Kiss of death: 'Burnt and Purged Away' builds to 'Anarchy' finale, some thoughts
By April MacIntyre Nov 23, 2011, 5:09 GMT
The character of Opie has much in common with SAMCRO brother Otto (Kurt Sutter) in that his sacrifices - ostensibly for the betterment of SAMCRO - were necessary and a soldier\'s burden. Now in season four, both Opie and Otto have snapped and are broken, letting their SAMCRO brethren twist in the wind.
The culmination of learning that both his wife Donna and his father Piney's deaths were Clay's handiwork has finally sent Opie (Ryan Hurst) past the blind allegiance to SAMCRO, Gemma and Jax, and into a spiral of pent-up rage unleashed.
Hurst's Zen approach to Opie was lethally menacing tonight, as he listened to Gemma lie to him and Jax try to placate him.
Most everyone who watched this series knows that there will be twist to open next week's episode, with Tig not watching Clay's back, and Gemma delivering a Michael Corleone-style kiss of death to her old man.
Opie shooting Clay is where tonight's episode ended, but it is far from what we can expect, I am sure.
The character of Opie has much in common with SAMCRO brother Otto (Kurt Sutter) in that his sacrifices - ostensibly for the betterment of SAMCRO - were necessary and a soldier's burden. Now in season four, both Opie and Otto have snapped and are broken, letting their SAMCRO brethren twist in the wind.
Clay's (Ron Perlman) intuition about his fate probably had him suit up in Kevlar to cover his ass. I haven’t seen the finale episodes but I am putting serious money on Clay surviving the Opie ambush.
Bewildered Bobby (Mark Boone Jr.) seethes in a cold cell, feeling the effects of Potter's (Ray McKinnon) subtle and clever manipulation of Otto.
We have a dead Piney (William Lucking), an alienated and possibly dead man walking Opie; Otto checking out early per his request with the Feds; Jax (Charlie Hunnam) ready to take Tara (Maggie Siff) and get out; Tig (Kim Coates) demotivated to serve as enforcer, and Juice (Theo Rossi) on the edge of a breakdown. The club is in serious fallout by end of season four, and Gemma (Katey Sagal) is thinking five steps ahead, as she knows it.
All the positive MC hooey about the club was stripped away this season to reveal the engine of greed to line Clay's pockets. This club rotted from the inside out.
For me, Hurst's Opie is similar in feel to Jack Huston's character Richard Harrow of Boardwalk Empire. Both actors visually dominate a frame and relay dialogue without words. They both play characters steeped in great pain and anguish, yet keep it bottled and under wraps in beautifully constrained performances. But now Opie's got nothing left to lose and his learning the depths of mendacity around him make him a liability that will have to be killed, or succeed in his mission of getting to the truth.
Jax and Tara's relationship is key to next season. Wendy (Drea de Matteo) has a right to know her son, and has redeemed herself and finished her education and is working hard, despite the selfishness of Jax to keep her at arm's length. He's a stone-cold murderer who is no better than Wendy in the parent-o-meter of morality. Tara is complicit in two murders (Agent Kohn, season one, and the "Guattie" in season 3). So throwing shade on Wendy because she is an addict doesn't work for me.
There are many loose ends for me that keep making me wonder, Russian mafia payback, IRA anger, Darby (Mitch Pileggi) the town's expansion, Ethan Zobelle (Adam Arkin), Maureen Ashby (Paula Malcomson) and Tig's (Kim Coates) gravitational pull to Gemma, he being the most likely to swoop in sexually if there is a Clay void. Lots of juicy possibilities for Kurt Sutter and company to take us for the next two years, at least.
Even the notion that Jax does leave SAMCRO and Charming behind with Tara, only to have him drawn back to the town and the life is interesting to me.
Can Jax hack it like mobster-turned-informant Henry Hill did, living in the suburbs and trying to live a straight life? No way! But in the short term, I can see this happening. Jax and Tara's love bonds will be tested greatly next year (Assuming Jax and Tara are not killed in season four).
Wild cards left for me this season are how long Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) stays alive, how long egomaniacal oddball Potter keeps his momentum, and if Bobby becomes the new Otto, sitting and cooling his heels in prison while occasionally helping his free brothers with dirty deeds done dirt cheap on the inside. Bobby isn't the martyr type.
There's going to be a major cast player death before this season ends I fear.