10 Things We Learned From This Week’s Devastating ‘Sons Of Anarchy’

Last night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy was momentous, and will have huge implications for the rest of the season/series. Ashley Tisdale showed up. More importantly, a major character died, and there is going to be a lot of divisiveness over whether it should’ve been that character who died. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it yet, so let’s leap past the jump and get right to it.

1. You Made the Wrong Choice — Although I predicted it last Friday, and even though the “previously on” scenes basically confirmed the prediction, Opie’s brutal death-by-metal-pipe was still shocking in its brutality. That sucked. That really, really sucked. To me, because I adored that character, Opie’s death was even harder to take than the one at the end of season two of Boardwalk Empire. The irony is, we’ve been nagging at Kurt Sutter to grow some balls and kill off a major character for awhile, but we didn’t mean Opie! Damnit. For God’s sake, man. He was the best character on the show.

On the other hand, as much as it pains me to say it, his death makes the most sense. There wasn’t anything left for Opie within SAMCRO. Either him or Clay would’ve had to die, and this is Hamlet, and Opie is Ophelia, and Ophelia — like what Opie essentially did — took her own life. Polonius (Piney) is dead. Ophelia is dead. It’s the way it had to happen, and props to Sutter for not cheating the Hamlet storyline. It still hurts, though. And that blow to the back of the head is absolutely seared into my brain.

Oh, and f**k you Ryan Hurst for not preparing us for that in the live Q&A.

I saw some people suggest last week that they wouldn’t watch Sons of Anarchy anymore without Opie, but you know what? For the time being, it’s never been more compelling, and there’s no way I don’t stick it out to see Jax get his revenge upon Damon Pope. I need that revenge.

2. Damon Pope Is One Mean Son of a Bitch — What he did to Tig was awful. This, however, was unconscionable: Making Jax choose which Son would have to die. That was messed up. I hate Damon Pope. But I am loving the hatred. Clearly, Kurt Sutter wanted to create someone even more evil than Gus Fring, and while the character isn’t as compelling yet, he’s certainly on the level in the pure evil category. I didn’t think I could want someone to die as badly as I wanted to see Agent Stahl die, but Sutter has proven me wrong with Pope.

3. I’m going to find out who you are and where you live and then I’m going to kill you — Jax is not kidding, either. The prison guard is a dead man walking. What Damon Pope did was a business decision, of sorts. He forced Jax to surrender a Son to even the score with the Niners. What the prison guard did, however, was pure, nasty unnecessary bloodlust. I’m going to enjoy watching him die.

4. Jax Owns Tig Now — Initially, when Jax told Damon Pople that he wanted Tig out because he’d be a good soldier for him, and that Damon Pope could do whatever he wanted with him afterward, I thought Jax was just playing Pope to get Tig out. But after Jax’s conversation with Tig, I think he means it. I think he really does hate Tig for creating the circumstances that led to Opie’s death. He has Tig in his back pocket now, and one vote he can always count on.

5. Joel McHale Watch Week 3 — Still no Joel McHale. I have a feeling, however, he arrives next week, and maybe he helps SAMCRO get to the prison guard. Here’s McHale’s Bro Walk:

6. The Home Invasions — We learned from Damon Pope what we all had already assumed: The home invasions are not the work of the Niners. They’re more likely the work of Clay. We didn’t see Unser or Eli this week, so there was no advancement on that investigation.

7. “What are you going to do? You gonna kill me?” “No, but my husband might” — The Tara and Gemma beef escalated rapidly this week. What began as a dispute about Gemma’s babysitting duties quickly spiraled. Gemma tried to recruit Abel’s biological mother, Wendy, into the dispute, and given how much Gemma hates Wendy, you know she’s got serious issues with Tara. I’ll say this, though: This may have been the first episode I’ve ever truly liked Tara. She grew three pairs of balls. “I’m a surgeon and you’re some ex-junkie biker whore.” I’d like to see her f**k up Wendy just for kicks (also, because I hate Wendy).

8. The JaxBroWalk Was at Level 6 This Week — You notice the bro walk completely disappears whenever he’s around Damon Pope? Jax is terrified of the man. The goddamn flared nostrils are still there, though.

9. “I’m just a wounded guy in need of a little comfort” — I’m not sure what Clay’s play was in banging Ashley Tisdale’s innocent Indiana farm girl, but it sure as hell pissed off Gemma. Why was Gemma so upset, if she’s not jealous? And will there be a Nero/Clay stand-off in our future? Side note: If seeing Gemma slam Ashley Tisdale’s head into a wall is the only time we see Tisdale this season, it was totally worth it.

10. The Whorehouse Raid — I’m not sure where that came from, or what purpose it will serve, but authorities raided Nero’s whorehouse. Did Clay call it in? It may create a situation where Nero looks to SAMCRO to help him out of a jam, or it might leave Nero without a business to run and lots of free time to devote to Gemma and the Sons. It may just pit Nero against Clay. I think I was still in too much shock to process that development.

Also, who was this guy, and why is he bleeding from the gut? Did the cops shoot him on the way in?