Was This The Years' Most Belabored, Embarrassingly Failed Attempt at Basic-Cable Eroticism?
Some Spoiler-ish Content Ahead
This season -- the fifth of "Sons of Anarchy" -- has honestly been a blast. It opened strong, introducing Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau), "Sons of Anarchy's" version of Gus Fring, who provided the show with maybe the most gruesome death on television this year: Casually burning alive a woman stuck in a pit of dead bodies. Showrunner Kurt Sutter followed that with the devastating, intense, and gut punching death of the show's best character.
Since that point in the season, however, "Sons" has been teetering on its rails, running through plot lines in a single episode that would take most dramas half a season to develop and conclude. It's part of why the show has been so absurdly entertaining, even after Sutter blew the more meticulously structured episodes earlier in the season all to hell.
However, last night, while everyone else was watching Election Results, "Sons of Anarchy" blew giraffe sh*t all over the back wall, going off the deep end from sublimely ridiculous into ohwhatthefuckareyouserious.
For those not watching the show, a brief summation of the developments that led us to this moment: A character named Otto (played by Kurt Sutter himself) has been in prison for years. He's a founding member of the motorcycle club, SAMCRO, at the center of "Sons of Anarchy." At some point last year, one of the members of SAMCRO betrayed him, and Otto decided to go to the feds with information implicating his SAMCRO brothers. This season, Tara -- the wife of SAMCRO's president -- has been working to convince Otto to drop his testimony. She's a doctor, and has been using her occupation to get close to Otto in prison, but Otto has been reluctant to recant his testimony so far.
Tara, however, stumbled upon the absurd idea of trying to remind Otto of the things he once loved, thinking that she could convince Otto to recant with simple nostalgia. She learned that Otto's dead girlfriend used to wear a particular perfume that had the scent of "cum and patchouli." In any other show, you'd imagine that Tara might use that information to poison a bottle of perfume and kill off the character. But not here, and not when the character is played by the showrunner: Tara was literal in her intent to use that perfume to conjure some pleasant memories.
However, the idea didn't exactly go as planned. In fact, it may have worked too well. The perfume reminded Otto of his dead girlfriend, and in order to exorcise those feelings, Otto -- strapped into a prison gurney -- gets one hand free with the help of Tara, insists that she touch his head, and then he jerks himself off until HE SOBS.
Frankly, it's impossible to do justice to the sequence with words alone, so here are a couple of screenshots that also fall well short of conveying the true ickiness of the scene.
Now, a normal person -- who has just witnessed a revolting prison inmate rub himself into a weepy fruition -- would probably go home and take seven showers. But not Tara: She goes home, kisser her husband, and when he leaves for the night to go out and kill someone, she takes that bottle of perfume -- which, again, smells like patchouli and cum -- dabs a little on herself, and goes to town on her jewel.
The result? Equal parts revulsion, embarrassment for the actress asked to perform this scene, and a full-body cringe so profound that I might have shaken out a few molars.