Disclaimer: I’ma be spoling the hell outta these episodes with these recap/reviews, so consider yourself warned!
With the cancellation of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s evil twin drama, Ringer, I’ve gone back to the belief that there is nothing good on television except for FX’s Sons Of Anarchy. It is Shakespeare with bikers, and I’ve loved every season of it thus far. Say what you want about last season’s Deus Ex Machina, where the heads of the Galinda drug cartel turned out to be CIA assets, who need for Jax to keep the Sons’ deal with the Irish intact. And it’s the only reason Jax hasn’t gutted Clay like a pig, even after discovering that Clay had his father killed.
As the fifth season opens, Jax, now at the head of the table, finds himself still facing opposition from the Niners gang, after Tig had accidentally killed gang leader LeRoy’s girlfriend. A girlfriend who also happened to be the daughter of old-school gangster, Damon Pope. The poor shave and a haircut aside, I’m looking forward to more of this character, and I love seeing Harold Perrineau playing him. I’ve always liked him as an actor, but he always had this reputation of playing the cool/weird/lovable black guy in movies and television, especially in the short-lived cop comedy, The Unusuals. Here, the man is cold as ice, and you never know what he’s gonna do next!
But beyond all that, SAMCRO is going through a lot of changes. Members from the nomad chapter have joined the ranks, Opie has left the club for a second time, and with the release of Bobby Elvis, Jax decides that he should be the new VP. And then there’s Clay. Physically, he may never fully recover from Opie shooting him, and needs to carry around an oxygen tank at all times. Ironic that he’s essentially become the new Piney of the clubhouse! You’d almost feel sorry for him if he weren’t such a murderous, backstabbing, wife-beating, asshole! And clearly, Gemma could care less about his apologies, having moved on to having drunk/high blackout sex with Jimmy Smits’, Nero Padilla. I notice Kurt Sutter didn’t direct this episode, but I’m sure there were thoughts in his mind about how this scene was gonna go down, considering the fact that Katy Segal is his wife. But I have to say, it was nice to see Wanda De Jesus’ fine ass in this episode, playing Smits’ business partner.
But what really sold the episode for me, were two out-of-nowhere gut punch moments that make it clear that Sutter and Company ain’t playin’ around this season:
1) As Jax settles into his role as president, Clay makes a shocking admission to the entire club, that he killed Piney, and that Opie shot him. Of course the circumstances of the killing were a complete fabrication, but it was a ballsy-as-fuck move on Clay’s part. The man has nothing to lose, and it makes him that much more dangerous of a character to Jax. I love his response when Jax confronts him about the admission: “I’m all out of plays. . . . What’s your play, son?” And it’s actually a fair question, when you think about it. What IS Jax’s play. He thinks he’s got the whole story on his dad’s death, he’s in deep with Galindo and the Irish, and Opie, his right hand man, 100 grand, has lost all trust in him. And if things weren’t bad enough, Jax and Tig are wanted in regards to that highway shooting near the end of season four.
But then there’s. . . .
2) With Tig getting caught by Damon Pope, who certainly still has revenge on his mind, despite not caring for how the Niners chose to handle things. Pope doesn’t just want to kill Tig. That’d be too easy. So imagine Tig’s horror when Pope opens up a pit full of dead Niners, including LeRoy, and sees one of his daughters, Dawn, inside. It’s so tense to watch this scene play out, as Dawn, still alive, is doused with gasoline, Tig thrasing around while tethered to a drain pipe by a chain, tearfully pleading with Pope to let her go. Enough time passes for viewers to wonder if it’s just a play for Pope to get Tig under his thumb, maybe, only to watch as his takes one last puff of his cigar, before tossing it into the pit. It’s easily one of the more graphic deaths we’ve seen on the show, and you can’t help but feel for Tig, having to lose his daughter like that, and having to watch. If there’s one thing I want to see a lot of this season, it’s a real focus on him as character. This man’s got two botched assassinations on his record, and is dealing with Clay confessing to killing Piney. His loyalty to the club, and specifically Clay has taken him down a dark road of pain, and it would be interesting to see how the writers deal with him handling things.
All things considered, I’m definitely looking to see how Season Five progresses. Things are about to get very interesting for SAMCRO.