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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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Ok so I didn't see Opie die, the feds and CIA have their hands all over this, the feds turned the club against Opie at one point, what is not to say that they ate using him as a death to satisfy Pope, but he isn't really dead. I can go in several directions with this one. And Kudos to Terra for standing up to Gemma. My heart did sink when Opie was killed, but I have faith that there is a reason to this madness.

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Brilliant storytelling, amazing acting from Hunnam and Hurst. That there are so many just in this blog alone freaking out, outraged, ready to quit, speaks volumes to Sutters abilities. Because folks, this is not real. Opie doesn't exist anywhere except in your minds. Amazing how your head, emotions, and even your body couldn't tell the difference when he was so disturbingly killed before you, wasn't it? Or if you didn't make that distinction, maybe you should consider it. I personally loved the reference/reminder from a poster in here (sorry, forgot your handle) that this is Hamlet being replayed, and perhaps we should look for the voice of conscience Opie has been to Jax that this review so interestingly lines out to be continued. That could send Jax into quite a tailspin, seeing and hearing his bestie from the grave... I like it. In any case, the loss of this tragic character is being deeply felt. And that's the point, isn't it? To stir you up into feeling??? I hope Gemma and Tara get some better lines soon, they are getting pretty cardboard cut out like in their reations...

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Sad to see Ope go! My favorite character though out every season! He has been through so much..
What really rattles my bones is Tera! She didn't have to live that life, she could have chose not to stay, she didn't have to stay and get pregnant she had the oppurtunity to leave numerous times! Jax would have been a little sad but I know he would have gotten over her pretty fast! Really, telling Gemma she can't see her grand babies because she smells of leftover booze and pot? But than 5 minutes later she is sitting at the table smoking a joint while "her" boys are crying? Classy ironic parenting right there!! They should have killed her the first time they had a chance, just saying. I personally don't mind Gemma, yes sometimes her character is a bit bitchy and out of control but look what she has been through!
(But thank god this is just a TV show folks)

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I'm getting sick of Gemma and her bull.
I cried when Opie died.
I hope that Jax kills that solitary seargent, kills him good.
I wonder how everyone else will react to Opie's death.

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REALLY KURT, KILLING OFF OPIE, YOU HAVE PUNISHED HIM FOR 4 SEASONS, WHY HIM, THAT WAS TOTAL BULLSHIT. HER YOU ARE BEGGING FOR MORE VIEWERS, YOU REALLY THINK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO GET THEM THIS WAY AND NOT TO MENTION YOU MAY NOT KEEP THE DEVOTED FANS THAT HAVE BEEN WATCHING SINCE DAY 1. REALLY SHADDY KURT,

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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Opie did not needed to freaken died to keep the drama going yall just made the worst mistake to eliminate the best character since day 1. The club getting revenge for Tig's daughter would have tir up major drama by itself. why not kill Tig freaken hot head if yall needed to kill someone! Opie was the best badass in Samcro period, yall just turned me off completely from this show, I will never be able to wrap my head around this mistake. Sutter better pull a days of our lives magic and Bring Opie back, killing Ope character was extreme nonsense, I promise this decission will leave a bad taste in alot of fans mouth booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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sucks the dick that opie had to die he was awesome i always wanted to see him as jax's vp but to say opie is gunna show back up is just wishful thinking..... he may show up past tense or in a dream but in real life prolly not they show previews of his funeral in the next episode

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Pope needs to die. Clay started all of this he is a selfish bastard lied to everyone. I hope he stay on oxygen he can't never be king again. When he dies who will be the one who does it? This is a show and in real life this crap happens. The way of the world. Innocent people die because of the lies they here, it's sad. I love when Jax said:
I am going to find out who you are and where you live and I am going to kill you. Kill or be killed.

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Since last week episode my husband kept saying he knew it was going to be opie. I said no way because Jax need opie the church need to have some young blood at the table. Like clay and JT started. There sons needed to proceed them. I love tigs and he acted on clay's lies. Clay a lying bastard. Opie lost everything because of clay he really did not know his children cause he was locked up the love of his life Donna gone his pop gone his mother was never around. How on earth was he going to sit at the table like nothing happen. I cried when opie died he had a quiet demeanor with that being said made him a dangerous man.
Jax is my favorite love Jax. Opie DAM he felt he had nothing to live for. Love you opie you will be missed. I can't wait to see when they drag that crooked guard with their bikes and tear him apart. Tara looks is Gemma nightmare she is just has crooked has clay. Tara is learning Gemma crooked ass taught her so don't hate on Tara.
Love you OPIE you will be missed.

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I couldn't bare to see it. I loved Opie. His losses were great. Now the kids have no mother, father or grandfather and why ...... because of that old muderer, selfish. manipulative and greedy ex-president Clay. He lives and Opie dies. What sense does that make? He orders Tig to kill Opie based on think first, facts last mentality and kills Donna. Bursts in on Piney and shoots him dead. Lies to Tig who reacts and accidentally kills an innocence. As a direct result of this lie a son dies to settle things with Poe. Opie's death with harden Jax. The club will retaliate against the guards and Poe by or before the season ends. If Jax can see things clearly he will see that Clay is the reason for everything that's happened. He will kill him but when he does Jax becomes Clay. As Opie said, the gavel changes people. RIP Opie.