Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy has been quite the blood bath, hasn’t it? And that didn’t slow down in the slightest with this week’s episode, “Small World.”
But it was the quiet moments, like the one above with Maggie Siff and series creator, Kurt Sutter, as Tara and Otto, that always stand out to me. Let’s go over the craziness inside…
So, let’s see… the body count today was four? I guess you can make the argument that it was only 3 because Rita (Merle Dandridge) died somewhere in the few hours between last week ending and this week beginning, but that’s just semantics. I have to say, I almost didn’t see that death coming. I thought maybe they’d just lose the baby and she’d lose her uterus and the ability to try again. But this, while tragic, is a better story because it really has sent Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) off the deep end. He is sure this has SAMCRO written all over it, and wasn’t afraid to almost kill Bobby (Mark Boone Junior), Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) to get that point across. Things are going to get scary for Jax. And boy will he be angry when he finds out that it was, in fact, SAMCRO doing these break-ins!
Meanwhile, Jax had quite the day leading up to his encounter with Roosevelt. In order to prove he was there for Jax, Pope (Harold Perrineau) gave Jax the name and address of the prison guard who was placing bets on Opie’s death. I’m kind of obsessed with these “Jax as President” scenes. Whether it is in the car, learning lessons of how to be the man in charge from Pope. His bonding with Nero. Jax’s ability to sit at the head of the table and deal with is crew (although that didn’t go as well with the new expanded drug business Pope is bringing in). Or, my favorite scene of the night, when Jax is meeting with the other presidents of the other crews and then ends the meeting with “Let’s do this more often. I miss you guys.” Best. President. Ever.
Anyway, moving on to the killings… The scenes in the guard’s house were chilling. I’m glad they made a point of saying he had no kids, because otherwise it would have been too much. Tig (Kim Coates) has always been a bit broken, so when he killed the wife who wasn’t even supposed to be there, I wasn’t too surprised. It was what it was. But when Jax said “find me a pipe” in order to kill the guard… woah, boy. That made my spine tingle.
This season seems to be about shocking the audience as much as possible each week. We saw TWO women have their brains blown out in fairly graphic detail this week. I’m not sure how I feel about that aspect of the season – it almost feels like they are trying too hard to be edgy. But I kind of forget all of that in the small moments like when Jax sits down with the snow globe he used to bash in the guard’s head (there was no pipe to be found). His face portrayed so much – relief, anger, sadness, frustration, horror. Yet he barely moved. And once again the music director on Sons proved his worth. Rarely does a show use music so well as this one. Even when that music is just the quiet and simple melody of a snow globe providing the subtle score of a horrifying scene. In fact, especially when it’s the snow globe music. I was in awe of the power of that moment.
But Hunnam wasn’t the only one able to show off his skills this week – Katey Sagal made another play for some awards with some amazing work in a roller coaster of scenes. Her scenes with Tara were gorgeous as she clearly worked hard to make this one relationship that controls all the other relationships that matter to her work out. Then there was the scene with Nero (Jimmy Smits) and Carla (Wanda de Jesus). Wow. I think we all knew Carla was crazy, but who knew Carla was ca-ray-zee? Those scenes, again meant to provide shock I think, but were best at their subtlest. Gemma dealing with a broken Nero and having to call Clay – it showed just how strong, yet weak, she is.
And then there was her scene with Wayne (Dayton Callie). Oy, what a great speech. Finally, someone tells Gemma exactly how her constant manipulations will lose her everything and everyone because at some point, all those people in her circle will just be done with it. Wayne, often the weakling of the group, has really stood up – perhaps just not caring what happens to him anymore. But will his harsh words help Gemma? Probably not, since we see her take up with that shady Joel McHale at the end of the episode. (YAYYYY!)
In other news, Tara has realized that being involved in club business isn’t always fun and games like lawyer meetings and weddings in brothels. Sometimes it’s getting a job as a prison doc and having a cantankerous ex-SAMCRO member proposition you in order to make him help out the club with the FEDs. Tara didn’t do it. Yet. She told Bobby and Jax it went well and that she would go back and try again next week. It’s okay she lied though, they weren’t exactly forthcoming about their day either. Communication is the key to any marriage.
But let’s end on the least surprising reveal of any show ever. (Exaggeration! But only kind of.) The three guys pulling the break-ins are working under the orders of Clay (Ron Perlman). He was annoyed they killed Rita, but seemed cool if they had just beaten her up. Nice. Clay is continuously the worst, but I guess he gets points for maintaining that personality trait. I completely understand why Kurt Sutter chose not to kill him at the end of last season, but come on… Can we kill him now?
While this season has been difficult to watch at times, I’m so in awe of Charlie Hunnam’s acting, that I almost don’t even notice the rest. I’m always excited to see what he will bring. I look forward to next week as he deals with the fallout of Gemma’s night with the lovely Joel McHale.
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Photo courtesy of FX.