If you watched Sons of Anarchy Episode 4.12, “Burnt and Purged Away”, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, you need to “check yourself”, watch it (twice if need be) and then come back for the discussion.
I speculated in the past that Opie (Ryan Hurst) and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) would team up to tag-team kill Clay (Ron Perlman). The theory is still holding up, just with a slightly different twist than expected.
At the end of episode 11, “Call of Duty“, Opie finally learned that his father was killed. Thanks to Unser (Dayton Callie), Opie also learned that it was Clay who killed Piney (William Lucking).
In “Burnt and Purged Away”, Opie confronted Gemma (Katey Sagal) regarding her facial bruises. Although he was led to believe that Gemma had his best interest in mind by Unser, Opie doubted the truth in Unser’s words. Opie smartly asked general questions regarding Gemma’s bruises. He had to know the truth about Gemma’s involvement and if she was potentially complicit in his father’s murder. If that were the case, then Jax would potentially also be at fault.
All of these thoughts were in the back of Op’s mind when he called Jax to the crematorium to watch Piney’s body get burned to ashes. Jax arrived and hugged a semi-reluctant Opie. Although Opie had invited Jax, he made it clear that he only invited the VP because Piney would have wanted him there. Then, Opie tossed Piney’s leather into the furnace with the body.
Everything seemed like “mourning as usual” to Jax, however, we and Opie knew different. Outside the crematory, Opie pulled his gun on Jax. He accused Jax, stating that Jax knew Clay killed Piney. Subconsciously, Opie knew that Jax could not have known the truth. But, he knew that Jax would stop him from doing what needed to be done. Jax tried to persuade Opie to bring his grievance before the club.
“What table?! You’re out, remember?!” Opie to Jax
Opie put a hole in Jax’s tire. Apparently, Jax’s proposal to bring Clay’s guilt before the table meant nothing to him. And, why should it? If Jax knew the truth about Clay’s involvement in JT’s death or Tara’s (Maggie Siff) attack, Jax would have reacted the same way as Opie.
Back at the club, Clay was waiting, gun in hand, for Opie. Unfortunately for Clay, Opie got the drop on him and pushed Clay’s gun aside. Opie wanted Clay to die with the gavel in hand. Then, Jax showed up. While my words could never match the adrenaline of what happened on-screen, I have to say it was one of the most powerful scenes in Anarchy history.
Hurst delivered, in my opinion, Opie’s most emotional scene ever. There were several great Hurst moments in Season 2, but this one easily trumped them all. Seeing the veins pop out of Opie’s faced as he clutched the gun and pointed it at Donna and Piney’s murderer made me jump out of my seat. Then, I watched it again, just so that I could jump out of my seat again. Jax threatened to “kill” Opie if Op shot Clay.
Opie looked at Jax as if he wanted to say “seriously?” And, then Opie put two slugs in Clay’s chest.
If you jumped out of your seat and threw up your hands with the Touchdown sign, then I was right there with you.
It needed to be done. But, Clay is not dead. The two shots, while deadly, were not “lethal”. Clay can still be saved – for now. Unfortunately, Jax will probably have to shoot Opie to disarm him. Then in the two-part finale, Jax will invariably finish the job. We all know Clay has to die. Opie started the process and Jax will finish it. The tag-team theory will prevail (nod your head if you agree).
“I am protecting what it took me 20 goddamn years to build. That’s what I’m doing.” – Gemma to Unser
If this were Breaking Bad, the episode would have just focused on this one amazing dynamic. However, in SOA, about 10 other things happened that will affect the finale.
Here’s what to look out for:
Galindo is still after Tara. Do you think that she’ll die? In season 1 or 2, I could imagine SOA without Tara. But now, I can’t see the show without her. Tara is necessary. Her involvement adds so much depth to both Jax and Gemma’s characters. Yet, I have no idea how she will be able to escape Galindo. Romeo (Danny Trejo) is convinced that she is a threat. The only way to stop Tara from dying is to kill Romeo and his number two, Luis (Benito Martinez). If that happens, won’t the entire Mexican cartel come crashing down on SAMCRO?
Wait… What is SAMCRO these days?
Otto (Kurt Sutter), aka the SAMCRO Rock, has just betrayed the club,because he thinks the club betrayed him. Thank you, Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon)… now, go eff yourself. I digress. More importantly, Otto is upset because the club did not look out for Luanne (Dendrie Taylor) – his only request after a near decade in jail.
Jax named the new SAMCRO hierarchy. Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) at the top, Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) as VP and Happy (David Labrava) as the sergeant.
Well, that’s out the window. Bobby lies in a jail cell thanks to Otto’s signed testimony.
But, wait. Who’s that in a holding cell right next to Bobby? It’s none other than SAMCRO’s other rat – the suicidal one – Juice (Theo Ortiz).
Somebody please help me. When the dust settles from this amazing season, who will be left to watch in Sons of Anarchy Season 5?
First, we lost Miles (Frank Potter). He was somewhat forgettable. Then, we lost Piney. I’m still beyond upset. Next, Kozik (Kenny Johnson) stepped on a land mine and blew up in the SOA surreal episode “Call of Duty”. I imagine Kurt Sutter was listening to Downing Pool’s “Bodies”/”Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” song when he concocted that exploding-body-parts scene.
So that’s three members dead, one on death row (Otto), and two more members locked up (Juice and Bobby).
We’re going to need a few more members for Season 5. While I’m sure Filthy Phil (Christopher Reed) is a nice guy, I can’t see him replacing any of those members.
Before I suggested that Ron Perlman deserved an Emmy and Golden Globe nod for this season. I still stand by it. However, I neglected to mention that Kurt Sutter deserved Emmy and Golden Globe award nods too. I have been adamantly lobbying for the series to get an award since Season 2 and against the awards committees when the series got shafted. So, I apologize if anyone thought I left that out on purpose.
In closing, “the crow flies straight”. I just have no idea where to come Season 5.
For now, I’m just looking forward to a jaw-dropping two-part finale and I’m hoping that Clay is the only member that dies. Fingers crossed for Tara. And, let’s see what Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) does regarding the Juice situation. He seemed genuinely upset to learn that Juice actually betrayed his club.