SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t watched this week’s Sons of Anarchy, stop reading now. The levity of Walton Goggins’ Venus Van Dam cameo was nowhere to be found. Unless, of course, you count setting a murder to a glitter globe version of “It’s a Small World.” Was that more, less, or equally as brilliantly twisted as setting multiple homicides to “What a Wonderful World” in the season 4 premiere? Shall we call it a tie? Let’s break it down.
• You can hate Clay again: A lot of people wanted to see Clay dead at the end of season 4. I, for one, am happy he’s still around, especially now that his ride to crazytown has resumed. He’s the one behind the home invasions. Looking back at last week’s episode — when two of those three new SAMCRO members we know saved Clay’s personal papers after they hit his house adamantly agreed with Clay that the town blamed the club – we should have guessed. Still, I didn’t, until Clay ripped off the oxygen tank he no longer needs, punched Greg the Peg, and yelled, “Idiots, you weren’t supposed to kill her!” Pope is so calculating, Nero thinks about son’s future before he acts, Jax is levelheaded (most of the time), and Tig is back on the leash. We need a loose cannon. But why was Clay firing this time? Was does bringing heat on the club get him? Does he want to turn the town against the club, so the club turns on Jax? Did he know the vote was coming up on Hale’s Charming Heights deal and wanted to give the town council another reason to revert the land to agriculture, and Hale trouble if he retained the property (who’s going to invest in luxury homes when there are home invasions)? All the above? It’s him hiding the fact that he’s recovering well that worries me. Why does he want everyone to think he’s weak?
Pope, hurt that Jax still thinks he’s behind the home invasions, told Jax to look inside. “These attacks — friends, family, now cops — all that blowback lands in your lap. Somebody’s trying to compromise you,” he said. I’m starting to love Deep Thoughts With Damon Pope. Pope told Jax if he dies, the first independent security contractor to kill his killer gets $5 million. “Fear protects me, greed insures it,” he said. Jax reminded Pope he doesn’t have that kind of money. It’s not the money, you need, it’s just the ability to see the inevitable, Pope said.
• Roosevelt’s revenge: Unser sat with Roosevelt, who’s on mandatory leave for 10 days, at the hospital. They’re waiting for DNA results from the skin under Rita’s fingernails. Eli assumed it was the East Dub crew hitting him back for bringing their guys in. Unser said Damon Pope was too smart to sign off on attacking a sheriff’s wife. Then it’s the same crew doing the home invasions, and it’s still somehow tied to the MC, Roosevelt reasoned. After shedding some beautiful tears over Rita’s death, Eli was next seen when he ran Bobby off the road. Jax had to break up the fist fight that ensued between Eli, Chibs, and Bobby. “That was some outlaw s—, man,” Jax told Eli when the dust settled. “I’m sorry about your wife.” Jax literally borrowed a line from Pope and told Eli that no one wants the attacks to end more than him because if SAMCRO takes the heat, it all lands in his lap. “You reap what you sow. I’m gonna crush your club,” Eli told him. Rockmond Dunbar played that perfectly. There was no bravado; Eli is a broken man at the moment, so it was soft. Jax told him he’d just spoken to Pope, who assured him he wasn’t behind it, so the club isn’t to blame. He wants to work with Eli to find out who is. Eli isn’t ready to play nice, but I think he could be soon. Jax is a convincing man. Thinking back to Eli apologizing to Juice last season, I have to believe Eli respects the way Jax handled himself in that conversation. I’m just glad Tig wasn’t there. Anyone else worried that Eli will see the scratches on Tig’s neck from the Sergeant’s wife and think he killed Rita?
• Jax’s revenge: When Pope couldn’t provide intel on the home invasions, he had his righthand man give Jax another name and address to buy some good will — that of the Sergeant who helped orchestrate Opie’s death. Jax, Chibs, and Bobby were told he had no children and his wife worked until 6 p.m., so when Tig got there, they went in. “Remember me? I keep my promises,” Jax told him. Just then, we heard a shotgun lock and load — his wife must have been home sick. Tig and Bobby subdued her and Jax and Chibs chased after the Sergeant, who’d bolted. Chivalrous, a–hole. The brought him back in the house, and sat him on his knees, bound and gagged. His wife was bound, gagged, and sitting in a char. “This one’s a problem,” Bobby said. “No she’s not,” Tig added, and he shot her in the head. Bobby and Chibs seem shocked, but I think Jax knew it had to be done. He nodded to Tig, who is, unfortunately, used to killing women who weren’t supposed to die. “She’s collateral damage,” Jax said. “Ope’s murder.” What about the Sergeant? “Find a pipe,” Jax said.
Tig couldn’t find a pipe, but he came back with that glitter globe that I assume isn’t an official Disneyland one (though wouldn’t that be awesome). They took the gag off and the Sergeant asked if they knew what would happen the next time they did time if anyone figure out they were behind this. “You wager how long it takes to kill one of us,” Jax cracked. The Sergeant tried to say he was just following orders. Not buying it. Jax wanted to hear how sorry he was. The Sergeant broke down and apologized repeatedly and said he’d do whatever they want, help whoever inside. “I’m still not feeling it,” Jax said. He was as nonchalant as the Sergeant had been when he wanted Jax to decide which of his friends to kill. Jax just wanted him to suffer knowing it was coming. “Are you doing this?” Bobby asked. “I got this,” Jax said, looking at Chibs, who’d know those were Opie’s last words. I teared up.
Jax wound up the globe, and he, Chibs, and Tig started circling the Sergeant as “It’s a Small World” played. Just waiting. Jax struck him with it hard on the back of the head. And he hit him another eight times, until Chibs finally stopped him. Jax sat down at the table and the globe was bloody. Chibs was going to bury the bodies. Let’s hope Bobby reminding him there are hikers in the woods isn’t foreshadowing. Sweet moment between Chibs and Tig.
Chibs: [Puts his arm around Tig] Hey, you okay?
Tig: Yeah. I am. That was really good for me. [Chibs kisses him on the cheek, gives a slight eyeroll]
NEXT: Goodbye, Carla! Hello, Joel McHale!