September 26, 2012

Quick Thoughts: SONS OF ANARCHY, "Laying Pipe"

Wow... just wow.

Let's just get into it. R.I.P. Opie. While I did have an inkling that something huge was going to go down during this week's episode (thanks, Twitter!), I really wasn't expecting the death of a major character to be it. That said, once it was made clear that someone was going to die, the only logical choice was Opie (especially after Jax came clean about why Clay had to live) and damn it all if it didn't affect me. Opie was by far my favorite character on the show, and I was just praising Ryan Hurst's work, and of course he had to be killed off. But when emotions subsided, it was the right choice from a dramatic and story perspective. The narrative no longer allowed Opie to go anywhere after everything that happened with Clay, so the only choice was to write him out of the show in a way that could revitalize the series. In the end, he played his part and played it exceptionally well.

There are some cynics online who believe that Opie's death was Kurt Sutter's way of proving that he has the guts to kill off a major character since he got so much crap for letting Clay live at the end of Season 4. I don't buy it. I for one didn't think Clay HAD to die because that would've been asinine. Sure, it would've been ballsy, but Clay's still too important to the story. I for one think that Opie's death was the only way to justify keeping Clay alive. Since day one, Jax and Clay have been headed on a collision course towards one another, but something's always gotten in the way. Once Jax is no longer under the thumb of the C.I.A./the Irish/the One-Niners/whomever, then it's open season and the fact that Clay's been responsible for the deaths of his father and best friend (not to mention taking a hit out on his wife) will propel him to kill him once and for all. Honestly, Jax being the one to take out Clay will be more satisfying than if Opie had done it at the end of last year, and now there's no reason for him not to.

Elsewhere, I'm getting a little tired of Gemma's routine of butting in on Tara's life and always threatening her to get her way. Yes, she's lost her position within the club's hierarchy and she's fighting to stay relevant, but bringing in Jax's ex felt like a desperate move from a once proud woman. Again, it all makes sense within the context of where Gemma's at right now, but that doesn't make it inherently interesting. I did get a kick out of her beating the crap out of Sharpay though, even though her back and forth with Clay's also worn out its welcome.

Overall, I do commend Kurt Sutter for killing off Opie because even though it was predictable, it was also a bold move that most showrunners would either back away from or wait until the very end to pull the trigger (or swing the pipe in this case. Sorry, too soon?) It'll suck not having Ope around, but it was the right call at the end of the day.


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