“Sons of Anarchy” had a very strong season last year that, unfortunately, came to a very unsatisfactory conclusion. After 12 episodes of intense buildup involving all the swirling plots, the deus ex machina reveal in the finale that saved Clay’s (Ron Perlman) life and unwillingly and more deeply entrenched Jax (Charlie Hunnam) in SAMCRO as its leader felt completely unearned.
Look, I like Perlman’s performance on “Sons” very much, but the narrative had led to a point where he had to die. With Season 5 being hampered by the decision to keep Clay alive, I’ll admit the first two episodes at least do a good job of distracting the audience from this folly.
With SAMCRO’s gun deal with the Irish being the only thing keeping the RICO case at bay, the club now has a new, powerful enemy. When Tig (Kim Coates) caused the death of Oakland gangster Damon Pope’s (Harold Perrineau) daughter, Pope set vengeful sights on SAMCRO.
There is a palpable sense of action and excitement is Season 5, but I feel like stakes are nearly non-existent, based on past results. And this make me less forgiving to the occasional clunky dialog or plot contrivances “Sons” tends to employ. I’m still invested in (and mostly enjoy) this series, but I don’t view it as one of the best on television.