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Drea De Mateo (#110 of 4)

Sons of Anarchy Recap Season 7, Episode 12, "Red Rose"

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Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 12, “Red Rose”

FX

Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 12, “Red Rose”

Those white tennis shoes. Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) has worn his trademark ivory sneakers throughout Sons of Anarchy. Those pearly kicks have been privy to many a bad deed, and sometimes they’ve gotten splattered in blood for good measure, looking like some minimalist Jackson Pollock painting. The guy must have a whole closet full of them on standby. “Red Rose” opens on the SAMCRO president lacing up his shoes, a quiet warning that his pristine foot canvases will once again be tainted by the carnage to come.

Sons of Anarchy Recap Season 7, Episode 11, "Suits of Woe"

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Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 11, “Suits of Woe”

FX

Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 11, “Suits of Woe”

The slow-moving guillotine that’s been hovering over the heads of so many characters in Sons of Anarchy’s final season starts to speed up in “Suits of Woe.” All the lies and betrayals perpetrated by SAMCRO and their kin are coming undone, leaving many significant members stricken with the kind of suffocating guilt that can only be assuaged by confession. As the title of tonight’s episode suggests, wearing disgrace for this long takes a massive toll on one’s strength and sense of purpose.

Sons of Anarchy Recap Season 7, Episode 8, "The Separation of Crows"

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Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 8, “The Separation of Crows”

FX

Sons of Anarchy Recap: Season 7, Episode 8, “The Separation of Crows”

Coming on the heels of “Greensleeves,” in which Gemma’s (Katey Sagal) confession of murder was overheard by her lobotomized-looking grandson, Abel (Ryder and Evan Londo), and Bobby’s (Mark Boone Junior) sudden capture led to forced optical surgery, “The Separation of Crows” seemed primed for further shocking developments. Strangely, the episode merely rehashes much of the same ground, biding time until the bloody series finale and leaving viewers in a state of disorientation.

The Sopranos Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, "Members Only"

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<em>The Sopranos</em> Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, “Members Only”
<em>The Sopranos</em> Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, “Members Only”

Talk about starting with a bang. Last night’s Sopranos premiere broke with the show’s traditional slow-building intro by jam-packing two hours of plot into 60 minutes and capping the episode with one of its most startling violent acts: de-fanged, housebound and Alzheimers’-suffering ex-mob boss Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) shooting New Jersey mob kingpin Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) in the chest at close range. It was vintage Sopranos, expected yet somehow surprising, and twisted and pathetic rather than superficially exciting. You always figured Tony might get shot, but not like this. It was downright humiliating, especially when director Tim van Patten cut to a God’s-eye-view shot of fat, bloody Tony lying on the kitchen floor, laboring to hoist his bathroom-scale-certified 280 pounds high enough to grab the wall phone and call 911.

Tony can’t die, of course; at least he can’t die this soon. Series creator David Chase can go on all he likes about how every cast member is fair game, but you still know he’s not going to kill his leading man with 19 episodes left to go. So as powerful as that shooting was, it still feels a bit like wheel-spinning. (Michael Imperioli’s Chris Moltisanti survived a less embarrassing shooting incident in Season Two.) But it’s still a shocking development, one that sets the stage for Chase and his writers to indulge their David Lynch-Dennis Potter fixation by pulling Tony out of this world and putting him into another one. The lead sentence from one of my Star-Ledger colleague Alan Sepinwall’s Sopranos preview pieces now makes sense: “There are going to be more dreams. Deal with it.”