Sons of Anarchy "Authority Vested" Review: Drop That Zero, Get With This Nero

Sons of Anarchy S05E02: "Authority Vested"

At this point in its life, beardy biker Sons of Anarchy is on *ahem* cruise control. It's Season 5, and while the individual plotlines differ and the bad guys are different colors, the formula remains the same. SAMCRO gets into more beefs than a lonely cattle rancher, shit goes down, and an elaborate plan is executed to get the club out of a jam.

That's not a knock on the show at all. Sons of Anarchy remains one of the most exciting dramas on television and gives us more than our weekly fill of bare asses and bloody faces. It's a soap-opera with anger management issues. But the only things that really change are the peripheral season-specific characters and the relationships within the club.

That's why I'm stoked for Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits), Season 5's mystery man and the most intriguing new addition to the series. He made a spectacular entrance in last week's premiere, bouncing a blind-drunk and naked Gemma off his crotch and playing the role of gentleman the morning after, offering a lot more than scrambled eggs. Nero is deep into SAMCRO now, offering his pimp palace as shelter for fugitive Jax and friends, daring an aiding and abetting charge to come his way, and why? Because he's a nice guy? Ex-gangsters out of the game that have gone on to find success after dropping their colors don't want anything to do with the criminal element, so Nero's involvement raises eyebrows.

But in tonight's "Authority Vested," we got to know Nero a little better and he passed all the tests. He lent SAMCRO's Most Wanted his ride to go pick up a guy who just murdered a cop and some other dude. He has a special needs kid that he visits at a special home. He imparted O.G. wisdom about business ("Every picture's pussy, esse") on Jax during a fatherly conversation. He hosted Tara and Jax's wedding. And he welcomed Gemma into his place when she dropped by unannounced. Oh, and let's not forget that cool car chase he willingly threw himself into to shake a tail, all with a smile on his face like he was back on the playground. I'm beginning to think SAMCRO has a bit of a crush on Mr. Padilla. Heck, I'm beginning to think I have a crush on him.

And that's why we should all start the countdown to Nero pulling a fast one on SAMCRO. Kurt Sutter didn't hire the dynamic Jimmy Smits to join his show and be Mr. Nice Guy, so there has to be something else going on here that will bite the club in the ass when they least expect it. Right now, he's almost replacing Clay, or more correctly, JT. He's arms for Gemma to collapse into, and he's almost a father figure to Jax. If it seems too good to be true in Sons of Anarchy, it's because it is! Red flag red flag red flag!

Less surprising will be the truth that the Nomads are up to some sneaky shit. After the shocking reveal last episode (we think, based on what we assume was Greg the Peg's prosthetic) that they were behind Unser's episode-ending face-punching, we only got a peek at them in this episode. But it was telling! It seems they went straight for Clay's safe to get all those documents, including Clay and Gemma's marriage license and the birth certificate for Thomas, Jax's brother (it took lots of zooming and pausing to figure that one out). Based on how unpredictable this show tends to be, it's stupid to guess what's going on here, but I'll continue what I guessed last week: it's gotta be Clay behind this right? He tells the Nomads to join SAMCRO, and let's them know exactly where his safe is. Well, it's a theory at least. And what's the point in having a beast like Clay lumber around impotent? Clay's declawed, but he's not suddenly a model citizen.

But not all of the people in this show are hiding something. Leave it to Opie to bring the real, putting his differences with Clay aside and paying respect to his brothers by joining them in the clink for solidarity and protection. Just as Jax, Chibs, and Tig were turning themselves in, Opie joined them in grand style, slugging Roosevelt for his entry into prison. That's either incredible loyalty or incredible stupidity, probably both. And while the whole thing may have been influenced by Clay's talk with Opie, you have to respect Opie for staying true to Jax. I wouldn't go to prison for anyone, so please, none of you ask.

"Authority Vested" didn't have the violent bursts of the premiere, but it gave us a better picture of the second season by building up the right characters at the right time. Season 5 is starting to spin a ton of plates, as is the series' style, and soon, they'll come crashing to the ground spectacularly.


NOTES

– I can't tell what Chibs says half the time, and for this episode I may as well have had peanut butter in my ears when he spoke.

– There was so something so perfect about Jax and Tara's wedding, right? No big deal, just getting married. These two may as well have been married this whole time with the amount of doodoo they've been through. In fact, I can't be the only one who forgot that they weren't married when they brought it up. It was simple, with friends, and in a whorehouse, that's how SAMCRO members should get married. Or they should go off in the woods and coordinate it with the murder of a bunch of Russian gangsters, like Opie.

– I'm a little worried that Unser's side-project police work into the break-ins, which I assume are the work of the Nomads under Clay's supervision, will get him into more trouble. And what's this about his theory about white boy break-ins being so different from black guy break-ins? White crimes are sloppy and the violence done is obligatory, whereas black break-ins are cleaner and full of anger? What is that nonsense? Three decades of work on the force and that's what you're going with? That's racist, dude!

– Still not scared of Pope.

– I love the way Chibs gets cuffed: holding out the double bird for the cops.

– In two episodes so far this season, we've been introduced to two character via doggy style. This week, hello Fawn Traeger! Nice to meat meet you!

– Surely Tara would have told the attorney to bring the marriage license directly to her, right? Unless she WANTED it to go into Gemma's hands first just to spite her.

– I'm still a little upset with the whole Romeo and the feds storyline, and every time it comes up it irks me. I understand it keeps Clay in the picture, but Jax holding the secret from everyone else is just setting up a situation where it comes out and everyone gets pissed off at him. Also, SAMCRO having their balls in a vice by the CIA isn't a lot of fun. I prefer my outlaw motorcycle clubs outlaws.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (24)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Not racist - when the retired Police Chief talks about the break-ins being white and not black he is saying that the black MC are very angry with SAMCRO because Pope's daughter was killed. They would be acting with anger in retaliation. The guys that broke in were more going through the motions and knocked him out just to get him out of the way so they could ransack the house...not about Black vs. White in general but "black" as in the black MC crew vs. "White" as in not a rival gang...
Reply
Flag
http://popgoesthearts.blogspot.ca/2012/09/sons-of-anarchy-5x02-review-wedding.html



Everyone check out my opinion on Tuesday nights episode!!
Reply
Flag
Pope is one of the least intimidating bad guys I've seen in a long time. Jimmy Smits comes across as more intimidating and he's supposed to be a "good guy" (currently).
Reply
Flag
Staff
Gemma looking beat. Like she aged 40 years recently. Sup with that?
Reply
Flag
Anyone else notice the papers on the table in front of Clay at the end? I'm presuming these were the stolen docs. Clay looked nowhere near as week in this episode, except when he needed to lay it on thick like when he was talking to Opie. Also it looks like Unser will be Clays next victim.



So Nero is a really nice guy, giving fugitives a hideout, helping the leader of the gang escape a hit, and all for what? Nothing? Gemma can't be that good in the sack! Didn't seem to bother him that Popes people, who just burned a girl alive, know where his kid is either.... Surely Samcro would do some kind of back ground check on Nero though, wouldn't they? Charming can't be that big, and they seem to have a very competent lawyer.



On the subject of kids, where are Jax's kids? If Jax, Tara and Jemma are all hanging out at the brothel, where are the two boys? Not sure I'd leave my kids in day care when they are an easy and obvious target for kidnap and murder. Opie seems to be the only one concerned on this front.

Reply
Flag
The show has it's consitency problems, but I still enjoy it alot. Nero (Smits) has been the highlight of this season for me. Smits is the fucking man!
Reply
Flag
Staff
my thoughts exactly.
Reply
Flag
i think youre mistaken about Unser's idea of black and white crimes.



he meant- IN THIS CASE the beating didnt feel anger like they wanted vengance for Popes daughter, but a crime set up to look like niner retaliation and they werent looking to seriously beat him up, just knock him out. so it was probably whites because charming isnt exactly diverse.
Reply
Flag
It wasn't the two papers you did see. Thomas's birth certificate and Gemma's marriage license, it was the third one you didn't see.

Bet it is Jax's Birth certificate showing Clay is his father?
Reply
Flag
Gwmma was approx. 61/2 months prego when she married JT. We have to assume that she was a CROW EAT. Also, Gemma did not begin her affair with Clay until much later.
Reply
Flag
Oh I love that idea. Kind of hope not though at the same time.
Reply
Flag
Chibs said: May the Lord hold you in his hand and may he never close his fist.



Also it was awesome when Chibs says excuse me and still pushes the guy out of the way.
Reply
Flag
I'll laugh when the CIA helps with the release of Jax, Tig, and Chibs, only to have Opie in the clink alone. Assaulting a couple cops shouldn't net him a LOT of time... but still, poor Ope, hehe.



I didn't much care for the brief wedding, but I do agree with two of your points: I have no idea what Chibs said when he made his toast, and I too didn't remember that they weren't actually married yet.



Unser's point about white versus black beatings was that if the intruders were black (referring to being Pope's men) they would have beat him a lot harder and a lot smarter. Despite still feeling like crap, Unser felt that the beating he took was some sloppy weak ass shit... meaning it was probably done by non-black / non-Pope folk.



As for Smits / Nero, I'm hoping he stays friendly and helpful and acts as an ally throughout his run on the show, rather than the "twist" that he'll betray the Sons in some way. At the very least, him staying as a "good guy" might be a change in the formula of the show. Plus, I kind of like the happy-go-lucky smile-all-the-time help-a-brother-out version of Smits.
More+
Reply
Flag
The assault on the cops was minor - no real injury, no weapon. They can just knock it down to a lesser offense and give Opie time served. The cops do not want to look like they cannot take a little punch...this is Charming after all.
Reply
Flag
Chibs also spoke in Gaelic at the end of his blessing.
Reply
Flag
The CIA story line is garbage. It is clearly Kurt's worst moment. After constructing an amazing season last year Kurt needed an out, or he had to kill Clay or Tara or both. The out was the CIA and it was and remains STUPID. Not to mention it cuts the nuts off Romeo and his crew. Sutter has reached beyond his grasp: if this had remained a story in small town Charming it could have been great..instead there are too many forces at play and it is starting to feel really forced.
Reply
Flag
I too hate the CIA aspect, both in last season's finale and the role they're playing this season.
Reply
Flag
I think problem will start with Nero,when SAMCRO will create it's own pimp bussiness....u can see Jax was very interested in that car ride and he asked all questions and I think Nero wasn't so happy about it.



and now with season 5, I can't get that clip ( bridge one- don't know if there is any other anyway) that we saw before season started out of my head..... will Jax "run" SAMCRO to the ground? himself? I know this is not final season,but alot of things can happen with club ( think like half-ish guys don't even wanna be in club no more :D)
1
Reply
Flag
it was boring episode. whole wedding thing is just "oh btw we need to shoot wedding sequence" second episode is struggling setting things up is not easy task. but this whole turning ourselves in is repetitive. it has been already. and opie's move is totally stupid. why couldn't he reconcile with Leila? this plot is just off like dumb thought. Btw she run away as far as i remember in the middle of season 4 and then we see her in the town again doin porn. WTF? and opie is just going around moaning never tried to reconcile with her? why then show Opie meeting Leila? to show us that kids are ok when daddy going to jail? or that leila is going back to Samcro life? i hate that using of secondary characters for sake of logic for 5 seconds in whole season. it is just waste of screen time and actors. let's hope meeting with Leila meant something.
Reply
Flag
1. He can't reconcile with Leila because he doesnt love her, realizes he never did, and doesn't want to live that lie.

2. Opie's move was in no way stupid. It was a HUGE show of loyalty. He is going into Prison not to 'show he supports Jax', but to PROTECT Jax.

3. She didn't run away, she left Opie. Not everyone must flee the city/state to get out of a marriage. It's called a separation, look it up. The scene of them meeting was to give you the knowledge that Opie's actions at the end of the episode were planned and not a spur of the moment thing.
Reply
Flag
leila left town I remembered it very clear. opie said in one of the episodes in the middle of season that she split (or run away took her stuff with her) after he tried to take her to safe place in the midst of some shit blowing up (as always with Samcro). and then we didn't see anything about her. so it seems to me like sloppy thing to do.

and opie's move was stupid I insist on that) after he (struggling inside to not beat Clay to death) listened to Clay's lecture about Samcro's solidarity whatever b.s that ugly asshole put out of his old wrinkle ass Opie went and turn himself in (as if police wouldn't free him after few days coz he wasn't in that Niners mess). It was like magical Clay convinced Opie with some crap. and Opie never been that smart guy decided that he should go to jail with Jax to protect him (from what?). it's a bit ridiculous. I think it was just a way to make Opie do something coz his plot is not so exciting this season.
Reply
Flag
I think Unser meant that it wasn't in retaliation like people thought, because the guys that beat him weren't pissed off.
Reply
Flag
RE: Unser saying "... the beating was sloppy" . The point is that if it really was retaliation from Pope, the beating would have been more severe. Likely fatal.
Reply
Flag
Two things you forgot in your formula....lots of montages of people drinking and staring longingly at photos, and a lot of people looking around or entering a room and going "oh, shhiiitt".



Love the formula though, sucks me in every time. I definitely think Clay is behind the Nomads, and I too paused and tried to figure out the marriage license and birth records. For a moment I thought maybe the safe had some evidence tying Gemma into John's murder, so Clay could threaten to give it to Jax. But I'm pretty sure we've seen that Gemma knew the combo to the safe? Haven't we?
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook