Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 5 “Orca Shrugged”
Season 5 of “Sons of Anarchy” has definitely started out strong with many different arcs and tangents for the characters and there has definitely been some surprises, i.e. Opie. Episode 5 sort of hit the brakes for me, it was like a breather episode, and I quite appreciated it as it slowed down and examined more closely where some of these arcs might be headed. Not to say that the drama isn’t still present, come on, there will always be hell to pay when it comes to the Sons.
I do want to touch base on Opie’s death real quick. I know many many fans were outraged, rightfully so, when Opie was killed. From a creative standpoint and in respect for the writing process, I completely understand where the creator and writers were at when they made this decision. Opie was becoming written into a corner sort to speak. The arcs for his character were all leading to a road of suicide. If you stand back and look at the logistics of it, there was only so much more this character could do as a member of SAMCRO. His death was not only inevitable, but necessary to further the creative process for the future of the show. His death was poetic, in the sense that, even though the deaths of not only his wife but his father as well, stained the hands of the entire club, he went out of this world for the good of his club. And I am glad he didn’t commit suicide in the traditional sense because that wouldn’t have done his character justice. This will cause a chain reaction rooted in the heart of the club. From season 1 until the present, Jax has been toying with his father’s ideals of the club. This has rippled throughout all the decisions the club has made and Opie’s death is going to continue to be the rock that ripples from now on. In the back of everybody at that table’s minds will be the idea that their actions have consequences not only for the club members, but for their families as well. This is also going to make club members take a look at the way Clay was running ship versus how Jax will lead as he is now at the head.
In this particular episode, Opie wasn’t mentioned outright, but the remnants of his passing are a strong undercurrent that flow through Jax’s decisions. The club is heavy and cautious and I think as a whole, regretful. Decisions made in the past probably weren’t the right ones, and if they were voted in, the club as a whole is to be held responsible. The truth of the matter is that even if club members don’t accidentally kill your wife, or intentionally kill your father, the fact remains that if you are part of an outlaw motorcycle club, there is no safe play.
I wish people would keep in mind how dangerous it is to be in SAMCRO when they look at Gemma’s character. I think it is because of this truth that Gemma is the strong willed bad ass that she is. Her family is her priority and it is because she truly realizes the gravity of the club that she protects them as hard as she does. Gemma however, is somewhat falling apart this season and it was quite apparent in the beginning of this episode She was looking a mess, straight forward, a hot mess. Gemma has been put through the ringer before and it is because of Katey Sagal’s chops that I think we will see her put through many more ringers. Clay and her are at a stand off this season, which tends to happen when a husband beats the ever living out of his wife. Quick side note, I don’t care how bloated or pathetic Clay is looking, no sympathy vote here. Gemma and Tara are back at each other’s throats, which is so much fun as a viewer to watch unfold. Their relationship is complex and delicious. Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff bounce off of each other so well. Tara is a threat to Gemma more so now because she has become the old lady of the President. Opie’s death was hard on Gemma as well, but in true Gemma fashion she has been the rock for many of the people affected. The one saving grace for this lady is her new love interest played by Jimmy Smits, Nero. But in Gemma’s world the positives are short lived because Jax is making sure that she and Nero are not continuing their relationship. I don’t think Gemma is ever going to catch a break, but writing wise, again, nobody active in the outlaw world is truly going to catch a long lived break. By the way, I love love love the addition of Nero and the potential drama with Gemma.
Jax is very mysterious as of now in the season. He has a lot of card games going and it makes me very nervous. I understand his mystique as we need to watch his arc as President unfold. I don’t think he even knows which direction to rule in when it comes to being a President of SAMCRO. He is smart though and we can see him placing his pawns around the club as well as Charming. Having the Mayor in your pocket will surely help a lot in future dealings but will also create problems, much as what happened with Unser. In this episode, Jax tied down the deal with the Mayor. He did so in a very kinky way which hilarious. It was awkward and dirty, but so fantastic, especially watching Tig being the pervert that he is. The introduction of Pope is another fascinating turn in Jax’s world. This guy is essentially evil incarnate, but a justified evil and I think the best mentor Jax could ultimately have. If only Tig hadn’t killed another wrong woman, they may have gotten off to a much better start, then again, that was the catalyst for Opie’s death, so in the end just great writing.
Tara this season is being set up for some great opportunities within the club. Her hand is healing, which, I will say this, from the writing perspective, she has to have her hand. The Sons do not go to doctors like normal folk. Having a doctor in the circle is a definite asset. Should someone get shot, or bit in the ass, as Tig tends to do, it is vital that no police are contacted, meaning a hospital is out of the question. Ah, but if the President’s old lady is a surgeon, the club can stay underground and go about their business. Part of me wants Tara and Gemma to stop fighting, but at the same time, it’s so important to see their struggles. And the decision to bring Drea de Matteo back as an antagonist is something I have been waiting for. It’s great to see the realistic nature of Wendy, Jax, and Tara’s situation play out. I thought it was a horrible low blow for Gemma to try and give Wendy one up on Tara, but I can see how desperate Gemma is becoming as she is in a sense losing control.
The last thing I want to talk about is the home invasions that are taking place in Charming. This is fantastic story telling in my opinion. There are so many ways to spin this. Some of the home invasions could be copy cats, some could be retaliation, there’s so much to pull from here. Now with Rita Roosevelt being a victim, there is an arc to be developed with Eli. Good cop gone Sons ally? Perhaps. So many directions this could go it’s a great cliff hanger to hold onto this season. Color may play a role in this particular invasion, as color is playing a role in several side stories. The Niners and Pope have a thing going, and Juice is still black. We haven’t heard much about this yet in season 5, but trust me, he is still black and this will definitely come into the foreground eventually, Chibs is the only one that knows he is part African American and eased Juice’s little spirits when he justified that on paper he is not black, thus the club will not hold it against him. Speaking of papers, what was in Clay’s safe that he so desperately needs back? Birth certificates? A marriage license? Hmm…I am beginning to think it wasn’t exactly stolen so much as Clay had some club members take it for safe keeping and only time will tell what is churning in that brain of his. We know Greg the Peg dumped the safe, and kept some papers, my question is did Clay set it up, or are the nomads up to something. This is one of my favorite developing stories. I hope next week we get more of a glimpse and I think we will with Rita being attacked.
Sons of Anarchy “Orca Shrugged” 5×05 HD Promo:
On the Next Episode of Sons of Anarchy 5X06:
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