Sons Of Anarchy Review: “Ablation” (Season 5, Episode 8)

In my reviews of Sons of Anarchy thus far this season, I’ve constantly been taking issue with this and that. While I don’t go back on what I said entirely, those complaints have been moderately trivialized by this week’s episode, “Ablation.” What’s important about the remaining episodes is the direction in which we’re headed, not how it was that we got there.

For instance, I could point out that Juice’s father being black was proven already to be a non-issue when Juice came out about it to Chibs, making it seem just a tad odd that he’s still so visibly nervous about it getting out. Call what led up to him telling Clay about it, and everything else, flimsy. Or I could say it felt like a contrived way to let Clay in on nearly everything surrounding the RICO case.

But the end, to a certain extent, justifies the means. Take for instance Clay’s forced loyalty upon him by becoming his brother in deceit, filling Juice in on his own indiscretions as relates to the home invasions. Clay could’ve killed him, which felt to me like the more obvious option, but he saw an opportunity to steal someone over to his side by making clear to Juice that they’re cut from the same cloth.

Yes, Juice could notify the club of what Clay confessed to him, but it would most likely be his head too as Clay could do the same and rat Juice out as the rat. Further, one can envision a scenario in which Clay could actually use his knowledge to come out on top in the end. By revealing to the rest of the club what Jax has been hiding from them about the feds and the RICO case against the club, Clay could finally succeed in turning the club against their new president.

Admittedly, it wouldn’t be easy for him to then swing taking back the president’s chair himself, but I would put nothing past Clay at this point. He doesn’t just juggle lie after lie, he manages to make each and every one of them work, such as his lie to Jax about Gemma being run off the road. While he and Gemma were eventually found out, and it only made things worse for both of them in the end, by telling that lie he momentarily helped his ploy to get Gemma back at the same time as he further implicated Pope.

Moreover, even when he’s lying outright, he’s lying by omission as he does with Juice. Clay gives him the basics about his deal with the Nomads yet conveniently leaves out what exactly his plan was with all of that. If Juice knew the whole truth, I doubt it’d be long before he was guilted into coming clean by Jax or someone else.

If that were to happen, Clay could always out him as well, discrediting both him and his claims, but that’s still not something he really wants to happen. He wants Juice, his “son” as he calls him, the apple that didn’t fall far from the tree, by his side just as Jax wanted to keep Tig in his pocket for his benefit. Clay is now capable of convincing Juice to vote with him on anything and everything under the threat of exposure, thus negating Jax’s earlier advantage.

Except that’s not going to stop Jax from having his way, as this week’s episode proved time and time again. He’s, for all intents and purposes, become a young Clay, malice and lies seeming to flow as readily from him as they do from Clay. On one hand, this transformation bothers me due to its overall lack of subtlety. On the other hand, it provides a nice counterpoint to something else that no one would call subtle, the mirroring of John and Gemma with Jax and Tara at the end of last season.

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