The first episode of FX’s “Sons Of Anarchy’s” fifth season, “Sovereign,” begins with the recap from last season.
From there, we get a nice Zen moment as Jax writes in his journal about riding his motorcycle, and enjoying the simple moments. Jax is becoming John Teller, while Tara sits in a bath and smokes pot, becoming Gemma. The final shot of last season showed them sitting at the head of the table in the same position as Teller and Gemma, this year seems to be continuing the pattern.
In the montage of Jax’s voice over, we also see Gemma having some pretty spectacular sex with Jimmy Smits new character, Nero. Things have changed with Gemma and Clay completely, as Clay is now sporting an oxygen mask, turning him into the new Piney.
The Sons are escorting a truck, which gets attacked by the One-Niners and burned up.
Gemma wakes up with Nero, and doesn’t remember what happened the previous night, but it was consensual. Nero is a high-concept pimp, running a day spa/brothel.
SAMCRO holds Piney’s memorial, but Clay doesn’t attend. Clay and Gemma have a moment together, where she starts to break down in tears. He goes to comfort her and when he touches her, she drops him to the floor.
Gemma: You don’t ever put a hand on me again.
In the One Niners camp, Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) takes over and has Laroy killed. Actually, hacked to pieces in the first big shock of the show.
Okay, second big shock if you count Nero and Gemma’s orgy, which I do.
Pope’s right-hand man August tells one of the other gang members he’s taking over.
August: Congratulations. You in charge.
Darnell: Wait, wait, what if I don’t want to be in charge?
August: Rise to it brother! With great power…comes great responsibility.
Somehow, that scene veered from a hacked-up, dismembered body into a Spider-Man joke, and it worked.
In a SAMCRO meeting, the group votes in some nomads, including Chuck Zito (another “Oz” veteran) as Frankie Diamonds, and another one with an artificial leg. Jax tells the group Opie is going to stay away for a while. Clay then speaks, and tells everyone that he as the one who killed Piney, not the Lobo cartel. Clay portrays it as Piney pulling a gun on him. He also admits Opie was the one who shot him.
SAMCRO and the One Niners meet, and August gives Darnell a weapon to hide, so he can kill Jax. After everyone sets aside their weapons, Jax tries to negotiate with Darnell, but he pulls the gun and fires. However, the gun is empty, and Jax beats the crap out of him. Then August pulls his gun and shoots Darnell in the head, point blank.
August: He didn’t really want to be in charge, anyway. You! What’s your name?
August: Well, T-T-Tyler, you need to go back to your crew, and tell them the beef with the Sons is done. If it continues, so will the turnover in leadership.
Shocking, but an effective way to show us the intensity Pope is going to carry. He not only killed long-running character Laroy, but also popped his replacement in the head on camera just to prove a point. We also found out Pope has bought some witnesses to implicate the Sons.
(For part two of this article, please click here.)