“Don’t worry. I don’t make mistakes. Not like you.” – Nero
The past eight episodes of Sons of Anarchy season 5 have had their fair share of turbulence. Reeling from the events in Season 4, we watched the club shift towards war with Pope. Then, Opie was taken from us and peace was made – if only temporarily. Showrunner Kurt Sutter gave us a chance to breath (funeral), laugh (Walter Goggins with boobs) and wince (Joel McHale as a gigolo and Gemma crashing the car with the Jax and Tara’s boys in tow).
Episode 5.8, “Ablation,” got the season back to the subtle and introspective character moments that made Sons of Anarchy a joy to watch throughout the years.
First, lets address the “shocking” cliffhanger at the end of 5.7. Abel survived the car crash with only a few scratches on his head. Phew. That was close. Sutter does love teasing death at the end of his episodes. Remember Juice last season and the “hanging” scene?
It’s been great to see Tara becoming more assertive. Throughout “Ablation,” Tara repeatedly says, “My babies.” There’s no hesitation in her mind that Abel is her son.
Unfortunately, her dreams of returning to surgery seem to be nothing more than a pipe dream now. Tara is more fighter than healer. She had problems with stitching up Tig before. In “Ablation,” she used her injured hand to punch Gemma. That’s twice this season Tara has turned Muhammad Ali on women who brought injury to her family – each time she’s used her damaged hand as a weapon.
Although Tara has cut Gemma off from her family, Jax’s new plan may give Gemma a chance to get back within the good graces of the new Teller dynasty.
Jax is far from your typical crime family boss. Yes, he wants good, clean money. Who doesn’t? But he has also been developing a nasty habit for murder. Typically, crime bosses like to distance themselves from murder in order to stay clear of the law. This season, Jax has repeatedly shown that he has no problem with pulling the trigger – even though he sits at the head of the table.
In “Ablation,” Jax kills the second shooter who drove Chibs and him off the road. He also chopped off the first shooter’s hands and sent one to Unser (for fingerprints) and the second to Pope (“same request”). Both times, the club members looked at him in surprise. In the case of the second shooter, even Happy looked shocked when Jax killed him. And if something shocks Happy, you know it’s a bombshell.
Jax’s violent streak is a direct result of the loss of Opie. We’re slowly seeing how his best friend’s death has negatively affected him. He may not say it, but the bodies left by his trigger finger more than shows it. Unfortunately, his reckless actions leave him exposed.
Juice comes clean – well, sort of
“You seem a little nervous. I bet you Clay is real curious about our private little conversation right here… our blood bond, we share.” – Eli
“You’re gonna get me killed.” – Juice
“That concern left me when I watched my wife die.” – Eli
Eli’s vendetta with the club may just get Juice killed. Unfortunately, Juice came clean to Clay of all people. Clay will no doubt leverage the truth to keep Juice even closer than before.
“What you shared here makes us even, honest, we’re connected. No one else needs to know.” – Clay
With Eli looking for answers regarding Rita’s death, he’s willing to expose Juice’s secret to Jax as leverage.
Juice is definitely trapped in a bad situation. He’s sided with Clay and he has Eli ready to sacrifice him to Jax. Mr. Teller may be more forgiving (after all he knew about Juice’s suicide attempt), but not if he gets the information from a third party. Also, Juice did kill Miles – a secret now known only to Clay.
Pope vs Nero
As Sutter previously told BuzzFocus, Pope and Nero are leading Jax in two different directions. Despite the past incidents with SAMCRO, Pope wants Jax to stay close. It’s a nice shift in dynamic. Pope respects Jax as a businessman. He could care less about color and cares more about Jax’s intelligence. Jax partnering with Pope gets rid of the whole black-gang/white-biker dynamic. The alliance leaves way for a potential charter change that would allow for black members (ie Juice). However, don’t expect such a neat change.
“You need to accelerate the end game, Jax.” – Nero
Nero, however, wants to end business with Jax. Although Nero brings the promise of more legit money, recent incidents have Nero rethinking his partnership. Frankie Diamonds shot Lyla as a direct result of the club’s internal struggles. Although Nero and Lyla are just starting to work together, Nero still values her as a business partner and takes personal umbrage when she gets attacked. Bullets and nero don’t mix. He also lost close to 200K thanks to Frankie.
– “I want you to be with him, sleep with him, make him feel like a king.” Jax to Gemma, regarding Clay.
I don’t know how the new Gemma spy angle will work out. She has to sleep with the man who beat her just to hang out with her grandkids. How will Nero sit with this? Also, what’s with Jax basically pimping out his mom. How low can you go?
– Will Clay finally die this season? Jax needs evidence to bring him before the club. But there are just too many secrets that can backfire in Jax’s face.
– Will Juice survive the Reaper?
– Sucks to be Chibs. He caught a nasty pistol whip from Frankie.
– Did Frankie need to shoot Lyla in that scene? Probably not. But Sutter loves to spill blood.