SAMCRO is back in their 5th season of Sons of Anarchy on FX. This year, Jax is now at the head of the table leading the club. How did the premiere ride out?
Season 4 was no cake walk for SAMCRO. A bulk of the club had to adjust to the new law enforcement in Charming after their 14 month stint in prison. Throughout the entire last season, Jax kept crying about wanting to leave the club. The club was also running drugs for the Mexican Cartel. The biggest story arc though was the letters from Maureen creating static between Jax/Clay/Piney/Gemma/Tara. This story leads to Clay putting a hit out on Tara, beating Gemma and eventually killing Piney which pushed Opie to put Clay in the hospital. OH, and there was a U.S. Attorney putting together a RICO case against SOA.
After all that and some other things, season 4 ended with Bobby in prison, the RICO case being put on hold (due to CIA-backed cartel dealings), Tig accidently killing Laroy’s girlfriend (who is the daughter of Damon Pope – the most powerful gangster in Oakland) and Jax demoting Clay as president and taking the head of the club table.
The episode opens showing what everyones up to. The club is doing a run while Jax is also writing a book for his sons (much like JT did for Jax), Clay has become the Piney of the club and Gemma is getting nailed by a “business man” after a crazy night.
We move over to a memorial ceremony for Piney so the club (minus Clay) can say goodbye. We get our first look at Opie, still rather sore over the whole Clay/Piney situation. He is also isn’t happy with Jax’s new leadership role and is unsure if he wants to stay in the club.
Once Gemma arrives home we see Clay getting his stuff and moving out. Clay is broken down, heart broken and a scared old man. It’s definitely a “how the mighty have fallen” scene. Later in the episode we see that he is SO weak that he can’t hold his bike up.
Jax and the CIA Connected cartel leader Romero Parada have a chat and we see Bobby arrive home from jail. Then find out there’s a possibility that the 1-9ers have been breaking into homes of people connected to SAMCRO. After Bobby’s homecoming we get our first eye full of Damon Pope who is getting into a deal with the Cartel. Pope has also had Laroy killed and promoted a guy named Darnel to lead the 1-9ers which doesn’t last long (there was also a Spider-man reference which made me chuckle).
When we finally get into The Chapel, we see the club all together minus Opie. The club votes in some nomad new members (one of which is actor Chuck Zito) while Clay tells the club he killed Piney, but makes up a story on how/why. He also let’s everyone know that the 9ers didn’t shoot him but it was Opie that sent Clay to the hospital. This makes Tig mad because he went after the 9ers in retaliation which lead to the death of Damon Pope’s daughter.
Tig’s un-happiness continues to grow as Pope gets ahold of Tig…and one of his daughters. Pope forces Tig to watch his daughter burn alive and we witness the first Oh Shit moment of season 5. It was very tough to watch.
Jax gets some news from Unser that witnesses have fingered Jax, Tig and Chibs. With the heat on, those 3 plus Gemma hit the road to get away from the law. They head over to Gemma’s new one-night-lover’s place to lay low and figure out their next move.
The episode wraps with its usual montage with Tig mourning his daughters death, Ope posting his bike for sale and Tara dealing with being left with the kids. Finally it ends with some masked men breaking into Unser’s house and whooping his ass. One man was rocking a prosthetic ankle/leg. We are to assume this belongs to one of the newly voted-in Sons Greg “the Peg”. Let’s hope things don’t pan out well for him.
Conclusion: Kurt Sutter and his team put together a VERY strong episode to start the 5th season. It was packed with sex, violence and a great story continuing from the previous season. I was kinda “meh” on season 4 but it appears that entire season was build up to get Jax to the gavel and continue to what I hope is a great season 5.
With what we’ve seen so far, there are already new lies already being developed (Clay’s story about Piney and Jax…and only Jax…knowing that Romero is connected to the feds). Jax definitely has a rough road ahead of him. I’m intrigued to see how Tig will retaliate against Pope. Especially if some sort of deal is struck between Pope and The Cartel. Lastly, how will the attack on Unser unfold?
With the preview of the upcoming weeks, it looks like Jax and crew will be going back to jail and we will continue to see the power struggle between Tara and Gemma. Also looks like Opie is not going to be getting out of the club as easily as he may think. I am also looking forward to Joel McHale’s appearance in the coming season.
This episode has me excited for the rest of the season. Hoping it keeps going up!!!