Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Sons of Anarchy: Season 6; For god's sake, Jax, buy some burners

Let's talk about something other than the Irish accents for a second. 

It's a commonplace that the USA has more guns than cell phones, but Sons of Anarchy seems to be unfolding in some parallel universe where they have guns instead of cellphones. Time after time, the wrong thing happens because SAMCRO seems to be using the same command and control system as Lord Raglan in the Crimea; no-one ever finds out anything unless someone happens to think of telling it to them when they're standing right front of them. You could loop together about ten character deaths in Sons of Anarchy and make a punchy ad for any mobile phone company on earth, so long as the company felt that they were missing out on the murderous idiot demographic. This kind of thing made sense back when they were making Jacobean tragedies, but this is the 21st century, dammit. You can at least text people. After the first couple of dozen people got their heads mistakenly beaten in because some lunkhead wasn't all caught up, you'd have thought that self-styled moderniser Jax Teller would have been all over an improved communications strategy.

Instead he fires up everyone, including his loopy mother, to believe that Tara is ratting him out, and then doesn't bother telling them that the hit's off when things change. And poor old Tara then gets ganked in her own kitchen in one of the messiest murders SoA has ever shown us. 

Well, it had to happen. I'm just tired of everything being down to misunderstandings which effectively became impossible two decades ago. Yep, cellphones aren't secure. Criminal conspiracies would shun them somewhat. But when the hot news is that you've made your own deal with the cops, you're not really risking much to ring your own mother and let her know, now are you? And for everything else, there's burners. It's a cop-out, really. The writers are bought into the idea that true tragedy only exists when someone sets out to do something good, and it has horrible unintended consequences. Nope, that's irony [1]. Shakespearean tragedy, which is what this thing always seems to have been aiming for, shows us someone ruining everything around him, imagining that he's acting for the best, and lets us see clearly how he dug a grave, all the time thinking it was an escape tunnel. Different thing.

Anyhow, Tara had to go. She was getting in the way, just like Otto and Clay. Clay was getting in the way because Ron Perlman was too awesome and only Katey Sagal could hold the camera against him. And also, his character should have been murdered about three seasons back, so it was getting harder and harder to come up with excuses for him to be alive. Otto had to go because, well, jeeze, just look at him. And Tara had to go because she was a smart college educated woman with options, so it never made anything close to rational sense that she'd have stuck around in Charming for more than a fortnight. Now that she's gone, the show is no longer anchored to reality and can do whatever the hell it wants to.

Other than clearing out the sanity and the past-its-sell-by-date awesomeness, the main mission statement for Season 6 seems to have been Jax making yet another effort to get out of the gun business. I've commented before on how little sense SoA's gun business makes. Real wars have been fought with less guns than they've trafficked in the past six seasons. Jax's policy somehow makes even less sense than that. Determined to get out of the gun business because it leads to murder and violence, Jax has, by the end of this season, orchestrated more murders than John Wayne Gacy and had a lot less fun doing it. "I don't like all this killing." a good mission statement; "I'm going to kill my way out of it."; maybe you haven't thought through the problem properly. The Sons of Anarchy seem like the leading cause of death in almost every major demographic in northern California. If they'd just got on quietly with selling guns, could it really have been any worse?

[1] Don't start.

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