Everyone seems to have their own story arc to follow as the season comes to it’s conclusion. There is so much going on that it is incredibly difficult to condense it into any kind of Reader’s Digest version of a recap. This rundown is for true fans who need to know all the details. My comments on the bonus features are listed at the end of this article, but as a whole I really enjoyed the thought that went into them, they were definitely put together with the fans in mind. I am completely in love with the soundtrack this season too. With Mike Ness, Crimson and Clover, Katey Sagal and so much more, the music was absolutely one of the characters and made some of the most important scenes stand out on a whole new level, one that evoked all the right emotions at all the right times.
Sons of Anarchy (SOA) Season Four, Disc Three, Episodes Eleven through Fourteen:
At the beginning of Disc 3 and the lead in to the awesome finale of Season Four, we find Tara still in the hospital, not feeling quite as sorry for herself as she was at the end of Disc 2. Her resolve is strengthened, though it may seem momentarily weakened, by the return of Wendy (Drea de Matteo), who shows up in Tara’s hospital room bearing flowers. Wendy seems to have gotten her shit together and is working as a substance abuse counselor. She lets Tara know in no uncertain terms that she is there to get to know Abel despite her extended absence and signing over custody. After Wendy’s visit Tara purposefully inflicts more injuries to her arm, ensuring she will no longer be able to perform surgery and that she will remain in Charming even longer. Gemma finds out about the visit and steps in, letting Wendy know she will help her see Abel if she does what she is told, but this promise is made without Jax’s or Tara’s knowledge. Jax tells Wendy to keep her distance, but she refuses to budge.
While visiting Tara, Jax and Gemma step in to the hospital chapel, where major revelations are made on a pretty regular basis. Gemma reveals her injuries to Jax and doesn’t hide the fact that Clay inflicted them. She tells him that she needs to handle it herself and Jax only briefly confronts Clay about hurting Gemma, but ultimately has to put it aside to move forward with the deal that will get him out of the club and away from Charming. Jax tells Clay and Bobby how things should play out when he and Clay leave the club, after the next two gun shipments he wants to cut his losses and for Bobby to take over the club. As Clay loses more and more control over the club he becomes extremely dangerous and Wayne is getting close to the same fate as Piney after he threatens the bigger, crazier man for hurting Gemma.
Opie is a changed man after Jax’s revelation about leaving the club, he seems to turn in on himself. He finally finds Piney after going to check on him at the cabin and is devastated. Wayne follows Opie to the cabin and reveals what really happened to Piney, counting on Opie’s rage to turn the man on Clay. Unser believes he has solved all their problems with Clay, but Gemma didn’t intend for Clay to go down at Opie’s hand. She has her own master plan for his death. Opie tells Jax the truth about what happened to Piney. Opie doesn’t trust anyone, and feels completely abandoned now that his father is gone and Jax is on his way out. He goes after Clay and Jax shows up to stop him but he can’t shoot Opie and Clay takes a couple of bullets. Unser helps Jax and a prospect cover up the shooting before they call an ambulance and stays with the wounded man until help arrives, though I’m sure the last thing he wants to do is help Clay.
Tig speaks Clay about being concerned about the way he is handling himself and tells him he has to stop shutting everyone out, that it’s having a negative effect on the club. After seeing what Clay has done to Gemma, Tig turns in his patch, forfeiting his place as Clay’s right hand and protector. Immediately after the shooting Tig goes for revenge against who he thinks attacked Clay based on Unser’s false description to the Sheriff of the shooters. He is wracked with guilt, convinced that it is his fault Clay was shot. Tig loses it and decides it’s up to him to TCB. He kills Laroy’s girlfriend with his car and she of course is the daughter of one of the most dangerous men in town. We are already seeing a set-up for Season Five!
The Sons work with the cartel to take out the Lobos that were responsible for Tara’s attempted kidnapping. They are lured into an ambush complete with mines. Clay and Juice barely make it out alive, the rest of the club using RPGs they were to sell to the Irish in order to escape. Juice still seems to have a death wish as he takes the lead walking back through the mine field with no hesitation. The poor kid is losing his grip, Chibs keeps trying to cover for him and find out what’s going on. Juice finally confides in Chibs about his dad and the Sheriff but doesn’t let him know how far things have gone and it seems to be no big deal.
The Irish show up in Charming, but still don’t want to do business with the cartel. The Sons are taken to a house where an “orphanage” like the one Abel was kept in is housed, a baby factory. After the boys bust up the people responsible for the babies, Clay deals behind Jax’s back with the Irish. Clay is still planning Tara’s murder with the Cartel. Clay visits Tara in the hospital at the same time Gemma does. He tries to make a deal with her, he wants the letters. Blatantly threatens her. Gemma warns Clay about Opie, gives him the kiss of death from the Godfather.
Otto agrees to turn on the club in exchange for his release and an eye doctor and to be the one to tell Bobby he took him down after Bobby lied about killing Georgie. Georgie flubbed his offer for assistance with Charming Heights and goes down after admitting to taking part in Luanne’s death along with his idiocy regarding the fake investment deal. Bobby goes to tell Otto that Georgie is dead…again and is instead arrested due to Otto’s double cross. Juice and Bobby are both in Stockton and Jax makes a visit to the prison to chat with Lenny who tells him Otto has flipped.
Gemma tells Tara what happened to Piney and how things went down with Opie. She tells Tara who put the hit on her so she can scare her into giving up the letters to Clay. Tara tells Gemma where to find the letters. Gemma gives Jax the letters and tries to distance herself from the situation but tells Jax about Clay attempting to and eventually killing John Teller. She tells him that Clay is also responsible for Piney’s death and the attempt on Tara’s life. Gemma solidifying Jax’s place in the club and Charming and Clay’s ousting as president, possibly his death. Tells Jax he has to kill Clay. Clay isn’t the master manipulator, Gemma is…or Tara is. Tara meets up with Gemma and Jax with a syringe of blood thinner ready to go so he can kill Clay without it getting messy. She thinks she knows Jax better than Gemma, but that may not quite be the case. Her belief that he will leave the club after killing Clay seems short sighted. Tara lays her claim to Jax and takes Gemma head on with this move.
AUSA Potter is getting his team amped up to take down the meet between the cartel, Irish and SAMCRO. The cartel shows up with three CIA agents who are working with them and ruin Potter’s plan to take down the Sons and the Irish. Everything that has been building the whole season is crushed. The deal has to go down as it is. Potter lets Juice off the hook, tells Sheriff Roosevelt he has “tremendous respect” for him. What does Jax watch in prison? The Shield of course. At least that’s what is on-screen when Roosevelt turns over Juice’s file to him and lets him go. The connection the two men have will be there in Season Five as well.
The Irish walk without Clay, Romeo pulls Jax aside to chat with him and lets him know that they are working for the CIA and need the Irish for their deal to work. They tell him what happened with Tara was a mistake, they only intended to take her into protective custody. Jax goes to see Clay in the hospital and lets him know the way things are while holding a knife to the man’s throat. Jax can’t let Clay off that easy (kill him with the needle); he has to keep him around for a bit to make sure the deal with the Irish goes through. Jax insists that Clay will step down as president and if he steps out of line the club will see the letters. Cue Jax’s signature loogie hocked in the face.
Gemma didn’t get what she wanted with Clay, but got her wish of Jax taking over the club. She is obviously disappointed to find Clay alive after seeing Jax exiting the hospital room. Opie and Jax have a heart to heart, one that obviously doesn’t sit well with Opie. Jax wraps up the conversation with offering Opie the VP spot in the club, but he doesn’t show up to the change of guard at the end of the episode, not ready to put his faith in Jax. Jax tells Tara about the CIA and why he can’t kill Clay or leave the club. He tells her he can’t leave but encourages her to go with the kids anyway. She’s not going anywhere, she has to take Gemma’s place. The end of Season Four leads us into a whole new era for the Sons in Seasons Five through Seven and beyond. In the last scenes Gemma burns the letters that implicate her in John’s death, Clay still in the hospital, Juice is back home prematurely sighing in relief, Unser is smoking pot at the head of Clay’s table (at home). Jax hides the letters that he has in the garage, practically in plain sight. Jax takes up the gavel, Tig is demoted, Chibs is now Jax’s right hand. Tara takes her place with Jax, lets him know she isn’t going anywhere. The final image of Tara and Jax as Gemma and J.T. is awesome, but definitely unnerving to Gemma. The old guard are truly on their way out.
Deleted Scenes: Not as helpful or interesting as the other two discs, I think most of it made it in this season.
Gag Reel: Some giggle worthy moments, not the least of which is Ron Perlman’s ass.
Farewell Piney: A nice tribute to Piney as Jax’s Jiminy Cricket, Opies father and the thorn in Clay’s side and William Lucking as fellow actor and mentor.\
Fans of Anarchy: Season 4 Challenge featurette with interviews from the winners and footage of them hanging out with the cast in a screening room. Nice recognition of the fans. Both of them seem very sweet and appreciative. Hopefully they manage to bump the ratings again and two more just as worthy fans get the experience.
Anarchy at House of Blues: Benefit for John O’Brien, Love You Madly. He died suddenly with no life insurance and the House of Blues benefit was for his family and featured Katey Sagal performing beautifully.
Commentary To Be Acts One and Two Commentary: Kurt Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Mark Boone Jr., Dayton Callie, Theo Rossi, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan and Ryan Hurst – The men come together for quite the adolescent but entertaining commentary, providing plenty of funny moments, we know their voices so well that it’s easy to follow who’s talking when and not get lost in the back and forth between them.
I can’t wait to start Season Five!
Season Five of Sons of Anarchy premieres on FX September 11, 2012 at 10PM E/P. Get ready! To check out more of our Sons of Anarchy coverage Click HERE.
Do you think Opie will come back in Season Five of Sons of Anarchy?