‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Recap: Ron Perlman Talks Clay’s Big Reveal In Last Night’s Final Moments
Sons of Anarchy was crazy, stupid, silly good last night, moving on from the heartbreaking opening episodes and last week’s comedic interlude back into high-octane violence. Though Joel McHale’s cameo wasn’t quite the game changer that we and other publications predicted it to be (but more on that next week), the episode “Small World” offered some jaw-dropping twists, one of which Ron Perlman gave an interview to discuss.
SPOILER ALERT: Only warning.
“Small World” was a pretty busy episode for Sons of Anarchy‘s season five, as several story arcs were wrapped up simultaneously as new ones that will set the tone for the rest of the season to come were planted. It should surprise anyone that Eli Roosevelt’s wife succumbed to her injuries from last week’s home invasion, though, with the hope of DNA caught under her fingernails, Roosevelt will become a significant adversary to the MC as a naive Jax attempts to forge an alliance with him (but more on that later).
Otto Delaney (played with chilling subtlety by creator Kurt Sutter) also made his season five debut with Tara trying to convince him to reverse his testimony on the RICO case against the club by holding his own death sentence over his head (with RICO stalled, so is Delaney’s execution, which he cut a deal to move up).
Nero Padilla’s business partner Carla wrapped her story arc with this episode as well after attempting to force Nero and Gemma at gunpoint into some not-so-friendly copulation. She ultimately commits suicide, which was both shocking and fitting, and it was revealed by Nero that Carla was not only his half-sister but also the reason he set himself on the straight and narrow.
This episode also included the pay-off that we’ve been waiting for for a couple of episodes: Jax’s revenge for Opie’s death. I won’t say anything more than it was incredibly satisfying, and it was good of Sutter to wrap this particular subplot as soon as he did.
Oh, hey, Adam Arkin directed this episode. Does this mean that his villainous Ethan Zobelle from season two will make a comeback?
Also, Joel McHale showed up in the final moments, playing a highly-criminalized Jeff Winger. Not much else to report on his cameo as of the now.
A minor character plot that I’ll be keeping an eye on is that of retired and cancer-ridden SAMCRO ally Wayne Unser. His relationship with club-queen Gemma has been fairly ambiguous up to this point, with Unser obviously in love with her while she keeps him in the friend zone, taking him out when she needs something done. Unser tells her off in this episode over this very dynamic as she tries to “I don’t want the ruin the friendship” him off the ledge. His chilling prediction that she will die alone just like he will and his knowledge (and possible implication) in the murder of Jon Teller may come to a head in coming episodes. Unser also ambiguously hinted to Clay that he has deduced the disgraced MC king as the responsible party behind the home invasions, which Damon Pope confirmed as not the responsibility of the One-Niners or any of his people.
That subject provided the meat and the major twist of the episode. Clay has been working behind-the-scenes to disrupt Jax’s leadership with the aide of several new MC members (whom we have no reason to trust whatsoever) and to win back his estranged wife, Gemma. It has become obvious over the course of the season that we’re looking at two SAMCROs at the same table and a coming civil war among the Charming chapter. On one side, you have newly-minted President Jax and all of his familiar allies (including a pensive-but-loyal Tig) and on the other (sitting symbolically at the direct-opposite end of the table) former club-head Clay Morrow with his band of newbie nobodies and an impressionable Juice.
In the final scene, it is revealed that Clay’s faction of bikers (sans Juice) are in fact behind the home invasions that have plagued SAMCRO allies thus far this season. Another thing we all suspected that was revealed for keeps is that Clay has completely recovered from his injuries suffered at the hands of Opie last season and that he’s affecting weakness publicly to assuage any suspicion.
Honestly, none of this surprised me. Am I the only one who saw the leg brace on the one home invader in the first episode? The camera clearly pointed to it. The only other character on the show wearing such a brace? One of the new SAMCRO bikers (honestly, I haven’t bothered to learn their names because I believe they’re just cannon fodder). It has been painfully obvious that Clay is behind the home invasions, but it had to come out once and for all at some point, and Sutter still gets creative genius points for setting up a shaky alliance between Jax and Roosevelt over his dead wife that will only be dashed when the DNA test comes back and reveals that a Sons member killed his wife.
Speaking the The Hollywood Reporter about Clay’s arc, Ron Perlman said that “it’s been very tense” on the set this season, and that “No one feels safe — No one feels safe that they’re even going to make it to the next episode.” Speaking to Clay’s subversive story arc this season, Perlman said:
“There’s a determination on both their parts to settle scores. What this season is going to be is this obsession of Jax’s to try to get the club more in the spirit of the anti-Clay. And the obsession of Clay to try to unearth the fact that Jax is not ready to lead because he’s too much like his dad.”
As far as his own fate beyond this season, Perlman played coy:
“I’ve only known for three or four days where I end up in season five,” he says. “I have zero idea where I start out in season six, much less whether I make it to season seven — I don’t even know if I’ll make it to season six. I really don’t. That’s the cliffhanger of this year. Is that for the first time you are left to wonder, ‘what the f—?’”
Sound off your thoughts on last night’s Sons of Anarchy episode “Small World.” Were you surprised that Clay was behind the home invasions?