Sons of Anarchy "Laying Pipe" Review: Sacrifice

Sons of Anarchy S05E03: "Laying Pipe"


My first thoughts:

There are times when you realize that you aren't just a fan of a TV show, but that a TV show has become a part of you. When one man's work huddled over a keyboard can affect you so much, you're shocked into stillness... except for the involuntary shaking deep down inside in that place you don't control. Sometimes it's the good moments that transcend the line between fantasy and reality, and others, like in tonight's episode of Sons of Anarchy, "Laying Pipe," it's the bad moments.

We're on year five of riding with the brothers of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original, and no man has deserved more respect or sympathy than Opie Winston. He died tonight. Died doing what he's always done, protecting his club members, friends, brothers.

FX had no problem heavily promoting the fact that someone would perish in tonight's episode, but even knowing that going in I thought fan-favorite Opie was untouchable. Foolishness! Opie was my favorite Sons of Anarchy—by far—and I have to admit that I'm not taking this very well at all. But in order to understand why and figure out whether it had to be done, we have to start at the top of this intensely stressful, depressing, and ultimately fantastic episode.

The decision to throw Jax, Opie, Tig, and Chibs in jail, where all the protection they had on the outside would be worthless, was a great call by series creator Kurt Sutter. Though safety is never guaranteed for SAMCRO, it had to be stripped away completely for this to work. Romeo stepped up with soldiers in jail to protect our guys, but there was no doubt that the protection wouldn't last forever and Pope's influence on everyone from the head guard to probably the cafeteria lady meant that he'd get his way eventually. And I also have to applaud the speed and pacing with which everything was executed. There was no sense in dragging it out, and the time limit forced Jax into a corner from which he could not escape. Pope told Jax that he had to choose who lived and who died, and with the demand that Tig rot in jail forever where he'd have to get used to putting his palms against a wall and spreading his legs while Pope's men took turns with him, it was between Chibs, Opie, and himself.

Jax understandably resisted until he could do so no more, and when the time came it was Jax who initially stepped up, simply because he couldn't stand to send one of his boys home in a bag. But Opie made the choice for Jax, being first to instigate the guard and being dragged off into an underground room where Pope's men would beat him to death while Jax, Tig, and Chibs watched through a pane of glass... so close to helping him out, yet unable to do anything but witness the savage beating and the finishing blow from a lead pipe that made the back of Opie's head erupt.

We may be asking ourselves why Opie did it. Why he stepped up. He has two children—same as Jax—and one more than both Chibs and Tig. The truth is Opie was done with the life and life. His father was murdered, revenge on Clay was tied up and doubtful, his first wife was killed, his second wife was a porn star and that relationship was broken at best, the MC had gone to shit with infighting and drug-running, and his best friend was becoming something he'd always feared. Even when Jax spilled his secrets to Opie in the box—which is exactly when I was sure Opie was going to die—it wasn't enough to appease the darkness that was spreading inside Opie. "You made the wrong choice," Opie said, understanding where Jax was coming from but not agreeing with it. The truth is, the good life had passed Opie by, and he didn't care to go on. Though he's remained calm on the outside, Opie has always been depressed since we've known him except for a few rare moments; the serenity of a ride, the joy of marriage. But he didn't blame Jax, or Clay, or SAMCRO, because that's just how things worked out for him. He didn't want anyone's sympathy and he didn't understand why all this happened to him. So when the time came for someone to make the tough decision, he made it. He sacrificed his life, a life that he didn't feel was going to get better, so that maybe Jax's could improve. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his best friend.

Fucking goddamn motherfucking goddamn shit fuck. I will miss you to death, Opie.

The sad thing is that Opie's death is turning Jax further into the man he didn't want him to become. An enraged Jax renegotiated the deal with Pope, working out a deal to get Tig out of jail so that he could have some more leverage to pass the vote to get Pope the $50,000 from SAMCRO's drug trade. But he also told Pope he could do whatever the fuck he wanted to with Tig when he was done, even "send him out the same way you did his kid, 'cause I really don't give a shit." It's hard to know if the words match his true feelings, but I think Jax essentially gave Tig up, perhaps because he feels Tig is responsible for Opie's death, perhaps because he's telling the truth: He simply doesn't give a shit anymore.

But one thing's for sure, and Pope laid it out plain and clear. "There you go. Finding the hidden advantage in an unfortunate circumstance. Using pain to take it to the next level. Those are the things that turn players into kings."

And it wasn't long until we saw Jax perched on top of a table and calling Tig over, Tig sitting subserviently below him. It was no mistake that those two were positioned that way; Jax is no longer playing the role of king as he was at the end of Season 4. He IS the king. Just like Pope, who's also willing to sacrifice his subjects, is king. I hate the term "game changer" because I think it's a word that gets abused by people who don't know any better, but this is that for Jax. Things will never be the same for him. Perhaps this is what he was always destined for, to follow the ruthless regal lead of Clay rather than his own father, who mirrored Opie more than Jax. Heavy lies the crown, Jax. And heavy lay our hearts.


NOTES

– I'm not mad at Kurt Sutter, how can I be? This has always been his show, and we've known that were in for some real shit since this thing started. If you feel any anger toward Sutter, you're not watching the show right. Sutter did his job, and a fine one, too. We'll all miss Opie, but this is part of the story. Let Sutter prove to us that his death was worth it.

– Ryan Hurst, who plays Opie, has always been great, but I think the standout performance tonight was Charlie Hunnam's. Everything reflected back on Jax, and Hunnam captured the anger, disappointment, and frustration perfectly, echoing every sentiment that we were feeling.

– I believe "Lindelof Pines" was a shout-out to Sutter's pal Damon Lindelof. Don't worry, if I ever get my show, I'll throw in shout-outs to all of you, too.

– We all knew the Gemma-Tara fight was coming, but right now it's just a grudge match and a battle of wills. Things are going to get worse before they get better, and the situation needs some meat, something really bad to happen, to keep pace with the rest of the show.

Ashley Tisdale actually wasn't bad! This is a great role for her to shed her current image.

– I'll admit, I was on Clay's side when he went into the brothel and Gemma came to find him and got in a fight with that whore. Clay's laugh was priceless. Yeah, he's still a huge dick, but just for a second, I had his back.

– Do old people really give each other hickeys?

– Juice was back to his old self, providing all kinds of laughs tonight.

– Kurt Sutter is holding a conference call tomorrow to talk about the episode and defend his decision, but I can't make it because I'll be talking with J.H. Wyman from Fringe. Talk about poor timing.

– Let's give Adam Arkin, who played Ethan Zobelle in Season 2, a round of applause for fantastic directing in the episode. He did a fantastic job.

– I don't think I've felt this much sadness over a character's death since [LOST SPOILER] Charlie died in the Season 3 finale of Lost. And that's saying A LOT. I may or may not have cried.

– "It just ain't fun anymore. Chasing cash we don't need and spending every dime to stay alive." I really can't wait to see Ryan Hurst in more things. He's impossible not to like. A round of applause to Hurst for a fantastic run, and here's hoping his career lasts a long, long time.


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

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I'm rewatching Season 5 right now and I'm in the middle of this episode. This was a dramatic shift in the direction of the show, I still can't believe they did that to Ope. Season 6 HURRY
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thx for this great review about Opie. I got really angry and frustrated about his death in the series and your review helped me a lot to ease my anger..

"Even when Jax spilled his secrets to Opie in the boxwhich is exactly when I was sure Opie was going to die......" just right there I was sure you were legit.

thx dude. we'll all miss Opie
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Best revew ever. You obviously like the show and respect the writers, as do I. Thank you so much. The other reviews I've read did not touch the emotion that was this episode or the understanding of it. Jax and Opie, an epic friendship. We will all see how Opie's death changes the course of Jax's life, the good and the bad of it. Opie is "the king maker".
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After last week's episode, I was so pissed off I quit the show. I didn't even watch the final segment. How could you kill off Opie? The moral compass of the show? Jax doesn't know who he is without Opie. Opie is the only character on the show we can relate to one foot in the Clubhouse, the other foot trying to be legit. Aaahhh, why did Opie have to die? Well, let's not forget, Ope's had a death wish for a few seasons now. Ever since Donna's death. His dad's dead. His kids don't know him. His best friend is turning into Clay. And, he was turning into Jax. He'd lost his battle. He had nothing left to live for. Clay put Opie back in motion. Opie went "inside" knowing there was a death warrant for all 4 guys. He pounded on Jax in the cell for the truth. He got the truth. Nothing left but to die. If Opie killed Clay, Clay couldn't do the CIA-Irish deal that Jax needs to avoid RICO. Opie couldn't be at the table with Clay. Opie had to go.



But so violently? I guess that's where I have the problem. Go back and watch that last scene. Neither words nor music played. The silence was deafening. Sutter knew exactly what he was doing when he had Opie take the lead pipe to the back of the head. Opie got his freedom through death in a most honorable way he sacrificed himself for the tribe.



If you haven't watched Opie's funeral, read this later . . . but, after last week's nuclear episode, I had to talk myself back into giving Kurt Sutter the benefit of the doubt. He has taken me, us, to a totally cool fictional place both in the modern Wild West of Northern California and, in a more existential way, the tribes of Scotland. SAMCRO is nothing more than a tribe of Scotch-Irish warriors who live outside the law but have principles higher than it. I think that is what we love so much about SAMCRO the strength of the leaders, the Omerta that exists inside the Club, the honor extended to the leaders of other tribes-clubs. It very well may be natural law at its ugliest, yet basest definition.



SAMCRO is, after 4 seasons and 5 episodes, a dramatic and deeply moving story exposing the brutal side of humanity (honor, truth, eye for an eye, sacrificing yourself for the tribe, sacrifice for the greater good). Life on earth is brutal. Each of us struggle for our share. But, for each ying there is a yang. Life is full of transactions, supply and demand, buyers and sellers. Kurt Sutter has stripped, no ripped, the hood off the engine of life on Earth. Living is merely Surviving. Surviving is ugly. In nature, surviving is nothing less than life and death. 99% of the world's population lives on the brink. If you were born in America, you won the Universal Lottery the day you were delivered. You are in the top 1% in the world's history. But, Sutter reminds us, Americans, that in reality, power struggles are life and death. Americans are nave and ignorant as to how brutal life really is. Just read the news. Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, you name it. Kurt Sutter is bringing into sharp moral focus the appalling odds an individual faces to achieve freedom. Just ask Opie. He died to be free. He knew what he was doing. He died with Honor. Clay, however, will die the weak, unprincipled man he is.



My predictions the guard who permitted Opie's death dies a most painful death. I have to believe the Jax blames Tig for his best friend's death. Bye bye Tig.



Tara and Gemma need to get their shit together before Jax hops in the sack with his ex-wife (notice how Sutter is making her quite reasonable and likable?). I am not sure Tara's role in the series anymore. We've been watching her turn into Gemma long enough. There is not room for both of them. One of them has to go. Sutter has shown his willingness this season to kill off a popular character. Can he really kill off his real life wife (Gemma)? My vote is Tara gets it. The ex wife comes back into the scene.



I am still figuring out Pope and Jimmy Smits. Jax looks up to and respects both. It will be interesting to see which character Jax eventually sides with.

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I couldn't watch it, you know... couldn't watch that last blow. I knew it was coming, so I look away. And, when I though to rewind to see it, I decided not to. I may never see that scene again... ironically, just like I never watched Charlie's death again on "Lost".

We'll see Ryan Hurst again, either on TV or in films, but I bet we won't recognize him - pretty sure he'll look more like a prep guy then an outlaw on his next proejct!

Seriously, Ope... RIP, bro. You didn't deserved the shitty life you got.

I have no idea where that fucked-up turn of event swill lead Jax, but it's all darkness out there.... by the way, I really, REALLY want to see Jax kill off that guard. Please, Sutter, do not make it happen off screen - your viewers need some visual closure on this.

Finally... great review, Surette. I guess that's why you're top dog around here.
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Very well said. Thank you.
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WOW TIM!! i havnt been able to look at any writer/reviewers comments since THE episode. i felt no one could sum all this up, the heartache, tragedy, tears, horror, anger and loss in a way that would be fitting, that could TRUELY capture what happened, why it happened, what it meant, how we SHOULD feel. because for a couple days, i didnt know what to feel and didnt need some hack who didnt "get" the show trampling on it. diluting it.



but like sutters in depth stories, you brought it all out for us and yours is the finest, deepest review of a tv show i have ever seen. the right words at the right time.



but, i watched kurts other brilliant, gut wrenching masterpiece, THE SHIELD and i knew from ep.1 that no one was safe and the gut ache and tears were coming in truck loads. i didnt see any of the facebook, someones gonna die talk. i am glad because i didnt see it coming. i really thought there was a chance opie and or jax would die before it was all over, but i didnt see it until the final season, maybe up to the last episode where they go out in an ez rider like ambush. but, thts sutter. thats his brilliance because in life, these kind of tragedies are seldom announced and almost never expected.



so, i just wanted to give you props on the wonderful, in depth review you penned and helping us all see the justice and wisdom of sending opie off to vallhalla.



this is a show that you LIVE and not just watch and i didnt think there was a writer out there that had that in them. your piece showed that that you live what you write and your obviously a TRUE fan of the show. thanx so much for helping us deal with the loss of our beloved character HARRY "OPIE" WINSTON.



NOVA MIKE: you are soooo right in the shakespeare comparison. this episode was the closest thing to shakespeare since shakespeare himself guided the quil.
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Opie was always my fav, I'm so sad his gone :( sob
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Nutshell (Live version) by Alice in Chains came on Pandora and it made me think of Opie towards the end of the episode.



We chase misprinted lies We face the path of time And yet I fight And yet I fight This battle all alone No one to cry to No place to call home



My gift of self is raped My privacy is raked And yet I find And yet I find Repeating in my head

If I can't be my own I'd feel better dead

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The adrenaline rush going through me as I watched Opie's final scene... One would think that I was watching Opie get beaten to death behind that window pane myself. It was totally GUT WRENCHING. Very few shows have affected me like this.



I cannot wait for Clay to die a much horrible death at the hands of Jax. But of course I would have to wait a long while before that happens.
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1. I liked Opie too, mostly because he reminded me of Johan Hegg, which I think is the coolest dude on this very planet (for those of you who don't know, Johann Hegg is the front man of Viking/Death Metal warriors AMON AMARTH, and the last survivor of the Viking race), and I think the way he went was pitch perfect. Someone suggested he should have taken out all but one of his attackers, but that's not SOA, that would be some lame ass Hollywood movie, and if we've learned something over all these years of SAMCRO, Kurt Sutter is so far removed from lame ass as is Gemma from being crowned Mother or Grandmother of the year. I think it was a great idea to off a beloved character like this, because it keeps everyone on its heels, and that's what SOA is all about, apart from great acting and lots of killing people.



2. When at LOST, I was always at the edge of having the sh*t annoyed out of me by Harold Perrineau (or maybe his character, maybe), but imo he's the star of this season so far. Yes, he's vile, he's evil, and you just have to hate him, and Perrineau oozes all of that in every second of screen time he's having. Even when he was buying ice cream for the kids at the end of the second episode, you just saw what horrible man he is.



3. Kinda being jaelous of Juice, cause I wouldn't mind at all to take a ride on that Wanda de Jesus train, even if I had to slug it out with Jimmy Smits (who once again, just like in Dexter, amazes the shit out of me).
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Stupid decision to off Opie, Im done with this show!
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I hate the Pope character this season. Even after all the things he done he still doesn't scare me or look like a boss or a powerful bad man. Character looks and acts like a janitor. They better kill him off next episode and introduce a new bad guy. Its the worst bad character of SOA. Tara is even scarier then him.
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THE coolest SoA is dead; Sutter could've offed anyone of the others I'd have been okay about it, but now I just want the blood of Clay; lots of it and with great pain for setting this damn chain of events in motion in the first place. Damn it Opie, I will miss you more than any of them. At this moment in time I'm not even sure I'll watch it anymore........
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OMG OOOOOPIE!

The coolest son ever is DEAD? I was shocked, but thankfully(?) we didn't see Opie much over the last 15 episodes so it wasn't as hard as if he died late in season2.

Anyway I'm so happy for Jax!

NOW he's determined to KILL ALL OF THEM!

It will be biblical ...

Sutter please, blood and tears and pain everywhere PLEEEAAAASE!
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Well, I for one am VERY thankful that I didn't know someone was going to die in this episode. It made the impact of the moment a lot stronger and surprising. I love Opie and it saddened me to see him die. Like seemingly most people, Ope was my favorite character on the show. He was the lovable giant. His death HURT (as far as TV can hurt -- and not like Whitney hurts).



But if I knew someone was dying, Opie was who I would have guessed. There had to be a "TV reason" why he went to prison with Jax, Trig, and Chibs. I said last week that my belief of the "TV reason" was that the CIA would get Jax, Trig, and Chibs out, and leave Opie in jail. It was kind of said in jest because I thought that would be quite funny, but that was my way of trying to figure out why (not the reason within the show, which was Clay convincing Opie to help Jax and the club). So, it made sense that the "TV reason" why was his death, and it also fell in line with the reason within the show -- that this was Opie's way of helping Jax and the club.



As for Jax's "changing," I'm still on the fence as to whether this is really him changing, or him putting on some sort of act for a bigger play. Part of me hopes it's a legit change because of character development and plots that may come from this change. But part of me wishes that it's an act for a bigger play because I can't really see this show going on much longer with Jax as a more Clay-like leader. In all seriousness, every TV show needs to have a significant main character to root for as the "good guy", and up until now, it had been Jax and Opie. Now Ope is gone, and Jax is kind of alone in that regard. If he becomes more Clay-like and more of an asshole dictator, I don't think it'd work well with the direction of the show.
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R.I.P Opie have a nice ride!



I have to say i think the most interesting thing about this episode was Jax's reaction to Opie's Death. His reaction echoed two different ideas in my mind. Either it was a subdued and held back reaction almost as if he didnt want to show all his card to Pope just yet so he can get out and turn heads backwards for what they've done (i.e a tactful revenge rampage.) Or it was Jax's breaking point where he's surrounded by loss and pain due to his association with the club and sees only the one way out, to leave the club.



I see a similarity between Jax's and The Doctor from 'Who in that he has needed Opie (his companion) to keep him in check and prevent Jax's from going to far. And just as The Doctor does when without a companion Jaxs will become somewhat a drift in his choices between wrong and right and in whether to leave or stay in SAMCRO.



R.I.P Opie have a nice ride!
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Can't believe they let OPIE go out like that. I would have had him take out all but one of Pope's attacker's. But the only reason I am watching now because you killed my favorite character is for revenge. I want Jax to kill everyone that witnessed what happened to his friend except for the Chibs. I want to see Tig kill Pope, but am mixed on weather I would want him to die for all the shit he caused!

OPIE NO! Can you bring him back as a ghost or in Jax's dreams?
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Tig didn't cause this, Jax and Clay did, by setting up the story that the Niners shot Clay, hiding the fact Ope shot Clay, avenging Piney.
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I have to agree with you; at the moment I'm still in state of stunned disbelief but it's rapidly changing to rage. I want blood; lots of it. Pope and his cronies to begin with, but Clay's too - especially Clay. he started all this when he lied to Tig and I can't help feeling, even when I watched the scene, that he had an ulterior motive for getting Opie to follow Jax. however, I have to say, having watched it again I'd have given Tig up; the guy did the deed, he was the one who really should've died. I don't care about the reasons for killing Opie; I just care that his dead. It better be for a DAMN good reason and it better have some SERIOUS revenge to follow - or I will definitely be bailing on a show that, right to this moment, I'd adored.
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Tim, thank you for helping me deal with the loss of opie. Your "when one man
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"one mans work huddled over a key board can affect you so much" you have done this to me. You pulled me out of my greif and made me remember that ope was a true friend and "son" always protecting

his brothers, till the end. Your wit and kind words have healed me!
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Opie you were the heart of the show. A moral compas and constant companion for Jax. I always wanted good things to happen for Opie, after all the shit he went through. I think he really wanted out but had nothing else or more importantly knew nothing else. Jax has claimed that he wants to leave the club or that would leave so many times, but he truly belongs to Samcro, and always has. This changes everything for Jax, its his first real sacrafice for the club. Maybe he doesn't care what happens to Tig, but I think he knew to get revenge on Pope, he has to play the game.

RIP Opie you'll always be my favourite Son.
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Let's give Adam Arkin, who played Ethan Zobelle in Season 2, a round of applause for fantastic directing in the episode. He did a fantastic job.



I really thought them going into prison would have been the perfect moment to bring Zobelle back. I have always had a gripe with the fact that he got away and nothing has been heard of him ever since. Let's not forget he is responsible for Gemma being gang raped and the Sons are responsible for his daughters death. He was supposed to be untouchable by local law due to higher connections so you have to believe he would be keeping tabs on SAMCRO. I thought with the Sons going inside worrying about Blacks it would have been perfect if White Power had taken them unaware and a whole shit storm rain down on them while they were inside.
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I think

1. Juice is a traitor and a rat in many ways and he will die this season.

2. Clay will likely survive the season cuz its efin Ron perlman

3. Tig will live till at least the eleventh episode I watched an interview and they were filmin episode eleven

4. Jax see's that opes death is on Tigs hands in many ways

5. I think Tig is gonna blame clay for not sayin nothing and letting him think the shooter was black and prob do something to clay.

6 . Jax still has good left in him and he won't turn into clay despite wht others on this forum say

7. This show is not a show about Ope's journey god love Em, it's about Jax. When Jax ends so does the show. Also Chibs is not a yes man to the lady down there who knows stuff about this show but spells SAMCRO as 'Sam crow'. He is loyal to the club and a good soldier and believes in his leader. He's an awesome character.



And efff you to juice I hate you your gonna die fool
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"Juice is a traitor and a rat in many ways and he will die this season."



disagree... Juice is a tortured character...very complex... which deserves careful attention... all the trouble in the world can be seen in her eyes...
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Ten ppl agree really lol, cuz juice didn't just give away gemmas location getting them all bust prob cuz of clay and also gave up the coke for Rico. Jax said he knows someone in the club have info to the cops. If it wasn't for that they wouldn't be in half of the mess they're in right now.
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Pope thinks hes got Jax figured and that Jax acted and will act as cold and calculating as he Pope would....but he's wrong and very wrong at that. He doesnt take into account what brotherly loyalty an MC would have. Jax is playing along telling Pope what he wants to hear but when the time is right Pope can look forward to an early grave. There are some lines that cant be crossed, Pope got his pound of flesh daughter for daughter but that wasnt enough for him now hes buried himself with causing Jax to lose Opie.
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I so hope you're right; but along with Pope, they better bury Clay. The guy has shown there's no loyalty, love or brotherhood for him; it's about what he wants, what he can get and how far he can go - everything, and everyone else, is expendable. I watched ep2 again and I felt then he had a reason for persuading Opie to follow Jax; I hoped I was wrong, I was - sadly - right. Now I hope that Jax remembers that Pope might've pulled the trigger, but it was Clay that put all the bullets in the gun. Opie deserves being avenged; Jax better do it. Opie died a hero in my eyes; Jax better step up now and make that ultimate sacrifice worth it or I'm done.
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OMG, not Opie. Having that said it was to be expected, Opie lost something dear in each season, his wife, his new wife (more or less) his father and (as he saw it I guess) his best friend and his club, turning for the worst. He did take care of business and stepped up, saving Jax. The scene of him selling Piney's trike, putting his kids care over to his second wife, the way he joined them getting arrested and now this ultimate sacrifice. But let us not blame Tig mainly for this. If any is to blame for Tigs actions, a berserker utterly loyal to his former President, it;s Clay AND Jax, they made Tig believe te Niners were responsible, knowing a loose gun like Tig may go Boinkers. Jax can blam himself more then Tig in this. It's not the gun Tig) that kills, it;s the one loading it and pulling the trigger (Jax and Clay)
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i twitt to kurt "You're Psycho !!! I HATE YOU"



-_-
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It was as always a great episode of SONS, Sadly Opie would make the ultimate sacrifice and his charecter remained true to the very reasons we all liked him so well, he was loyal, and willing to do what needed to be done.

even though he critsized Jax earlier for making the wrong choice when it came to protecting the Club and his brothers instead of putting Clay 6 feet under, it was ultimatly Opie that made a very similar choice in protecting his brothers and the club, thus sacrificing himself.

Ryan Hurst will be missed each week. but like with deaths in reality, as long as we remember (or Own Seasons 1-4 on DVD) then Opie will live on forever.
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I'm sure Jax knows that the shitstorm they have with Pope is because of Clay. Clay poured the fluid with lies and Tig sparked it...

I'm going to miss Opie SO much!
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOpie!!!

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http://popgoesthearts.blogspot.ca/2012/09/sons-of-anarchy-5x03-review-game-changer.html



I'm using "game changer"....its fitting.
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Bravo, good write!!!!
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Powerful
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Opie was my favorite character. He was understated and constant. But each season something was taken away from Opie, until there was nothing left. Ryan Hurst, should be commended for his portrayal of a complex character. Opie just like Tara kind of kept Jax in check...now it's all on Tara. I really wish Opie wasn't the character to lose, I'm with Jax pretty much do what they like to Tiga.
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Opie's life was one of tragedy throughout. Almost medieval and Shakespearean in nature. Kurt Sutter and Ryan Hurst deserve to be classified timeless legends for this beautiful work of art.
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Oh and one more thing. Pope is probably the best big bad that they have had. I like his and Jax's relationship and hope they get to talk more throughout the season. Because that scene in the office after Opie died was fantastic.
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Such a great episode that will set up a lot for the rest of the season. I will definitely miss Opie because I feel that other than Jax and Clay, he has been the only other SAMCRO member that really had a story that has been followed from the beginning. I mean, Tig, Chibs, Juice, and Bobby are all great characters and I have enjoyed them very much. But they have prominent moments and then fade into the background for awhile. This is Tig's season because of what he did to Pope's daughter, Juice and Bobby had prominent moments in Season 4, and Chibs was Season 3. But Opie always had something going on in the storyline. The first season was his transition back to the club and then Donna's death. Second season was him dealing with Donna's death. Third season was Lyla and killing Stahl. Fourth season was dealing with Piney's murder. We have watched him change over the seasons as much as Jax, Tara, Clay, or Gemma. And now that has come to an end and it is sad to see. But it shows that Sons of Anarchy isn't playing around any longer. Other than Juice's moments last night, nothing was at all humorous and we've reached that point in the show where characters are going to truly develop and possibly go down darker roads. Kurt Sutter definitely planned that out well, and I know that the show will not be the same anymore with Opie gone.
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RIP Opie



Easily my favorite character from the jump, I'm still crushed by his brutal death. Not quite up there with being burned alive...but that was my dawg, man! Jax echoed my own sentiment when he told the guard that he was going to find him on the outside and kill him. I'm planning the same thing for Pope, if I can only find a way around the whole fictional element.



I hate that Opie died, but I love Sutter for having the balls to pull something like that. The man doesn't pull any punches, which is a big part of what makes this series such an epic.
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Even though Opie's death was spoiled for me (THANKS, FACEBOOK), it was still such a hard scene to watch. Especially loyal soldier Chibs' reaction--he needs to be involved more, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with everything once the whole truth is laid out.



As for Jax, I'm torn between wanting the son of John Teller to climb out of the muck and reclaim his father's legacy, and wanting him to "break bad" down the dark path of Clay. Both would make for excellent television under Sutter's helm.



Yeah, Arkin did a superb job directing this episode.
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"Even though Opie's death was spoiled for me (THANKS, FACEBOOK),"



People still use facebook? I thought google+ killed that lol.
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"There are times when you realize that you aren't just a fan of a TV show, but that a TV show has become a part of you. " a perfect statement..



By the end of Opie dying I was screaming and crying at the TV.. when he was on his knee's and he reached out his hand, It was an unbelievable sadness that I felt for a character that didn't exist.. but sadness all the same. Im just hoping Opie took out some of them himself when he had the pipe in his his hand..
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I didn't see any previews, so I was watching prima vista. And I have to admit that I (early on) didn't really think anybody was going to die. But then I remembered that I was watching SOA and then yeah - of course somebody is going to die.

After that I realized it had to be Ope. I also had a hunch that Jax would try to give himself up (that's the way he is, and like the review said - he couldn't bare to give up any of his guys), but ultimately Opie would beat him to it. It was pretty clear throughout the episode (and really also the first two of this season) that he would do it. He had given up.

But it still hurt to watch. I didn't really feel the emotional pull when Tig's daughter died (I don't like Tig and we never knew his daughter that well, so it makes sense), but Opie.. Man, it was hard to watch anything after that!
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In my country there is a saying for this emotional state that I have found myself in after this episode. It goes as: "Hbazmeg".
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I looked at all the following scenes the death of Opie with a sense of frightening void: in the scene in which Nero and Gem were speaking, I have realized that I wasn't paying attention to their lips moving; for me they were any images left, because the strength of the culminating moment of this marvelous tragedy has been such to persecute me for the rest of the day.

From my very stupid and little corner, I wanted to press "stop" as soon as possible because that kind of emotion was becoming unbearable; at the same time I keep staying in this whirlwind of anguish and pathos in which they all dragged me and I'm very grateful to them. This is obviously the episode in which I have felt more anxiety, more rage of the whole series and, undoubtedly, I count it in my top list among the series I follow or I have followed: it just doesn't stop to the tv screen, but it goes all over a viewer. That was the club's heart that was beaten to death. Laying Pipe, from the beginning, speaks in the name of Jax's anguish, the realization of how much the Sons don't count anything in the dynamics of the business and the jail (and this is another point that made me love this episode so much, considering that I'm and I will always be a huge fan of OZ): they suffer the flow of the events and always to their own expenses, arriving in front of the most dramatic choices.

The man that has suffered anything for the club, the man that, more than all of them, has been the victim of any intrigue, of any decision taken around the table, completes the last sacrifice to save Jax: a deep, romantic, beautiful bond that only a pipe of shit could break and that destroys any feeling that could still live in Jax. Since the following scene, indeed, Jax appears cold, hardened, determined to regulate all the loose ends, also knowing to have to wait, with the bitter awareness that saving the club has brought his beloved friend to an horrible death. Also the final dialogue with Tig was a strong fist in the stomach: for the cold and detached tone with which Jax spoke to him. Useless to hide, enough with the excuses... besides the choices taken by the club, it has been Tig to begin this feud with Pope.

A cruel mosaic, well calibrated and introduced with hardness by Sutter (I don't know if I have to say "thank you" or "f- you" to Kurt himself, Ryan Hurst, Harold Perrineau and Charlie Hunnam): a splendid episode that contains the poetic traits of a poetic tragedy that has lacerated me inside, but, at the same time, I'll never forget.

Jax, come on, DO A MESS
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Great episode, but it would've been SO MUCH F*CKING BETTER if they hadn't advertised the death so much. I can barely imagine the suspense I would've felt trying to figure out how Jax and the boys were going to get out of it, and then the sadness of the slow realization that someone wasn't going to make it out alive...



Great review, too.
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NO OPIE!!!!!! RIP



can't wait to see it continue, though. I am a little angry though.
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You echoed my thoughts about this episode, Opie, this show so perfectly. It was heartbreaking and awful but I can't be mad at Sutter because he's created this world with its own set of laws and as much as we fight it, these are the consequences of five seasons worth of life and damage built up for these characters. All the same though, I had to mute the tv after Opie's death and just kind of sit there on my couch numb and shaking
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Remember the Titan. RIP Opie.
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Myself, I was totally unaware a death was coming in this episode. Sometimes it is good being left out. Makes me wish I didn't have to find every bit of juicy details while I was watching LOST.
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I couldnt belive it when it happened i did not se it voming i thot tig was goin to go in sense its all his fault they are in the mess
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Was that Juice on the floor with a gunshot to the stomach, not moving?? I hope he's not dead also.
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For a second there I thought it may have been Juice, as well. But the guy was too big to be Juice -- I think it was one of the Latino guys that work there, or a "client".
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i believe it was a john and not juice.
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Opie, really Opie. Sutter you mad f'in genius. The fact that none of these great actors nor its creators were anywhere near that sham, the Emmys - giving no talent garbage like Jon Cryer awards - just makes you realize how worthless that award is. Still waiting for Arkin's return on the other side of the camera in Charming this season. Ron Pearlman has been awesome thus far this season. Him just sitting in the room with that shit eating grin on his face as Gemma burst in was just classic. He is DYING that Gemma is hooking up with this pimp but damned if she gets the last laugh.



This show is easily one of the five best Dramas on television. Hope to see Ryan Hurst elsewhere soon. RIP Opie Winston. Ever since Sutter changed his mind and killed Donna instead of Opie in Season 1 its been a guilty pleasure watching Hurst go through this depressing journey. Sad to see it end so abruptly and painfully.
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When you kill my favorite character, I stop watching.
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well bye then lol...
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then ur not a real fan of the show no doubt opie was the shit but its a great show

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lol, Guess im not either, that episode sucked!, im done
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Not your call, but thanks for the opinion. I watch for heroes. When there isn't anyone left that I want to live and succeed, the dramic storyline is played out. I don't care about anyone and Jax can't be saved, so yep, done.
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What about Juice and Chibs? Both seem like better people than the average SoA member. Don't you want them to live and succeed?
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Opie was last tie Jax had to making a change and not turning into Clay, and having the show come out with heroes accepting their better selves. Without Opie and some justice for Opie, even if Jax has some redemption it will be too little too late to atone for his prior sins now. Juice and Chibs are too much vacillating products of whichever administration is running Sam Crow. They don't represent what Opie did, they're yes men and sons only sons. And Jax is Clay.
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Your lose :/
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Do you mean "loss"?
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