In covering “Sons of Anarchy,” it is pretty clear that the reaction to the show is pretty simple: you either love it, or you absolutely don’t get it and do not even bother to understand why something so violent is so popular. Luckily, we’re in the former camp; and before we said goodbye to season 5 of the show completely, we wanted to at least wax poetic about the storylines that transpired one final time.
To us, the odd-numbered seasons of this show had been its worst, and there were moments early on here where there was some concern that the show was not going to be able to live up to the stellar outing last year. However, the death of Opie changed all of that: this was Kurt Sutter’s finest hour, a ballsy move that could have driven viewers away had it been handled incorrectly. Thankfully, it was gut-wrenching and as close to perfection as a violent, awful scene can possible be. This is one of the few moments all year where we have openly wept like a five-year old girl and are not afraid to admit it.
From that point on, we are convinced that this may have actually been at least the best season of the show yet. While we never fully connected to Harold Perrineau’s Damon Pope like we were hoping, Jimmy Smits was absolutely phenomenal as Nero and stole every scene he was in. If he is not nominated for some sort of Emmy, Sutter has a reason to unleash as many swear words as he likes. Plus, we loved how there were almost as many motifs to “Julius Caesar” in here as there was “Hamlet,” in between all of the betrayal and the notion of power tearing people apart. Jax has been seen for seasons as the only one fully capable of stopping Clay, and there is something incredibly crazy and disturbing about how he has in many ways become Clay instead, and Ron Perlman’s character is someone we actually feel a little sorry for.
We could go through some other stellar plot points (Juice’s decision, Otto killing with a crucifix, Tara’s arrest at the end) bit by bit, but we would admittedly be here all day long. We have to give some enormous props to FX here in addition to Sutter, mostly because they were the ones to give him the extra time during some of these episodes to make the story as rich as it needed to be.
What was your take on season 5: was it the best ever, somewhere close to it, or a disappointment? If you want to vote for “Sons of Anarchy” in our annual Most Underrated Show poll, you can do so here.