‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 5, Episode 7: ‘Toad’s Wild Ride’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 24th, 2012 at 4:40 pm,

Charlie Hunnam Kim Coates and Joel McHale in Sons of Anarchy Toads Wild Ride Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 7: Toads Wild Ride Recap

It looks like a sure sign you’ve hit rock bottom in Sons of Anarchy is waking up after a banana vodka-fueled bender with Joel McHale in your bed. And so another bit of SoA stunt casting gets underway, but this time it’s intended to move the Gemma (Katey Sagal) story along, and provide Jax (Charlie Hunnam) another opportunity to comment on how his mother is acting like a petulant child. It’s an embarrassing situation for Gemma, to be sure, and while it lacks the particular punch of a tarted up Walton Goggins, it does provide the episode an obligatory chase sequence through the streets of Charming, as well as a cliffhanger ending.

For the most part, ‘Toad’s Wild Ride’ is one of those mid-season episodes where characters begin to show their hand, and the elements that will dictate the rest of the season’s plot lines become more defined. Most notably, Clay (Ron Perlman) and Jax come to yet another understanding that their goals are at odds with one another and some sort of proverbial collision seems imminent. Much of the episode is also spent playing up some misdirection, as it relates to Clay’s overall involvement in the Charming home invasion problem. The three Nomads, Frankie (Chuck Zito), Greg the Peg and GoGo – who, despite a resemblance to Jason Lee and James LeGros, are actually played by Kurt Yeager and Chris Browning, respectively – are all preparing to leave Charming, considering their actions resulted in the death of Eli Roosevelt’s (Rockmund Dunbar) wife.

Turns out, Clay’s plan is to use the home invasions as a means by which Jax will be unseated as president, and he can assume his rightful place at the head of the table. But since GoGo’s in the system, as soon as the DNA from the Roosevelt case comes back, Clay is going to be dealing with some major heat along with the rest of SAMCRO. So, with Jax out intimidating Frankie, Unser (Dayton Callie) pays GoGo and Greg the Peg a visit, essentially forcing Clay’s hand. As much as Clay excels at misdirection (and as much as the show itself enjoys such things), he is forced to give up one element of his deception in order to do away with the one that will effectively end him.

Ron Perlman in Sons of Anarchy Toads Wild Ride Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 7: Toads Wild Ride Recap

Speaking of misdirection, last week’s ‘Small World‘ had set it up to look like Unser would be making ‘Toad’s Wild Ride’ his last, but it turns out dead Nomads are far more useful to Clay than a dead Unser. And with that, we bid adieu to Greg the Peg and GoGo while Frankie remains the x-factor in regard to the growing conflict between Jax and Clay. For now, the two have the same confrontation they’ve always had, which is a lot of intense stares, some thinly veiled accusations and Clay denying involvement in everything – basically going along with whatever is said while plotting his next move behind their back.

Besides seeing Clay’s attempt at misdirection in the midst of a double-homicide, the positive here is that the whole home invasion subplot is largely wrapped up – at least it seems unlikely that we’ll have to watch any more of them take place. The ramifications, however, will probably be felt much longer, if for nothing else than to give Roosevelt some closure and something to do besides harass Juice (Theo Rossi) and then apologize for it within earshot of the entire MC. As far as Juice is concerned, though, he’s basically aware what Clay’s been up to, and given the guilt he felt during his brief tenure as a snitch, it would be easy to see him try and do something for the good of the club that could undermine Clay.

Meanwhile, after having her wallet and SUV stolen by the host of The Soup, Gemma makes Nero (Jimmy Smits) her first call, but considering things are just taking off with the new Diosa International, Nero decides it’s prudent to cut Jax in on Gemma’s crisis du jour. After a turbulent beginning that entails the aforementioned obligatory street chase and subsequent release of Warren (McHale), things turn a bit softer when Gemma confesses to Jax her reasons for being the kind of mother she is. The moment leads to Jax convincing Tara (Maggie Siff) to let Gemma watch Abel and Thomas (ever wonder how much the name Cain was thrown around in the writer’s room after it was decided Tara would get pregnant?) while the newlyweds head off to the cabin. The romantic rendezvous is over before it can even begin, however, after Jax and Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) are embroiled in a roadside shootout with a couple of masked assailants. Jax manages to kill one of the men, and his identity points the finger right at the Sons’ newest business associate/arch villain, Pope (Harold Perrineau).

Tommy Flanagan in Sons of Anarchy Toads Wild Ride Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 7: Toads Wild Ride Recap

Elsewhere, Nero still has to deal with Warren. Since Charming is apparently wall-to-wall crime and gossipy gangs, Nero and his crew easily catch him in the middle of hustling another middle-aged woman. As he promised, Nero was there to square things with Warren, and does so by beating the guy to a pulp. The whole thing seems pretty conclusive, which would really make McHale’s role nothing more than stunt casting, but perhaps it was intended to better shine the spotlight on Nero’s feelings for Gemma. Needless to say, Nero seems to be navigating the outer edges of Jax’s no contact rule in regard to his mom.

That brings us to Gemma who picks the kids up after getting stoned with Unser and drives her SUV off the road and into a tree. The extent of everyone’s injuries is uncertain, but Abel looks to have gotten the worst of it. The little guy appears to be bleeding out all over his stuffed animal while Gemma’s unconscious in the front seat. Whatever happens (provided Gemma survives the accident), she’s going to need some pretty serious backup to handle the wrath of Jax and Tara, so perhaps the all new Diosa International will have to be put on hold while Nero gets between mother and son.


Sons of Anarchy continues next Wednesday with ‘Ablation’ @10pm on FX. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Totally Jason Lee! I was wondering if I was the only one who noticed that.

  2. So I’m wondering, as viewers were we supposed to pick up on the irony of Tara telling Gemma to be safe with her kids while Tig was holding one of them in the background? If so, that was pretty forced but I’m also thinking that I’m giving the writers to much credit.
    And the Joel McHale part would have been tolerable if they cast some unknown actor. Don’t get me wrong I love McHale. Community is one of my favorite shows and he’s hilarious on The Soup but unless he shows up again this might be the worst case of stunt casting I’ve ever seen.
    And once again I’m going to rally for more Jimmy Smitts. I’d be willing to tolerate Gemma storylines if they had him in every scene. I don’t care if he’s just in the background or carry around a box (oh wait, he’s always caring a box when he’s indoors already) so yeah, have him do that more. :)
    I know I’ll get slammed for bashing the show so much and that if I think it’s so bad I shouldn’t watch. But I’m being so hard on it because I am a fan and I’ve loved this show but so far this season of SoA is like last season of Dexter. So hopefully like Dexter is doing this year they will find a way to turn it around…

    • Man, you complain way too much for being a fan, let the show be a show, stop expecting everything to be what you want, its about giving people an experience, its a story telling, you really need to just sit back n enjoy the show for what it is, not for what u want it to be, with that kind of attitude, I can only see how displeased you are with everything. Chill out n relax, you will find more entertainment, n enjoyment instead of wanting it a certain way. Yes I know how sometimes things don’t make sense, McHale knew the story line before he tried to get it, its not a poor casting, just happened McHale wanted a small part. Let the story be told!! or go find a rainbow show that feeds your every needs. no one likes to see someone whining n complaining over a show they are not forced to watch, if you are a Fan discuss the show n the story telling, not its casting, or how poor the characters are. my goodness. Nothing is gonna be perfect, the sooner u realize that, the sooner u can stop complaining n enjoy things for what they are.

      • @ Cos
        Like I said in my comment I knew there would be someone who felt the way you do but that’s ok, I understand.
        But here at Screen Rant this is what we do. We rant and rave about movies and tv.
        So I disagree with you that if you’re a fan of something you should just enjoy the show and automatically forgive it for it’s problems. I’ve been watching the show for 5 seasons and have become invested in the characters and the story so when I think it’s heading in a certain way or I’m not sure of certain characters motivations I come here to talk about it.
        And I’m not saying it’s so bad that I won’t watch it anymore I’ve been watching from the start and I’ll stay with it until season 7 when I’ve heard it will end so I hope it turns around. At the basics SoA is a interesting and fun show that despite it’s flaws I enjoy and still recommend to friends so I won’t stop watching and commenting about the positives and negatives of it any time soon…

    • *Second Worst stunt casting – How soon we forget Ashley Tisdale’s role as Emma Jean?

      • Not second or first worst stunt casting, I thought they were perfect, Ashley and Joel are not SOA quality, they play the roles they fit, was a masterful plan by Sutter, n now they are gone, everyone is happy.

  3. I feel like the Gemma of fans — I want more emotionally from this show than is reasonable to expect, you know? We’ve known for hours now about Clay’s plot to undermine Jax via home invasions for instance. So for me there wasn’t much tension last night, wasn’t surprised Clay supposedly wanted to kill Unser, or when he double crossed the nomads and killed 2 of them instead. That’s Clay. Sigh.

    Have to say though SoA is a rigorously moral show — Roosevelt said it: You reap what you sow. Hell, the club’s emblem is the reaper –

    • I WANT I WANT I WANT.. Everybody WANTS something, how about, instead of wanting a biker show turn into a girly show, sit back n enjoy the show for what it is. If you want “emotionally” go find a show that gives you that, and leave the writers to what they do best, n just enjoy the show for crying out loud.

      • I don’t think you should go on message boards if you can’t handle people saying there opinion and how they want/think the show to move forward.

    • In the new episode 8, alliances will get tested, and bonds are going to get broken. A major vehicle chase and shootout goes down. Jax questions Damon. Eli tells Jax,someone else is talking to the Feds. Eli also propositions Jax. It definitely looks like some more major intense action will go down.

    • I think thats point. I think its a good idea not to show anything about the SUV crash n Jax’s boys, has u begging for more. I know if i saw some of it, I wouldn’t be so eager for next week’s episode to get here.

    • Of course the previews wouldnt show something about the crash. It would only spoil it for those who didn’t watch this episode.

      • Not necessarily. They do it all the time. A tease tie in to what cliff hanger they just left. This one was huge so I really don’t think it’d be left out unless it was a dream that never actually happened. It might even be a dream Gemma had asleep at the wheel of the parked car prior to picking the kids up. If not then it might be the end for both her and Clay this season.

  4. i love this season i hatd last season

  5. the author of this blog/post really needs a lesson in grammar and use of the English language. If you’re going to be a “writer” or an “author” learn how to properly write FFS. “regards” “in regards to” “with regards” to….. go look it up. Take a basic class FFS. It’s not regards — it’s like nails on a chalk board — regard is not plural. That’s one of the first rule of writing and if you want people to take you seriously and continue to read your postings then learn how to properly write. With regard to respect, I’m going to be straight with you: No way will you get respect from me or others in publishing or even arm chair authors if you do not do basic homework. Regards. What an amateur.

    • @ChaCha – Take your grammar trolling elsewhere. While you’re at it, try captilzing the first word of each sentence – as you say, “that’s one of the first RULE of writing.” Why don’t YOU go out and do some basic homework?

      But hey, you’re always welcome to stop by and make yourself look foolish any time you want.

      Paul Young – Moderator

      • Thanks Mod Paul,

        I’m not hijacking people to a Son’s of Anarchy blog or narcissistic need to be seen, heard or relevant. Never claimed to be a writer or an author. Just a poor ole troller who decided to school the author of this self-serving string of words called a blog.

        Take care, dont be so uptight and take things so personally. Learn something. Grow. Prosper. Being less defensive might serve you.

        Be well and read a book or something useful

        • ChaCha,

          LOL! “The pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind.

          You make a lousy Grammar Patrol.

      • Nice response, however I am curious how many times you proofread your reply before submitting? :)


        • Considering all the spelling mistakes in his first post im guessing he had to proofread the second one at least a couple of times

  6. Did able lose his feet or foot

    • My guess would be juice. The preview showed Eli making a deal with Jax for Clay in exchange for the snitch.

  7. I hated how it ended with Abel bleeding. I started to cry – and yes I know it’s a show – but I have a son myself so this hit me. This season is very bloody this time. Seems like every time you turn around, someone is dying or hurt. My husband refuses to finish the season from this, but I’ll finish it.

    • This is a show about bikers who live in a dangerous world of smuggling. Sure Jax is one hell of a nice guy who seems like a great family man, but who will kill in a heartbeat if he think’s it’s necessary. All of this is basically tempered by being on FX. If it were on HBO or Showtime it would be far worse in violence, blood, and gore. But they have to include all that violence to depict somewhat a realistice world that they’re involved in.

      I know there’s been this on going tendency to turn every series into a soap. Sometimes even the Sons seem to get a bit soapy, but hopefully they never do. If the show is too violent for you then there’s a whole lot of night time soaps to pick from

  8. What was the song playing when gemma crashed her suv?

    • The song is “The Passenger” from Iggy Pop from the ´77 Album “Lust for Life”.

  9. I like the show just the way it is. sure i may have gone a different way if it was up to me but it is a great show and im looking forward to the next episode

  10. What was the Chris Cornell song during the chase with Joel McHale?

    • its the new soundgarden single. ‘Been away too long’

  11. This show has the blood of the kids the were killed in CT Sandy Hook elementary school on it’s hands and face!!! It is Violence porn, geared toward violence. Telling our youth that violence is cool. I hope the people who are behind this trash get what they deserve one day. There karma will bite them in the ass, just very bummed there karma has touched so many sweet inocent lives. Shame on the people putting this stuff out there, do you have children of your own??? We should make you go to CT and talk to the slain childrens parents so you can explain you really needed the money so you had to put this violence out there for there youth to soak up, or there kids to be the victim of it!!!! I just want to puke all over you and yours!!!!

  12. Hello “Goodkarmarider”

    I see that you are angry and understand where you are coming from but this is a fictitious story created for entertainment and many people along with myself tend to soak it up as art actually.
    If you can’t see the beauty that media brings us, you shouldn’t watch it. Take everything with a grain of salt because this isn’t the problem hun. Don’t blame a TV Show for sorrow done by others. There is a bigger picture to this. Do some research and stop being so blind.

  13. Well, for me this show has jumbed the shark completely in season 6 finale.
    I’m still watching out of curiosity, like who and how they die.
    There’s nothing left for me there, so I skip a lot of scenes and just see the most important parts.
    The good thing is I didn’t wait every other week to watch season by season. I started watching 10 days ago, so I didn’t root for so long thankfully.
    There are still some funny stuff though.