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Sons of Anarchy Review: The Wrong Choice

by at . Comments

You made the wrong choice.

These may not have been the final words Opie ever uttered to Jax, but they will be the ones that weigh on the conscious of his best friend forever.

Yes, Sons of Anarchy lost one of its own on "Laying Pipe." In brutal fashion. In dramatic fashion. And in a fashion that will clearly change Jax Teller forever.

A Final Walk

Before breaking down how this fatal beatdown will affect Jax and SAMCRO, let's take a moment and acknowledge the work of Ryan Hurst through the years. A brooding, silent enforcer, Opie was in so many ways the heart and soul of the MC.

For an in-your-face, action-packed drama, Hurst played him quietly and perfectly. He was a menacing presence, an actor that could convey emotion without saying a word.

Why kill off Opie now? Why not just bid him farewell at the conclusion of Season 4 when circumstances aligned to logically have him walk away from the club? First, because that's not who he is.

But second, because this is Jax's journey. He made the decision to keep Clay alive, to keep the Sons involved in the gun trade, to line up the dominoes that eventually felled his closest ally.

It will be fascinating in the coming weeks to see how he responds. Will the guilt weigh him down? Not if his closing actions are to be believed. One can read his deal with Pope as a long con Jax is plotting, one that requires the presence of Tig by his side; or one can read it as Pope himself did:

To rise to true and absolute power, feelings must be shoved aside and machinations must always be considered. Jax seemingly saved Tig to assure himself of a loyal follower. That's not how the club is meant to work, of course. It's a Democracy. But Jax, for now at least, from the brief reaction we've seen so far, is taking Opie's murder as an opportunity to abandon all rules and set out a course for... we have no idea at this point.

From a writing point of view? Sure, this was all a bit contrived. You could practically hear the strokes on Kurt Sutter's computer as he moved the pieces in to place that would set Jax off on this path.

I questioned last week whether it was really believable that a few words from Clay would convince Opie to return to the table. And it was quite the jump to go from his speech to Jax at the cemetery to the 180 of punching Roosevelt out just to get himself imprisoned.

So, yes, the storyline was forced.

But damn if tonight's developments weren't executed brilliantly, from the tense discussions between club members to the slow-motion blow and blood splatter. And damn if every Sons of Anarchy fan out there isn't dying for next week's episode.

Rest in peace, Opie. Say hello to Piney and Donna, will ya?

Elsewhere...

  • Tara/Gemma 2.0/Frankenstein was in full effect, telling off Wendy and threatening her mother-in-law's life. When was the last time Maggie Siff smiled on this series? She scares me.
  • Gemma, though, is almost growing tiresome as a character. Would she really go to Wendy in response to Tara's hard line with the kids? Would she really attack poor Ashley Tisdale? Katey Sagal is so incredible in this role that it's sad to see Gemma becoming so one-note, simply reacting with scorn and bitterness and self-centered violence at all times.
  • It's safe to assume Clay called in a tip and organized the raid of Nero's business. It certainly wouldn't be the most under-handed thing the guy has ever done.
  • Juice got some hilarious action! Bet he's glad that tree branch fell last year now, huh?
  • No word from or about the Nomads, but don't worry: Pope is looking into it.

Overall, a legitimately moving, shocking episode that charts a new course for SAMCRO and its President moving forward. I'll have more to say about it in this week's Sons of Anarchy Round Table, but let's open this up to readers:

What did you think, TV Fanatics? Any final words for Opie?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (300 Votes)

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

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The show isn't the same without ope, they should have gone a different direction, bad bad decision, no point in watching the show now, I'm not the only one of whom feels this way either :(

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I think it was one of the best moments of the whole seasons.
I was wondering how likely is to one comic book of the walking dead written at the exact same time they were shooting the episode. Spoiler ; in the comic Rick ( leader of the good ones as Jax ) has to see with a bunch of friends how a more powerfull enemy kills his best friend in front of him. unable to stop the baseball bate breaking his head one hit after another. And as Jax he convinces his group to aparently submit to this powerfull enemy´s demands and not go to a retaliation war.... isn´t this an extraordinary coincidence?

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Opie was the the best character next to jax. I think that was a huge mistake! The show will never be the same without him. He was the "good" in all the bad. I love the sons n really hate this decision. Bad call!!!!!!!

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Yes this made me made at first, however I read somewhere that Opie or rather Ryan has a extremely sick son outside the show, and being that the filming of this show is a full time job, he had no time to be with his son. So he wanted off. Family is more important... But he will be missed

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Since the beginning of the series, before the club killed his wife and long before the club killed his father, Opie had been a deeply troubled person. He rarely showed any signs of warmth to his women, children, or his Samcro brothers. His aura of distrust toward Jax was always disturbing to me. Ryan Hurst played him brilliantly.
As a fan, I was always hoping for some magical 180 degree turn where Opie would open up and become a good friend, good father, and an effective (also punctual) leader within Samcro. I think it was always sort of expected that his character would have a bright future in the club, but as time passed, his luck was always bad(to keep it short). Sparing his own life for Jax was the most realistic approach he could take to accomplish what I wanted from him.

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This is THE WORST..choice they could have made...he was the Best guy on the show..I am so livid....the show is not worth watching anymore.

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I still can't get over the loss of Opie but since it's not my show I have to let it go. RIP Opie!!! I obsessed about it, researching why, if it was faked, etc.I hope Ryan knows how many people loveddd Opie! I think that Gemma & Nero are awesome together and I hope they hookup per say....Bringing Wendy back does not make me happy either, lol.

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Can everyone stop bitching and complaining. Your not going to watch the show because your favorite character got killed? Are you kidding me? Why did they do this to Opie? Its a freaking scripted TV show. The plotlines are written well in advance of you seeing the episode. Just enjoy the show if you are a fan and shut the hell up!

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Mr. Sutter? Absolutely brilliant! I hope that
evilpepsi is right with this Hamlet and Opies ghost and all. That would be sweet! Everyone...just kick back and enjoy the ride. Ope, you were the man...R.I.P.

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ej wright your obviously not a true fan i literally shed tears watching ope die and to just drop the show cause he died is dumb as fuck...you knew someone was dying we all hoped it wasnt opie but opie is a man and did everything for jax even giving his life you should respect that and continue to watch an amazing show...for ope