Season 5 Episode One “Sovereign”

Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode One “Sovereign”
By Stress Kitten
The opening scenes of the powerful Season 5 premiere of Sons of Anarchy are about as perfect as you can get. While Jax begins a journal to his own young sons, you see the roles that his family and friends are taking in the aftermath of the Season 4 finale. Jax’s narrative during the scenes is beyond prophetic in so many ways as he tries to put into words all the reasons his children should not follow his path, much like his own father before him. From the broken pieces of Clay who with his newly added oxygen tank has somehow fallen into Piney’s role in a most ironic fashion, to Gemma having wild sex with the always amazing Jimmy Smits, to Tara in the bubble bath smoking a joint, an eerily Gemma-like move on her part, you already know that nothing is the same as it was for any of them.
The attack on their truck by the Niner’s is a great piece of action and immediately draws our attention to their new enemy. We have seen the Son’s up against some major players but this scene makes it clear that Pope is a force to be reckoned with.
Tara’s power play in regards to putting the kids in daycare and not informing Gemma was shady and further shifts her character down the Gemma path. She herself admits that the kids love Gemma and she adores them. It has nothing to do with anything other than Tara trying to show control over the one area she has any; her family. And while it’s understandable with a mother-in-law like Gemma, Tara’s actions are questionable at best and downright nasty at worst.
Gemma waking up at Nero’s is a great scene. I mean, who hasn’t woken up in a den of inequity with a Hispanic pimp and two naked party girls and not remember one damn thing that happened? The interplay between Nero and Gemma was so much fun to watch.
It’s hard being on the outside looking in at the club’s concern for Clay at this point and Piney’s memorial is heart wrenching, more because of Opie’s obvious feelings of betrayal. His comment about not wanting to turn into Jax gives a pretty good indication of what he thinks is going to happen to the club with Jax at the head of the table.
Our introduction into Damon Pope’s world is chilling. This is not a man that is going to make stupid mistakes. He is smart, ruthless, connected and out for blood. He is unlike any opponent the Sons have ever come up against.
During church we see three new members who are previous nomads get voted in, while Clay arrives late and takes Piney’s old seat at the table, drawing even more parallels to his fate and you have to wonder if he sees them himself. Jax tells the club he has asked Bobby Elvis to be his VP and I am really glad Tig asked the question about Opie, because I think we all wanted to hear that answer. I never envisioned Jax sitting at the gavel without Opie to his left and I am sure the club felt the same way. Bobby is an excellent second choice for VP, he is smart and loyal. Clay telling the whole club about his involvement with Piney’s death (even though he prettied himself up in his version) makes me wonder what the hell his endgame is, because you have to know he has one. Obviously I wasn’t the only one since you can see Jax trying to puzzle out the motives for it.
The meeting with Pope and the Niners goes pretty much how you would expect it, and then Pope’s #2, August Marks kills his own crew member. Is there anything more terrifying than watch someone coldly dispatch a member of their own group? It definitely gives you the idea that a body count is NOT an issue for them and as Jax said, “he is showing us that he is in charge of who lives and who dies”.
Am I the only person who is wondering why Juice is suddenly all up Clay’s ass? It’s kind of a weird twist thrown in there and you have to wonder about Juice’s mind set with this. We all know his involvement in everything that went down last season is going to come out and you have to wonder if Juice sees this power shift between Clay and Jax as temporary.
What can you say about a scene where Tig’s daughter is burnt alive by Damon Pope? It’s hard to say what part was more terrifying, Tigs realization regarding what’s about to happen, Dawn’s confusion quickly turning to horror, or the icy calmness of Pope as he ends her life. Maybe a combination but for a show that never shies away from brutal violence this set the bar at a new high. Watching Tig unravel as he watches his daughter die is one of the hardest scenes I have ever sat through with this show. It was beautifully played by all parts, but Kim Coates is the scene stealer. His pain becomes yours in that moment.
We find out that Jax, Tig and Chibs are going to be picked up for murder and in a stroke of ingenuity and a definite power play against Tara, Gemma takes them to Nero. Meanwhile Unser is attacked while at Gemma’s house and we see one of the attackers has a artificial leg, much like “Greg the Peg” the nomad. Why the hell are the nomads home invading Sons? Who is behind it?
A great start to a new season but as always, leaves us with more questions than answers. Tune in to Sons of Anarchy every Tuesday on FX for the latest episodes!

Best line from this episode (it’s a tie)

Gemma: You’re a pimp?
Nero: I am a companionator

Roosevelt: If this isn’t retaliation, then who would attack your auto parts truck outside of Modesto last night?
Happy: Angry pirates?