Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 1
Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy begins with Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam) passing on to his children the single most important thing his father ever granted him: knowledge. As Jax scribbles away in his pocket-sized notebook, wistfully recounting the ways riding equates freedom and matter-of-factly listing what in life may imbue a man with strength, it becomes clear that heavy, indeed, is the head that wears the crown.
Not much time has passed since ‘To Be, Act 2‘ placed Jax (somewhat reluctantly) at the head of SAMCRO. Enough time, perhaps, for bruises to fade and for wounds to begin mending – but, on the whole, the MC remains unaware just how fractured it really is. As a result, Jax finds himself at the bottom of a very large pile of problems that have names like: the IRA, CIA, Galindo Cartel and, thanks to the hotheaded driving skills of Tig (Kim Coates), Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 1
the Niners now have a full-on vendetta with the Sons.
But if season 5 is, as Kurt Sutter suggested, the beginning of Sons of Anarchy‘s third act, then ‘Sovereign’ is truly the beginning of the end. Time and again, it’s been made clear that Jax was always intended to ascend to the throne, but the kingdom he currently overlooks is not the one J.T. Teller had wished for his son. SAMCRO should not have been delivered to Jax in such disarray, and because of that, the first order of business is just maintaining the club’s grip on whatever it has left, while avoiding the plummet into oblivion. So for the Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 1
time being, circumstances mean that it’s going to be business as usual for SAMCRO – with unsanctioned Niners hits on the club’s guns and cocaine shipments thrown in for good measure.
Jax works to convince everyone (even himself) that this is progression – things are headed in a new direction. But really, SAMCRO and all of those caught in the club’s wake are simply in a holding pattern until things miraculously turn around or become even more perilous. Jax, and now his new VP – the recently released Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Junior) – are the only one’s really in the know, Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 1
and even that’s a dubious assessment, considering what little actual knowledge anyone has about their own situation on this show. Sure, Jax has been empowered to act by the realization of what Clay (Ron Perlman) did to his father, and by finding out the CIA’s sponsoring Romeo Parada (Danny Trejo) and the Galindo Cartel, but he still remains in the dark about his mother’s role in J.T.’s death and just how badly Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) wants to see him dead.
And if Jax is making decisions based on too little of the right information, Opie (Ryan Hurst) has ostensibly stepped away from SAMCRO after finding out the truth about Piney’s death and being unable to do anything about it for “the good of the club.” As Opie puts it, he’s not afraid of Jax turning into Clay, he’s afraid of seeing himself turn into Jax: Someone compelled to time and again put his life on the line for a club more or less responsible for the destruction of his family. Opie’s always been something of a wildcard when it comes to the MC. Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 1
He sees the door as swinging both ways, beckoning him to come and go, as his emotional tangents grow as wild and unruly as his hair – which, if he’s not careful is going to result in Opie being taken out by some Bigfoot enthusiast the next time he heads up to Piney’s cabin.
Others, too, are motivated to convey a sense of progression, but to what ends remains unknown. Tara (Maggie Siff) unceremoniously prepares to train her replacement at the hospital, while a broken down Clay strikes a genial, penitent tone with his soon-to-be ex-wife and the club, confessing to Piney’s murder, but (yup, you guessed it) lying about the circumstances leading to his filling the old man’s chest with buckshot. Gemma (Katey Sagal), meanwhile, wakes up in the bedroom of Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits), only to find out he’s Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 1
a pimp – or as Nero calls it, a “companionator” – and that he’s taken with Gemma enough to offer a temporary hiding place for Jax and Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) once things begin to get dicey.