Review: Sons of Anarchy "Laying Pipe"
Well, that was another heart wrenching episode. If it wasn't clear just by the preview of the episode that it would be a dozy, then it was very clear by Damon Pope's first meeting with Jax. Pope meant business, and wanted a dead Son. It was brutal, there is no other way around it. This season has only aired three episodes and already it has two incredibly brutal scenes that will forever be engraved in the minds of the fans. Some fans will be unhappy to see who passed away in this episode, but it makes perfect sense in all kinds of ways. It's amazing how it has only been three episodes and already it could be regarded as airing two of the most tragic episodes in the history of Sons of Anarchy. Two days later after this tragic episode the set of Sons of Anarchy was hit with horrible news of a former cast member, Johnny Lewis, died. Lewis played Half-Sack through the first two seasons.
The episode begins with Jax, Opie, Chibs and Tig walking through prison. Pope's men come after them immediately in the prison cafeteria, but they are derailed by the Cartel's reinforcements inside jail. Pope quickly pays off the guards to speak to Jax and gives him demands. Pope wants to have the peace of mind that whenever he thinks of his daughter, that he will know Tig is rotting away in prison with the constant violent reminder of what he had done. He also wants a dead Son and fifty percent of the coke running business. Jax explains to him that he does not want to go to war with Pope, to which Pope responds that they are already in it. From then on, Jax struggles to find a way to keep everyone alive. Ever since Jax took the seat as President of SAMCRO he had been trying to make up for Clay's shortcomings as a leader and his mistakes in running the club into more and more trouble. Throughout the entire series, Opie Winston had been his moral compass. When Opie found out Clay murdered his old man, it drove him off the deep end. Jax felt ever since he took the seat that he needed Opie to be his right hand man so he came clean to Opie about why Clay killed Piney and even furthermore, why he needed Clay alive.
Outside of jail, Charming was still busy. Tara, the now official old lady of Jax, had her hands full with a displaced Gemma. Gemma has felt that she had been getting pushed away from her grandchildren ever since Tara's injury. Gemma used Wendy to try to foil Tara and her new hard-ass persona, but it didn't derail Tara one bit. Clay and Bobby also spoke with the Cartel about their boys being in jail, but they still didn't seem to overly concerned about their safety. Clay also began to piece where Gemma had been sneaking around to and took it upon himself to meet Nero. Nero of course, to no surprise, was a cool customer when Clay knocked on his door step but Gemma was not. She was angry and took it out on one of Nero's best earners, which forced Nero to ask if there was another side to Gemma's anger. The last portions of the episode were brutal, and I will not mention any big details of it but the club will be changed for sure. It will be very interesting to see where it will go from here on out.
I will never forget this episode, it will forever go down as quite possibly one of the most memorable episodes of the series as it has the potential to change things greatly. The death of a certain Son will be a brutal one to take for many fans, but it was a proper send off if you ask me. To no surprise, Pope explained that he was not behind the abductions in Charming to Jax. My honest reaction is that I still agree with Unser that the abductions are white. The abductions could either be from the Nomad group trying to take over the seat of President from Jax sensing that it is weak right now, or it could simply be Clay's last act. The only issue I do have with the episode would be with Gemma's character. Her bringing in the ex-junkie to try to push Tara away is desperate, yes, but incredibly sad on her part. Gemma is a strong woman and for her to go ahead to that level of desperation is pitiful. Tara's development over these five years is downright amazing, seeing her develop from the naive love-struck woman to the hard-ass old lady that she is now is amazing. Maggie Siff has done a terrific job with the role. The same can be said for Katey Sagal as Gemma and the scenes between the two actors are always terrific. The same can also be said for Charlie Hunnam. When I first watched the show I thought he was an average actor but after last season and the little bit I've seen this season, he has really grown into his character and proved that he is a solid actor.