Sons of Anarchy Review: Who the Hell is He?

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Two weeks ago, we debated the darkness of Jax in an edition of the Sons of Anarchy Round Table.

But in case it was somehow unclear before, "Crucifixed" left no doubt in the minds of all viewers: this is a very different and dangerous Jax Teller than we've ever witnessed before.

Than anyone has ever witnessed before, as T.O. rightfully summed up with a simple question: Who the Hell are you?

SAMCRO vs. Grim

The answer is coming into focus: he's a man permanently damaged by the brutal murder of his best friend. Indeed, the death of Opie was certainly not done just for shock value. Its reverberations have been felt throughout Sons of Anarchy Season 5.

Jax is callous and unmoved by grand plans or alliances; he is simply seeking revenge... or is he?

Most of his actions over the past few weeks have been legitimate. You can't exactly fake pushing someone off a rooftop or green lighting a bullet in the brain of your friend's cousin. The wrath he exhibited toward Juice here was also real. Jax has already been betrayed by Clay and is understandably on edge; he doesn't have room for sympathy or understanding when it comes to any sort of rat at his table.

But we do get signs that Jax has something in mind beyond beatings and bloodshed.

He's making moves with Hale that will provide for Lyla and also for SAMCRO to make some clean money. Clean money via a bit of under-the-table dealing and bribery involving a cross-dressing photo scandal... but still. That's pretty darn clean when compared to drugs and guns.

That Jax who believes in his father's philosophy is still there somewhere. He still wants to lead the club someplace safe and profitable, but first he must rid it of Clay and his influence. Such a drastic move requires drastic measures. As drastic as handing Tig over on a fatal platter to Pope?

That's impossible. Even as we watch Jax grow cold and calculating, and even as Pope nods along in approval, I have to believe there's some kind of long con being played here. Will it be successful? Will Jax be able to axe Clay from SAMCRO... and keep Tig alive... and pull one over on Pope? Those are some seriously dangerous plates for one President to spin simultaneously.

And that's before we even get to Tara, who was played by Otto and now must deal with (A LOT) of blood on her hands. What a disgusting scene. I audibly gasped. And what a perfectly said closing quote, with Tara as deep as she has ever been in club business and with her realization that there's really only ever one way out of it: killing, killing and more killing.

While viewers were shaking their heads over Jax's deeds, meanwhile, they were likely also squinting their eyes at Clay, trying to figure this disgraced biker out.

Does he have an ounce of honesty or sentimentality remaining? Is he being honest when he's thanking Juice and begging Gemma* to be sincere with her feelings? Or does he sense a game afoot? Is he on to their deals with Jax and just trying to push them back toward his side?

My money is on the latter. Clay has been in full-on survival mode for over a year now and will do or say anything to keep his spot at the table; heck, just to keep breathing. Say what you want about the guy, but he's perceptive. It's easy to see him reading into Juice and Gemma's friendliness and doing whatever he can to change how they view him.

(* It's been said Ad nauseam, but deserves yet another mention here: the fact that Katey Sagal has not been nominated for an Emmy is nothing short of criminal. Just look at her reaction to Clay leaning in for a kiss, as she played a sickened, sad Gemma to perfection without uttering a word.)

So that was the focus of this extra long installment. Both Jax and Clay are trying to move their pieces into place for that final showdown. Each is scheming in his own way, with Jax taking the violent reigns and Clay playing it cool and calm. At least for now.

Juice is freaked out. Tig is unknowingly being used as a pawn. Bobby is disenchanted with his leader. And Tara has been made into an accessory to murder.

It's going to be a wild final two Season 5 episodes - and each will be 90 minutes long, TV Fanatics. Grab a helmet and hold on.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

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


I wholeheartedly agree with your really is criminal that this show has been overlooked by the Emmy's. Gemma has to be the strongest female character in television.


I was thinking about it, why would tara stomp on the toys instead of just going over and picking up the baby? I think it's because she wants to be needed. He cried out for her and she needed that. Jax is not only out physically but emotionally. This is where we see little Gemma Jr coming out.


@davie-yes I did see her stomp on the toy to wake the baby up and it disgusted me, as did all of her actions in the past couple of shows. I'd LOVE to see Karma take a bite out of her, as well as out of Jax. Tara NEEDS to be "outed" in her job as the wife of a crazy, murderous biker, & LOSE her job! She had class when she 1st appeared, now she's no more than a biker skank. And Jax more or less pimping his mother to C lay to get info-poor Gemma. She needs to tie up with nero & get the heck away from these scumbags! JAX was basically responsible for Opie's death, it looks like he's going to take poor Juice out, and Tig doesn't have any idea he may be given to Pope to die an awful death-this is what ya do to FRIENDS AND BROTHERS? And those white tennies jax always wears have GOT to go! I've been married to 2 bikers in the past and NO Harley man I've ever known rides in sparkling white tennies, tho rice burner riders do! For that alone, I wanna see Jax shafted like he's shafted his "brothers"......


thought this episode was entertaining overall and seemed to set up a lot of what will happen down the road. but i'm ready for them to start wrapping things up, and take clay out! i'm sort of over the whole "clay knows that jax knows that clay knows that jax knows" stuff.


Mel, There are 3 more episodes, with the finale 'I Got This' directed by Sutter alone.


★★★★☆TV "Sons live, Redwood bleeds." @Tiffany - Jax is going HAM! Agree. Although I believe there's genius in his madness. He's proven to be methodical before and has stated he sees and end. What's the collateral? â˜


Aren't there going to be 3 more episodes, not 2? I thought every season had 13 and recently a press release said eps. 10-13 would be 90 minutes each.


@Davie, yeah she did, I think they are trying to show she is loosing control a little. I think she did it just to wake up the baby so she could get him out of his cot and comfort him (when in fact its her that needs it)


@Max Yeah one of the Prospects (the one with short hair) seemed to take one to the side of the chest, it may of just grazed him tho, from what I remember of the scene it hit pretty far on the left so he may have just got lucky and it hit his cut or of course it could be bad editing.
Need to re-watch to see if the same prospect is standing outside the bar in the next scene or later in the episode...


I thought it was one of the prospects who got shot in the bar

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