Sons of Anarchy comes back to FX for Season 5. Three weeks have passed. A new leader sits at the head of the table. The One-Niners have an unsettled score with SAMCRO after Tig (Kim Coates) killed Laroy’s girlfriend, Damon Pope’s daughter. Expect shit to hit the fan.
At Comic Con, FX screened the first seven minutes of Season 5, and it foreshadowed a tumultuous future for SAMCRO. From here on, there are several SPOILERS as we go into the first few minutes – so consider yourself warned.
Season 5 opens up with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) riding at night. There are three bikes behind him, but it’s difficult to discern who else is riding. In the distance, you can see the faint outline of a truck. It looks like the Sons are out on either a guns or drug run. Right away, showrunner Kurt Sutter has established Jax as the new leader. However, it’s surprising that his circle has diminished somewhat. Instead of the full force of our beloved table, we only see four bikers and possibly two others in the truck. I quickly shed a tear for Piney (William Lucking), even if the Sons are riding out with a smaller team – to fly under police radar – Piney will never again be a part of its ranks. It’s also interesting to see that Jax leading an illicit run, after last season’s run in with Romeo (Danny Trejo). Jax is keeping everything business as usual, under the close watch of the federal government.
As Jax rides, we hear his internal thoughts, which we later see him logging in a journal. He is savoring the simple joy of riding.
Jax: “Sometimes I forget the rush of that…maybe that’s the lesson for me…to hold on to these simple moments.”
It’s such a peaceful scene that you know something has to go down. We’ve all watched Sons of Anarchy before. Each season’s opening episodes feature something wild or shocking happening. In season 1, Gemma (Katey Sagal) threatened to kill Wendy (Drea de Matteo) if she tried to maintain custody of Jax’s son, Abel. In Season 2, Gemma was raped. Season 3 witnessed Charming’s Deputy Chief Hale getting run over. Season 4’s opening sequence sent Otto (Sutter) on a murder mission, which involved a razor blade in an egg.
After our peaceful scene with Jax, we were presented with thirty seconds of blacked-out footage. Why? Comic Con rules – no explicit sex can be shown. However, we did hear the moaning from Gemma. Sutter later revealed that the scene featured Jimmy Smits having sex with his wife doggy style. In the coming season, Smits will play a Latino gang leader and mentor to Jax.
The next scene was a dolly shot of a bubble bath. Starting with her feet, Tara’s (Maggie Siff) body was slowly revealed. Her right arm was covered in a cast, a result of Clay’s (Ron Perlman) failed attempt on her life. As the camera continued to move, a handgun was revealed. Tara is definitely becoming more like her soon-to-be stepmother, Gemma. The scene gave us a brief taste of the new queen. This isn’t the innocent Tara of Season 1. This is a Tara who is ready to fight back if her life or the lives of her sons are threatened – be it by Clay or anyone else.
In the following shot, we see Jax with Tig and the new Sergeant-at-arms, Chibs (Tommy Flanagan). We also got a clear view of the truck and the other prospects, such as Filthy Phil. It was good to see Tig somewhat back in the Club’s inner circle, even if it was next to his replacement. On a run like this, you would have expected Jax to take Opie and Chibs. However, he’s opted for Tig. Was that by choice or was it a result of the Jax-Opie fall out at the end of Season 4? Regardless, Jax choosing Tig to have his back on the run, instead of one of the other members, shows a gesture of trust in Clay’s former sergeant. Loyalty lines are obviously shifting on a grander scale and always away from Clay.
After showing us Tig with Jax, we got to see Clay – three weeks after Jax spared his life. Clay has become the new Piney. We see him with an oxygen tank, sequestered from the other members in the clubhouse.
Jax and his team head back to town with their haul. Unfortunately, the Niners are waiting to attack the truck. Once Jax and his team drive by, the Niners attack the truck and Laroy torches it, with the Prospects still inside.
Jax, Tig and Chibs come back just in time to pull Phil out of the truck and save the crate with the drugs. Yes, they are still muling drugs. With the truck destroyed, Jax orders his squad to hide the crate so that they can come back to pick it up. The camera pans up and we cut to the opening sequence.
It was an intense seven-minute opening. September 11th can’t come soon enough.
Here are two key points:
- Opie is nowhere to be seen. We’ll spend a few episodes seeing how he and Jax mend their broken bond. We’ll also definitely see some conflict with Clay who lingers in the shadows waiting to reclaim power.
- Gemma is with a new gang leader. That means Jax has a new father figure and Clay has a new enemy.