It’s been a week since we all survived the brutally intense season 5 premiere of Sons of Anarchy. How did you all handle it? I’m still recovering. Just seeing the “previously on” segment before episode 2, “Authority Vested,” got me all worked up again.

But with this man sitting at the head of the table, I’m feeling a little bit better. Click on through for our thoughts (spoilers!) on the second episode of the season.¬†

While once again, this episode had a lot of turmoil, that’s not what will stand out to me. It’s the relationships. Those moments of bonding, whether tension filled or not, ¬†really brought the episode home.

Unser called Clay (Ron Perlman) and the cops after his beat down at Gemma’s. Turns out the only thing stolen was the safe. Later we see the three new members of SAMCRO dumping the safe, but they have what was inside – legal documents like birth certificates. Why? What’s their angle? I am flummoxed. That’s right. I used that word. But, given the recent activities, everyone seems to think it was the One-Niners (what the guys hoped would be assumed, I’m sure) that beat up Unser (Dayton Callie) and broke into the homes of other SAMCRO families. Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) pointed out that people don’t seem to like SAMCRO. I loved Clay’s “We’re an acquired taste” response. Even if he is awful, sometimes I still love that guy.

This did lead to one good moment, getting back to the relationships on the show, Unser and Roosevelt starting to maybe understand each other a little more. Or, more accurately, Roosevelt understanding Unser. Unser told the current sherriff that he didn’t think it was black guys who beat him up – hard to say that without sounding vaguely racist, huh Wayne? But I’m hoping these two team up because of this suspicion.

The focus of the episode though lay elsewhere. Tig (Kim Coates), Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) are all wanted men. Tig is able to bury Dawn (I think – she is taken out of the trap door either way) and then goes to Nero’s (Jimmy Smits) with the help of the rest of the gang. He is broken. Actually, broken doesn’t even really begin to describe it, and watching him go find Fawn to let her know about her sister and try to get her to safety – it’s heartwrenching. I had to focus on the shelf of VHS tapes behind Jax and Chibs to take my mind off it. They had Tin Cup as part of their collection, by the way.

Meanwhile, Jax and his new VP Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) are working with the lawyer, with some help from Tara (Maggie Siff), about what to do about the warrants. The basic idea – get some help from Romeo (Danny Trejo) to be safe on the inside and turn themselves in. And that’s the path they take, with one small step in between. Jax and Tara get married.

Oh, this sequence of events brought me so much joy. The way Jax proposed – to get married while he was wanted for murder and hiding out in a brothel – it was oddly brilliant.

“I’m all about the fairy tale, baby.” – Jax

These two are the heart and soul of the show, and I always worry their relationship will suffer, but here, in a brothel, they get married and are stronger than ever. And it also leads to maybe a thawing between Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Tara. When Gemma finds out about the marriage, awkwardly enough via the lawyer who drops of the legal paperwork at the garage, she doesn’t over react and try to sabotage things. She gives Jax a stern look and then gives Tara her and JT’s wedding rings. Yeah, I cried.

This trio – Jax and his two women – are such an awkwardly balance group and the way Kurt Sutter finds balance there in those scenes is nothing short of poetic. Much like the Irish blessing Chibs gives the newly married pair, which was just another example of why Chibs is the best. (Highlighted also by him shoving the poor judge out of the way so he could have his moment.)

But I think my favorite relationship in the episode was the budding friendship (maybe?) between Jax and Nero. Their side trip together was a perfect look at Jax as a leader. He admired Nero’s love for his boy who was sick. And then also admired Nero’s brass balls as he played a game of chicken with the One-Niners who were following them.

“I don’t get out much,” -Nero’s explanation for his crazy behavior.

But as the two leaders of crews talked about how they run their clubs and handle the blowback from it, I could see Jax finally feeling a moment of being able to just breathe. Brilliant acting by the pair of them.

Where does the episode end up? Well, like I said, Jax, Chibs and Tig are turning themselves in. But Opie, after a tension filled bonding moment with Clay, realized he had one place he needed to be – by Jax’s side. So he punched Roosevelt and made his way onto the truck heading to County. A well-intentioned move, but maybe not a great one since it turns out Romeo now thinks Jax and SAMCRO are more trouble than they’re worth and won’t be providing that protection inside. Of course, Jax and the boys don’t know that yet. Who’s excited for next week!?

While it wasn’t as difficult to watch as the premiere, episode two didn’t hold back on the tension. And we can’t expect anything less from Sons. If these first two eps are any indication, we are in for a lot more heartbreak in the next few weeks. Buckle up, kids.

Find Melissa on Twitter @serrae



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