Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Review “Ablation” — The Truth Sets Gemma More Free Than She’d Like

In ‘Ablation’, the Sons of Anarchy deal with the aftermath of last week’s episode. Gemma’s distraught at the thought of telling Jax and Tara the truth — that she crashed because she was high. Clay covers for her and tells Jax that she was forced off the road by the same guys that shot at him and Chibs, a lie which comes back to bite Gemma in the ass when Jax and Tara learn the truth and cut her out of their lives.

Events take an even worse turn when Frankie Diamonds takes Nero and Lyla hostage to lure out Jax (along with Chibs and Bobby). Nero gives him the money he’s asking for to diffuse the situation, and Frankie leaves — bringing Chibs with him, but not before he shoots Lyla in the thigh. Later, he leaves Chibs unconscious on the side of a road after chickening out on killing him.

Meanwhile, Clay grows suspicious about Roosevelt’s interest in Juice and forces him to admit the truth — about the feds and the RICO case, the coke he stole, and what happened to Miles. In return, Clay tells Juice how he lured the nomads to Unser’s trailer and killed them. Clay reassures him: “Everybody at that table’s done something that puts them outside the Reaper. Self-disclosure kills the group.”

The episode ends with Jax cutting Gemma a deal. She stands a chance of getting back into their lives, but only if she helps him prove that Clay was behind the nomads’ home invasions. How? She has to ‘let [Clay] in’, ‘get his trust’, ‘sleep with him’ and ‘make him feel like a king’.

This was a pretty solid episode of SOA. Trouble is, it sort of felt like we’d seen it all before, and the stuff we hadn’t seen (Jax’s intelligent plan to figure out if Pope is lying to them) felt like it was misused. It probably would have been a lot more interesting if it had been Pope behind the attack on Jax and Chibs. (I suppose it still could be him, but the fall guy — pardon the pun — didn’t seem like he was lying.) It was a lot of work to just bring us right back around to Frankie Diamonds again.

Speaking of Frankie, I was so worried about Chibs for a moment there. He’s one of my favourite SOA characters, especially this season when I’m finding most of the regulars quite unlikable, so I’m hoping he survives the season. It would have been nice if someone had given a frak about him after Frankie took him, but if they did, it wasn’t shown. Jax even went home and then off to plot and plan without seeming at all worried. Lovely.

Then there was Jax’s deal with Gemma. The problems with this are twofold, so bear with me, dear reader:

Firstly: Not only have we seen Tara getting high this season, but we’ve also seen her turning off the baby monitor whilst getting high. This is seriously pot and kettle. It could easily have been her who harmed her kids somehow after smoking weed. Usually I wouldn’t say ‘give Gemma a pass’, but cutting her out of their lives completely? Obviously they’re not doing it for the sake of the kids, if they’re willing to let her back in if she helps them bring down Clay.

(Besides, I don’t trust Tara’s judgement in anything right now. It’s like she’s actively trying to destroy her hand before it can finish healing, despite the good prognosis.)

Secondly: They’re not just asking Gemma to hang out with Clay and make him feel like he stands a chance at rebuilding his life with her. Nope, they’re asking her to sleep with him and treat him well. Yeah? Okay. Will he believe her? I don’t think even Clay will buy that Gemma suddenly thinks that he’s god’s gift to the world just because she’s on the outs with Jax. And what if he doesn’t believe her? It’s not like Clay’s been shy with his fists in the past. Despite what she’s done, Jax is potentially putting her in harm’s way.

It could be argued that it’s worth it if they get enough proof to bring Clay down. But let’s really think about this, folks. The club members are supposed to trust each other. If Jax, Chibs and Bobby explain the situation to them, wouldn’t they at least listen? It’s not like the list of things Clay’s done that hurt the club is particularly short: in addition to the nomad situation, he had Donna Winston killed, attempted to kill Tara, and killed John Teller. It would probably have been a smarter decision to pretend to forgive Gemma, get her onside and then use her as a witness against Clay for those events.

(At this point I’m not even sure what the actual plan is. What proof can Gemma get? Do they just want Clay to admit that he’s behind the home invasions? They already know that.)

If you’ve got a better handle on the events of this episode, dear reader, please leave your thoughts in the comments below. This reviewer needs to go and re-watch the episode to figure out just what the hell everyone is thinking…