(For the first part of this article, please click here.)
A school shooting is different though, it’s disturbing on a different, more primal level. And it should be, I hope we never have to live in a world where the death of a child is no longer shocking. But Kurt Sutter isn’t going to feature a school shooting every week, and while it may have seemed a random plotline, it’s tied into SAMCRO completely. The shooter’s gun is the same kind the Sons have been selling, and that will bring up a lot of problems for the club, and questions they have to answer.
The Sons are good guys to us. They don’t sell drugs, because that would make them bad guys in the eyes of the viewers. They sell guns to bad guys, who use them to kill other bad guys in far-off locations, so we can still root for the Sons. Now one of those guns has been used to commit a horrible, very public crime that will bring national attention to Charming, and the Sons can’t buy that off or work around it.
The show is, and has always been written completely over the top. Just in the premiere episode, we had murder, anal rape, torture, pornography, gunfire, fistfights, a drowning in a tub of urine, a posthumous golden shower, prostitution, an ex-marshal shooting heroin, casual infidelity from the hero, and a female prison beatdown.
It becomes comical to list out, but the school shooting plotline is more real. Most of the people who get hurt on this show are bad guys, or at least old enough to know better. Not kids.
Too often, shows centered around criminals never actually show the affects of their crimes. Walter White has never seen anyone use meth. Dexter Morgan doesn’t check in on the families of his victims. And the Sons of Anarchy sell guns, but those guns never show up again.
Until this episode.
The premiere was classic SOA, dark, funny, and intriguing right up until the moment where the boy took the machine gun out of his backpack. And then, it became disturbing on a level I’d venture to say most viewers weren’t ready for. But the show is much more than just individual episodes. What we’ve seen the club do for five seasons has now become more real, and the characters have to come to terms with that, and the show will change because of it. One of the ways the club made money led to a slaughter of children, and that’s going to cause problems for them personally, legally, and professionally.
It was a dark episode, but Kurt Sutter’s done this before. In the long run, things will balance.