Well, can you believe this? Tuesday night brought us a "Sons of Anarchy" episode in which no one died. Really.
Yes, there weren't any casualties in "Salvage" -- unless you count Juice's motorcycle, which was essentially killed and left in pieces by a couple of dirty cops from a town called Eden. But Juice eventually walked away with a brand new ride and the SAMCRO crew got its revenge. The episode even ended on a light-hearted tone with Jax and Bobby hugging it out and actually smiling.
Did we watch the right show? What's going on around here?
Maybe creator Kurt Sutter just wanted to provide us with a little breather after five bloody, gasp-inducing, misery-laced episodes that climaxed with the SAMCRO club going ka-boom last week. Maybe it's just a lull before another s---t storm hits.
In fact, while "Salvage" did feature a rip-roaring road chase between the Eden cops and our guys -- and a death-defying stunt by Juice -- the episode contained more talk than action as a shell-shocked Jax turned into the great orator.
First, he brokered a peace treaty with the Irish Kings (or more precisely, Galen and the Kings dictated the terms). And then Jax gathered the troops from up the coast for a meeting in which he passionately argued for a no-guns policy, pointing out that 20 members had been killed in the past two years.
"We need a change ... It's a direction that keeps us whole and keeps us alive," said Jax, who drew a whole lot of table-pounding support from the guys, including Bobby.
During his windy speech, Jax referenced his father, whose "fear and doubt made him vulnerable" at the end.
"I'm not following that path," Jax insisted. "The decisions I make are not out of fear ... You can run from the pain, or allow it to burn into your heart ... (and be) a constant reminder of the love that brought us here."
Yes, lots of talk tonight. But that doesn't mean there weren't other developments and plot advancements. A rundown:
-- Sifting through the charred carcass of the club, a contrite Jax admitted, "I did this." Meanwhile, Chibs, who hasn't always been enamored with Jax's leadership style, was reassuring: "We're going to fix this, brother."
-- Miss D.A. lady is ready "to go hood" on everyone. She thus far refuses to let Nero off the hook for the murder of Erin, even though it's obvious that crazy-man Toric set him up. And after Tara refused her immunity deal, she's moving to push up the court date and try the case herself. This woman's like a dog locked onto a chew toy.
-- Tara is starting to share more of her exit strategy with Wayne, letting him know that she plans to file for divorce and wants the kids out of Charming. Is it a good idea for her to be confiding so much in him?
-- The Irish have mandated that Clay handle the gun-distribution deals in Northern California and that SAMCRO make sure all the buyers are on board. For their efforts, SAMCRO will get nothing and be happy with it.
-- In an interesting little twist, the Irish Kings were surprised to learn that Jax's guys didn't kill Connor (Jax: "I told you I didn't want a war."). Wonder if they would have blown up the club had they known that. Also wonder if that might somehow impact Galen's standing with the Kings down the road.
-- It's clear that Jax is suddenly behaving less like a dictator in the wake of the bombing. When Chibs suggests that they hold onto Connor for a few days to make sure if the peace is real, the compliant club prez asks everyone for their opinions.
-- Another 90-minute episode and I'm not sure it needed to be. A little boggy tonight. Somewhat plodding. Let the editor do his/her job.
So did you enjoy "Salvage," or are you ready for more blood, guts and action? And do you really think Jax won't attempt to exact some kind of vengeance on the Irish?