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Sons of Anarchy Review: Playing with Clay

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Well, this should be interesting.

With the events on "To Thine Own Self," Sons of Anarchy has painted itself into a corner.

Can Clay Morrow really survive to fight, ride and scheme for another season? How can the FX thriller realistically keep this character alive, now that all his secrets and actions are out in the open?

Clay and Romeo

Juice and Gemma know about the Nomads. Chibbs and Bobby are up to date on Tara and Piney. Jax is more obsessed than ever with outing - and presumably killing - his stepfather.

The CIA gave Kurt Sutter a believable reason to keep Clay around last year, but that blackmail plot has also been foiled. It's certainly not beyond this series to kill off a major character (continue to Rest in Peace, Opie), but it's remains difficult to imagine Clay taking a bullet any time prior to the final season. It's also difficult to imagine him sitting around the SAMCRO table in 2013.

So color me intrigued regarding how this family feud will play out.

That was my main takeaway from an episode that mostly served to set up next Tuesday's Sons of Anarchy Season 5 penultimate episode. There wasn't a great deal of plot movement here, as both Jax and Clay continued their attempts to align players to their side.

The latter reached out to Tig, seemingly unsuccessfully; while Jax used less subtle and more threatening means of dealing with his mother and Juice. But it looks like it will all come down to Bobby. Why would he possibly intervene and save Clay?

We may find out more next week, but what we already know is enough to make this a reasonable maneuver. These two go back a very long way. And Bobby has grown disenchanted at Jax's renegade side over the past couple episodes, highlighted by his breaking SAMCRO's ties with the Grim Bastards on "Crucifixed."

I buy that he'd swoop in to rescue Clay, at least from death. He may not think his old pal belongs in the club any longer, but there's enough loyalty and years of friendship here to believe that Bobby doesn't think Clay belongs in the ground, either.

Elsewhere:

  • Tara took that job in Providence... without discussing it with Jax first. Probably not her best move. I'm all for her packing the kids and getting the heck out of Charming, but she had the right idea at the outset of the episode: be open, be up front and appeal to her husband's rational side.
  • Donal Logue debuted as - I'd have to guess - someone connected to the dead nurse, who now has it out for Otto and Tara. As a TV critic, I am now contractually obligated to urge all readers to go purchase Terriers, as we all wonder how this menacing man will make his presence felt in Charming.
  • Poor Nero. He was directly involved in both my favorite scenes this week: first proving he was back by gunning down two former running buddies; and then breaking down on Gemma's doorstep when he learned the killings were unnecessary. What a terrific addition to the season.

So that's where we are heading into the penultimate episode. Will Jax's focus on Clay's fate threaten both the club and his marriage? Will Gemma end up with Nero? Will Tig side with his new boss or his old? And will Juice ever catch a break?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

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

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People, Jemma was approx. 6 months pregnant when she married JT. Clay was not in the picture as Jemma's love interest. Why do we want Clay to be Jax father? Watching the next to the last episode I"m a wreck. I don't want anything to happen to Jax, I want Tara to stay in Charming and stand by her man. Wendy, I think Jax should have given her a HOT SHOT early in the series. She walked away from her son now she wants to be mother of the year, I say kill her, alas Jax only shoots her up with enough junk to turn her back on to drugs.

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Lee toric, the new guy, is also a US marshall. Hence the reason he got into prison with the guard watching and beat otto up a bit

Jaxs-girl

Everyone has made some interesting points. I never thought Tara would die this season or any other season, but now I'm not so sure. Y'all have got me thinking.
Clay will probably be around until season 7. Him and Gemma. I want her to be with Nero, but he may die too. I felt for him Tuesday night. I think he really cares for Gemma.
I hope Jax doesn't lash out at Bobby for talking to Clay. He's still looking out for Jax.
No one has said anything about this, but I'm ready for Otto to die.

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All I can think of is poor blind Otto, never knowing/seeing who is in the room with him & what they're gonna do.....so how the hell can this no one, who is probably NOT on Otto's viviting list, get in there too him unless this is a facility wide scxheme to "get Otto"? Jax & Tara? May they both go down hard.

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could Donal be Jax dad?

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So happy Donal Logue is back on my screen. I also assumed he is connected to the dead nurse. Which is his sister in real life, and also played his sister on Terriers (I have to second the critics suggestion that if you havent seen Terriers you need to ASAP!). Can't wait for the final episodes.

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Hmmmmm if I was Jax I'd get sanctions on Clay, get Clay to kill pope and then off Clay... boom... Sons are 50 million richer... a LOT of open things so far...
Charming Heights project...
Clay...
Juice...
Who really IS Nero...
The hooker Jax PRETENDED to have killed...
Opies kids...
Tig...
What ever happened to Sobel...
Tara...
I could keep going.... GTT

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Jax is going to be Clay's son . Tara will not be killed because that would turn jax in to and all out killer..
I believe at the end of this show Jax will be sitting at the table with his two boys and Tara reading his bio ...

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That's the same thing I told my husband last night, after the episode was over. Donal Logue had to be the brother of the nurse that got killed by Otto. DL is a great actor. Tara better watch her back! I'm thinking that with all this stuff about those birth cert., Jax is gonna turn out to be Clay's son. I HOPE NOT. Especially, now- with the next episode titled "Darthy". I'm surprised Juice wasn't killed off last night. And Bobby is right- he's trying to keep Jax from turing out like Clay. Tig will probably blow Pope away (and maybe die doing it). Annddd... this episode was 90 min. long. Can't wait till next week!

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The nurse was billed as "Pam Toric." Donal Logue billed as "Lee Toric."

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