When we last left Charming at the end of SONS OF ANARCHY Season 4, there was a new President at the head of the table, with a new “First Lady” by his side. Thanks to the demands of the Russian gun runners, Clay was kept alive; a lucky twist of fate from MACHETE’s Danny Trejo kept the Sons out of too much trouble with the FBI; and Juice, poor Juice, was left in jail, recovering from a failed suicide attempt with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
When the show comes roaring back in tonight’s 90 minute Season 5 Premiere, things are different in Charming. Jax is running the show, with Tara and a new Vice President by his side. Now that Gemma is out in the cold, not the big mama on campus any more, she’s filling the void left in her life with whatever sex, drugs, and alcohol she can find. Opie is still as mad as he’s ever been, and rightfully so. He’s one of a very select few who know the truth about Piney, and it’s keeping him from the club. As always, however, with change comes new enemies and allies in town. Playing the angel and demon Jax’s shoulder this year will be the smooth criminal Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits) and the horribly intimidating oft-mentioned never-shown Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau doing some of his best work in a career of awesome work), to new characters that bring a fresh air and new quality to a series in the back half of its lifespan. Future episodes will find Joel McHale and Ashley Tisdale putting some time in, and some familiar faces heading back to the fold.
The show seems frantic, never sure where to settle or how many balls to throw in the air without having them all crash down at once – but to me, that’s where the show succeeds. Everything that these people get themselves involved in could have horrific ramifications that will impact the rest of their lives. Take Tig for example – I didn’t choose the picture of Kim Coates as a coincidence. We get to see a whole new side of him in tonight’s episode and the story that starts tonight has stuck with me since the minute I watched the premiere. I’m scared for him, and excited to see where the show goes.
With so much danger around every corner, how much longer than the club last? I, for one, cannot wait to find out where we go from here. What about you?
SONS OF ANARCHY returns tonight to FX Tuesdays at 10/9c.