Donal Logue is one of the best of his generation of actors, as is Jimmy Smits. These two men elevate everything they are cast in.
Now, combine this with one of the tightest, most talented thespian ensembles around with Kurt Sutter's writing team and Paris Barclay as director, the results are Emmy award level television that appeals to one of the most diverse audiences ever.
The show is on fire this season 5, and it promises to bring us to season 6 with us sitting on the edge of the chair.
Let's first discuss Donal Logue, who is a rogue marshal introduced in ‘To Thine Own Self,’ cast as Lee Toric, a man who is after Otto (Kurt Sutter) and from the looks of it, Tara (Maggie Siff) too.
You jest if you think Miss Tara is going to toodle off to her new profile hospital job unscathed. There's something big coming for her. Not quite sure what yet but be assured she and Jax are in for a very rough time. Very.
Toric has come to Stockton on the heels of the gruesome attack and murder of Logue's real life sister cast as a salty prison nurse (Karina Logue) whose own brilliance was on display alongside brother Donal in "Terriers: on FX. Great to see them again, and I hope Toric lasts well into season 6.
This episode also brings the dithering action of Juice (Theo Rossi) to a head, the club disgusted with his ineffectual ability to manage things. His alliance with Clay (Ron Perlman) still murky as to loyalty issues, and he is now a pariah.
Tara's trying to exit, but the tar of Charming has her deep in the pit. She is pushing for the move to Oregon, and interviews for the hospital job without telling Jax (Charlie Hunnam) first.
This is major, as she is ready to face life away from the familiar and is quite buoyant about the notion.
Cut to an epic gun blazing chase scene with Mexicans and the SAMCRO guys in a station wagon, and the glee and adrenalin rush shows that these men LIVE for this outlaw life, and Jax playing house hubby in Oregon just isn't going to fly.
Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Nero (Jimmy Smits) are tragic, especially Nero, who is really in love with our matriarch, who is desperate to appease her son and keep her lover, without tipping off Clay in the process. Clay is so intuitive and wily, this is going to blow up; you know it will.
Smits deserves major props for that emotional scene at the kitchen door. Powerful. When a man loves a woman, this is what it looks like. He is so good in this role.
Another Emmy award scene occurs between Clay and Tig (Kim Coates) as a semi brother bonding truce backfires. Great actors can relay pages of dialogue with their actions and faces. You feel their intent, their emotions, and Coates shows why he is a superlative actor and is deserving of so much respect in this cast of giants.
So now the RICO is history, Jax is racing to align the CIA-backed Galindo up with the Mayans, Chinese and the Niners for the guns and drugs trade. Henry Lin (Kenneth Choi) is his plan for guns to rid Galen and the Irish from the equation. Lots of funny 'Irish hates Mexican' quips in this episode.
So Jax seemingly is the architect of the great SAMCRO pull-out from the very dangerous guns and drugs trade, as Romeo Parada (Danny Trejo) and his buddy Luis Torres (Benito Martinez) are weighting their next move.
Sons of Anarchy's writing team has delivered a real sense of unpredictability and a myriad of new possibilities to consider here, as the episode ends with Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) coming to Clay for reasons we will find out.
The wildcards of Tig's longevity (Pope wants him dead yesterday), Pope's arc and the depth of Toric's thorn in the side of SAMCRO remains to be seen. Don't forget, Darthy is the name of the next episode, which reminds me of a character I've missed terribly, as he had a softening after the fire disfigured him. If Darby (Mitch Pileggi) is added to this mix this season, well Happy Thanksgiving indeed.
What say you all?
Sons of Anarchy continues next Tuesday with ‘Darthy’ @10pm on FX. Check out a preview of the episode below: