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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Poor Little Lambs”

Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Poor Little Lambs Review Juice
FX

Sons of Anarchy’ season 7 roars out its 4rd episode of the final year, “Poor Little Lambs,” as Jax is forced to dig into an earlier club mistake with Venus Van Dam (Walton Goggins), while Juice’s situation worsens, and the Chinese make a deadly play.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ installment, “Playing with Monsters,” saw Jax playing the Niners against each other to take revenge on Henry Lin, while Juice got closure on his relationship with Chibs, and the new sheriff made her plans known. So, how does “Poor Little Lambs” keep rolling the series toward its inevitable conclusion?

Read on for your in-depth review of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 7 episode 4, “Poor Little Lambs”!

Boy, that was a lot of bodies.

I was admittedly dismissive of last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ installment, given that “Playing With Monsters” didn’t really move any of the main story along, while the series itself flounders a bit without a moral center to actively stand against all the looming tragedy. And while tonight’s installment didn’t necessarily curb all the darkness rolling into Charming, more turning it up to 11 with enough bodies dropped to enact martial law on the town, “Poor Little Lambs” at least benefit from a strong sense of momentum.

Certainly upping the stakes this week were the wealth of guest stars on display, even if Marilyn Manson’s incarcerated Neo-Nazi leader or Courtney Love’s innocent schoolteacher didn’t have very much to contribute just yet. Instead, the always-welcome Walton Goggins returned to the spotlight as Venus Van Dam, furthering her unique courtship with Tig and helping spur the Sons on to their next round of murder, while Kim Dickens also put in an expectedly tragic return as Collette. It’s nice that the series can still find time to keep up with some of its peripheral guest stars in the final season, but darn it all if Collette’s optimistic talk with Gemma about easing Jax’s pain didn’t put a target on her back from the start.

Speaking of Gemma, “Poor Little Lambs” didn’t offer a great deal of momentum on Gemma’s side of the story, continually holding one-way conversations with Tara and ruminating on which of the boys might take to the SAMCRO lifestyle. Still, Katey Sagal continually puts in strong work across the board, and her chat with Nero about the different secrets they keep from one another raises some interesting questions down the line. Surely Nero will have to face the reality of Gemma’s actions against Tara at some point, not that the blood on his hands in recent weeks would put him in the best position to argue.

Moreover, “Poor Little Lambs” also gave us a chance to see the continually jovial bond between Jax and his mother, joking about “mommy fetishes” in a meta nod to the show’s Oedipal ‘Hamlet’ roots, and an ominous portent of things to come once Jax learns the hand his mother played in Tara’s death. Also worth noting is that Jax continually checks in on his children by third party, something sure to come up when Jax has to face the reality of his own actions’ effect on Abel and Thomas, and the legacy he leaves behind, as his own father had before.

Still lingering on its own island lies Juice’s attempts to get out of dodge, a need made even more pressing by Jarry’s supposed APB, though tonight’s installment didn’t reveal or change much about what we already knew to be in motion. Theo Rossi gets in some great work displaying Juice’s loneliness and increasingly fragile mental state, while some of the more surface parallels between he and Gemma (talking to one’s self, carrying around a silencer) are sure to pay off with some deadly conflict down the line. Hopefully Gemma won’t be the only one present when Juice goes to “stay at my dad’s place.” You know, up by that barn all your childhood pets when to live on.

Sons of Anarchy Poor Little Lambs Review Courtney Love
“Shotguns tend to make a bit of a mess, anyway.”

Something Bobby said stuck with me tonight, owing back to “simpler times” when the club knew only the Mayans as their major enemy, and didn’t spend entire episodes chasing down ancillary characters its audience has barely connected the dots with. If I’ve done my math correctly, tonight saw the Sons following a cell phone clip of a pastor they’d foolishly murdered, only to have Venus direct them toward his power-of-attorney wielding wife at a lakehouse, and all for a signature toward an August Marks housing development intended to launder money. ‘Sons of Anarchy’ has never been one for simple plotting exactly, though tonight’s adventures were at least exciting enough to keep up a sense of momentum, even if the main interpersonal conflicts keep simmering in the background.

And so endeth the first act of ‘Sons of Anarchy’’s final ride, with a tremendous amount of murder-fallout burdening the second leg of the season already, and probably a few more grenades in our future. Sure, we have tiny rays of hope, like the female police officer surviving her Neo-Nazi shooting (R.I.P. Kane), or Chibs finding a small bit of happiness with Jarry, and Tig and Venus cementing their status as the most adorable couple SAMCRO could ever offer, but good grief, if this wasn’t an exceptionally bleak hour.

AND ANOTHER THING…

  • “German shepherds, I’m guessing.”
  • R.I.P. Collette, R.I.P. Kiki, R.I.P.…man, not a good week for the women of Charming.
  • So, shall we assume Jury put the pieces together and tipped off the Chinese, hence the absurd amount of retaliation this week?
  • Wow, not even a scratch on anyone from that grenade? And who was the Son dead in the warehouse? West? Do I remember anything about West?

Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ action?  What did you think about tonight’s latest, “Poor Little Lambs”? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ review of season 7’s latest “Some Strange Eruption,” and stay tuned as we bring you additional coverage on season 7 from cast and crew!

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