By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Follow on Twitter @DamonMartin
(As the new season of Sons of Anarchy approaches, the Nerdcore Movement will present a special Days of Anarchy news section with interviews, video and information about the upcoming sixth season of the show)
The outlaw biker drama Sons of Anarchy will return for season 6 just over a month from now, but we can’t forget just how momentous season 5 was from start to finish. The fifth season packed as much emotional turmoil as any in the show’s history, and like every year the bikers from SAMCRO dealt with love, loss, tragedy and occasionally a small slice of happiness.
Now here are the top five moments from the Sons of Anarchy’s fifth season from No. 5 all the way down to No. 1
5) Venus Fly Trap
If you’ve ever watched the FX shows Justified or The Shield, you’re well aware of actor Walter Goggins, who is as tough and nasty as they come when he’s on screen.
Goggins worked with Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter when he was the lead writer on The Shield, and the two always hoped to work together again when that series ended. Unfortunately, Sutter believed that bringing Goggins on his new show, it would be hard to sell him as any other character than the cop he portrayed when he was on The Shield.
Sutter found the perfect way however as he introduced transsexual escort Venus Van Dam, in the fifth episode of season 5. In the thick of a blackmail plot against a city councilman, the Sons decide to photograph the passed out politician engaged in some nefarious activities with Ms. Van Dam.
Goggins played the role brilliantly, and his interactions with the cast during the short sequence was nothing less than spectacular and disturbingly sinful.
4) Turn About is Fair Play
Throughout every season of Sons of Anarchy, original member Clay Morrow has just done the most dastardly and evil deeds imaginable. From beating up his wife to having a member’s wife gunned down to almost killing but certainly seriously injuring his stepson’s wife, Clay’s actions have almost always been the central focus at the heart of every season.
So when season 5 begins, Clay isn’t quite himself yet because he’s still recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered at the end of season 4. But a wounded dog is still quite dangerous and he proved that with his attempt to get back to the head of the table at SAMCRO while ousting Jax along the way.
Clay decided to orchestrate a series of home invasions aimed at people close to the Sons of Anarchy to scare the citizens of Charming, California into believing their outlaw protection service wasn’t quite pulling its weight any longer. The public upheaval would turn on Jax, and he’d be forced to give up the gavel and hand back the reigns to Clay.
Unfortunately during one home invasion the sheriff’s wife was shot and killed, and Clay’s plan fell apart faster than a trap put together by Wile E. Coyote when trying to snare the Roadrunner. Once Jax got wind of Clay’s deception, he tried tirelessly to get proof so he could not only kick him out of the club, but help him to meet Mr. Mayhem (the club’s version of killing someone).
Jax could never quite get to Clay, and once he decided to confess his sins to the club, they ultimately decided to kick him out, but one member wasn’t ready for him to die, so the devious former president survived another close call.
That was until Jax under his own direction decided to kill Damon Pope, who had notoriously volunteered information earlier in the season that if he ever died, a well-paid hit squad would come gunning for whoever did the deed.
Jax deceived Pope and then allowed Tig to gun down the man who killed his daughter earlier in the season. It was then revealed that the gun used to murder the Oaktown gangster belonged to Clay, fresh with fingerprints and everything. Clay is soon carted off to jail once the murder weapon is found, and one of Pope’s associates orders the hit be finished before the former SAMCRO leader ever makes it to his first hearing.
3) Otto Finally Snaps
SAMCRO member Opie may be the one often looked at as the most abused character on the popular FX show, but in reality you have to dig no deeper than the local prison to find Otto Delaney, who by the time season 5 rolls around is simply a beaten and broken man.
Delaney has lost his wife, his own freedom and seemingly any chance of ever seeing the sunlight again thanks to his involvement with the Sons of Anarchy, so as season 4 closed he decided to turn state’s evidence and rat on the club in a pending RICO trial.
But as season 5 wore on, Otto’s delicate psyche was once again tested as the club decided to send in Jax’s wife, Tara, to infiltrate the prison’s hospital to try and convince their wayward member to recant his statement, and keep the club from destruction courtesy of law enforcement. Tara, a surgeon, volunteered at the prison where she visited Otto on three different occasions.
In the second visit, Tara brought Otto some perfume that his wife Luann used to wear, and he proceeded to smell the fragrance and proceeded to masturbate on a medical table, while the club president’s wife rubbed his head. Why did he do this you ask? Because he wanted to feel the touch of a woman one last time.
So upon her next visit, Tara was asked by Otto to bring a cross that belonged to his dead wife so that he could wear it for a final occasion before meeting his ultimate end in the gas chamber. Little did Tara know that the way Otto was planning on recanting his statement to the government was by ripping off the cross as soon as his restraints were removed, and stabbing a nurse to death with the crucifix.
The felony murder charge evaporated Otto as a witness for the RICO case, but as he said before killing the nurse, “SAMCRO lives, Redwood bleeds”, which meant the motorcycle club wouldn’t die by his hands, but he was going to hurt the home chapter nonetheless by implicating Tara in a murder plot with the cross she illegally handed to him moments before.
2) Tig’s Daughter Goes Out in a Blaze
Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter seems to come up with more devious and sinister plots with each season, but the way he kicked off season 5 was unbelievable, even by normal Sutter standards.
SAMCRO enforcer Tig Trager went on a rampage looking for revenge at the end of season 4 when he believed a gang member had gunned down his long time friend and ally Clay Morrow. Tig went after LaRoy Wayne, the leader of the One-Niners, the suspected gang that took out Clay.
Unfortunately his misguided hit and run left LaRoy alive, and instead killed his girlfriend Veronica Pope. Her father Damon Pope was the head of the biggest criminal organization in all of Oakland, so payback was coming, and it was coming hard.
Tig was lured to a trainyard where he thought he was picking up his misbehaving daughter Dawn, who had been arrested for DUI. Instead, Tig met a crooked cop working for Pope who put him in cuffs as they awaited the arrival of the boss himself.
Pope didn’t take long to reveal that he had indeed kidnapped Trager’s daughter and left her in a pit, alongside Laroy Wayne, who met his death hours earlier. Pope’s henchman doused Dawn in gasoline and Pope tossed in a lighter and Trager could only fall to his knees in tears as his daughter burned alive screaming “Daddy!” the entire time. It’s down right criminal that Kim Coates, who portrays Tig Trager, didn’t get an Emmy nomination for his acting this season, but then again awards show miss the mark so often.
1) Opie’s Tragic Tale Comes to an End
The story of the character Opie Winston can only be described as tragic throughout the four-plus seasons Ryan Hurst portrayed him on Sons of Anarchy. At the end of season 1 just as Opie was starting to find his footing again after a stint in jail, his wife, the mother of his children was murdered.
In season 4, Opie then saw his father Piney gunned down by then club president Clay Morrow in his bid to shut up his former friend from ratting on him to the rest of the members.
So in season 5 with only his kids left to hold him up, Opie went into jail besides Jax, Chibs and Tig, knowing that his long and painful ride was almost over. After finding out that one member was going to die inside as payback to criminal gang lord Damon Pope, Opie uttered his last words “I got this” to his close friend Jax before head butting a prison guard, who in turn threw him to the wolves as he was beaten to death with a lead pipe.
The crack of the metal on the back of Opie’s skull would haunt anybody for several nights to come, and his tragic end came as one of the most shocking moments in TV history, let alone Sons of Anarchy. Months later I got a chance to meet Hurst, and even then it was tough not to want to give the guy a hug and just say “sorry”. Also if you didn’t catch it after last season’s finale, make sure to check out how the cast of Sons of Anarchy said goodbye to Hurst after his final episode aired this season in the video below (music by The Deer Tick titled “Goodbye, Dear Friend”)
[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″ video_id=”WuojNLM16VU”]