Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Friday, December 09, 2011

What's all the Kvetchin' About, Anyway?

I'll admit that all the uproar from reviewers - be they internet bloggers, posters on message boards, and/or professional media reviewers - about the last two episodes of this season of Sons of Anarchy is waaay over my head. And it's not just because Mr. Sutter chose me to go to California to meet him and see the episode 'Call of Duty' before the rest of the fanbase.

SOA has been, from the beginning, a television show that sprang from the fertile grey matter that holds Mr. Sutter's ears apart. It embraces a lot of themes; loyalty, family, love for brother/self/family, conflict, the consequences of our lies and actions based on those lies. It is drama with some humor, or action with comedic and tragic moments. It is many things to many people. The only thing that we all seem to agree is that it is NOT the glorification of the outlaw motorcycle lifestyle. Hell, the bikers themselves have said, 'Sure, it's a soap opera, but it's OUR soap opera!' They grok what it is and what it is not.

It appears that the man source of the fan base discontent is that one of the major characters, Clay Morrow, did not get killed by his step - son, Jax - who also serves as VP of the club - for all of Clay's misdeeds this season. Even before Sutter himself came out in interviews and his blog about why Clay didn't die, I knew that death would be too easy, quick, and painless for the man's misdeeds. Clay himself recognized that at the season end when he told his step son he'd prefer to die than be stripped of his power within the club. Bssically, losin' his president's patch and bein' reduced to votin' only status is like castration. The pipe remains, but there's nothin' left behind to flow through the pipe.

By leavin' Clay alive, but strippin' him of power, Clay suffers a major indignity. He has led the SOA for at least two decades. He has tasted power, he likes it, and everything he did this season was in order to keep that power and to keep promises made to keep the incarcerated members safe during their stint at Stockton. Protection comes at a price, and those of us who had access to the appisodes this year were aware of the agreements Clay made to keep his men safe. Agreements that would extend beyond prison walls. Killing Clay after all the build up during the season would've ultimately been more of a let down, in my opinion.

The one thing that might have gone against Mr. Sutter was the decision was to rely so heavily upon the appisodes on Iphone (and later on Android) to supply the backstory of the club's time in prison. Season 4 jumped 14 months into the club's future from Season 3. Prior to the season premier, we were able to reacquaint ourselves with the past seasons through all three previous seasons' reruns. Perhaps a prequel episode, or a 'Previously not seen on Sons of Anarchy' preview before the premier might've helped those who didn't have the access. 'Course, when you're dealin' with hindsight, it's usually crystal clear.

Some people complain that the show is not mirroring Hamlet accurately. I don't recall that Mr. Sutter ever said that it IS Hamlet in biker form. Loosely based, perhaps. But not Hamlet Redux. People have also expressed ire that the old 'the protagonist is a Fed' thing has been done before. No, not really. Zobelle, Season 2's protragonist, was a Federal informant (aka a rat), but not an actual Fed with arrest powers. This past season, Romeo and Luis, supposedly part of the Galindo Cartel, are badge carryin' Feds. There is a bit of a difference.

For those who think that cops don't get their hands dirty, go back and watch 'Miami Vice' from the 1980s, or watch the movie 'The Untouchables'. Or if you want a little more realism, catch the documentaries about 'Outlaw Bikers' on Discovery and/or Nat Geo Channels. Yeah, cops get their hands dirty when they're undercover. It's a fine line they walk, and sometimes the line gets stepped on and across. It happens.

As for the cartel/CIA connection, yes, it's possible that in order to achieve a goal, the line between good and evil gets even more blurred. The CIA might not fund Romeo and Luis as Galindo cartel, so that they have to use drugs, murder, and gun running to finance their campaign - the utilimate rule by the Galindo cartel over other and wilder cartels.

That leads me to the complaint that in post 9/11 times, two Federal law enforcement agencies would not be aware of each other's undercover operations. Oh, really? Remember Season 2 and the FBI not havin' informed the ATF about Zobelle, even though the ATF was investigatin' the IRA? While it would be nice for us to believe that all levels of law enforcement work together, you'd be surprised just how close to the chest they actually play all their cards. Even ten years after 9/11.

Yes, my dears, felony offenders released on parole will tempt fate by carryin' unregistered concealed weapons. For the Sons, that's pretty much a necessity, anyway. Do any of y'all really believe they carried around registered weapons before they went to Stockton? Hardly likely. Again, it's a case of art imitates life and vice versa.

This was a busy season that took us from the triumph of leavin' prison to the lows of losin' three club members to violent deaths and a changing of the power structure within the club. We saw questions not answered from Season 2 answered in Season 4, and will likely see things left unanswered and/or open for revisitin' brought back next Season.

In the long run, I look at Season 4 as a 14 course banquet. I could've just snarfed up everything at one time and been left unsatisfied and sick, or savored each course slowly. I chose to enjoy each course slowly, savoring each bite, inhaling each scent, enjoyin' the richness.

No, I was not disappointed at all. And I guess that's why I don't understand all the bitchin' and moanin' that's goin' on.