Sons of Anarchy Review: A Small World of Pain

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How far is too far?

Sons of Anarchy asks viewers to root for an outlaw motorcycle club, taking us inside a makeshift family and hoping we get to know the characters on such a personal level that we overlook some of their more dastardly deeds and cheer them on at every juncture.

For the most part, by a long shot, it works. We believe in the SAMCRO ideal and we love each and every member of the SAMCRO table.

But Tig shot an innocent woman in the head on "Small World," Jax simply referred to her as "collateral damage" and I was left to wonder whether the show has finally taken these bikers down a dark path from which they can never recover.

Otto and Tara

Every viewer out there was anticipating the day when Jax took revenge on that corrupt prison guard. We knew it was coming and we hoped it would be as brutal as the death of Opie that this gambling man oversaw and happily permitted.

And it was most definitely was. I may never look at snow globes in the same way again.

Within the world of SAMCRO, the beating was understood and deserved. But Tig casually pulling the trigger on the man's wife? Sure, you can argue he had no choice because she could easily identify all her husband's killers. And, yes, the ho-hum nature with which Tig ended her life is consistent with what he has gone through on Season 5. Never hesitant to kill, he's now more number than ever.

Still, it happened so quickly and was brushed away so easily by Bobby and Jax - the supposed rational side of SAMCRO - that it felt more disturbing in a way than anything else SOA has depicted in recent memory.

Is this really who we are rooting for now? A group of guys who are so oblivious to their own roles in their friend's demise (trace the steps of Opie's death back and SAMCRO is to blame above all else, considering its drug and gun-running deals) that they kill anyone and everyone who gets in their way?

Moments of introspection did follow the double homicide. Chibbs gave Tig a peck on the cheek. Jax asked Tara for a weekend away. In these small moments, we see the humanity that is meant to rise above the club's often evil actions.

Elsewhere... A LOT went down. Following a relatively slow couple weeks, the episode ratcheted up the action across all fronts.

We learned Clay is behind the Nomadic home invasions. Not exactly a major shock, but one that still very much holds my interest. We all knew the former President was up to something and it's safe to assume his end game here is simply to bring down Jax. He's leaving plenty of blood and a few bodies in his wake, however.

We watched Carla kill herself, a somewhat random and slightly forced turn of events. Viewers didn't exactly know this deranged woman very well, not learning the details of her life until after she died and Nero simply provided a bunch of exposition. I suppose the act is meant to bring Nero and Gemma closer, defying Jax's demand that his new business partner stay away from his mother, but both the suicide and the requests leading up to it by Carla mostly came out of nowhere.

Otto made an appearance! It's also a welcome sight to see Kurt Sutter in this role. The imprisoned death row inmate represents what Jax and company may become someday. In this case, though, he shed more light on Tara than anyone actually in the club. She lied to Jax about seeing Otto, and even though she remained standing during the doctor/patient visit, we're left to wonder: Just how low, literally, will Tara go for SAMCRO?

Jax expanded the club's drug dealings. Just temporarily, of course, or at least he claimed for the 12th time. Does Jax even believe his banter at this point? He's talked about making SAMCRO clean for a long time now, but he's the man in charge and he seemed both charmed and intrigued by Pope in that backseat.

The man does talk a good game about risk and fear and greed and what it takes to become a successful "businessman." But don't be fooled by those nice clothes and that big office, Jax. Damon Pope's idea of a clean, risk-free business is most definitely not what your father had in mind.

All this and Joel McHale picked up a downtrodden Gemma in a bar! It was a seriously busy night on Sons of Anarchy, filled with bullets and beating. What did you think of "Small World?"


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (116 Votes)

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


I think this episode rocked just like all the others awesome job Kurt keep up the good work. Next week's is gonna be full of OMG's & WTF's... "Hell Yeah"


all i have to say ,is get rid of Clay. i cant stand him anymore, keeP Jimmy Simms , love him on this .


I'm not buying all this 'activity', the show's just getting too far fetched. It wasn't hard to guess Clay was behind the home invasions. If Tara drops to her knees I'm done. If she goes back and kills Otto (remember she set up Clay's hospital hit which never eventuated obviously), I'll watch a bit more. The idea of Tara just becoming a gang slag repulses me.


What clay did to Gemma was wrong, but Gemma should not have had sex with that guy. I love this show hubby hates it


OK - Here's what I think. The show has "Jumped the Shark" with this episode and I have pretty much lost respect for a lot of the characters. Yes, I will still watch the show because I want to see the characters killed off. First, Jemma, damn they have really made this woman look ugly over the years or is it she is just aging poorly? I remember how hot she was in Married with Children. Come on makeup people, make her hot again. Or is this the way the character is developing and this is how you want her to look? Now, let's move onto Clay, that sick "F" has got to go, but since he is a star on the show they will keep him there till the show finally ends. Too now know that Clay is behind all these robberies and having his own family and friends beaten up and robbed is just sick. Clay has got to go if this club has a chance to become whole again. Why did they have to kill of Opie? He was like the big teddy bear of the bunch but don't piss him off. It was wrong to kill him off. Tig, this guy needs to go, he's fricken crazy!!! When he shot that innocent lady tonight, I decided to try and hunt down a blog to voice my opinion on everything. As to Jemma sitting in a Bar and some Mother fixation guy appears and this guy is Joel McHale from the TV show "Community" - sorry Joel you have already been type cast and when you walked into that bar looked for a mommy type woman to bump with for tonight I just didn't believe it unless your suppose to be another undercover cop who want's to take down SAMCRO... This killing has become to easy and free and innocent people are being killed off. Bring the show back to what it was or let it end after this season by all of them killing each other off while celebrating at their Christmas party and everyone pulls out a gun and shoots everyone else. The last scene shows everyone dead including Jax and his wife.


juice is devoted to Clay because he's a kiss-ass rat.He thinks Clay is so great, taking him under his wing, And very gullible.Everyone treats him like a child. EVERYONE, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE RATNESS!!


Remember this is Hamlet and they all die. Jax is descending into sociopathy.
The wife had to die, what difference did it make if she was shot in a shootout with the shotgun or blasted by tig. I think Tara will kill Otto.
I don't see Clay surviving this season.
Was there an ironic reference about the snow globe from earlier in the series?
Both Jax and Bobby seemed to find it significant.


I loved when Jax repeated Opie's final words "I got this" right before he killed the prison guard. That was all for Opie. And we all knew that the wife would have to be taken out anyways, she knew who everyone was. But it showed just how downhill Tig is falling after seeing his daughter burned alive, and can anyone really blame him? At least he did it fast. And I'm sorry, but am I the only one who totally knew that Clay was behind the robberies? It makes sense.


What significance does the snow globe have? Small world? I don't get it.
Gemma - my girl was terrified, don't see that often.
Nero - stand up kinda guy.
Tara - what could possibly be going on in her head? Kill Otto? He said no more Dr. visits for her. So what?
Jax - In a lot of pain, but I'm pretty sure, he has a plan.
Tig - gotta love Tig, he is who he is.
Clay - can't let go, why? Ego? Let it go old man and you may survive.
Juice - so gullible.


i enjoy pope mentoring jax.hopfully jax will use it against pope. tig had no choice. hopefuly jax figures out clay soon.

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