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Holidaygen and anarchy

What a great combination of subjects, eh?

hp_holidaygen is now open for signups, yay! I had great fun writing mine for last year, because I was assigned characters I don't usually write and thus given a chance to stretch myself a bit. Signup post is here, so go forth and put your name down!

On a totally 'nother note, Mr Psmith has gotten me hooked on Sons of Anarchy. Initially I thought it was pretty awful, like a soap opera only with more guns and a much higher body count, but as I've been drawn in I'm starting to see a sort of epic-ness to it. Some of the episodes, admittedly, are just epic train wrecks that you can't look away from: anything these guys touch seems to disintegrate into a bloody fiasco and nobody tells anybody the truth, ever, under any circumstances. But the last two episodes from Season 4 were classic Greek tragedy.

There's the Hamlet pattern that others have noted all along, of course, with Jax's mother Gemma having married the man who murdered his father, and the audience's anticipation of what will happen when Jax finds out. Tara serves as a more-stable Ophelia, though one could argue that loving Jax has destroyed her life as much as Ophelia's love for Hamlet did hers since in the closing scene of the season finale she's completely given up her former life as a neo-natal heart surgeon in favor of an open-eyed and willing embrace of the Sons' lunatic world of drug trafficking, arms sales and murder. Gemma, who's always been manipulative, shows herself as a sort of Medea, willing to destroy her son if that's what it takes to keep him with her.

Most of all, though, there's Jax. He was ready to leave all of the SoA craziness behind and start a new life, far away, but in the final episode Fate -- in the form of an updated version of the Iran-Contra scheme -- tightens its jaws on him and he can't escape without killing off the club that his father loved and died trying to save. Watching him give up that dream of a fresh start was wrenching; you can sense how trapped he feels, all these chains holding him in a place he tried so hard to leave behind. Technically he makes the choice freely, but the sinister blackmail/strong-arm approach of the CIA demonstrates that, like all tragic heroes, he really has no choice at all once the gods have spoken.

I'm sure there are more analogies that can be made (Piney, for example, nags at me as being an archetypal figure but I can't put my finger on it), and I'd be interested to hear any that others have spotted or conjectured.

So it's turned out to be an interesting ride (no pun intended!), and I'm looking forward to next weekend when Season 5 starts with a whole new set of episodes to probe for classical/mythical allusions :)

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