TV Review: SONS OF ANARCHY 5.4 “Stolen Huffy”

SAMCRO buries a Son as Jax struggles to find the light.

A Son was laid to rest as new deals were made and old conflicts reached a boiling point in this episode of Sons of Anarchy.

I expected “Stolen Huffy” to deliver an hour’s worth of falling action after Opie’s death last week. While there was plenty of that going on, especially in the beginning and end of the hour, this episode also offered a fun, if empty, chase scene plus some forward momentum by Jax and crew.

Before the boys said goodbye to Opie for good, Jax got the club to vote in favor of handing over a huge chunk of their cartel running profits to Pope. Clay wasn’t having it, as usual, but the motion passed anyway. That means SAMCRO is officially in business with Pope.

Jax seemed intrigued by the idea of getting closer to Pope and possibly benefiting from the deal, which is a more than a bit odd, since Pope is the man who orchestrated the death of Jax’s best friend. But we know Jax admires the way Pope can steer clear of his organization’s dirty work. Pope is a “respectable business man” who hangs with judges, senators and corporate kings. I don’t see Jax ever wanting to hang with that crowd, but he desperately wants his club to move away from the type of business that’s been gutting them from the inside out over the past few seasons. Jax is scared and sad, and he’s looking for any opportunity to keep SAMCRO from feeling more pain.

I had a hard time with Jax’s business proposal to Nero. Jax is an outlaw, but I don’t see the guy as a pimp. Of course, SAMCRO’s point of view on the subject of prostitution is pretty simple - “working girls” need to work. But it’s hard not to recoil at the sad, exploitative nature of Nero’s business. And seeing Jax get mixed up in that just feels wrong. This pact with Nero has disaster written all over it, especially with the giant truck of baggage between Nero, Gemma, Clay and Carla.

And speaking of Carla … that was a brutal beat down Tara gave her in the garage. At first, Tara falling into Gemma’s trap so easily here seemed to ring false, but it made sense after I recalled all the stress Tara was dealing with at the moment. Not only was Tara shaken by Jax’s most recent stint in lockup, she was also dealing with Wendy’s ongoing intrusions into her life plus Gemma’s newfound frenemy-ship with Wendy. The end to that scene – with Tara’s cast crunching down on Carla’s face – was the most violent image of the night.

Gemma is falling apart, but the lady brawl scene reminded us that she still has some influence over the people in her life. Still, watching Gemma forced to call Wendy to bail her out of jail and witnessing her breakdown after learning of Opie’s death wasn’t easy to sit through. Of course, Gemma is partly to blame for all the pain and chaos that’s going on around here.

Emma Jean, we hardly knew ya. What did you think of Disney Channel’s very own Ashley Tisdale as a dim bulb prostitute? I was a little surprised to find that much of the action in this episode revolved around getting her character to safety. And keeping Emma Jean safe from Nero’s band of batos locos may have just put SAMCRO in one of its tightest spots yet – where are they gonna get a finger and a sliced-off breast (blech)? Sometimes it pays to be tight with the town coroner.

The club finally said goodbye to Opie. The image of the big biker lying in that black box was unsettling and cryptic. But the episode’s moving final scene, set to Greg Holden’s “Lost Boy,” felt like a fine tribute to a sad, quiet but beloved character. Here’s hoping the outlook will be a little sunnier for SAMCRO after burying Ope, because I’m not sure if I can take any more tragedy this season.