Sons of Anarchy Season 5: Maybe It's Just Purgatory

October 3, 2012

It’s been very busy for me lately, that’s for sure. If it’s not man-eating pigs that capture my attention, then it’s the misadventures of a serial killer. And if not that, then it has to be the bipolar spy who’s trying to prevent a sequel to 9/11. And lets not forget about my ongoing music project.

But there’s no way that I was going to be missing out on the web of deceit that envelops one of my favorite shows, Sons of Anarchy.


Four episodes have gone by and I had not gotten around to writing about any of them, partly because I’ve been very busy (see above), and also because each episode has left me devastated to a point of emotional exhaustion. The tense atmosphere of each episode trails me like a mean spirited shadow, and I’m all too glad when it fades away as other thoughts and concerns emerge.

The show isn’t perfect. (That’s no reason to snub it from the Emmy’s though. It’s still one of the most underrated and consistently entertaining shows on television.) One of the things I dislike is that almost every episode has to end with a musical montage. It serves to deter the gravitas of certain scenes and instead inserts a sense of sentimentality that doesn’t seem to fit well with the rest of the story. But that’s just being picky.

Sons in Jail

Everything else is top notch. Katey Sagal’s Gemma is cunning and manipulative, yet fragile and out of control. Ron Perlman continues his portrayal of Clay, a bitter, power-hungry old man, with what I can only assume is a (dangerous) card up his sleeve. And Charlie Hunnan returns as the lovable, intelligent, but way in-over-his-head Jax Teller. Those three alone could carry the show on their shoulders, but they don’t have to, not with the outstanding supporting cast.

Add to that the addition of Jimmy Smits as a recurring character (Nero), an appearance by Ashley Tisdale, and further down the road, Joel McHale. How do they cast all these people?

SOA Damon Pope

Season 5 picks up with the turmoil created last season, and introduces a new player to the game, Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau). He is a well connected politician who is out for revenge, after his daughter was tragically killed by SAMCRO hothead Tig (season 4).

The 90-minute season opener is a hurricane of plot devices bent on destroying any sort of safety one may have felt as the opening credits greeted us. It is well paced and perhaps more exhilarating than many series finales I have watched over the years.

But perhaps most surprising is the untimely death of a major character early on in the season. It is so heartbreaking and cynically poignant that it’s quite OK to look away as the deed is done. Thankfully, the following episode (last night’s episode—Stolen Huffy) was much more subdued and suspiciously calm, aside from an obligatory female-on-female fist fight. (The last time we saw a wake in Sons of Anarchy, some major shit went down!)

Soon enough, the expected musical montage begins and we are treated to the spoilerific “Next Time On Sons of Anarchy” previews, for those who like to watch those.

This season is already mired in a mess of lies and threats and catch 22’s. It’s only a wonder where we’ll go next.

Someone tweeted Kurt Sutter (series creator) last week, “Where the hell does @sutterink take S6 and S7?”

His reply?

“…to hell, baby. we’re all going to hell.”

Yup. I believe it.

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1 Comment

  • Reply louisemensch February 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Nice article.

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