The price of power sits heavy on the shaggy head of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the prince-turned-leader of a troubled biker kingdom on FX's Sons of Anarchy, wrapping its fifth and best-yet season tonight with a super-sized 90-minute finale (10/9c). A few weeks ago, in a moment worthy of this series' Shakespearian ambitions, Jax told his disgraced, dethroned evil stepfather Clay (Ron Perlman): "I'm tired of being crushed under the weight of greedy men who believe in nothing."
As exciting game-changers go, the only shows currently surpassing The CW's The Vampire Diaries in their new seasons are Showtime's Sunday blockbusters, the Emmy-winning Homeland (which just won't stop with the jaw-dropping twists) and the back-on-its-game Dexter (finally breaking new ground with Deb's realization of her brother's true identity). After several seasons of treading bloody water with increasingly convoluted plotting that didn't really move the show's core characters forward, Diaries has at last taken the leap in its fourth season (Thursday at 8/7c), turning its leading lady (Nina Dobrev as the tormented Elena) into the most reluctant of vampires, sending shock waves of guilt, anger and worry through the entire Mystic Falls supernatural brain trust.
[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Tuesday's episode of Sons of Anarchy.]
Tuesday's episode of Sons of Anarchy was, in a word, brutal.
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Not only did the episode feature a graphically violent death-by-beating, but it also killed off one of the show's most beloved characters. The newly incarcerated Jax (Charlie Hunnam) was told by Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) that in order to end the beef between their respective gangs, Jax would have to give Pope half of the money SAMCRO earns muling cocaine for the cartel. The second demand was much trickier: Pope also told Jax to choose which one of the brothers he had walked into prison with — Tig (Kim Coates), Chibs (Tommy Flanagan), and Opie (Ryan Hurst) — would not be walking out.
While mulling over the decision, Jax...
Never judge a book by its cover.
Sons of Anarchy's Season 5 premiere proved that old adage once again with the introduction of gangster Damon Pope (Lost's Harold Perrineau). Unlike his crew, the One-Niners, Pope is a well-dressed businessman who could seemingly never be mistaken as an outlaw or a thug.
Sons of Anarchy: What kind of leader will Jax become?
"I always envisioned this guy as being [the] kind of guy who has sort of risen above the street and has learned to carry himself in the community," creator Kurt Sutter tells TVGuide.com...
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown," goes the old saying. And as Jax Teller, antihero of FX's Sons of Anarchy and new president of the titular motorcycle club, will discover this season, it's heavier still with two new influences whispering in his ears.
Fresh off its most watched season, the oft-described Hamlet-on-Harleys will likely get another boost from Dexter/NYPD Blue vet Jimmy Smits and Lost/Oz alum Harold Perrineau, who both join for lengthy stints in Season 5 as a dubious ally and a formidable enemy, respectively.