Sons of Anarchy, Ep. 5.11, “To Thine Own Self”: Can you hear my voice?

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Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 11: “To Thine Own Self”
Written by Kurt Sutter
Directed by Paris Barclay
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm (ET) on FX

It was clear from the get-go that Nero couldn‘t remain the gold-hearted biker he’s been during this season but mano does this compadre handle his guns fast! He already showed some of that rage in episode seven (“Toad’s Wild Ride”) while beating the shit out of Gemma’s banana-vodka one night stand, but this week clearly reached a new level with Nero killing off not only one, but two members of his own former gang. Admittedly it was great to see that tough side of Nero, bursting into the apartment with a loaded shot gun at hands, whilst under the belief that some of his former members had something to do with the kidnapping of Jax. But that whole tough guy show is nothing compared to the heart-wrenching performance Jimmy Smits gives after finding out that Jax is fine and that his former crew isn‘t involved in the slightest. For the sake of these stunning performances and some true love for Gemma, let’s hope Smits stays on for next season. So there we are with yet another case of what comes of revenge without having the facts straight. But one dead body at the time- let’s see what this week brought besides flying bullets: Unser’s perfectly timed chemo therapy throw up, Clay’s remorse, and Jax smarting his way out of guns and coke.

Jax is pressing hard on Gemma and Juice to get proof of Clay’s guilt, and while it’s understandable – the man did kill his father amongst numerous others and planned to take Tara‘s life as well – Clay definitely proves to be Jax’s moral blind spot. When it comes to Clay, he‘ll throw anything he believes in out of the window. His hesitant reaction to the job offer, and therefore a way out, is only a glimpse of his unwillingness to let go of his hate for this man. Another example is his use of poor Juice as a punching bag (you‘ve seriously got to feel for the kid, he is desperately trying to do the right thing) to relieve the sudden anger over having lost yet another bit of evidence that could sink Clay.

This episode truly shows Jax’s brilliance when he pulls that mastermind stunt of giving the CIA the Mayans and Niners to supply the coke, the Chinese to deliver the guns, and moving SAMCRO away from the threat the deal poses down the line. Yet this season has also shown how little Jax cares about anything or anyone when it comes down to him and Clay. Bobby does have a point when he begs Jax not to let hate kill all the epic things he‘s done, and with that said we have this season’s Clay Murrow possible-loop-hole-life-line: Bobby Elvis! Even though Clay is not safe just yet, it seems as if he is jumping off the hook once again. And as little as it is satisfying to have yet another season of hoping that Clay will finally have to meet his maker, at least Bobby’s motivation seems plausible and judging by the bipolarity Clay causes Jax to have maybe this is for the better of his integrity as well. Bobby might just have everyone‘s best interest at heart here, definitely that of SAMCRO, and let’s face it- down the line Clay will have to face his sins one way or another.

The newest vendetta on the block is Donal Logue as a character that has yet to be named, stepping in as somewhat of a mystery. It’s surprisingly late in the season for a new subplot but hey, let’s see how it turns out. As far as it looks he must be tied to Otto’s crucified nurse, since he first appears on the scene giving a beating to Otto in his cell (what is it with beating people with iron bars in prison this season? How easy is it for outsiders to get into safe custody?), whom he later visits again during the regular hours, only to resurface at the hospital where he watches Tara and the boys walking down the hallway. Prison might be the least of Tara and Jax’s worries, if Logue‘s character is seriously there to revenge that stabbed nurse, who as a side note is played by Logue’s actual sister. But so far that’s speculation and maybe Tara will make it out of this one. As far as that job offer goes, she‘s making a step into the right direction, even though it’s highly unlikely that Jax will take the step along with her.

But what did you think? Any dust-spinning car action I left out that should have been mentioned? Are you all happy or should we have a quality of life chat about brotherhood and camaraderie (sorry that epic Clay-Tig conversation was unmentioned up to now)? And what are your hopes and fears for these last remaining episodes?

Merle Fischer

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