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Sons of Anarchy Review: Life Isn't Beautiful

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Give Jax Teller credit for this: he's no longer in denial.

The SAMCRO President fully acknowledged his new dastardly ways on "Darthy," embracing them as a matter of fate and responsibility: "The gavel corrupts," he told Bobby. "You can't sit in this chair without becoming a savage."

Of course, he uttered this dark line just minutes after writing to his children that he was determined to make them "proud," that he will no longer be a coward… or a killer… or a fraud. He will be the man his "father tried to be."

So much for that vow. 

Pope and Jax

Jax has lost sight of everything, living and breathing solely to bring Mr. Mayhem down on Clay.

Such revenge-fueled rage is blinding him to the well-being of his club and his family; he might as well take Pope's advice at this point and scratch that visceral itch however he can. With the Irish deal gone very south, and an ex-U.S. Marshal on Tara's case, and Wendy seeking to take custody of her son, and Tig promised to Pope within 24 hours, every area of Jax's life is in disarray.

Does anyone really think he's in the state of mind right now to handle any of it?

Jax's idea of a "beautiful life" used to include leaving SAMCRO behind and settling somewhere with Tara. Now, it's sticking a needle in ex's arm and taking every violent, extreme measure possible to stay one step ahead of those looking to bring him down. There's very little long-term thinking going on here, as Bobby rightfully pointed out.

With Jax growing darker and more desperate by the minute, Clay was left to simply wallow. For a bit, at least, before making new plans of his own.

Kurt Sutter and Ron Perlman have done an outstanding job on Sons of Anarchy Season 5 of humanizing the ex-President, of adding depth to someone who last year was as cold and calculating as it gets. I don't necessarily feel bad for Clay, I will cheer very loudly when Jax eventually takes him out.

But I buy the crying scene soon after he lost his patch. I was invested in the look of despair on Clay's face when Happy blacked out his SAMCRO ink. Clay is no a cartoon villain. He's evil, yet he's legitimately hurt and lost at this point.

How will the show believably keep him around when he's no longer a member of the club? And might Tig join forces with him after all, assuming Pope doesn't actually kill him? No politics, no beef, just money. That can be awfully enticing to some folks.

Elsewhere:

  • Nero continues to be the coolest hombre in SOA history. He's back in the game and he's aligning himself even deeper with Jax and, in a very different way, with Gemma. Sadly, I don't see him surviving the finale.
  • The show has done such a stellar job of molding Clay this season that I legitimately don't know when he's being sincere or when he's playing a game. Did he really give that gun to Juice as a no-strings-attached thank you? Or is he continually working an angle?
  • Run, Tara. Just grab up those cute kids and make a run for it.

So this is where we stand with one episode remaining: Jax is on the war path. Clay is plotting a run to Belfast. Tig has been promised to the enemy. The Irish are after SAMCRO. Guns are being run, drugs are being traded and the man in charge of it all is out of control.

Will Season 5 conclude with Jax living up to the pleas of his father? Or truly becoming the guy he wants to kill?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (125 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Toric is retired mars-hell for a section 8 see the drugs and guns in his room. Wendy too fracken bad that was a stroke of genius on Jax's part finally Soa is coming up to the level of Walter white of breaking bad, this man knows how to fracken protect his family. Tara will be going to jail, someone is going to tip off the authorities of her true reason for volunteering and I tuely suspect momma gem-ma least we all forget lady Macbeth helped to kill her first husband and did the same thing to Wendy (shoot her or up or smuggle a syringe of drugs)when she was in the hospital because that crazy momma believes at her old age the kids should call her mommy not grandma and wants to screw up their upbringing like she did with her 2 other kids. No way a major character will be killed this is no game of thrones.

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I will not be watching Sons after the episode tonight...I never thought Jax would go against Tara. I hope Gemma gets everything she deserves! I have watched every episode of Sons, but it is over now.

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Jax,Jimma,Tera all know Clay killed his O'l man even the x sherriff.Jax is dead set on clay meeting Mr. Meyham! He told Juice to get them papers. Juice has failed so far.Juice will crack tonighte! Clay giving him Jax dads gun is just setting him up as a trator in Jax eyes. Clay will tell him to come to Ireland with him and Tig.Jax will take Tig to the drop off place. Jax will either shoot Tig himself or Pope will.Jax will ask him why he killed Opies wife! Tig will be in a no win situation. Clay brought in a nomad the sayso brother of the murdered nurse to kill Tara. So it looks like Clay had nothing to do with it.All shit will blow back on Clay in the end.Jax lead the Chinese to the feds so the Rodrico murder goes away because of Bobbys involvment with Ottos wife. Bobby just does'nt relize it yet. Jax is set tonighte to play his cards! Just hope Nero is not caught in cross fire. He killed one of his own because of he thought they had Jax,Nero said you want me back! I am BACK!!! SHOULD BE GOOD TONITE!
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I have said to a few of the people that Jax is becoming Clay, but he is not there yet. We saw him do a awful thing to Wendy. Even though I don't like her, I can't support him doing that to her. But that was not his complete turn to darkness. Kurt Sutter said that at the of the season Jax will make the decision about what kind of leader he want's to be. I think whether or not he gives up Tig will be that decision. If he doesn't give up Tig then he has decided to be like his father or become a president in his own form. But if he does give up Tig without the club's knowledge then he has decided to become like Clay.

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What about that promo at the beginning of the season where it showed what looked like Jax running his bike off a bridge. That hasn't happened yet so will that be the cliffhanger next week?

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What is the deal, has everyone forgotten that there are documents implicating Jemma in the death of JT? Hasn't it been implied that Clay was just doing her bidding? OK, I love Clay, cannot imagine the show without him, and really want to see him redeemed. His actions have not been worse than others in the club and he has now acknowledged his wrongdoing. No one in the story-line is without blame, except maybe Juice. Seems his problems only started when he was threatened with the club being told of his black father. Yet another "black mark" on SAMCRO. I really want to see Jemma & Clay reconciled and end up as the extremely flawed, but well suited couple they are. The sooner Nero is gone the better!

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We all have our theory's, don't we? With that said, I think Pope will die by Jax's hand (or Pope's right hand man-re: the talk between him and Jax), Tara will take the boys and high tail it to Providence, Tig won't get killed; at least not by Jax's hand, Clay will end up in Ireland, starting his own chapter of the club, Gemma will stay with Nero- but it won't be a happy ending (I wish, since Jimmy Smits is a great addition to the show)and Tara will probably end up killing the US Marshall. So we can all guess- it's all up to Kurt, who by the way, is an excellent writer. And I, too, don't like the dark side of Jax.

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It all depends on how much longer Sutter wants to do the show. You can kill clay off and villains and bad guys are a dime a dozen. If Sutter wants to wrap up SOA anytime soon you keep Clay just for the conflict inherent in his character. Jax will never sell out Tig to a brother. Period .aint happening!! Clay will enact some justice on Juice. He knows he tinkered with the heating vent. I'm sure you could go a whole season with the nurses brother trying to enact justice on the club for her death.he has lethal potential. There's no going back to the cartel. As for the Irish. With them it's all about money, they can be bought. Oh we'll wait til next week

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Jax has lost his soul. I'm not on his side anymore. A sad day. Who, or what, is he fighting for? He has killed--or has plans to kill--just about everyone in the MC. Clay got off easy with Happy blacking out his ink, the excommunicated member responsible for Opie's arrest got the blow torch and Clay gets that?

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I think Jax will use Tig against Pope, then go off to Belfast with Clay after Gemma turns him down. I think Bobby will participate with Jax, and some Popes men to intimidate or off the US Marshall. Clay may work with the Marshall to underhandedly bring Otto down and the club down with Rico. Jax wont keep Juice because he can't trust him with Clay, he will go some how heroic. Maybe saving Clay. with Tig and Juice gone. Gemma and Nero will be together, him and his men will get deeper in the club. They wont charge Tara and she will get a backbone leave Jax and take the boys and the new job.