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Well this season did not waste any time trying to hook people back into the show.
They made a pretty clear statement with who the club will be going against this season. It will not be the Niners as Leroy was surprisingly killed off before we could even get a word out of him. It looks like it will be newly joined Damon Pope being played by Harold Perrineau. At first I was hesitant to how he would fit in this role as he does not seem like the ruthless gangster type, but this episode put those thoughts to rest for me. He is the clear leader of his group and seems to go about his business in a very methodical manner, which could be something new and troubling for the sons.
This will all be an extremely quick test for how Jax acts as the leader of the club. And it is clear that although Tara wants to be able to influence him, it will still be Gemma who is able to get the last say and push him in the direction that she wants. There has always been that push and pull between Gemma and Tara and I see that really coming to a head in this coming season.
We also met another one of our new characters in Nero Padilla who seemed to really hit it off with Gemma. When I heard that he was going to be a big influence in how Jax was a leader I did not expect him to get to that point through Gemma. That alone could throw a wrench into things as both Jax and Gemma drift towards Nero and further away from Clay. My first impression of Nero was not what I expected at all, but I am really interested in his character. Unlike with Pope who we got a pretty good feel for in the first episode, Nero seems like more of a mystery to me. I think that a lot more will come out about him and in the long run we will be able to see if he was a great role model for Jax or if he led him in the wrong direction.
Now let us get to the goods of what occurred in this weeks episode. We quickly saw the backlash for what Tig did in the season 4 finale come from the hands of David Pope. It was not an action that we would expect from a rival gang the sons are used to dealing with, but he was clearly sending a message throughout his whole appearance on the show. Like Jax said earlier in the episode he was flexing his muscles and demonstrating that he decides who dies and lives. He wanted Tig to feel the same pain that he had felt and made him deliberately watch it. What will be interesting from here on out is how Tig responds. He made a quick decision to kill the cop and also the man who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. So if he becomes a loose cannon, this is a feud that could quickly escalate.
There was no way I could go throughout this whole recap without touching on Clay and what we can expect from him this season. First off, he completely reminded me of Piney in being the grumpy old man who drank a lot and could not really do much. With that being said there is no way he goes silently and sits back without having an influence on the club. He is already making moves within the club to help give him some more power back and will always want the respect of those sitting at the table with him. I definitely see Clay creating some more problems as the season goes on, but I can actually see him going out gracefully and for the good of the club. That has always been his number one priority and I cannot see that changing, but we will just have to see how he responds in a new role.
There will definitely be some interesting storylines being developed this season and this episode did nothing to change my feeling that we are in for another great season.