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SONS OF ANARCHY “Laying Pipe” Recap – Shocking Loss

After a week of Fantastic Fest, server issues and a computer crash, this one didn’t quite make it out of the gate on time.  I knew something huge was planned for Episode Three of Sons of Anarchy Season Five, but I couldn’t anticipate what actually went down.  Or, well, I could and did, but not until we were very close to the incident taking place.  Let me back up and recap so I can really get into the subject at hand.

Laying Pipe” (leave it to Sutter) opens with Chibs, Jax, Opie and Tig being ushered in to general population at county lock-up.  The three men are immediately approached by a group of men assumed to be part of the Niners or Pope’s crew, but the crew the cartel has inside steps up to defend the Sons.  Soon after they settle in Jax is pulled out for a meeting in the jail offices with Pope.  The meeting is set up to let Jax know that there is a way out, but only for a price.  His first condition is that Tig will stay in jail for the rest of his life so he can be tortured at Pope’s slightest whim, second is that he gets half of the profits from the Sons’ dealings, and last but not least he has to have a dead Son to show he isn’t letting Tig’s actions go unpunished.  The caveat to this is that it has to be one of the men that is in jail with Jax currently as the death will be orchestrated by the prison guards at the hands of Pope’s men.  This instantly sparked a round and round about who it would be between my husband and myself.

Gemma goes to get the kids from daycare at the hospital and finds out that she isn’t on “the list” of people that can pick the kids up.  She immediately goes to Tara, who essentially tells her to eff off.  This really gets Gemma’s panties in a wad and she goes this time to Wendy, telling her that Tara has a pain pill dependency, but Wendy knows Gemma too well to fall for it completely.  Wendy decides it would be a good idea to go talk with Tara, but instead of making headway in seeing Abel, she finds out that Tara has been taking her Gemma lessons to heart.  If Wendy wants anything to do with her son, she’s going to have to fight…most likely dirty.  Ultimately Tara has to tell Gemma her kids are off limits and that if she can’t handle it she might need to watch out for retribution, not from her, but from Jax.  Tara is seriously playing with fire and no doubt she is about to get burned.

Juice idiotically takes Clay to Nero’s place after Clay tells him he can’t stand not knowing.  Big mistake on several fronts.  First, Clay decides to take advantage of the situation and grabs a room with Emma Jean (Ashley Tisdale).  Gemma appears just as Clay and Emma Jean finish up and the older woman loses it, kicking the farm girl’s ass.  She swears to Nero it’s out of hate, not love or jealousy, indicating she cares what he thinks and she is invested in the time she has been sending him with him.  Ultimately Clay calls the law in on Nero’s place and Gemma along with Nero and all the girls gets arrested.

The guard that Jax is meant to set up the sacrificial lamb of the Sons with is stationed in solitary.  Jax has to start a fight to get all the Sons taken down.  After the guard in question comes in and talks to Jax, he has to tell Opie everything from the cartel to the CIA to Pope and the ultimatum.  I think Opie made a decision right then and there, but Jax didn’t realize it.  Jax defies Pope by not choosing any of his prison mates to be the sacrifice, but just as he tries to go down himself, Opie takes the same approach he did to get put in jail in the first place and attacks the correction officer.  The decision is made for them at that point.  Opie went in to protect Jax and in the ultimate sacrifice he does just that.  Pope’s men take Opie down after he gets a few good whacks in on them with a pipe the guards left him “to make it sporting”.  In a shocking and saddening turn of events, our beloved Opie is brutally beaten to death in front of the remaining jailed Sons.

While being taken back to talk with Pope one last time, Jax swears to the guard that sentenced Opie to death that he is going to hunt him down.  Jax takes control of his second meeting with Pope, telling him that he needs Tig’s freedom as an exchange for Opie, but promises Pope can have him back when he has served his purpose.  I want to believe he is lying, but he is so broken by Opie’s death that he doesn’t seem to care about much of anything.  At this point he may be directly holding Tig responsible for the loss of Opie since everything with Pope was sparked by his actions.  Chibs is made aware of the arrangement and is taxed with finding information on the solitary guard. Jax makes it clear to Tig that he owes Jax his life and is never to go against him with regard to the club or anything else ever again.  Tig gets it, but I’m not convinced that he will hold to it as Clay comes out more and more as a challenger.

It’s taken me two days to process what happened.  I had to look at the screen through my fingers as Opie was taken down.  I understand the motivation and the reasoning behind it, but I will definitely miss the boy.  I was relieved Tig wasn’t left for dead or killed in Opie’s stead.  I had looked forward to a story line in which Opie would become something of an adversary to Jax and find his own strength and voice, but this was not to be.  The impact of this episode will ripple through the rest of this season, it should be a good ride.

What do you think will be Clay’s next move?  Share in the comments!

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Note: The events that delayed my recap and review did so just long enough that another shock related to this show was reported with the horrendous loss of Catherine Davis, the woman killed by Johnny Lewis who played Kip “Half Sack” Epps on Sons of Anarchy. It is awful and sad that Lewis was able to go on over the past year without an effort to rehabilitate or incarcerate him and this innocent woman’s lost life is the result of our broken justice and mental health system.  Everyone has seen Sutter’s quote by now so I won’t rehash it, but he, as so many others in Lewis’ life saw the possibilities of what could be and sadly those possibilities became reality.  I couldn’t let this article go by without mentioning the tragedy and expressing my condolences to Davis’ family and friends, as well as to those Lewis left behind when he didn’t get the help he so obviously and desperately needed.

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Cat Edison

Cat Edison

Cat is an Austinite once removed with an affinity for film, TV, comics, graphic novels, and really anything she can read or watch. She gets emotionally invested in movie, television and literary characters, to an unhealthy degree. Cat has always had a passion for writing and there is little she loves more. Hopeful cynic and funny lady.