Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Review “To Thine Own Self” — Goodbye RICO?

‘To Thine Own Self’ saw the Sons of Anarchy finally overcome some of their biggest problems outside of the club. Romeo wasn’t impressed with Jax’s efforts to get the RICO case dropped, so he decided to ‘deal’ with the situation. But Jax had already solved all of the cartel’s problems, setting up other crews to deal with the Galindo drugs and guns. The Sons seem to be out and clear.

That leaves Pope, Roosevelt, and Clay to deal with. Jax had Juice track down the paperwork that would prove Clay was behind the Nomads’ home invasions, but Clay got to the papers first. Left with no way to prove he was involved, Jax instead told Chibs and Bobby about Clay’s part in his father’s death and Tara’s attempted murder. At the end of the episode, Bobby went to see Clay. “You gonna kill me, brother?” Clay asked. “I’m going to keep you alive,” Bobby said.

Of course, there are issues that aren’t yet obvious to the club that will have to be sorted out too. For one, Nero has randomly started to completely unspool. He hadn’t seemed particularly unstable before now, but in this episode he shot one of his old crew dead and gave some serious crazy-eye when he visited Gemma. It’s probably not a good thing that he knows Gemma and Clay are sort-of back together. Has he suddenly become crazy because the writers want him to try and take out Clay? We shall see.

Otto was paid two visits by a ‘citizen’ this week, whoever he may be. The first time, this guy beat him up. The second time, he warned Otto that the next few months would be the most painful of his life. Then we later saw him in the hospital as Tara and the kids passed by. Who is he, what does he want, and how is he a danger to the club? I suppose the introduction of a new ‘big bad’ is inevitable, but we haven’t even finished dealing with Pope, Roosevelt and whoever the heck else yet. If this guy is setting up season six it seems as though the Sons won’t have much of a breather before shit gets real again.

Lastly, Tara decided to accept the job offer in Oregon. She’s asked her new employer to keep it hush-hush though. What will Jax think when he finds out? Could this mark the end of their marriage? Or is it all a big fake out leading to a grislier end for Tara as some fans are speculating?

I want to be positive about this episode, but while I was glad to see progress finally made in getting the Sons out of the RICO/Galindo situation, the whole episode just felt…off somehow. There were little things like Nero randomly going crazy, or the scene where Jax and the boys escaped from Nero’s old crew that just felt un-SOA-like somehow.

This might partly have been because of the atrocious dialogue in this episode — what the hell was going on with that? And why was Chucky speaking in rhyme? It sounded stupid. To make matters even worse, Charlie Hunnam’s accent was slipping like never before. I don’t know what was going on this week, but it felt like the perfect storm of random, odd quirks which dragged the episode down.

Overall, not an awful episode, but one that could have been done better. It was good to see the RICO issue wrapped up finally. And with the reveal of Clay’s past indescretions (although, inexplicably, the truth about Piney and Donna’s murders didn’t factor in), things are looking dire for the ex-president…

What did you think of ‘To Thine Own Self’? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!