Sons Of Anarchy season 5 episode 6 review: Small World

Sons of Anarchy delivers a dark episode which reminds the audience who the bad guys really are. Here's Stu's review...

This review contains spoilers.

5.6 Small World

One of the strangest things about watching Sons of Anarchy is that when you’re watching it, you sometimes forget that you’re rooting for the bad guys.  Much like Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, the viewer is often content to sit back and watch the villains escape the grasp of the justice over and over. At least that’s the case until something truly awful happens and you’re given a serious reality check. 

This week’s episode is full of shocking moments where you wonder if Jax has gone too far. They certainly aren’t getting out of the drug muling business anytime soon, put it that way. 

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This week, Jax and Pope’s business relationship goes a little deeper. It’s odd how quickly the relationship between the two has advanced, given that it looked like Pope was being set up as the main antagonist for the series, at least during the first few episodes (although there is definitely still time for that to happen). Pope has now asked Jax to mule more cocaine with the promise of a lot more money in return. Pope straight up tells Jax that there is no risk, but the Sons don’t seem so sure, given that  the plan barely gets voted in, with the majority ruling six-five in favour. Had Tig not been forced to always vote in line with Jax, it probably wouldn’t have, as it looked as if Tig really wanted to say no. 

A few episodes ago when Opie was killed, Jax vowed that he would find the prison warden who allowed it to happen, and this week he exacts his revenge. However, I can’t imagine that most viewers would imagine his revenge to be as harrowing as it is. When the Sons pay the guard a visit at his house, they are surprised by his wife brandishing a shotgun, after they manage to separate her from the gun, Tig cold-bloodedly shoots her in the head. Whilst some of the club members are clearly disgusted, Jax nonchalantly calls it “collateral damage”. Jax then proceeds to beat the guard to death with a snow globe (a snow globe apparently made out of reinforced glass – there’s no way a conventional snow globe wouldn’t have shattered!). Whilst there was no doubt that we’d be seeing the prison guard again, I would never have expected Jax to be so apathetic about the murder of an innocent woman. Between this, and the small lies that Jax and Tara have started telling each other (in the dying minutes of this episodes, Jax called it a quiet day, and Tara lied about being given access to Otto), it’s as if the writers are trying to draw parallels between Jax and Tara, and Clay and Gemma. 

Which leads to the revelation of Sons of Anarchy’s worst-kept secret: that Clay has been using the nomads for the home invasions. Unser has pretty much pieced it together for himself, but he also made the mistake of telling Clay. Given what Clay did to Piney in the last series, this isn’t a good idea and it really wouldn’t be surprising if Clay made an attempt on Unser’s life. Whilst Clay’s health has improved and he no longer needs to use the oxygen tank, he’s still carrying it around and hasn’t told anyone that he is better. It is possible that this is to prevent the home invasions leading back to him, as he could just claim that he is too ill to be capable of them. 

This week, Carla returned and then exited the show permanently. After forcing Gemma to perform a sex act on Nero at gunpoint, she shot herself in the head. It is then revealed by Nero that she was his half-sister and that she was in love with him. It probably would have been more effective to reveal this before she had died, as the shock of seeing Carla shoot herself and then Nero explaining this straight afterwards made it a little hard to take in. 

This week’s Sons of Anarchy was certainly one of the darkest episodes yet, and it almost feels like some of the characters are now past redemption. 

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

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