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Sons of Anarchy Review: The Wrong Choice

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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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I can see Popes retaliation. His innocent daughter was killed without any provocation from him. It is only necessary that he would want revenge. He didn't start it Clay did. He hadn't been bothering the Sons before . His retaliation is quite extreme but understandable. I don't like Pope but his actions do seem somewhat reasonable for his character.
Although myself I would only want revenge on the person who did it. RIP Opie.
Love Jax he seems to be getting stronger. Love Happy too. And of course all the rest, really like Chibbs too. Don't see enough of him.

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Loved the episode, hated to see Opie go.
Funny as I don't know what to see Tara tell Gemma to put on a scarf, what are you a teenager? Next scene Gemma was wearing the scarf.

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Wow Sutter, wtf? Opie?After 4 seasons and 3 episodes,I am done with SoA.Hands down,my favorite show, but that just killed it for Me.My hat's off to that amazing cast and crew,was a great ride.

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The only way for Clay to stay was for Opie to go I hated it but that was it to bad it had to be niggers who did it Pope will be sucking the end of Jaxs' 9 but the guard he will get the knife

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FFS people his name is CHIBS not Chips. Wtf?

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Stacy is correct, Jax could pick anyone to kill other than Tig, which really made it come down to either Chips or Opie, being that he couldn't have selected himself. In Tigs defense remember the ball was all set in motion by Clay. Tig wouldn't have gone after the Niner's, accidently killing Pope's daughter, had it not been for Clay lying about the Niners involvement. I miss Opie already. I can't wait to see what evil lies behind Nero's smile. He seems like a nice guy, but I know we are in for a big surprise with who he really is and what his endgame will be.

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I have watched SOA from the start. One of the best written shows I have ever watched! Killing Opie off was very emotional indeed. It made me fell angry, frustrated, and shocked! ! But I think Jax felt the same way!! I realized that I was feeling probably how Jax was feeling and I think that was Kurt's intent.... Shock value. Ya I liked Opie but Its kind of the SOA appeal I believe. The unexpected tragic life that they live and the consequences it brings. Opie was the perfect SON to bring out the worst outcome. My hope is that when all is said and done that SOA members change there direction as John Teller really wanted of the club. To get there an ultimate tragic event has to unfold. I think eventually they will get out of this mess and realize that all the lying and deceit needs to end and get away from the outlaw life style. Like the old saying it gets darkest before the dawn! I think the shows appeal really plays on the fact that just when you think it can't get any worse it does!! I only hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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They couldn't kill Tig because the black guy wanted him in jail for life. that was the deal. so I don't think he was an option in the killing.. that show made my stomach hurt. wanted to puke.. not sure why I watch it. it's pretty sick actually.. it has gotten quite dark this year..

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I dont think I will be watching the rest of sons of anarchy this season nor seasons to come. Tig was the logical choice to kill off his children hate him he is still very much a threat to the clubs existence at this point as Popes revenge may become more and more subversive and disgusting as the season goes on and its all Tigs fault. Killing off Opie was a serious mistake my hope is that this turns out to be one huge dream sequence of Clays and that he never came out of the coma from last season and all this junk is just a figment of Clays warped imagination. Opie was Jaxs moral compass somewhat although Opie was a badass in his own right he still had some semblance of right and wrong without Op that compass is gone and there is no telling what Teller may do.

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After suffering through what was mostly a horrible season last year, Sutter pulls this nonsense off right as the show was redeeming itself? What a crock. I won't even go into how much far-fetched nonsense that was squeezed in the show last year. I am simply done watching SoA. Besides, all the characters that are left are shallow, underhanded, and over acted. There is no way to save the show from what it is about to be. A bunch of boring revenge killings on bikes. What happened to telling the story of Hamlet Sutter? Oh that's right, you are already green lighted for 6 seasons, possibly 7. Why bother with characters you can identify with or thought out plot lines when you have $$$$$. Hollywood sell out.

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