Looking out my window, I see cloudy, near-autumn skies and a few decaying leaves scattered about the lawn and I can’t help but think that fall is nearly here. It’s my favorite of all seasons for many reasons, one of which is the return of good television. Case in point: Sons of Anarchy has officially returned to Tuesday night.
The end of season 4 left us disappointed that Clay somehow survived being shot by Opie and sad for Jax (but happy for ourselves) that he had been forced, essentially, to stay in Charming and take Clay’s seat as President of SAMCRO due to the surprise reveal (not terribly surprising) that Danny Trejo is really a CIA agent. Oh yeah, and Tig killed the daughter of some big shot gun runner, a leader among the 9ers, the gang he believed to be responsible for shooting Clay. He meant to kill Leroy, the girl’s boyfriend, but hit the wrong person in his blind rage. A seriously bonehead move.
Okay, so now that we’re all caught up, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Season 5 opens up with a healing but still frail Clay, now separated from Gemma who seems to be spiraling downward, since the very first scene shows her drunkenly boning a Hispanic pimp, played by none other than the talented and weirdly charming Jimmy Smits. She’s drinking too much, smoking too much weed and, as always, sparring with Tara, who has opted to put her kids in day care rather than leave them with grandma. Things between Jax and Opie are tense but not totally ruined and Bobby, now released from jail as part of the negotiation Jax has reached with Trejo’s character, is stepping in as VP since Opie is taking a much-earned break from the club. Poor Ope, the man has lost damn near his whole family to the club. I’d have turned my back on them long ago.
Harold Perrineau is another exciting addition to the show as Damon Pope, the man whose daughter Tig killed and one cold, calculating crime lord. Sutter wasted no time setting him up as a true villain; we’re one episode in and already Pope exacted his revenge on Tig by forcing him to watch as his daughter burned to death trapped in a hole in the earth with a few dead, dismembered bodies. Like I said, not a minute wasted.
The episode ends with Jax and Chibbs on the lam from charges of murder and Tara smoking a joint while ignoring her crying child. Me thinks a habit might be in the making. Opie places a “For Sale” sign on his bike and walks away from SAMCRO while Juice and Happy sit idly by. Meanwhile, Unser, who has been taking care of Clay’s pet bird and helping Gemma pack his crap and move him out, is beaten to shit by a few unknown men who’ve broken into Gemma’s house, one of whom wears a prosthetic leg. Hmm.
Yes, the first episode, running an hour and a half in length, has jump-started the season with promises of betrayal, conflict and the usual sex, violence and rock-n-roll. I’ve read before that Sutter has a 7 season story arc planned for the series and right now, at the start of season 5, I can’t imagine what tricks he has in store.
Unsolved mystery: What’s going on with Otto? Did he dodge the death penalty for ratting on Bobby? Only Jax and Bobby (as far as we know) know that he gave Bobby up to the Feds. Have they turned their backs on him? Cut him off from SAMCRO? Hell, is the man still alive?
Body Count = 5: Leroy, Darnell (that poor schmuck who tried to shoot Jax and then took a bullet in the head from the guy who’d instructed him to do so), Tig’s daughter, Dawn, the doctor(?) who’d checked her smoldering remains for signs of life, and Detective Goodman of the Oakland PD.
Favorite line: “Apparently it was a suicide. Climbed into the trunk and shot himself 10 times.” -Bobby Elvis
See you next week.