Oct 19 2011

#SOA Review: Sons of Anarchy “Fruit for the Crows” – Death threats, tempers flaring, and “strange fruit hanging” in trees


Review: Sons of Anarchy, Season 4, Ep. 407 “Fruit for the Crows”

Air Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10PM E/P on FX


Damn! Explosive, intense, and wrought with some raw and heated emotions, “Fruit for the Crows” keeps you on your toes and then some!

Tig (Kim Coates), Bobby (Mark Boone Junior), Clay (Ron Perlman), Jax (Charlie Hunnam), and Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) rendevous outside the shooters' apartment

Gemma (Katey Sagal) finds the note we all know Unser (Dayton Callie) left on the seat of Tara’s (Maggie Siff) SUV but instead of stating the obvious, Gemma outlandishly asks Tara if someone at the hospital might be responsible or may want to hurt her. It was incredulous of Gemma to even suggest it, let alone speak it out loud. Tara gives her the same look I had on my face while watching – ‘Are you fucking kidding me!?’ Gemma knows it isn’t anyone at the hospital but I don’t think she can fathom the idea that it’s someone within the club…especially her beloved husband Clay (Ron Perlman). I suspect Gemma may be keeping that notion in the back of her mind.

But Tara doesn’t seem to be thinking too clearly either when she suggests they call the cops. Really, Tara?

Tara: “Normal people call the authorities when their lives are threatened!”

Gemma: “You don’t have a normal life baby; you have this one.”

Tara angers me sometimes. She knew what life she was signing up for when she shacked up with Jax (Charlie Hunnam). It’s not like he was hiding his lifestyle from her. She had a chance to flee while Jax was in prison but she chose to stay. So why is she complaining now? Yeah, yeah, she got a death threat – I get it, she’s scared, but for her to keep throwing their way of life in Jax’s face is a little ridiculous. Unser’s intentions with leaving the note work. Tara is now under the protection of the club and everyone is on red alert. Even Sheriff Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) makes an unannounced visit to investigate the supposed death threat. Of course, we know Unser is the little bird who told him about it. I admire Unser for trying to protect Tara but he needs to watch his back. Clay may have trouble with his degenerative arthritis but I’m certain he can manage pulling the trigger. He killed his best friend John Teller. Do you really think Clay will think twice about killing Unser? Hell, he ordered the kill on Tara with the Galindo Cartel which makes Tara’s statements to Jax ring that much more true.

Tara: “He can’t be trusted, Jax.”

Jax: “Clay is protecting this club.”

Tara: “Clay protects himself!”

Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) and Clay (Ron Perlman)

Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) also needs to watch his back. He’s been a ticking time bomb and finally speaks out when he asks for a vote for a new president. WOW! The anger and frustration in Bobby’s eyes is palpable but the menace in Clay’s is downright scary!  I don’t know what else is in those damn letters but I need to know to understand why Clay has started going way, way off the reservation.

Poor Juice (Theo Rossi). After the cocaine debacle in “With An X,” with Miles (Frank Potter) being killed, Sheriff Roosevelt is riding his ass about getting the cocaine sample for AUSA Linc Potter (Ray McKinnon). Roosevelt also keeps throwing the whole “black thing” in Juice’s face so it’s no wonder Juice is a hot mess. Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) sees the toll it’s taking on Juice even though he’s not fully aware of all the minor details. I love Chibs for looking out for Juice but Clay isn’t going to let one of his guys go soft. Clay gives Juice a little pep talk and a MEN OF MAYHEM patch for his cuts spouting off loving sentiments of, “I love you, son,” as if he actually means it. I’m sorry; Clay is burning his bridge with me. There is room for salvation but he needs to come with it fast. I’m trying not to vomit when I hear the crap oozing from Clay’s treacherous lips.

But the pep talk doesn’t do anything to ease Juice’s turmoil. He’s spiraling down in the sea of his guilt and anxiety. You can see the heaviness weighing on him like the weight of the world. I thought maybe Juice would make a run for it just take off the first chance he got but when he wraps that thick long steel chain around his neck as he sits perched high in a tree, my mouth drops in stunned silence.

Jax (Charlie Hunnam) follows the shooters to an apartment complex

“Fruit for the Crows” is full of action, drama, intensity, and plot twists which may lead to something much more deadly for SAMCRO. After Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) takes a bullet to the shoulder during SAMCRO’s meeting with the Mayans, Jax follows the shooters only to find out it may be a rival cartel – Lobo Sonora – that is gunning for not just Alvarez but SAMCRO, too. I don’t want to think Romeo (Danny Trejo) or the Galindo Cartel has involvement, but Romeo is helping Clay with the hit on Tara. Maybe this small hit on the Mayans is just a cover for the next hit…on Tara. With the way show creator Kurt Sutter likes to spin his dastardly tales, you never know who or what will betray you next.

Jax telling Tara they’re safe doesn’t reassure me at all as I suspect it doesn’t comfort her either by the look on her face. Is anyone really safe right now with Clay on the loose? How will the vote go? Is Juice really gone?

The hauntingly beautiful song that plays as Juice jumps from the tree limb is “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. Love her music – her voice is so hypnotic and this song is perfect for this episode. Listen to the lyrics…. “Southern trees bear strange fruit; Blood on the leaves and blood at the root; Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze; Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees….”

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Photos- © 2011 FX Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

© 2011, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.

Judy Manning

Dream chaser extraordinaire! Judy is a tad sarcastic and kind of goofy! She is an avid admirer of all things supernatural, paranormal, and mystical. She finally came around to zombies, but NO clowns...she loathes clowns. She loves to read, write, and watches way too much TV. She enjoys many genres of film and music of the Trance/Electronica variety (and let's be honest, most music from the 80s). She also has a wicked sweet tooth. Cupcakes beware.


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    • harri on October 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm
    • Reply

    actually katey sagal sings this rendition of “strange fruit” at the end of this amazing awesome

    1. Hi Harriet, I know Katey has a single where she covers this song, but at the end of the episode screener I was given by FX, it was the original version by Billie Holiday. There is no mistaking that haunting voice of BH! I like Katey’s version as well, it’s a bit softer on the vocals but it’s still nice. Thanks for commenting.

        • me on October 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm
        • Reply

        But it was Katey Sagal singing in the episode that aired on FX on Tuesday night… They must’ve made that change after those screeners went out, cause they’re is no mistaking that haunting voice of KS either! Think that’s what Harriet was trying to point out..

        1. Possibly. I wasn’t able to see the live show when it aired Tuesday. Either way, the song is haunting and fit the episode well. Thanks for commenting.

        • jjhenn13 on October 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm
        • Reply

        I hate to disagree with you, Judy, but the version in the episode is ABSOLUTELY NOT Billie Holiday.

        1. No worries…as I mentioned, I am referencing the song version in the screener and not the live episode that aired on Tuesday. I know Katey Sagal sings a rendition of Billie Holiday’s song so in the end the song, “Strange Fruit” is hauntingly beautiful and fitting for the episode. Thanks so much for your comment. We love when the fans interact!

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