My love for FX began on March 12th, 2002, with the airing of the pilot episode of The Shield. I knew right then and there, that this channel was going to do some major things. Sure, they’ve had a very minimal amount of flops, such as the short lived show in which Courtney Cox Arquette portrayed a tabloid photographer, but for the most part, even the shows that didn’t make it past a single season, such as Terriers, a show that I personally loved starring one of my favorite character actors, Donal Logue. Thinking back, to exactly how many great shows came from FX, and it’s pretty amazing. On top of The Shield, came Rescue Me, Wilfred, Louie, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, American Horror Story, the channel also recaptured some of the magic of The Shield(with some familiar names and faces), with a new Crime/Drama centering on a family of outlaw motorcycle gang members with Sons Of Anarchy in 2008. Some shows take a few episode to really work you into the groove, but not SOA. From the first few frames, I knew it was going to be epic.
SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW!!!
It has been a long, intense road we have traveled with the boys of SAMCRO. And on September 10th, we’ll be transported back to Charming, where we will have to live in constant fear that they will be killing our favorite characters off. We learned in this season(FIVE) that, nobody is safe. If anything, a character being a fan favorite almost guarantees that they’ll meet Mr. Mayhem. If you’re not current on the show, hopefully you’ve stopped reading by now, because in a lot of ways, it’s really hard to discuss the impact of this season without mentioning a few spoilers. If you’re brave, and still reading despite the warnings, Opie died. Not only did he die, but they killed him off relatively early in the season, which, if it shocked me as much as it did, I know it had to shock other people even more. Opie has long been a fan favorite character, but in season five, he saw his last ride. He didn’t go out like a bitch, at least, so we have to be thankful for that, even if he will be severely missed.
Opies death, sets in motion an extremely intricate plot by Jax, to solve all of the club, and his family’s problems. “I’m tired of being crushed under the weight of men who believe in nothing”, as he says. So he uses the hate he feels for the death of Opie, and sets ablaze(in a smart way) the institutional failure that was responsible for his demise. The writers and creators of the show have since warned us, that nobody is safe, and characters we love will absolutely die in the sixth season. As to who will stay and who will go, I’d say it will be equally as shocking as those that left for good in the fifth season.
On top of taking away one of our favorite characters, season five also adds one of my new favorite characters, Nero Padilla, played by the always fabulous, and arguably the best Dexter villain in the history of that show, Jimmy Smits. Padilla is a pimp, trying desperately to turn legit, who wakes up in a room full of women that are nude and unconscious. One of these nude women just happens to be Gemma. After her last encounter with Clay, beating her around for brushing up against him during the crumbling of the legacy that has been built on decades of lies, Gemma has been in a bit of a tailspin, Clay is pretty much an outsider at this point, and tensions between Gemma and Tara have reached a boiling point, which leads to a most lost and broken version of Gemma, trying to find her way.
Other interesting character introductions this season include Damon Pope, a land developer and king of the drug dealing gangsters played by Harold Perrineau(LOST). Perrinineau can’t seem to catch a break. Almost every character he lands in high profile gigs like this almost always has at least layers of douchebaggery to them. That being said, he does a good job portraying the vicious urban king. Also introduced(Later in the season) is Lee, a former U.S. Marshall that has ridden into town to avenge the death of his little sister, who was murdered by Otto in the prison infirmary.
There are a lot of moving parts to this season, as with always, so it’s good to be able to sit down and watch episode after episode, rather than having to wait week to week, and still have everything that’s going on fresh in your head. The new season starts in two weeks, so now is the best time for you to refresh your memory. As one could expect, you’ve never seen the show quite like you will experience it on Blu-Ray. On top of the phenomenal video and audio quality(Yes, it’s way better looking/sounding than it was in HD when it aired), but several episodes have been released in a “Creator’s Cut” form, which is basically extended cuts of various episodes. Also included are deleted scenes, commentaries on several key episodes, a gag reel, a tribute to Opie Winston, an interview with Kurt Sutter on the creation of the show and more. Also, one of my favorite features when it comes to TV on Blu-Ray, is Season mode, which plays every episode in the season seamlessly, rather than you having to navigate the menu between episodes, and even between discs. It makes for a great viewing experience.
Sons of Anarchy Season Five is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital, from 20th Century Fox.