Sons of Anarchy

Season 1 Episode 5

Giving Back

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Oct 01, 2008 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
520 votes
  • sons of a great show.

    I can't get enough of this show too bad it's the last season.
  • Ain't bout dat biker life.

    This episode employs a classic strategy of holding us off from the big emotional pay off with another storyline that is full of comedy. The first we have a client that suffers from, what appears to be a gag straight out of a sitcom, compulsive masturbatory syndrome, and he's being targeted by the Asian Mafia. That storyline gave us a few cheap laughs with Chuck masturbating at the most inappropriate times, like when Clay was working with a customer and Chuck openly works his penis.

    Although it wasn't meant just for cheap laughs as his masturbating episodes moved the story along. Like when the grossed out customer speeds off and it causes Clay to notice the asians in the beamer scouting them out. And then when Clay just couldn't handle Chuck's tendencies anymore and decided to go on with the mission.

    That storyline didn't serve too much for the show or episode, although it did incrementally feed one growing plot, and that's the tension between Jax and Clay. Jax has shown a change of heart since the birth of his kid, and seeing Clay willingly give Chuck up to die was something he quietly disagreed with.

    The real meat of the episode came with their former rider buddy Kyle. He was the sole reason why Opie got into jail in the first place. I thought it did a good job of showing off his character as a former Samcro member that regretted his actions and was so deeply invested into the club.

    Through his storyline we see Jax's darker side. There was no doubt that he was deeply loyal to the Sons of Anarchy, but to what extent? That hasn't been displayed yet, until now. Seeing him watch Kyle getting torched in the back added a dimension to his character. And it's fitting that there was no narrative when he went out to read his father's journal, something that he's resorted to for solace.

    Hopefully the episodes go up from here as well.
  • Up until now the audience has seen the kind hearted side of Jax, as he explores the inner thinkings of his fathers written words by reading his journals.

    However, with this new episode we are greeted with just how ruthless and far down the rabbit hole Jax has already fallen. We hear from Opie that he would rather die then be ostracized as Kyle from the club, as Jax whole heartedly agree's with him.

    We haven't really seen or understand just how ruthless or unforgiving Jax really is until he persuades an old "friend" (Kyle) into believing that his plea's of being forgiven have been heard. Of which he is invited back to the club house for a sit down.

    Once Kyle arrives the sinister plans begin to take shape as the entire group circle around the fallen member and issue out a unfortunate plan for him. Kyle, being an old member had not removed all tattoo's baring the clubs sign or colors as he should have - which leaves the current members to remove them for him by a show of force. They do so by Kyle's choosing of either removing the tattoo with a knife or by fire, of which he reluctantly chooses fire. Now by all means, the Jax we've gotten to know so far would have possibly stopped the torture and elected to only beat or show some sort of pity on Kyle. But we are taken for a different ride on this episode where Jax sits back and watches an old friend have his entire back burned off with a blow torch.

    For me, it was refreshing to see just how unforgiving the characters really are, but I must say it also left me wanting Jax to step up and begin running this club with better views & morals exactly as his father once believed in.
  • A nice episode with a cruel ending.

    I liked this episode although it was not as good as the last one. It combined two different stories, which were not really linked to each other, but still interesting to watch. The story about the guy coming out of prison was nice written and somehow funny (he has a masturbating tic) but, for me, it wasn't nessecary to have it in this episode. It didn't help to develop the characters and the time could have been used better (maybe explaing more about how and why Opie was arrested?). On the other hand the story about the former member of SAMCROW, Kyle, who was the cause for Opie's arrest, was great. It showed again the dark side of Jax and SAMCROW. I really didn't expect him, although he's a antihero, to let this disturbing and frightening end of the episode happen. Jax lures Kyle to the club house, where they remove the SAMCROW tattoo from his back with a blowtorch. How cruel was that!?! Watching Jax just sitting by, told a lot about what he is and how much he has to change to follow his father's footsteps and become a better man. Again, the performances of Perlman and Sagal are still one of the best on todays TV. I really like them. Watching Gemma sitting and smoking at the end, after she had to tell Kyle's Ex that she should drive to the hospital, was just awesome. And, as I think, showed a different side of Gemma. She knows that she's also responsible for what happend (she talked Clay into letting Kyle come to the fund-raiser in the first place) and obviously she's not happy with that. She still has a conscience.

    But what I hope for the show is that they start to devolp the overall arc a little bit further. There are so many pieces that could be put together, the Nevada section of Samcrow, the Mayans, the racist gang, the federal agent, Gemma and Clay, Jax vs. Clay, the rich guy who's daughter was raped, the deputy, Jax and his exwife,... I'm wondering what's happening next.

    (Sorry for my bad english, I'm not a native)
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