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Sons of Anarchy Recap Season 7, Episode 1, "Black Widower"

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Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 1, “Black Widower”

FX

Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 1, “Black Widower”

Known for its extreme violence and savage double-crosses, Sons of Anarchy ended its sixth season with a legendary merging of the two motifs: Momma OG Gemma (Katey Sagal) plunging a grilling fork deep into the skull of her daughter-in-law, Tara (Maggie Siff), after mistakenly thinking she was about to turn state’s evidence on SAMCRO, the corrupt motorcycle club that bares the show’s name. Senseless acts of brutality are a common thread in this drama of Shakespearean proportions, and Tara’s heinous death bluntly exposed how misinformation and blind loyalty make for a poisonous cocktail that invariably leads to revenge.

T.V. on TV: The Shield

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T.V. on TV: <em>The Shield</em>
T.V. on TV: <em>The Shield</em>

The first six episodes of The Shield’s sixth season build to a scene that we’ve seen coming from the very beginning. It’s well photographed (the cameras capture the inimitable late-night glow of L.A.), beautifully and subtly written, and the actors underplay it nicely. Thanks to the gradual accretion of time, the scene plays out with the sort of intensity you can only find in the best serialized television. But it takes a lot of heavy-lifting to get there. When The Shield is firing on all cylinders, it’s like nothing else in television, the cop show reimagined as a violent testosterone opera. Yet it’s never quite as good as it could be; it often lacks subtlety, and it’s a little too impressed with its sense of daring.