Sons of Anarchy, Ep. 5.06, “Small World”: Killing as coping

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Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 6: “Small World”
Written by Kurt Sutter
Directed by Adam Arkin
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on FX

Sons of Anarchy has always been known for its violence and brutality but it seems as if season five is trying to reach a new record in accumulating dead bodies. After last week’s comparably light-hearted episode this one brings everything back to dead seriousness:

Rita and her baby are dead before the credits roll, due to fatal injuries from the home invasion. Carla puts a bullet in her head after forcing Gemma and Nero at gunpoint to get into bed with one another. Sergeant Macky is murdered as retaliation and his wife killed in the process, deemed to be collateral damage.

That’s the count of this week’s episode and quite honestly it feels a little like Sutter is coping with his grief over Opie by taking it out on everyone else. It’s definitely causing an uneasy feeling knowing how fast the trigger is being pulled lately, especially when one starts to wonder whether another corpse is actually necessary, but let‘s follow the order of dropped bodies and see what else went on along the way. Last week’s episode’s ease was put to a stop with Rita getting shot by the intruders of hers and Eli Roosevelt’s house and episode six opens with its fatal consequences. Neither the baby nor Rita survives the attack, leaving Eli enraged and with very little too lose and the audience minus one strong female character that isn’t attached to any of the SAMCRO family. Eli, in grief, blames the death on Jax and the boys (someone still needs to explain the sudden sunset after Bobby gets driven off the road by Eli), and as the end of the episode reveals  –already suspected by many – he isn’t too far off, even though his retaliation theory is wrong, as the attacks are tied to Clay’s plan for regaining his position at the gavel.  So far Clay is acting out unsuspected, neither Unser, nor Eli, Jax, or Pope have any clue as for which way to look when it comes to the attacks, as illogical as that might seem. Even given Clay’s talent in scheming, it’s getting a little unbelievable that no one has figured him out yet, especially after all the Nomads voted `nay´ with Clay over Pope’s latest offer to the club, which will drag SAMCRO further into the drug business. And while it is nice to see the return of Pope after two episodes away, the club getting deeper into the drug business, after Jax finally moves them into the right direction with the deal with Nero, is a bit of a letdown, as well as a slightly unbelievable vote, considering that Jax never wanted to get into drug mule-ing in the first place. And if that vote should only serve for the revelation of the club’s division, that could have happened over another issue.

Next to die is Carla, who got the beat down from Tara a couple episodes ago, and of which one knew very little besides that she was tied to Nero and the escort business. As a twisted form of revenge for the beating and the fact that Gemma “took” Nero (who turns out to be her halfbrother, for whatever reason) from her, she forces the two at gunpoint to get naked in bed only to shortly thereafter pull the trigger on none other than herself, a death that now ties Nero and Gemma in their shared traumatic experience, as well as bringing Gemma and Clay back closer together, as he cleans up the mess. Other than that, this suicide doesn’t really feel like a feasibly-motivated move, considering that Carla’s character never got the chance to fully develop, let alone get into the deeper reasons of why she’d actually want to kill herself.

The last murders are those of Sergeant Macky and his wife. And while it was a sure thing since Ope‘s death that the sergeant would most likely take a quite brutal way to his grave, his wife’s death as collateral damage feels a bit too much, taking into account the number of dead females this week. And while it’s difficult to approve of brutal murder, Macky’s death is true to the biker’s laws, yet the impact of the BLUTRACHE is strangely spoiled by all the other casualties. It also makes you wonder how smart it is to pull through with the revenge with Pope’s men around… Jax surely hasn’t forgotten who ordered Opie’s death and it will be interesting to see how he is going to outsmart him down the line.

More intriguing developments than the deaths, that once again bring up the question of proper mourning (no, Opie’s death still doesn’t feel like it was brought to proper closure), are those evolving around Tara. Not only is the relationship between her and Gemma finally calming down, a welcome change, but her role in the club‘s future, being the only in to Otto, will make for some interesting drama, probably not without any friction between Jax and Tara (all this telling each other nothing special happened today will surely come to haunt them down the road). But how did everyone else feel about all the dead? Anyone ready to predict how much darker Jax, and along with him SOA, will get? And who will be alive in the end?

Merle Fischer

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