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'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Whose side are you on? [Updated]

November 17, 2010 |  6:01 am

SOAs3ep311_20100819_PG-0044"Sons of Anarchy" makes even the most convoluted of comic books seem straightforward. In comics, there are good guys, and there are bad guys.

In "Sons of Anarchy," there are bad guys, and even badder guys -- and an entire cabal of witchy women. It's getting increasingly difficult to figure out who's the most evil of them all.

This entire season it's been a tossup. There's Jimmy O, who lets his henchmen do most of the dirty work, as he did this episode, calmly sipping brandy at a kitchen table while his thug yanked the teeth of a traitor. Sure, Jimmy pulled the trigger point-blank at the end, but his crisp suitcoat wasn't even splattered.

Then there's Father Ashby, a compromised man of the cloth who, like Jimmy, is a puppet master though he absolves himself of any wrongdoing. Is he serving God, country, SAMCRO or his own best interests? When Ashby offers himself as ransom to Jimmy so Jax can finally cradle Abel in his arms again, it just seems too easy. 

Was it Ashby or Jimmy who planted bullets in the heads of Abel's adoptive parents to make that happen? Surely there's something nefarious in the works.

Maureen, it appears, isn't as sympathetic to SAMCRO as she's seemed, planting a wad of John Teller's letters in Jax's backpack as the Sons ready themselves to return to Charming. And Gemma? She's just coming off the rails in her efforts to protect her men. [Updated at 10:25 a.m.: The original post mistakenly had Maureen planting cash in a backpack and has been corrected.]

Agent Stahl is just as much of a snake as ever, manipulating her lesbian co-worker and botching the $250,000 drop to secure Tara's return. And Tara? She's becoming more of an old lady with each passing episode, slitting the throat of her captor.

"Sons of Anarchy" is what it's always been: A delightfully bloody mess.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Zoe Boyle (Trinity) and  Charlie Hunnam (Jax) in 'Sons of Anarchy.' Credit: FX