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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.

Review

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+.

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It was a grim basterd that got shot in the bar.

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Did anyone else see tara stomp on the toy to wake up thomas in the beginning? What the hell is wrong with her

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If Tara goes to jail the show will suck.. Tara has been played to much..Let her lose her new job and move on..
We all know Jaz has to come out on top.. But how many more members will die this year.. The show will not be the same if andone else dies...

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Max - I saw that too and wondered that it was never mentioned. It was right at the front too.

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Jax has become a man with a mission he seen his bestfriend brutally murdered and Clay turn against the club..who wouldn't want pay back?!

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I can't wait for Clay to get killed. Jax also has something up his sleeves regarding Pope. I'm through trying to predict what will happen next,I keep getting it wrong. Sutter is one FANTASTIC writer.

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Come on Jax will not let Tara go to jail for any of this, I mean if he can get his mother off of double humicide charges, figuring away out of this for Tara as got to be a priority. The question I am wondering is will we find out if she is charged and how bad this really is this season in the last 3 epiosdes or will it come up and be dealt with in season 6? There is alot going on this season so maybe it will wait and maybe it wont, can't wait to see!!!

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Am I the only persn that saw a soa member get shot in the bar scene? Rewind and see for yourself! Sutter must have forgot to edit that out!

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Ur positively right ur a wonderful insightful critic

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Jax is going HAM. He gives zero fuqs what anyone thinks/feels. Also, I'm pretty sure Juice is going to kill hinself...but this time he'll succeed.

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