Spoilers. Big ones. Read at your own risk.
A few minutes after finishing last night's episode of Sons of Anarchy, I hit my Twitter. Having spent the majority of the episode holding my breath and waiting for things to go completely pear-shaped, I had to communicate with the show's leading sadist in the only way I could.
Seriously. The shit is piled up deep, y'all. In what amounted to a tiny, nearly anti-climactic scene between Clay and Gemma near the beginning of the episode, we learned last night that Clay did indeed have John Teller killed, and that Gemma knows about it. Something in me had hoped that there was some other explanation, that Hamlet wasn't going to be followed so literally, just because I want Clay (and especially Gemma) to be redeemable, but it was not to be. Now I'm just glad it's out in the open (for the viewer)--makes it easier to concentrate on their cover-up.
Clay and Gemma clearly have different ideas about how things ought to be handled at this point. Clay looks bound to kill--Piney, Tara, maybe even Unser. Gemma, uncharacteristically, wants to keep blood from spilling, or at least from spilling on Jax. And so they don't trust each other. A lot of last night's episode centered on their attempts to hide things from one another, with Unser right in the middle. It was, to my mind, incredibly well done. It's difficult to know who to bet on in a battle of wits between Clay and Gemma, but it is sure fun to watch it play out.
Unfortunately, last night's episode was also a battle of the witless--namely Juice and Bobby. I can kind of roll with the Juice story line--Juice is acting stupid because Juice *is* stupid. A friend described him as out of his league, like "a cat in a room full of rocking chairs." I can get behind that analysis (and I kind of need to, because it's the only way this plot with him stealing coke from his Club to take to the police works). Watching it happen is teeth-grittingly terrible, but I can sort of see how it would.
Bobby, on the other hand, is supposed to be the smart one. And given that, in what alternate universe does he not know what a terrible idea it is to lie to Otto, who just found out he was sleeping with LuAnn before she died, about the Club having killed Georgie? Clay's decision to keep Georgie alive, facilitated by greed and/or his obsession with keeping development out of Charming, made sense. Jax going along with it, though stipulating that Georgie was dead as soon as he was no longer useful, even made sense. But Bobby lying about it to Otto, just because he couldn't bear to tell Otto the truth? Not buying it. Otto would have been pissed, but his Club loyalty is always being touted--would he really have reacted in any way that could hurt Bobby or the Club? I don't think so. Will he now, when he finds out he's been lied to? Way more likely. I just don't believe Bobby would be that dumb, especially about something he'd had time to think on.
And speaking of characters making dumb decisions, we have to talk about Opie. Ope finds out Lyla has been taking birth control and reacts by--wait for it--sleeping with Ima! I would have expected to hate this plot line, but the way it played out actually really worked. They didn't dance around Jax having done exactly the same thing last season--it was addressed directly--and once again there was a scene between Jax and Opie that made the whole episode. The two actors are SO good together. Best friends is something I've very rarely seem portrayed well on TV, particularly men, and Jax and Opie are perfect.
My final note is on Tara, who was barely seen last night. At the beginning of the episode, Jax presents her with two thick stacks of cash and instructions to get Gemma to show her the ropes as far as stashing it in a safety deposit box. This is one of those moments that is borrowed straight from mob movies, and you expect Tara to show some sign of freaking out. She doesn't. She seems thrilled, and maybe even turned on. I can't help but think that has to be relevant.
After last week's less intense episode, episode 5 got me right back to feeling like this season is going to be an unrelenting high-speed ride. And stressful as watching is becoming, I'm so, so looking forward to whatever next week brings. Once again, my proverbial hat is tipped to the mad sadistic genius of Kurt Sutter.