Sons Of Anarchy season 5 episode 2 review: Authority Vested

Has Sons Of Anarchy run out of ideas? Here's Stu's review of Authority Vested...

This review contains spoilers.

5.2 Authority Vested

Last week’s series premiere of Sons Of Anarchy wasted no time getting us right back to the SAMCRO boys, and this week’s episode follows in an equally high-octane manner.

Last week ended with Unser being on the receiving end of a beating from some unidentified hooligans. My interpretation, supported by last week’s comment section, was that the attack came from the nomads who had just joined SAMCRO. This week the Sons aren’t any closer to knowing who is responsible for the home invasion, but Unser thinks that he can tell that the perpetrators were white from the nature of the beating – it felt obligatory rather than angry. Yes, he actually said that. Seriously. Given that Clay feels so nonchalant about the whole thing, it could be possible that he is in on it. All he mentioned was that they should make an insurance claim and that his safe has gone missing – he doesn’t seem particularly bothered about it though. 

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Ron Perlman as Clay is the highlight of what is a very average episode. In particular, when he admits to the killing of Piney to Opie. Whenever I think about Opie, I can’t help but think of Steven Van Zandt in The Sopranos quoting “Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in!” from The Godfather ad nauseum. After making his intentions on distancing himself from the club quite clear last week, it looks like he is back. Clay gave a very emotional speech to Opie about sticking by Jax, which is exactly what Opie does – in spectacular style. When Jax, Tig and Chibs are turning themselves in, Opie turns up and punches Roosevelt in the jaw before elbowing another police officer in the face. It seems that he has taken Clay’s advice to stay close to Jax and thought that prison would be a place where his brand of aggression might help Jax. Opie is probably Jax’s best chance at staying alive in prison, given that he told that Galindo cartel to try and keep him alive and they weren’t able to make any promises. 

Pope doesn’t make much of an appearance this week, but I would bet that he would be responsible for any prison-related violence that occurs in next week’s episode. Given that four of the main characters are now behind bars, I’d say that we are in for a largely prison-centric episode next week. The other newer character, Nero, gets more of a show this week, showcasing his crazy driving skills in a game of chicken with a tail that he and Jax have picked up.

Jax – ever the romantic – even found time to marry Tara this week. Although rather than “I love you so much that I want to marry you” it was more a case of “I want to marry you because I’m about the go to prison”, and so they get married at a very small ceremony. Chibs gives a rousing speech, but generally it’s a very underwhelming scene when you take into consideration that Jax and Tara have loved each other for so long. I would have expected it to be a far bigger deal when they got married. I also thought it was weird that they exchanged Gemma and John Teller’s rings, given that Gemma was at least partly responsible for John’s death, but then Jax doesn’t know about that yet. 

I can’t really help but feel that Sons Of Anarchy might be running out of steam a little. Last series worked brilliantly because it brought back the whole “Hamlet on motorbikes” plot, but now that Clay is still alive – albeit seriously injured – he doesn’t seem to be much of a threat. It feels like Pope is only the antagonist because the Niners are pretty much the only gang that SAMCRO hasn’t fought with at this point. It is still early in the series, so hopefully it will turn around, but at the moment it feels a little like Sons Of Anarchy is short on ideas.

Read Stu’s review of the previous episode, Sovereign, here.

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