in the Bible about messin’ with three-tittied ladies with crazy genitalia, but hey, believe what you wanna, bruh.

-Desiree finds Maggie, drunk, on the carousel to find out what the hell that was all about, and Maggie decides to spill that she and Stanley are working together, not to kill freaks and sell them, but to pickpocket the freak show customers. Then she tells the story of how they met as she was selling newspapers, but would steal shit as well. She gets picked up by a cop, who is played by Brandon Stacy, who myself and my homegirl Lindsay SWORE we saw before as Bloody Face from Asylum, but I looked through his credits and it wasn’t him; he was played by Zachary Quinto, who hasn’t been in AHS since. But Quinto played Spock in the new Star Wars movies; Stacy played Spock in something called Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II. This is JUST getting started.

-Back to Maggie, she rolls with Stanley because he saves her from being arrested, and the two form their team. Desiree puts two and two together that freaks have been dying since they arrived and even though Maggie denies it, Desiree doesn’t trust her at all. Maggie bails to her tent, but finds Bette and Dot, who give her money to get Jimmy out of jail since people won’t take too kindly to them. Seems like they have a plan of some sort; I just want them to kick Maggie’s ass.

-Stanley visits Jimmy in jail and gives him some story about being an orphan as well, and asks Jimmy if he killed those women. Jimmy says he doesn’t remember as he was quite drunk, but can you kill nine women at once and not remember? Anyway, Stanley says he can get a lawyer, but he needs money and Jimmy doesn’t have any. He then leaves, but comes back and says he has an idea of how to raise the money, and looks at Jimmy’s lobster hands. Them shits probably go for a pretty penny.

-Maggie finds Desiree the next day and begs her to come to the morbidity museum because she is done with the lies, and Desiree doesn’t believe her at first, until she sees Ma Petite’s body, followed by Salty’s head. But the kicker is seeing Jimmy’s hands, and Maggie is like, nah, this has gone too far now. There are a ton of questions going on via text, namely if Jimmy would bleed out and how the hands got there that fast, but now I conclude that it’s American Horror Story and logic is for suckers. Also, Angela Bassett vs. Emma Roberts in an acting match is like me against Mike Tyson in his prime. And the thing is, Roberts was probably at her very best in this episode.

-Elsa takes Pepper to her sister in Massachusetts, and her sister, Rita, is played by Mare Winningham, who isn’t even listed in the IMDB for this episode. But she was in Coven for a couple episodes (she was Evan Peters’ mother who molested him) and she has been in a ton on TV and movies, so it continues. She’s a wicked bitch, but also, something doesn’t sit well with me. She messes up the “clogged pipes” line when telling Elsa why she couldn’t have children, and she walks away talking to herself. Something is amiss.

-Elsa then says goodbye to Pepper, and a brotha got all in his feelings. This is the first time this season that Elsa has been worth a damn and she is genuinely sad to be doing this, and even though it is selfish because she has to do what is best for her, Elsa still has ties to Pepper, who was her first freak. It’s pretty heartbreaking, especially when you know that Rita doesn’t give nary damn about Pepper.

-We come back from commercial and Rita is speaking to someone about her troubles with Pepper, and how she had a child that had something wrong with it, but it never says what and we never find out. But we do find out that someone is Sister Mary Eunice……who is played by Lily Rabe, and I start partyin’. She is one of a few that has been in all four seasons of AHS, along with Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters and Frances Conroy. Rabe played the Sister Mary role in Asylum, and she was Nora in Murder House and Misty in Coven (although the Stevie Nicks thing got real weird, real fast). So obviously, the two are speaking at Briarcliff, which is the setting for Asylum.

-A little aside: I heard that all of the AHS seasons were connected somehow, but I never knew that Ryan Murphy purposely did it, and this smacked me in the face. Again, my homegirl called it earlier in the episode with the orphanage, but a lot happened in this hour and I never thought much of it until we saw Sister Mary, and for as nonsensical and ridiculous as American Horror Story is, to make all these connections between four stand-alone seasons takes a lot of skill. Well done, Murphy (Falchuk too, I guess, but I’ve read Murphy is the driving force. Maybe he’s the one who does all the interviews and such, but Falchuk has written and directed his share of AHS episodes).

-Anyway, Rita tells about her home life, which she makes seem is hell for her, but really, she is lying in bed, making Pepper take care of her deformed baby while fixing her martinis, and she accuses Pepper of trying to seduce her husband, who is a dick in his own right and comes up with a plan to kill either Pepper or the baby, or both, it isn’t clear at first. So what he does, is drown the baby after kicking Pepper out of the nursery, and the couple frame Pepper for the murder, which is how Rita comes to bring her to Briarcliff. We see Pepper in a strait jacket, banging her head in sadness against a wall, when Sister Mary comes into her room and after a conversation about the baby, she sees remorse in Pepper. Sister Mary wants to make Pepper her redemption project and takes Pepper to the messy library, where she teaches her to pile up magazines such as Readers’ Digest, National Geographic and Time. Pepper is Rain Man with that shit, but as the episode ends, we see her picking up an issue of Time…..that has Elsa on the cover, and Elsa is now a huge TV star.

I’m putting “Orphans” up in the all-time pantheon episodes of American Horror Story, and while there have been a couple episodes this season that have been very good, they’re not topping this, and if you would have told me that an episode about Pepper would steal the season, I would have called you a liar. Pepper gave Elsa humanity after a season of being just awful, and she really tied together all of the AHS seasons with old faces coming back, and hell, she made me want to go back and watch Asylum; not to mention, they gave Angela Bassett some burn after I said she was underused this season. If you bailed on Freak Show before this episodes, I really don’t blame you, but I recommend “Orphans” highly. The only problems are that we now have to wait until January 7th for a new episode due to the holidays (because nothing says Merry Christmas like American Horror Story), and the sinking feeling that this could be the peak before a disaster of a finale.

American Horror Story: Freak Show S04E9 – Tupperware Party Massacre

We got a little bit of everything in “Tupperware Party Massacre”, the latest edition of American Horror Story: Freak Show, and really, I mean everything. We get murder, we get tears, we get all sorts of sex, more genitalia questions, more characters and of course, tupperware. Shoutout to FX Canada getting their shit together and fixing the sound by 9:00 PM, although it was always good to reassemble with the crew and catch up. Let’s go…..

-We open with Maggie reading Dandy’s fortune, and we learn that Dandy has been busy as he discovered the greatness of blood baths. He killed an Avon lady and then got his Frankenstein on, sewing her head on his mother’s body as an ode to the twins, Bette and Dot, and we can only assume he bathed in that blood, too. She tells him everything will be fine and he gives her a $100 bill, but Dandy kinda grabs her hand and Maggie is like, you need to leave, playboy. If she can tell fortunes, she can surely tell that he is a murderous, blood-bathing, vein-poppin’ lunatic, right?

-Then we see Jimmy, who has linked up with Ima, the big girl, and he is just shovelling chocolate pudding into her face. He hits her with, for my money, the line of the season so far, possibly on all of TV: “If you want it long and hard, I need you soft and wide”. I need to know how many takes that took, because it had to take Evan Peters at least 14 takes to not laugh when he said that. And holy shit, she is BIG. She has taken to the freak show very quickly, though.

-But we also learn that Jimmy has been doing a lot of drinking since Ethel died, and he freaks out when he sees Dandy, telling him that he knows he was the other clown with Twisty, but no one really believes him because he is a drunken mess. He tries to punch Dandy and falls the fuck over like a Portuguese soccer player (I love soccer, I can make those jokes, but shit happens sometimes). Dandy bends down and tells Jimmy that he is a god, and since he took the twins, he is basically aiming to take Jimmy’s soul and whatever is left of his dignity. Go for the first one, Dandy, because there isn’t much left of the latter.

-Stanley and Elsa have formed quite the team after taking out Ethel as they’ve managed to track down the twins in a motel, and I’ma be honest, I had NO idea where they even were. Stanley tells them that they found a doctor to perform their surgery, and they might want to seriously consider it as an angry mob formed to kill Ethel and they’re out for the freaks. The twins look perturbed. Sarah Paulson is good as shit, man. More on that later.

-Desiree and Maggie are walking around when they run into, hey, look, Malcolm Jamal-Warner! Dude is getting all the FX work lately as he was on Sons Of Anarchy (he said like, four lines, but whatever, it counts), and good for him; things aren’t going too well for his TV dad, so someone has to carry on the Huxtable name (Lisa Bonet was on New Girl this season). Anyway, Maggie learns quickly that he (his name is Angus T. Jefferson, which sounds like a new burger at McDonalds) and Desiree know each other and gives them a minute, which turns into nothing, but he’ll be back.

-Maggie and Desiree walk in on Jimmy giving Ima the business, and they kinda sit there and watch for a minute like it is a zoo. Then Maggie remembers like, hey, I used to bang him, and goes in on Ima, calling her a pillow and a donut (and something else), basically, a hole to stick something in. Jimmy tries to retort, but he throws up instead. Dude is not having a good day so far.

-So, he decides to take a trip into town to visit the housewives who pay him to pleasure them during their “tupperware parties”, but apparently he can’t even do that anymore, but then he starts hallucinating and seeing his dead mother, who is chastising him for becoming a fuckup, and he starts crying, only to realize that he is doing this in some stranger’s lap and they’re like, yeah, you need to get the fuck out, b. I’d like to say things can’t get much worse for Jimmy, but…..

-He leaves, and right after, the doorbell rings and it is Dandy, who gives the lady of the house some story about his car breaking down. They let him in, and as we’re watching, the crew is like, is he gon’ kill all the women?

-The husband comes home to a whole bunch of smeared blood everywhere, and yeah, Dandy killed ALL OF THE WOMEN, B. ALL OF THEM. They’re all floating in the pool and you know Dandy got his Michael Phelps on. I’ll personally buy the DVD if they include how he pulled this off. I just picture him running around gleefully, slicing everyone to pieces. But seriously, there were like, nine of them. Good grief.

-Stanley and Elsa take the twins to some bum-ass barn with a table on it, and he tells them that the doctor in question (Dr. Sugar) has the operation down to a tee and the twin that died in the previous operation passed of a rare infection. Neither of them seem to believe him, especially Bette, but she tells her sister that she is willing to sacrifice herself if Dot really wants the surgery. This is as real and emotional as you’re going to get in American Horror Story, and the fact that it’s Sarah Paulson having this conversation with herself as Bette, willing to lay her life on the line in a bullshit surgery for her selfish-ass sister, who realizes that she is a selfish ass, and the tears dripping off her nose, and she is holding her own hand, and Dot hits that, “If it comes to it…if they had to make a choice during surgery that only one of us would live…then I wanna give my life to you, sister.”….MAN, LISTEN. I swear I will fight every single person on the Emmy board if Sarah Paulson doesn’t get it this season. In fact, Finn Wittrock as Dandy should probably in the Supporting Actor category as well, and that’s all fine and good. But I will throw a car into a river if Sarah Paulson doesn’t get the Actress award for this.

-Speaking of Mr. Wittrock, he is getting ready for another soothing blood bath and in walks Regina, who doesn’t seem to notice all the blood somehow. She tells Dandy that she has contacted the cops about her mother’s disappearance and he is like, so fuckin’ what? He tells her that he is a god and not only did he kill Regina’s mother, but his mother, the Avon lady, shit, he might have copped to killing George Washington and Hitler as well, he told her EVERYTHING. Then he gets naked and asks her to join him in the tub of blood to get in on these powers, and I’m like, I have no idea how both of them are fitting in that tub, and I’m kinda interested to see how that works. She FINALLY notices the blood and she should probably die at this point, but he tells her to get out before he does kill her. Then he starts screaming about being above the law, all while naked, mind you. This dude Dandy, bruh. Greatness in a swaddle of insanity.

-Stanley finds Dell stumbling along drunkenly and asks him if he is going to the gay bar he frequents. Then outta nowhere, Stanley pulls that thang out and starts stroking it and making all sorts of cock jokes, asking Dell if he wanted to touch it and he’s never half-cocked and you should see it when it’s angry. Anything to make Dell uncomfortable and push him closer to the edge, even though this would have been the perfect time for Dell to just snap this dude’s neck.

-Dell is writing what we believe to be a suicide note to Jimmy as he is racked with guilt over his role in Ma Petite’s death and he should, because he is a piece of shit for that. He has a noose in his kitchen and then sees Ethel, who basically calls him a coward and to just do it, step by step. Dell also can’t deal with being a freak and Ethel tells him that he holds everything inside, which isn’t working out for him, but I also have to wonder if he’s ashamed of being gay as well, because he obviously likes the penis. Oh yeah, he also sees Ma Petite and I have to wonder, the fuck are these mufuckas drinking to see all these hallucinations? He’s just a mess, so he feels the need to do this and he actually goes through with it, but Desiree walks in at the last minute and cuts him down. What a punk this so-called strongman is.

-Stanley is in a motel room with a dude who is trying to play this Dr. Sugar role, and he stinks at knowing his lines. Stanley is like, whatever man, and gets a blowjob anyway. I’m still convinced there is something going on down there with Stanley and it’s not the size. TEETH, MUFUCKAS. TEETH.

-Regina shows up at Dandy’s crib with Detective Colquitt, and I learned from the American Horror Story Wikia that he is probably the same character from a couple episodes in the Murder House season. There have been a bunch of theories that all of these AHS seasons are connected somehow, and at first, I thought it was bullshit, but I’m coming around on it and I’ll expand on that when I figure it out. Anyway, Colquitt is like, yo, she is accusing you of being a killer and Dandy is like, yeah, I did it and I’ll get away with it because I’m rich as all the fucks and not only that, you’re going to kill her and bury the body for me because I’ll give you a cool million dollars, straight cash, homie (word to Randy Moss). With no hesitation at all, Colquitt turns to shoot Regina in the head and asks Dandy if he has a shovel. Because if there is one more thing we need to see on American television, it’s another corrupt cop.

-Bette and Dot track down Jimmy and goes on a big speech about how she has loved him since she laid eyes on him and he never looked at her as a freak, and then takes off her robe and we’re all like, so how many tittays are there on her? I think we settled on two, but I mean, if Desiree has three and a giant clitoris, everything is on the table, I would think. Jimmy asks Bette if she is down with this and she’s like, sure, I’ll just close my eyes, but Dot is like, dude, there is another mouth! So what does Jimmy do? He turns it down because he’s a fuckass and is in love with someone else, which I think would be Maggie, but hell, he could be all about Ima now. There is also an outside chance that he is projecting his love for his mother on Ima because they are both larger and if Ima grows a beard, then I was right. THIS is the kinda shit that runs through my mind while watching American Horror Story.

-So, he leaves the twins in tears, but then the cops roll up and accuse him of the tupperware party massacre, saying they found his glove at the scene. Maggie tries to intervene, but that doesn’t work and they take Jimmy away. Dandy set the homie up, obviously because money talks and bullshit runs the marathon (word to New Jack City).

There are only three episodes left in Freak Show and the worry is that there is too much going on because we’ve seen this happen time and time again. Will Bette and Dot go through with the surgery (whether they like it or not)? How will the freaks get Jimmy out of jail? Just how many more people will Dandy and his police force kill? Why did Theo Huxtable randomly show up in episode nine? How the fuck was that doctor from last week? What about Penny and her father? Shit, what about Elsa in general? I was fine with this episode as I have been with all of them, but right about now, the concern kicks in that American Horror Story isn’t going to be able to wrap all this shit up.

Sons Of Anarchy S07E13 – Papa’s Goods

Well, after a bunch of ups and downs, countless unnecessary murders, some terrible song choices and a nice little run to close things out, Sons Of Anarchy wrapped up seven seasons of fuckery with “Papa’s Goods”, which has a couple different meanings to it. Let’s go…

-Jax is waking up after his romp wth Wendy, and as he moves around the house, going to see the kids and such, you just get the feeling that he won’t make it through the day alive. That was cemented for me as he left the crib in boots, not the white Nikes, which were covered in Gemma’s blood anyway. He goes to the storage locker where Gemma said his father’s manuscripts were, and he burns them, along with some pictures and birth/death certificates. Yeah, there is no way he makes it outta this day alive and he shouldn’t, even he knows it.

-Apparently, the opening song is a Springsteen joint. I’m not a fan of this song or dude in general.

-Next, Jax heads to T-M to look at his father’s bike, which has been shown here and there throughout the season, and a friend of mine (shoutout to Brian) said this would play into the end, but we’ll get to that. Then he heads to visit Opie, where he lays his SONS rings on his tombstone, then he kisses Tara’s tombstone, which will now watch over his wedding ring. The next stop is Red Woody, where the boys are watching the next cinematic classic, “Fat Ass In My Face”, and we see a white girl with a big ass shaking it in some dude’s face. I kinda want Red Woody to be a spinoff, if only for the film titles. Jax kisses Lyla on the forehead and tells her he loves her, and she returns it, but even she has a look like, “fuck is up with Jax, he gon’ die or what?”.

-Jax goes through the plan to get Tyler to draw Connor out since the IRA kings want him gone, and they’re going to show up early to talk to Tyler about some shit. But the real fun is that the bylaw saying no blacks in SAMCRO has been thrown in the bushes, which means TO gets to join the club, not even as a prospect because he led the GBs for a decade and has done a lot for the club. See? If SAMCRO can see past that ‘cism, we can all….I don’t even know what I was gon’ write next, but I’m laughing.

-Nero gets to Jax’s where Wendy is there, and Nero wants to speak to Jax, but he obviously isn’t there. The two sort out some plans for their trip to Nero’s farm and he leaves, but Wendy knows something is up.

-The boys arrive at a baseball field to meet Tyler, and here we arrive at my first major gripe with this episode. I rewatched it and you see a woman walk behind the group, like, real close, close enough that it looks like a crew member walking out of the shot and that is just sloppy editing. I don’t know, man, that pissed me off. Even more the second time. Anyway, Tyler tells Jax that Marks will be out of jail by the end of the day, and even though Jax says it’ll be okay, Tyler is like, yeah, you live 75 miles away. He isn’t wrong. Marks gon’ be PISSED when he gets home. That being said, he also has a dead army.

-Connor shows up to the meet early and busts some shots at the boys as they’re on their bikes, so you know what that means. Obviously there was gon’ be a chase scene in the SOA finale and I understand that some people didn’t like it because it was cheesy; I liked it because it WAS cheesy, from the shitty Elvis cover that was completely out of place to going through a doll warehouse. It’s SOA, man, it is what it is. Connor gets away thanks to a dump truck that gets in the way, and we have no idea what happens to the driver.

-Nero shows up at T-M looking for Unser and finds Chucky, who says Unser isn’t back yet, so you know Nero knows what is going on. Chucky still wants to know what’s up and Nero won’t tell him, and I get the feeling that Chucky is the only one out of Gemma’s simp gang that didn’t want to fuck her. Nero then goes into Unser’s trailer to find all his information about Tara’s murder and that is when he is like, shit, I sent Unser to his death.

-Jax and Chibs are chillin’ on the Red Woody roof, and Jax is like, you need to sit down because I’ma lay out everything for you from the start, for real and Chibs is like, it’s about fucking time. I bet by the end of it, he wanted to change his mind. Basically, Jax is like, y’all gotta vote to kill me and this is what is best for everyone and even though Chibs holds on, you gotta remember, Chibs calls Jax “Jackie Boy” because he has known this dude since he was a child and has watched him groomed to get to this position. Fuckin’ right you would be emotional too. Lowkey, Tommy Flanagan might be the MVP of this season. Downstairs, Tig brings up Connor’s boy Hugh and a couple of his goons, and Lyla asks if Jax is alright. Tig says they’re all good, but I don’t think he believes it as he tells her to wrap the film up for the day.

-Jax and Chibs wrap up their moment and Jax tells him that this is how you become a leader, by doing shit you don’t wanna do, but you have to do. These last like, four episodes, Charlie Hunnam has surprised the shit outta me. He’s probably a better actor than I thought he was. Anyway, Hugh comes up and Jax asks him to set up a meet with Connor, and Hugh is like, how do I do that? Tig and Chibbs shoot his goons and says that should be persuasive enough, especially after he sees pictures. Jax’s best plans are usually the most simple ones.

-DA Patterson (I had no idea that was her last name, she has been on the show for what, three seasons?) pops by Jarry’s office and we ain’t seen her for a hot minute. The two brief each other on what’s up, and they decide to put an APB out on Gemma, and the DA says that Jax asked to see her. The DA then says something about the numbers by reflecting the work Jarry has done and she is in a tough spot by trying to figure out how close to get to the streets and I’m like, does she know Jarry is gettin’ this SAMCRO D on the low?

-Connor meets Hugh, and then SAMCRO shows up with the Mayans in tow, and everyone learns that Connor has been selling guns to friggin’ everyone from Northern Cali to Nevada. Then a couple of Irish show up and I figure that is that for Connor, but SAMCRO kills the kings and comes up with the new plan: Connor sells to the Mayans, who will distribute, and he’ll hang around because he can’t go back to Belfast, so he better grow into this relationship.

-A couple things about this: man, Happy’s face was good as shit when they shot the Irish. That might have been his biggest smile of the series. Chibs then taps on Connor’s shoulder with the gun and is like, you’re supposed to say something, bruh, promoting him to say thank you to Jax. Jax smiles like, damn, I’ma miss that type of shit. Finally, Connor says something to Jax about not coming back from killing an IRA King and Jax ain’t shook like, man, this is the least of the shit I won’t be coming back from.

-Jax meets Nero at T-M and he tells him that he is selling his part of Diosa and Red Woody to the club through some dummy corporation, the house and T-M is going to Wendy and he wants her to take the boys wherever she wants with the money after she sells that shit. He tells Nero that he is leaving and Nero only needs one guess to figure out that he killed Gemma. He holds it together surprisingly well, because he knew deep down that it had to happen like that. Jax then says the realest shit he has said in seven seasons of SOA: he did the only thing he knew how to do, he is a criminal and that is why he wants the kids far, far away from him because he is not a good person. He wants his sons to grow up hating
him and the life, and I think this is why he burned the manuscripts; he doesn’t want them to know anything about the past and be intrigued by it as he was. Personally, I think Abel is too far gone, but more on that later. Three cheers for Jax finally being a good parent. Well, a decent parent. Shit, I’ll settle on not-an-awful parent.

-Then, shit gets even realer as Wendy and the boys show up, and Jax says goodbye to his sons, telling Abel to listen to Nero because he was Daddy’s best friend. We also see the beginnings of a sweet mullet from Thomas, who cries a little for the first time since Abel was guarding him with a hammer. Then he kisses Wendy and says she is a good mother, and she asks what is going on, but she has to know, right? One look at Nero in the sunglasses has to tip her off, and he tells her he will tell her later. Jax sets off on his mission, but says goodbye to Chucky, who says it back, so he knows what’s up.

-Jarry tracks down Chibs because she wants to know where Gemma is, but she also thinks that their thing should end, but we have gone down this road before. For the briefest of seconds, I thought they would bang up against the side of Red Woody, but Chibs basically tells her that cops that fuck with SAMCRO usually go away. She is like, you threatening me, and he replies with, history doesn’t lie; stay safe, sheriff and walks the fuck away. DAMN. She is like, did that JUST happen?

-Chibs goes inside, where the mayhem vote will take place and tells Tig about Jax’s plan, and they’re both near tears, but they suck it up. I don’t care how loyal Tig is, fuck him, but I already ranted about that a couple weeks ago.

-Jax goes to the DA’s office and thanks her for tryin to help Tara, and to tell her about everything, including Gemma’s role in it and that Gemma and Unser are at her dad’s place in Oregon. However, he doesn’t tell her that they’re dead and he doesn’t cope to any retaliation that went down as to not incriminate the club. Jax is smart when he wants to be. It was also good when the DA turns on the recorder and introduces Jax as a member of SAMCRO, and Jax throws in that “Redwood Original” with a smile. Dammit, you smiled as well. He tells her that everyone who should know the truth already know and by the end of the day, the violence will be over because the bad guys lose. I think it may be a little egotistical to think the violence stops at him, but hey, he’s the protagonist.

-The mayhem vote goes down and Chibs barely gets through it, and everyone votes to send Jax to the reaper, because that is what he wants. I like the way Chibs barely banged the gavel, and the shot that panned over the reaper table. I wonder whose house that is sitting in right now.

-Jax’s chair is empty because he is paying a visit to Baroski and this scene feels like they forgot about it until the last minute. Baroski is like, what can I do for ya, and gets shot the fuck up. There are witnesses, but Jax doesn’t care. So yeah, he is dying before this all ends.

-While the cops are in Oregon discovering Gemma and Unser’s dead bodies, Jax goes to the courthouse, but to the back of it and we see the homeless lady that has popped up at random times through SOA’s run. Jax asks her who she is, and she hands him her blanket, saying simply, “it’s time”. She leaves a bottle of wine and a half-eaten sandwich there; remember that.

-Marks walks out of the courtroom, right past Jax under the blanket, and he proceeds to shoot Marks’ associates. Marks looks at him like, motherfucker….and catches a bunch of bullets. So that is sorted.

-Then he goes to a warehouse where the boys are waiting, and he cuts off his president patch to give to Chibs, who gives his VP patch to Tig. He gets a promotion? Fuck that, but I’m petty. He tells Chibs he is ready and stands between Tig and Happy, who gets shot in the forearm and Jax says he wouldn’t put that burden on the club, so he is going out on his own terms. I can see why some people might have a problem with it, but I don’t. I have more of a problem with the fact that the other charters are just supposed to buy this story, but again, it is what it is. He hugs everyone, and Happy is the only one that cries, which ALMOST got me. He walks out and gets on his dad’s bike, and tells the boys, “I got this”, which is what Opie said to him before he walked into his death, and I think Juice might have said it to Jax when they came up with the plan to kill Lin in jail.

-Jarry tells her people to put out an APB on Jax for multiple homicides, but he is at the site where his dad died, talking to him. Basically, what boils down to is him saying, “I realized, as I think you did, a good father and a good outlaw can’t settle inside the same man.”. When you realize that SOA is derived from Hamlet, this poetic type of soliloquy shouldn’t shock you, but dammit, I’ve been trying to tell y’all. You’re lucky I don’t write 700 words of “I told you so”, but I’m a humble dude.

-A cop rolls by and he has gotten the APB, and as he asks Jax (who had the time to light a smoke) to get off the bike, Jax busts a couple shots and takes off, so of course SOA will end on a chase. The montage begins and we are with Nero, Wendy and the kids, and the way that Nero grabs Wendy’s hand makes me guess that he tells her what is happening. But what also tells me that is Abel sitting in the back and he is coloring, but he also plays with the Sons ring Gemma gave him at the school when she says goodbye to him. Yeah, he’s gon’ grow up to be fucked up and you can’t blame him.

-Tig is with Venus, buckling under everything that just happened. The boys are at Red Woody, drinking away what just happened. The DA and Jarry are at Baroski’s, looking at his body and the DA seems to get what Jax meant. Chibs takes his place at the head of the table, looking uneasy, while Gemma’s body is finally carried out of her father’s garden. Actually, I think it is this part that Abel is playing with the ring, but it all means the same thing. Oh yeah, he shoots Wendy a vicious look like, bitch, I’ma kill you, because that is what Tellers do: kill their mothers.

-We see a truck that says “Papa’s Goods” on the side, and it is driven by the trucker that have Gemma a ride (Michael Chilkis, Dell from American Horror Story). So now, you have to get ready for it because we know JT died by hitting a truck, something that Jury said was on purpose just before Jax killed him. There is like, 20 cops following him art his point, but he sees the truck and hits this smile. He heads into the other lane and stretches out his arms while the driver tries to hit the breaks, but it was inevitable.

-Please, go to Twitter and search for memes of Jax with his outstretched arms. I was in tears from laughing at some of them.

-We don’t see Jax’s body, but we do see some blood running towards a sandwich, the same damn sandwich that the homeless lady was eating. It leads to deduce that she was his angel, maybe his father in human form, but it’s one of those things where Kurt Sutter was like, it can be whatever you think it is. I’m going with angel.

-The episode ends with the familiar reaper and a Shakespeare quote: “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.”. If I have to tell you what Shakespeare play it is from, I don’t know what to tell you.

And this ends the story we set out on seven seasons ago, and while I had some issues with it, I was very happy with the way Sons Of Anarchy ended. The last half of the final season (well, let’s say the final four episodes, maybe five) was some of the best storytelling we have gotten, and it allowed the actors to step up their game. I didn’t name this “Sons Of Fuckery” for no reason: there is a bunch of shit that didn’t work over seven seasons, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. I have said this before, that SOA might not be as technically good as shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire (I still need to watch the final season of that), but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t more entertaining than all of those shows and sometimes, entertainment (and a solid story) all you need.

Thank you, Kurt Sutter, thank you, cast and crew. That was a fun seven seasons. Sons Of Anarchy sits just outside my top five, but that could change. Thanks for rockin’ with me, y’all. I’ma miss following SAMCRO and their wacky shenanigans, and I appreciate y’all following me and watching me ramble through the last couple seasons.

American Horror Story: Freak Show S04E08 – Blood Bath

It seemed like much longer than two weeks off for American Horror Story: Freak Show; hell, I almost forgot what happened at the end of “Test Of Strength”. It has been kind of a busy week for TV, but AHS jumped back into the fray with “Blood Bath”, and it might have been the best episode of the season overall. Let’s go….

-We open with Gloria Mott, smoking and lying on a coach telling a doctor about Dandy, going back to his childhood when he tied up a little black girl and cut her hair. I didn’t get this off the first viewing, but could that have been Dora’s daughter?  I think I remember her saying to Gloria that she wasn’t around a lot as a mother, so that means she was around Dandy at some point. Anyway, he didn’t like the word “no”, he killed a cat and a kid that he used to kinda be friends with just disappeared. Imagine tryna set up a playdate for this crazy little bastard. The doctor, whose face we never see, asked if something happened recently and she was like, mother’s intuition. What a damn lie and even if it was intuition, your intuition sucks.

-Back at the freak show, the group is out in the woods tryna find Ma Petite, who of course was killed by Dell at the end of the last episode. Jimmy screams when he stumbles upon a box that has been buried with her new dress in it, and Dell says that it must have been a coyote or something. So, coyotes can undress people now? And then bury their dresses in boxes? Ethel is lookin’ around like, ain’t this a buncha bullshit.

-But instead, we find that Ethel believes it was Elsa who was behind the killing and not Dell. I don’t even know how she got to that point, but my homegirl Lindsay called right off the bat. She basically calls Elsa a fake, and Elsa responds by slapping all of the fire out of her face. But Ethel doesn’t stop there; she says Elsa feels threatened by anyone taking her spotlight, and the people loved Ma Petite. Elsa wants to bring the twins in to show she has some sort of heart, and Ethel goes to shoot her, but it is in her wooden leg, which garnered a good chuckle.

-Then Elsa goes into the story of how she got her legs, which came right after she was in her snuff film. They were made by a carpenter who wanted to work in films, and he made her a pair of legs in which we fully saw her stumps (more excellent work by the make-up/design team), and I wonder if she had been more popular because of them. The two seem to come to some kind of understanding and Elsa offers Ethel a drink, but Ethel doesn’t trust her like that and still pulls the gun on her. Elsa turns around with the quickness and throws a knife directly into her eye. She is quite a shot when she isn’t drunk or high (word to Paul, who has healed up quite nicely).

-Poor Ethel. She is right about something being devious about Ma Petite’s death, it was just misplaced. She also caught on to what Jimmy was saying about Elsa far too late, but I think killing Ma Petite was even too much for her triflin’ ass. Also, she died looking like she played running back for Pittsburgh or Green Bay, some sort of cold-weather football team. Bye, Ethel. We’ll miss your shitty Baltimore accent.

-At the big top, Maggie is crying and runs to Jimmy, where she tells the story of finding Ethel in a car that had been driven into a tree headfirst. She says it’s a suicide and Desiree tells everyone about Ethel’s cancer, so they just believe it. But she wonders why Ethel doesn’t have a head and it turns out that the scene was staged by Elsa and Stanley, who tied a chain around her neck and the other end to a tree. They had to get rid of the head because, well, Ethel had a knife in her eye. Then Elsa gets to sobbing like old black women at funerals, on some “TAKE ME, LAWD” shit. It was pretty good.

-Back at the Mott house, Gloria has a present for Dandy, but he has a present for her; Regina, Dora’s daughter, who wants to see her mother. Gloria comes up with some bullshit excuse about buying squash and Regina is like, nah, I’ll wait, and her and Dandy play a board game. Gaby Sidibe in the house, but I doubt she’ll be leaving the house. She looks like a black Veruca Salt that grew up to be an elementary school principal (again, text messages get used in these recaps).

-They bury Ethel and Jimmy starts reading poetry by Emily Dickinson, which she loved apparently. Everyone leaves except for Desiree, Eve (the tall lady that fucked Dell up), Suzi (the woman with no legs) and Penny (ol’ clown hairline tattoo face), and they come up with a plan to run up on Penny’s father under the guise of some “woman power” stuff. I’ll buy that. It is 1952, women weren’t looked at well by society, but women who were considered freaks for being tall and having all of the sexual organs and tattooed faces and no legs? Shit was probably all filled with struggle. So Angela Bassett gets mufuckas on some “Set It Off” shit and they’re gon’ be a problem.

-Dandy is at the doctor’s office (we still can’t see his face) and the doctor is asking him a bunch of questions about what he sees in a few pictures. Dandy replies with blood being smeared on walls and all kinds of shit that would make you think, hey, this mufucka kills people. He then throws some shit out about cannibals in Papau New Guinea that eat souls through the flesh and bathe in blood. Hold on to that…..

-He then goes home to yell at Gloria for sending him to a psychiatrist, but Regina is there and she will go to the cops if her mother isn’t back soon. So Dandy is like, I’ll go to this doctor for a month if you kill Regina. I’m not sure if this will work. Gloria is awful at telling lies, I doubt she is much better at murder.

-Elsa goes to a wellness center and finds a very fat lady who is trying to lose weight, but Elsa tells her about a place where being fat will make her the focus of positive attention. Then she eats a chocolate bar in front of her, because Elsa is an asshole.

-The revenge crew is gearing up for their plan, and there is a pot of black stuff bubbling on the stove as we jump to the girls breaking into Penny’s house, where her father wakes up and hears a noise. He grabs his shotgun and confronts Penny on the steps, but he gets jumped and Eve slings him over her shoulders on some wrestling shit.

-Elsa and Jimmy are at the big top and the latter is hammered, and Elsa introduces him to the new girl, Barbara. Elsa is tryna put these two together because I’m not quite sure she trusts Maggie like that, but Jimmy is still distraught over Ethel and yells about his family being broken. Jimmy is an absolute mess this season, b. Just awful. I’ve always had a problem with the characters Evan Peters plays on AHS anyway, but maybe I’ll save those for after the season.

-The women have Penny’s father undressed and tied up in a trailer, and the plan is to tar and feather him, cut off his penis and throw him in the swamp for the alligators. Penny jumped in and was like, yeah, I wanna do this because fuck him, and I’m ready for it. But Maggie hears some screams and runs in to stop it, saying that these women don’t know what they’ll turn into if they do something like this. Are we really taking morality lessons from Maggie? Apparently so, because Desiree decides to let him go, but not before Penny warns him to stay away from her or she’ll kill him. But can’t he just go to the cops anyway? Maggie said something about them going to jail, but that can easily happen anyway. And I don’t believe Maggie’s character. Like Evan Peters’ characters, I’m not sure about Emma Roberts’ characters, or maybe it’s just her as an actress (same with him).

-Gloria calls the doctor to say that Dandy won’t be coming to him again, and it seems like she is planning to send him away, which seems like a terrible idea. But Dandy overhears this and tells her that Dora told him the story when he was five, of his father, who is Gloria’s second cousin and used to kill young girls (or maybe it was molest them, but I’m going with kill because Dandy doesn’t seem like much of a molester, he’s all about that killin’). But apparently it was Gloria who was going away, and Dandy threatens suicide, to which his mother begs him not to do so because she won’t be able to live if he does it. So what does he do? Shoots her in the head. What the fuck did she was gon’ happen? Something logical? Jeez.

-Maggie runs up on Jimmy, who is drunk again and for someone who watched his mother drink a lot and says he doesn’t really like it, Jimmy has been drunk a lot this season on Freak Show. Anyway, Maggie asks him to sober up because they still have a plan to escape and he yells at her to get away from him because he ain’t shit. A special shoutout to when he was talkin’ about rolling up his feelings, and he was rollin’ his claw hands, I don’t know why, but that shit made me laugh for a minute. Anyway, Barbara was there the whole time and Jimmy just looks at her and then puts her head somewhere in the bosom area because she is all bosom and stomach, and starts to cry, and she’s like, fuck it, I’ll be a rebound. Ol’ girl caught that shit like Dennis Rodman, with a piece of chicken in her hand at the same damn time. I salute her.

-We close with Dandy walking up to a tub, and he gets into it as it is filled with, you guessed it, his mother’s blood. Subtlety isn’t a strong suit of American Horror Story; they’ll beat you over the face with that shit.

As I keep saying with this show, I’m not predicting anything that I think is going to happen, because it is impossible with AHS. Right now, the focus is on Dandy and where he ranks in the pantheon of AHS fuckery (I’ll figure that out during the holidays, but it’s high); I have a theory about how he’ll die, as well that involves Regina and revenge for cutting her hair, because you don’t fuck with black womens’ hair. Will Penny’s father go to the cops? Will Maggie come clean with everything she knows about Stanley? How will Dell die (brutally, I hope)? Who was Dandy’s doctor; they refused to show us his face for a reason. Oh, and this episode was so good that I didn’t even miss the twins, so you know they’ll be back next week. There seems to be just four episodes left in Freak Show (there might be five, you never know), and rest assured, they’ll be be messed up.

Sons Of Anarchy S07E12 – Red Rose

Sons Of Anarchy has been building up to “Red Rose” all season long, and I’ve been calling it for about two seasons. You would think I would have been prepared for last night.

NOAP.

Let’s go….

-Another opening in which there is no music as things have gotten more serious in Charming. Jax is still hiding out at the Mayan spot, and after Chibbs brings him a shirt, the day begins. Marcus gives his condolences about what happened to Tara, and if I were Jax, I’d be pissed that someone else told him all this shit. But Jax, who is limping for some reason, is working on a big superdeal between the Mayans, the Niners and the Irish, so he can’t be bothered right now. Gemma is also still off the grid, so Jax is a little busy right now. Oh yeah, he still has to meet with the other SAMCRO leaders regarding his shooting of Jury.

-Wendy and Brooke wonder where Gemma is, and Brooke asks Wendy if she ever feels weird being at Tara’s because of her history with Jax and Tara dying there and such. Wendy is like, nah, I OD’d there in the floor, this is home. I really don’t think Brooke knows what she is in for if she wants to join Rat in this life.

-Unser drops the spare key off at Gemma’s to signify that he is done with her, and you know shit is real when Unser says he is fed up. But he will never be truly done with her, and we all know that.

-Nero asks Jax if he has heard from Gemma, and tells him he is going to the farm for a bit to get shit ready for his son, yet he is still in on this gang shit and that makes me nervous. Nero will have one foot out the door and he’ll get shot. Shit is like getting fired on your day off. Then Jax asks him if he’ll take Wendy and the boys with him because Nero is their grandfather, apparently. This also means shit is about to get tres real if he is tryna get the boys outta there.

-Juice is in the infirmary at the prison and as we thought, he is greeted by the Asian contingent, who aren’t happy about what he did to Lin. The Asians want to know why Juice was allowed to get to Lin through Tully, but now the whites get to kill Juice. I figured they would kill him there to take someone of the fun away for the whites, but first, some more prison rape. Because why not?

-Jax lays out the whole plan to everyone, and it gets confusing; basically he is tryna get everyone to play nice, but all sides have some sort of reservation about their role in the food chain, especially Connor from the Irish, who says the Kings won’t go for it. Jax kinda looks on in wonder that people don’t think his plan will work. Right, Jax, because your plans are always foolproof.

-Meanwhile, Gemma tries to get some rest at a stop for the rigs, and she is asked to move by….Michael Chilkis, who is currently playing Dell on American Horror Story: Freak Show, which is also aired by FX. However, he is best known for The Shield (another FX joint), where he worked with Kurt Sutter, so that explains that. We also see a raggedy-looking lady, and I don’t know if y’all remember her, but this homeless lady would randomly pop up in episodes with no rhyme or reason, which she does here, but we haven’t seen her in a while. Gemma asks the trucker, named Milo, for a ride and he doesn’t question why she is willing to leave her car right there. You have to assume she has a gun on her, I would think if I were him.

-Jax meets with Unser in a parking lot, and SAMCRO is moving very freely for someone whose leader just led a wild police chase through these streets, but whatever. Jax tells Unser the truth about Tara and Gemma, and asks to get the APB removed so he can handle it. Unser agrees, then has a little crying session by himself after the boys leave. Probably a lot of “crying by yourself” going on around SAMCRO these days.

-Nero and Wendy hash out plans to go up to his place, and lowkey, their relationship has been one of the best things about this season. Neither were born into this, yet for one reason or another, they have to stick around (Nero for Gemma and work reasons, Wendy for Abel and her feelings for Jax). She makes jokes about him being Mexican and doing manual labor, he calls her a junkie who might have to ride in the backseat. Shit was good.

-Jax meets up with Jury’s ginger VP and other charter members, including Robert Patrick, who I know from as the Terminator from “T2: Judgment Day” and the later seasons of The X-Files, but you might know him from other shit because he has been in a lot of stuff. Jax admits to lying about a confession from Jury and that all this shit was his fault, and that a Mayhem vote has to go down. Jax says he’ll make sure SAMCRO votes the right way, but he wants a bylaw from the old days thrown out. No idea what it is. Maybe allowing black members so the Grim Bastards can join? No clue. Anyway, Jax smiles a couple times during this, then turns somber. You know he has an angle, now to figure out what it is.

-Gemma gets dropped off by Milo at what we find out is a senior citizens’ home, which is where her father is, but he is out with some church people. The lady at the desk tells Gemma that it is Tara’s name as the person of contact, which goes back to some older stuff that I can’t remember right now, but the lady is looking suspicious as shit at Gemma. She doesn’t even know her, but she is so right.

-Juice is sitting in his cell reading the Bronte love poems and he puts a shiv inside it. He looks fed up with all this. He isn’t making it out of this episode alive.

-The boys show up to meet the Irish, where they learn that Connor was out to do some under-the-table business and the Kings want him stopped. So now, SAMCRO is a hit squad, which isn’t a real stretch anyway, and they get Tyler to draw Connor out. Again, not a stretch. Tyler stay doin’ stuff for SAMCRO.

-Wendy calls Jax to tell him that Gemma is at the home as they called to confirm that Tara was dead (Gemma told them), so obviously Jax is like, y’all need to go handle this. Then she tells Nero, who goes to T-M and tells Unser that he needs to go and bring her back alive; basically, find her before Jax does. Of course, Unser does it and Chucky wants to go too because Gemma has a gang of simps ready to ride for her. Chucky even tells Unser to tell Gemma that he loves her and Unser is like, and fuck up MY game? Nah.

-Tyler agrees to set up the Connor meet, but SAMCRO needs to help him take out the rest of the Asians before the Mayans take all that turf. I think that is what happens. This plan is convoluted as shit. Good to see Tyler finally taking a stand, though. He still gon’ die.

-Gemma gets the green light to see her father, who doesn’t recognize her. She just wants to apologize for basically being awful over the last however long it has been, and that he was a good father. We also learn that her mother’s name was Rose, which is the name Gemma gave to Milo, so that explains the episode title (kinda). This is right up her alley as Gemma has spent all season talking to people that don’t talk back (Tara, Bobby, Thomas and now her pops). Then her father asks her name again as she is getting ready to leave, and says that Gemma was a sweet girl who always liked flowers. Keep that in your back pocket.

-Juice asks for a minute of Tully’s time and says that he was sent by the Asians to kill him, but he knows that if Tully kills Juice for the club, it helps the relationship with SAMCRO. So he gives Tully the shiv and asks him to wait until he finishes his pie. All I kept thinking was, this mufucka better die this time, b.

-Unser and Jax are racing to where they think Gemma will be, and she is outside of a house, which we learn to be her parents’ old house and I have a couple of questions. She can just walk in there after God knows how long? No one else bought this house? Everything is the way they left it? This really bothered me for some reason.

-Juice finishes his pie and one of Tully’s people starts a fight, which gives Tully a distraction and he proceeds to stab Juice in the neck multiple times. A roundabout way of committing suicide, which was always the path Juice tried to take anyway. It was for the club and shit, but still, good riddance.

-Gemma is on the floor in her parents’ house, looking at pictures when Unser walks in. He asks her if the truth is true and why she did it, and Gemma is like, does it even matter? She looks tired of running and whatever happens, happens. Which of course, is when Jax shows up and Unser is like, I am arresting her and we are doing this the right way. After all this time, Unser thinks Jax is gon’ do something the right way. Good grief. He should know how this HAS to go down, and gets shot in the chest for his trouble. I wasn’t shocked. Gemma wasn’t even shocked, just add it to the body count.

-This house hasn’t had people living in it for presumably a while, but now a taxi, a truck and a motorcycle appear and no one calls the cops? And now there are gunshots? These neighbours are shitty.

-So, here we go. Gemma shows Jax old pics of his grandfather from WWII, and says something about how much she loved Tara and didn’t mean for shit to go down the way it did, but he isn’t tryna hear it and to be honest, I don’t even think Gemma was tryna defend it, she just needed to tell him. Hell, she told Jax that Unser was lying when he said that he called it into the police, so even she knew how this had to go down. Listen, Gemma has been through three presidents, two of which were her husband and the other was her son, who she groomed for this shit. She knows how the game goes. This all started in the Season 4 finale (that was my favorite SOA season, by the way) when Jax took over as president and Tara walked up behind him, and they looked like an old picture of Gemma and JT. Gemma knew she was losing her power and that fueled her rage to kill Tara, and here we are now.

-Gemma knows she is taking her death march and she wants it to go down in the garden because she loved the flowers. This was eerily similar to “The Grove” in Season 4 of The Walking Dead….no spoilers for anyone that hasn’t watched it, but for those that have, all I will say is, “look at the flowers”. She stops to smell them, and then steels herself for a shot, but Jax is like, shit, can I do this? Gemma forces him to do it, saying it has to happen because again, she of all people knows how the game goes.

-We have been waiting for this all season, some of us, for longer. But I still wasn’t ready for the shot. I also wasn’t ready when I watched it a second time. Or a third time. Jax looks to the sky to Tara, I assume and then looks like, shit, I just shot my mom in the head, Jesus. Then he just drives off. This whole thing was emotional in the lack of emotion that was shown, outside of a few tears. It was just some shit that had to happen. Shit, I still don’t know how I feel about it. I definitely felt different than I thought I would. I ain’t even party like I expected to.

-Montage time, where we see SAMCRO and the Niners taking out the Asians on the street and at a card game, although Chibbs let one girl go and that can’t be good, she looked him all in the face and everything. Wendy checks on the boys, while Juice’s body gets covered up. Nero goes to Gemma’s and he has that look of, well shit, ain’t heard from Unser in a few hours, this can’t be good. Jax returns home with Gemma’s blood still on his shoes, and he finally gets it poppin’ with Wendy, which sucks for my theory that she lives because every woman that gets close to Jax dies. We say goodbye to Unser, then more Jax and Wendy, and finally, one last shot of Gemma’s body among the flowers.

-Shoutout to Ed Sheeran’s version of Foy Vance’s “Make It Rain”, it suited the moment perfectly. I only knew him as the ginger dude from the Virgin Radio commercial, and I’d seen his name in places before, but I might need to search out more of his shit. Dude can sing.

One more episode, which I assume will also be 75 minutes long like this was. We gotta see how they take out Connor and make everyone quasi-happy with the deal. How does Nero react to Jax? What about Chibbs and Jarry, how does that end up? And finally, who gets to kill Jax? He has to die somehow. And somehow, none of this will top the fall of Gemma, arguably the greatest character in the history of Sons Of Anarchy.

The Walking Dead S05E8 – Coda

I’m not even gon’ complain about there being a two-month break for Season 5 of The Walking Dead, because “Coda” did enough to tie up a few loose ends. Say what you want about this show, but they know how to do premieres and finales, even the midseason joints. Let’s go…..

-We open with Bob the light-skinned cop running away after escaping from Sasha, and he’s trying to get his hand restraints off before a group of walkers come. Then we see someone else running, which I figured was Rick because he had the big-ass knife on him. Rick gets in a car and tracks down Bob, telling him to stop running, but when Bob won’t listen, he simply hits him with the car. At this point, Bob has to know he’s gon’ die, so he starts to mouth off to Rick, who shoots him. It was either that or leave him for the walkers, but Rick couldn’t take dude poppin’ off at the mouth. Season 5 Rick is the best, man.

-Gabriel is limping around and ends up by a school, which is full of walkers banging on the door, but he is more interested in a Bible he finds, which has the name, “Mary B.” written in it. Mary B. might be someone from his congregation, and he seems to see reminders of them everywhere, and good for him. Then we realize that it is the school where the Terminus people were having a BBQ Bob buffet, because his leg was still sitting on a fire. I thought for a second that maybe, it was her leg, buy I recognize a half-eaten leg when I see it.

-But of course, his bitch ass starts crying and the walkers escape from the school, causing Gabriel to get on his horse and limp away as fast as he can. Here, I’m thinkin’ like, “he BETTER not lead the horde back to the church”. So what does this mufucka do? LEADS THE HORDE BACK TO THE CHURCH. He bangs on the door and does all sorts of screaming for Michonne and Carl, who are better than me because I would have left him out there like he did to his congregation. But they let him in and the horde follows them right into the church, so the trio sneak out through the hole Gabriel made in the floor and trap the walkers inside. Man, listen. I get that Gabriel is religious. That’s all fine and good. But he has no excuse to still be runnin’ around like a chicken with his head cut off anymore. This is life now: suck it up, and learn how to hold the GD machete.

-Rick returns to his group, where they still have the two cops tied up and he tells Daryl that Bob had to die. The other two cops say that they’ll go along with a story that he got jacked by walkers to avoid violence, but how can you trust them? I prefer Rick’s plan of just runnin’ up in the spot and slaughtering EVERYONE.

-Dawn and Beth are chillin’, and Dawn is on a treadmill (or some sort of exercise equipment) trying to get a hold of her cops, who won’t respond on the radio because they’re tied the fuck up. Dawn tells the story of Captain Hanson, who is with her in the picture we saw in the Beth episode, and he was her mentor, but he lost his way or something. I zoned out during her story. I’m not quite sure if I even buy this character. If she actually is or was a cop, I have a feeling she would be fucking terrible at her job.

-Gabriel, Michonne, Carl and Judith are outside of the church and the walkers are almost out of the church. Gabriel tells Michonne that he had to go and see if they were telling him the truth. I have no idea what he is talking about, but if it smartens him up and gets him on board with this killin’ life. I’m all for it. The walkers finally break down the door, but lo and behold, the calvary returns with a fire truck and park it right in front. Apparently they decided against going through the walker horde, and it’s all love when they reunite. Eugene is STILL knocked out. Michonne tells Maggie that they found Beth and the group is gone to go get her, so they decide to make the trip to Atlanta as well. Maggie is so good. She actin’ like she cares.

-Beth is sitting by the elevator shaft where she is joined by Dawn, and the two get to talking about how Dawn is delusional and thinks the world is going to get better, while she tells Beth that the other cops don’t know she is a cop killer (she indirectly had the rapey cop killed, and good on her). Meanwhile, they’re joined by O’Donnell, another cop who earlier shoved the old man who loves strawberries and was part of Beth’s plan to get Carol drugs, and he overheard the whole thing. He threatens to tell the group and we learn that he and Dawn were rookie cops together and he tries to bring up a buncha old shit, but Dawn is like, nah, y’all have changed and now you’re rapin’ mufuckas, all with a gun pulled on him. They eventually fight and have their little tussle, and he starts to get the upper hand before Dawn does some sort of karate kick and gets him towards the elevator shaft, then Beth pushes him down and you hear the walkers converging on him. We have a new entrant in The Walking Dead world of tag teams.

-Dawn wanders into Carol’s room where Beth is sitting on the floor, and Dawn got her flask, drinking away the pain. Beth tells Dawn that she only protected Beth for her own benefit, then Dawn tells Beth that she knows Beth and Carol know each other, and that if she leaves, she’ll be back, just like Noah because they always come back. Dawn’s delusions are pretty damn strong. I still don’t buy this character, though. Meanwhile, I’m prayin’ that Carol wakes up and puts Dawn in a sleeperhold.

-Tyreese, Sasha and Daryl are up on the roof with their hostages, and Tyreese is tryna get Sasha to talk about her feelings at inopportune times. He tells her the story of him letting the Terminus cat go even though he told Carol that he killed him and it came back to bite him, but he doesn’t regret it. Sasha looks at him like, you ol’ punk bitch and is focused on the scope on her rifle. I’m still blaming him for her gettin’ soft and allowing Bob to get inside her head. At some point, he has to snap out of it…….right?

-Rick goes to the meeting point, where he is joined by two cops and Rick tells them he has a proposal. First of all, Rick’s revolver? Biggest joint I’ve ever seen. Has he had that the whole time? Jesus. Second, those cops are just terrible because they don’t seem to notice the group above them, and only know they’re around when Sasha shoots a walker that is coming behind them. These cops are no match for Rick and his peoples, bruh. At least the black cop still had some waves in his hair. It’s Atlanta, there had to be a black barber in the hospital somewhere.

-Rick and ’em are walking the cops into the hospital, while Beth, now dressed in regular clothes, decides she’s gon’ take a pair of scissors and stick them in her cast, which I know right away isn’t gon’ work out for her. The trade is about to go down: Beth and Carol for the two cops, so Beth is wheeling Carol out. Those cops did go along with the story that Bob was taken down by walkers, so everything goes smoothly until Dawn demands that Noah stay back; she’s losing Beth as a ward, so Noah was hers and she has a claim on her. Dawn be on that slaveowner’s shit and now I’m just cheering for her die somehow.

-That being said, it was always gon’ badly if it was Beth that tried some shit on Dawn, so she pulls out the scissors and stabs Dawn in the shoulder, and Dawn instinctively shoots her in the head. Dawn is horrified and is trying to say she didn’t mean it, but Daryl gives -875289 fucks about what she is saying and shoots Dawn, point blank. Everyone is looking around like, the fuck just happened? The cops tell Rick and ’em they can stay at the hospital and Rick is like, nah, but anyone who wants to leave there and join him, they can. Only Noah leaves.

-So, Beth is dead and I thought I’d feel some kinda way about it. I haven’t always liked her, but I did go from disdain to ehhhh, she’s just kinda annoying. But she brought this shit on herself. All she had to do was walk away, but she put her life at risk because Noah gave her lollipops. Ain’t that a bitch. That being said, this was a good death because this is definitely something stupid that Beth would do.

-Also, I spent all week steeling myself to watch Carol die. I had a feeling one of them weren’t leaving the hospital, especially when Dawn learned that one of her cops died. This recap would have had a completely different tone if it would have been her. Shit probably wouldn’t have come out until tomorrow.

-Glenn, Maggie, Michonne and ’em show up at the hospital, just in time to see the group walk out and Daryl is carrying Beth’s dead body in his arms. Maggie falls on the ground, losing her shit and man…..listen. I laughed for like, 12 minutes. NOW she cares, not when she thought she was dead before, not that she even asked Daryl when he got back with the group. Now she’s fallin’ out. Luckily, Lauren Cohan is great, so I’ll keep the slander to a minimum…..but that was some bullshit. Also, more shenanigans are called as Carol is now walking out of the hospital under her own power, but that’s Killa Carol and you don’t question her powers.

-Then we got some bonus post-credit action, and Morgan pops back up at the school where Gabriel was earlier, and he eventually gets to the church, where he finds Abe’s note that says, “Come to Washington, the new world is gonna need Rick Grimes”. He looks like he is about to set up shop at the church, so that is something to watch when the season resumes.

That closes the first half of Season 5 of The Walking Dead, which started with a bang, had some shady moments in the middle, and ended strongly, which is how the show has always gone for the most part. I’ve no idea what the plan is now, but they really should consider just taking over the hospital, therefore, fulfilling Rick’s plan of killing everyone. I look forward to more of ruthless Rick, Daryl going back to being dark after Beth’s death, Tyreese and Gabriel eventually sackin’ up and getting out of their feelings, Maggie doing some fake grieving, Glenn still workin’ on this threesome, and Carol throwing her hands and yellin’, ” FINALLY….what did I tell y’all about trustin’ mufuckas?”.

Season 5 of The Walking Dead resumes in February, but if you missed some shit, I think there is a marathon on AMC on New Years Eve or Day. At least we don’t have to wait a year like Mad Men.