Sons of Anarchy returns with a “new” president

premiere

Will there be enough fake blood in the world to last us through this final season of Sons of Anarchy? Can there be enough fake blood? Judging by the amount splattered in Tuesday’s season premiere, the answer is no, unless we’re about to hit a red food colour shortage. It shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise, what with the soul-destroying Season 6 finale, that Jax would be out for blood both in and out prison. But the level of brutality Jax dished out, the number of lies Gemma spewed and the amount of trouble the club may now be in by starting a potential war with the Chinese goes to show that the only light moments we’ll get this season will be those skin-crawling jokes from Tig.

On a grand scale nothing too mind-blowing–say a club member or major character’s death—occurred in the extended hour. Instead, the season premiere opened with the game-changing decision to retaliate against the Chinese based on Jax’s rage and Gemma’s faulty information that the Chinese killed Tara. It was one thing listening to Gemma explain how she could ever stomach talking to Jax about Tara, knowing Gemma truly believes that her actions were all in the name of the club (it’s delusional, but something she’s convinced herself of). It was another thing entirely, however, to then see Gemma jeopardize the harmony and peace that had JUST developed between the Sons and the other MCs by claiming she’d seen the Chinese kill Tara. Even if you could forgive Gemma for what she did in the finale (which you can’t), her poor decision-making proved just how unconcerned she is with the rest of the club. Gemma only cares about saving her own skin and staying in her son’s good graces, and if it means dragging the club on another ride through hell, she’ll take it. I think the line that stuck with me most was hearing Gemma call Tara “the woman [Jax] loved more than anything” knowing that Gemma could never handle being second in her son’s life. A part of me even wonders if Gemma would’ve been able to ever come to terms with Tara and Jax’s unity, or if the controlling mother would’ve eventually snapped regardless.

Gemma may be the queen of keeping a secret, but this time she has the emotionally unstable Juice as an accomplice rather than the equally tough Clay. Gemma’s already going against Jax by hiding Juice and helping him, so if Jax gets to Juice before Gemma can help him leave town, who knows what he’ll say or how Jax will react. I just hope Wendy doesn’t get wrapped up in the collateral damage of having the club’s most wanted hiding out in her house–especially after seeing Unser tied up against his will. Speaking of Unser, if he does somehow escape Juice’s clutches, I would ultimately like to see the old man help the new ATF agent coming to town and finally choose doing the right thing for Jax over the corrupted Gemma.

It’s so unfortunate that Jax was too blinded by the rage and heartbreak of losing Tara so brutally to see through his mom’s lies, especially because club business and relations with the fellow MCs has been on a complete upswing for the club. But with a potential war on the horizon and Jax’s willingness to pour salt in anyone’s sliced up wounds, all I really hope for at this point is for Jax to survive the season without losing too much of his club, and is eventually able to see it’s his mother who, at this point, actually has ultimate control of the club and its fate. Although let’s be honest: she sort of always did.

Additional Anarchy:

• Was Brooke making eyes at Rat Boy??

• RedWoody Inc. is the most appropriate title Kurt Sutter could’ve ever thought of. Ever.

• Marilyn Manson is almost more terrifying as a skinhead in prison than with the makeup on

• Is it a normal thing for guys to do naked push-ups, or is that just a Juice thing?

• That final renditoin of the Queen song was really magical

• One of the many absurd things Gemma said: “I’m the only thread holding this club together.”

• Serious props to Kurt Sutter for keeping Maggie Siff and Ron Perlman in the opening credits

• I have so many questions about the priests and their sex tape

Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Super Channel and FX. Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.