Kurt Sutter, you devilish bastard. In one fell swoop, you secured Sons of Anarchy Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations. It’s going to be a gritty war to see who gets best drama between Breaking Bad and SOA, but rest assured you deserve your time to shine. Sadly, all great victories come with a cost.
Today, we wave goodbye to Piney, a character who has been played brilliantly by William Lucking this season and in seasons past. He’s the heart of the club. Piney is the wise moral compass and voice of reason that keeps the club from falling apart. He doesn’t need a lot of scenes, just a few moments of poignant speech and action to show us where the club is going if it doesn’t take a moment to reevaluate where it has been.
Sadly, Clay (Ron Perlman), the ignoble leader of SAMCRO, decided it was time to end Piney’s life. Clay stripped Piney of his shotgun and put a solid round in Piney’s chest. Unlike Juice’s (Theo Rossi) “cliffhanger” suicide at the end of Episode 4.7, “Fruit for the Crows”, Piney is most assuredly dead. Clay stuck around to make sure of it.
Now, Opie (Ryan Hurst) is truly alone. First, he lost Donna (Sprague Grayden) and now his father, both to Clay’s bloodlust. When Clay dies, and he must or my skin will crawl ever time I see him, Opie needs to be the one to do it. He killed Stahl (Ally Walker) as revenge for Donna’s death. Clay should be next. Unfortunately, Clay has drawn the letters “LS” on Piney’s wall. So the club will assume that Lobos Sonora, the Galindo cartel’s rivals, murdered one of the Redwood Originals.
“I love you pop, I’m with you on this.” Opie to Piney
Opie and Piney made peace after the punch seen and heard round the world. I’m sure no one can forget how upset Piney was when Opie’s porn star fling resulted in a gun being pulled on Tara (Maggie Siff) and Gemma (Katey Sagal). Piney’s son said that he was with his father on the vote against Clay. Then, the vote to change the MC gavel was conveniently interrupted by Lobos, when the rival cartel dumped a few Tuscon bodies on SAMCRO’s doorstep.
When the Sons disbursed, Opie told Piney, “We need you.” It was the last words Opie to his father.
Although Clay is a snake, there is no denying that he is a smart, duplicitous one. He publically initiated Elliott Oswald’s (Patrick St. Esprit) move towards the mayoral seat. The two gave a joint donation for $75,000 to save the gardens that Roosevelt’s (Rockmond Dunbar) wife was protecting. Yes, the move was geared at stopping Hale’s bulldozers. However, it was also a way to position Clay for life after the club. Maybe he won’t be able to ride, but by having Oswald, the potential mayor, in his back pocket, Clay will end up with even greater influence. Needless to say, Roosevelt will have to rethink his playbook against the Sons moving forward.
I also have to point out how hypocritical Clay was in his dealings with Oswald. He said that he “wants his town back”. In earlier seasons he was against drugs and meth. He actually took down facilities that sprang up in Charming. Now, he’s all about the drugs. In actuality, he’s the one changing Charming.
With Piney dead, Tara is next on Clay’s radar. Thankfully, she’s leaving to Oregon for a conference and possible job opportunity. She wants to get away from the killing. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) was supportive of the move. I have to wonder how Clay’s recent actions will affect his relationship with Gemma. The two stood at odds on how to deal with Tara. Also, Gemma and Tara have developed a much closer bond. It’s been great to watch the two. Tara wants to live the life of a club old lady, but not if it means putting her children in harms way. That is one thing she did not sign up for.
As a closing note, I have to say that the Tuscon head in the chili was the funniest scene from the episode. Watching the police officers gobble it up was a subtle F.U. to law enforcement.
What does the future hold for SAMCRO? More deaths. I hope that no one else in the club gets killed, but with Juice still suicidal and Bobby making a play for the gavel, the proverbial shit will continue to hit the fan.