‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 5, Episode 6: ‘Small World’ Recap

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Kurt Sutter and Maggie Siff in Sons of Anarchy Small World Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 6: Small World Recap

There’s a moment in ‘Small World’ where the characterization of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) takes a disturbing turn for the worse that’s no doubt tied to his state of mind over the loss of Opie (Ryan Hurst). Sons of Anarchy has us questioning whether Jax is basically a good guy compelled to do some really bad things for the sake of who and what he cares about, or someone who’s ventured too far down the road to ruin to turn back now. There’s the Jax who internalizes the disappointing reminder that choices in his life have him collecting body parts, so a Disney-fied hooker can keep hooking, and then there’s the Jax who almost happily shrugs off the cold blooded murder of a bystander as “collateral damage.”

And the amount of collateral damage that accumulates in ‘Small World’ is considerable.

Obviously, Jax was going to have to deal with the guard who helped orchestrate the gladiator-like event that ended Opie’s life, but the information that allows him to do so comes from a rather surprising source by the name of Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau). The show is doing its best to make Pope as different from any obstacle the club has ever faced as possible. Unlike other adversaries, Pope is astronomically powerful, and the easiest way to illustrate the breadth of Pope’s power is the effortlessness manner in which he wields it. At one point during his conversation with Jax, Pope flat out tells him, “there is no risk” – that’s about as alluring a statement one criminal can make to another as possible. And though Pope’s offer to have SAMCRO run more drugs for the cartel – in exchange for dropping the club’s debt to him, while adding a hefty profit on top – seems like a win, Jax’s willingness to get involved is troubling.

Ron Perlman Sons of Anarchy Small World Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 6: Small World Recap

It’s as disconcerting as the merciless manner in which he beats a man to death with the world’s most impressively built snow globe. There’s no question the prison guard had to go, but Jax’s ferocity in the moment, coupled with his apathy of Tig (Kim Coates) shooting the man’s wife. The murders and the business deal could be related to Jax’s current disposition – which if it got any bleaker would certainly be an interesting avenue for this series to explore – but chances are, the two events are simply business and pleasure. Especially if you consider the deal with Pope to be a part of Jax’s elaborate plan to get the club out of the jam it’s been in since the end of season 4.

If Jax is again in the midst of some highly structured manipulation of his enemies, that won’t be anything new, but the effect his keeping it a secret (if he even is) will have on his presidency could be the most meaningful bit to come from whatever it is Jax has up his sleeve. As seen in the way the club was divided on the Pope deal, the challenge of internal strife is clearly on the horizon.

Whether or not that’s something Clay (Ron Perlman) was counting on by orchestrating the home invasions that have recently plagued Charming is the question, but for now he has to deal with the fact that Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) is personally gunning for the MC. In keeping with the episode’s theme of collateral damage, Roosevelt’s wife, Rita (Merle Dandridge), dies in the hospital from the injury she sustained when Clay’s goon squad stormed her house. Everyone probably saw Clay playing some role in the invasions, as far back as the season premiere, so that’s not much of a surprise, but the lengths to which he’s gone to throw folks off the trail is. Having been given an almost clean bill of health from his doctor, Clay puts his (now unnecessary) oxygen tank back on and tells Juice (Theo Rossi) things aren’t looking too hot for him medically. Whether this is a power play and a way to make things more complicated for Jax, or a means by which Clay intends to keep the heat off when the law eventually catches up with the knuckleheads he has working for him is unclear, but between Roosevelt and Unser (Dayton Callie) sniffing around, Clay’s plan might have to come to fruition much sooner.

Rockmond Dunbar in Sons of Anarchy Small World Sons of Anarchy Season 5, Episode 6: Small World Recap

In that regard, Unser makes it clear to Clay he’s more or less put the pieces together, and from the looks of it, may be taking the Piney exit in the next episode. If that goes down, it’d be too bad because the thought of him and Roosevelt teaming up in a buddy cop sort of way, to take down Clay’s gang, would make for some amazing spin-off material.

That leads to the episode’s two weakest points, which, of course, both involve Gemma (Katey Sagal). On one hand, Unser is scolding her for apparently leading him on and then getting involved with Nero (Jimmy Smits), while on the other hand, Gemma and Nero are briefly held hostage by Carla (Wanda De Jesus), who then kills herself in front of them. We’re told that Carla was Nero’s half-sister, who was also in love with him, but that information comes after she’s already dead, and the shock of her shooting herself has largely passed. Since she was such a nominal character to begin with, it’s clear her role will be larger in death than it ever was in life. Considering Clay’s quiet underhandedness this season, having him dispose of the body was likely a mistake – especially since it concerns the dude who’s currently sleeping with his former old lady. Who wants to take a bet that Carla’s body is part of the plan Clay has to get Nero out of the picture with Gemma?

Finally, there’s the question of what Tara (Maggie Siff) is going to do with the whole Otto (Kurt Sutter) situation, since it seems he’s not exactly eager to recant his testimony regarding the RICO case against the club. There’s some tension in her not telling Jax everything about her encounter with Otto, so the question becomes how far is she willing to go to protect her husband and the club from prosecution?


Sons of Anarchy continues next Tuesday with ‘Toad’s Wild Ride’ @10pm on FX. You can check out a preview for the episode below:

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  1. The only thing I’m really interested in at this point is concerning Clay and his plan.
    So hopefully things will start moving along in the next few weeks.
    I’m dissapointed so far in the sub-plot with Nero. Jimmy Smitts is really fantastic in the role and he’s a blast to watch so I’m annoyed that 95% of his storyline so far is involved with Gemma. I’d much rather see him working with Jax and the club regarding their new business venture than what we’ve seen so far.
    Excellent point in the recap about the womans body. I can see Clay using it to further his cause…

    • I think you’re missing some pretty big symbolism, and it’s been going on for awhile now, but this episode was kind of a fork in the road in that. They’ve been hinting for awhile, that Tara and Jax, are essentially becoming Gemma and Clay, or at least what they used to be. In this episode how they started to lie to one another about simple stuff to protect one another, even the most basic stuff like what happened in their day was the fork i mentioned before, i think Jax’s returning and request for them to go to the cabin was another symbol that maybe they won’t become them.

      I find tremendous symbolism with Clay and his oxygen tank, and how he can’t grip the bike anymore, he’s basically Piney at this point, though the removal of the tank might complicate that. As far as the episode goes, i honestly only felt that the Nero part was a “weak” point, and by that i simply mean weakest of the episode, though as the previous person stated, i as well can just watch Jimmy Smits work, b/c he’s great at the Nero character. I’m honestly happy to be the half sister gone, she was jsut irritating, i think this marks the beginning of a much bigger, and hopefully much better arc for clay, gemma and Nero.

      The tara thread is interesting, i’m honestly curious what she’s gonna do, if she does some sort of sexual act on her own for Otto, i think that might actually annoy me, being so out of character for her, unless she somehow sneaks in a hooker to do it for her lol.

      Anyways, loved the ep, good review overall.

      • Clay is trying to get the club back. It is revealed that he is on his way to a full recovery, and he no longer needs the tank. He is trying to appear weak so that he can stir things up.

        Why did Clay recruit the Nomads to carry out the home invasions? The club has always kept the fallout from their dealings out of Charming. The “protected” the town, and in exchange, the cops stayed out of their hair. The purpose of the home invasions is to make Jax look weak, and unable to run the club. Clay is trying to slowly chip away at Jax support, until he has the votes to regain his seat at the head of the table.

      • I took the comment from Otto not to be literal. I think what he was saying is, he won’t get on his knees for the club any more. When she told Otto no, he replied basically of course you wont, neither will I. The club and his wife were all Otto had left. Both betrayed him. Otto was simply saying he knows he has been the club’s dog and he won’t be any more. Complicating the process to get him to stop talking to the feds. He no longer has the loyalty. I predict suicide or something more self loathing than him actually going through with anything against the club. He has nothing to gain any more, nothing to live for.

  2. Oh wow, Clay behind the break-ins. Who didn’t see that coming LOL. Clay’s part has gone too cliché and predictable. Gemma Is just a wasted character at this point. It seems like since Season 2/3 this series has lost its magic. The Opie killing was an episode that was great but since then the last 2 episodes have been pretty boring. Hopefully the season starts picking up

    • last episode was great. i not like opie involvemnt this season but the turning of Jax is the most interesting stuff . especiall if u seen the shield then you now what im talking about . jax becoming the main chactor on the shiel more and more

  3. I think Gemma’s character is amazing! She is the epitome of biker matriarch, she goes through being broken down and rebuilding herself the best way she knows. I’m hoping Nero will help her rebuild the right way this time and get her back on track in the series, given he knows what that’s all about. Of course it has to come with its ups and downs or it will get boring. her role is essentially about old school women in the scene and how they dealt with s***. there has to be a juxtaposition and parallel drawn between her and tara, tara as the new school biker matriarch. If unser dies in the next I will so disappointed! I’m super curious about this young guy (jeff from community) she meets at the bar. I have an awful feeling she’s about to raped and kidnapped or something, maybe bring nero closer…?

    • I agree Shakatak,

      I think you have written an excellent summary. Your take on Gemma and Tara sums it up perfectly, showing a lot of insight on your behalf.


  4. Wow…so this review was pretty bias. As far as I’m concerned Gemma’s storyline was one of the highlights of this weeks episode, along with Clay’s. All this Jax/Pope stuff really isn’t landing as well for me. I think Pope’s a great villain but Jax’s actions seem to make no sense, since Pope was the one who ordered one of the sons be killed. I’m also interested to see where Tig’s storyline takes him. All in all, I found pretty much all of Jax’s screen time, as well as Tara’s, pretty damn boring compared to the rest. I’m hoping Chibs and Tig and Juice will feature a little more heavily in next weeks episode.

    • so far, we know what Jax can do under the table (not in that way sickos lol) for one, this very same questioning, and doubting Jax, as he was in season 3, people n reviews were all saying what is Jax doing!, he will be killed off the show. wah wah wah stuff, anyways, the way he planned the club to get minimal sentencing, without being a rat (IRA) it all turned out perfect, Opie got his revenge on Stahl for getting his wife killed as well as Chibs on Jimmy O who took his family away, could’t have ended any better. so therefore, i believe Jax has something up his sleeve, may not be something he can do quickly, kinda doubting it will be resolved by season 5′s end, but im sure hoping so. but yeah definitely think all this stuff Jax is doing is for the better whether it looks like it or not.

      Poor Unser, i hope they put him out of his misery lol, dud has been such a good character, but hes too strung up on Gemma, dude needs to get laid or laid to rest for real. that cancer is building up in his pants, RELEASE THE ALMIGHTY EVIL!!!!. anyways, i hope clay n his douche bag gang gets the cut, they need to go pronto! or the rest i can go on writing on book about this s***, but i aint, anyways those are the two topics i wanted to spill out of my fingers at the moment, good article! dont forget to call your local doctor if this show has you disturbed! THANK YOU VERY MUCH PLANET EARTH!

  5. i really like the damon pope character and the way he is mentoring jax im really interested in where that goes

    • I agree. I just hope that this is all building to Jax eventually using the knowledge he gains from Pope against him. Probably won’t happen this season. I could see Jax somehow setting Pope to take a fall when the CIA finally moves in on the IRA

      • the CIA is not moving in on the IRA, if thats the case, the RICO case would have gone through. CIA’s main purpose for this is to make the Cartel stronger to over throw the other cartels, for political reasons, which is where the middle man, the sons, come in to play with the IRA providing them with powerful weapons. buut i do agree with the whole CIA thing being apart of helping bring Pope down, as I can only see the Cartel wanting to control the drug flow n cash in, without someone else being more powerful, which is Pope, Cartel will over run Pope n take his drug shipments as part of gaining control of the drug trade in northern cali. but thats just my theory on the whole thing, the way things have been shaping up, only ones guess what could really happen when it does happen.

        • PART 2
          Either 2 ways for Jax to get completely out, using Pope’s drugs as a payment n get out of jail free card to the Cartel, or Tara (hopefully nothing sexual) convinces Otto to reverse his statements, and the CIA has nothing on the Club, which makes it easier for the club to get out being the drug mule. But like I always say, these are just my theories, I could most likely be wrong.

    • man Shaka, I don’t know how many times i’ve seen this comment, it wasnt solely on that, if you forgot, the prison guard arranged a bet to win some cash on Opie’s time survival, thats why he killed the prison guard. would u want someone alive who bet on your loved one’s death time? i sure wouldnt i’d be pissed, no one will ever win money on a death of my loved one.

    • PLUS! you are forgettin that, the way the guard was treating them, like dogs? come on now, if you’re SAMCRO, no one has the right to treat you that way muchless to wager a bet on how long Opie (a well respected member at that) will survive before they kill him. I thought it was perfect, plus it was the prison guard who threw the pipe in the cage match that killed Opie. Justice is served! Pope just wanted one of them dead, didn’t matter who, the Guard chose Ope, n yes Opie is responsible for that, but still. So overall, it was right the way he did it, n for the wife, yeah it had to be done, she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. HA! Imagine that, being at the wrong place at the wrong time in your own house, has to suck!

      • i wonder what walter white would do in this spot

    • Pope ordered the guard to kill a son, not the method of how he was killed. It was the guards decision to through Opie in a gladiator ring with the intention of watching him be beaten to death.

  6. Did anybody notice that Tig got wounded bt the “Surprise” shotgun blasts when they had the prison gaurd. Wonder as they have had a lot about DNA testing in the show if they are not going to find Tig’s blood at the prison gaurds murder site and tack this back to Tig or the club, could make an interesting twist and put Tig right in the grip of the cops!

  7. Funny how they just kind of let the whole boob and a finger thing go from the end of the last episode. Are we just to assume that Jax gave the parts to the gangbangers unseen? Hard to think so, since the events in the current episode occur over one day and Jax seemed pretty busy as is. Am I getting as tired as Otto of constantly going back to him and his storyline? I understand that they need to wrap that one up, but geez, it’s been dragging on a while. I’d rather he just do the horrible thing that he threatened to do. Then again, I think Kurt likes playing him.
    The episode is certainly making you wonder about Jax’s disposition. Hopefully, he does have some master plan with regard to Pope. Even Pope acknowledges he’s pretty smart. Obviously, Jax knows he can’t touch Pope directly. At this point, he’s probably come to accept that in the revenge transaction nature of the Life, Pope got his satisfaction, and he’s looking to give that back to Jax. Of course, there are some potential huge loose ends with the sergeant’s and his wife’s disappearance. Obviously, their disappearance will be noted. Unless they cleaned up the house real well, there’s still possibly evidence there. And one wonders if Pope’s underling lied to the Sons about the wife not being home, hoping to make things a little more difficult for them. But this whole thing just shows how much of a stone cold bastard Pope is.
    And the line about “There is no risk”? Hah, if Jax believes that, he should go buy some ocean-front property in Arizona. He probably doesn’t, but he’s willing to work with Pope, as he has to have some kind of endgame. He’s just hoping that he can direct more risk onto Pope than onto him and the club.

    • I really like your comment Maopheus. Awesome job on understanding the characters, the scene, what could be n what couldn’t be, your ability to suggest you may be wrong but still throw out your opinion on very good theories, loved it. Kudos man

    • Well Ashley Tisdale did a multiple episode arc so I’m sure there’s more to that at some point. HARDLY anything to write home about.

    • He used the snow globe cuz it was one of two objects Tig found, he asked for a pipe, but was none. the snow globe seemed more fitting to the death than a hammer. Hammer is more deadlier than a pipe given its weight and solid, as a snow globe was more fitting to a pipe, giving him the almost the same exact death with what was available to use, that Ope received. Good choice i think.

      • I don’t think it’s that black and white with the snow globe. Wasn’t the snow globe a disneyland trinket? ‘it’s a small world’ the snow globe was symbolic, i see it’s as a death of innocence, karmic retribution. using something associated with happiness and joy to kill the guard, irony? the dreaminess of the little ‘snow’ particles… then there’s the ‘snow’ reference-cocaine?

        • All i was stating is why a snow globe over a hammer, a hammer didn’t seem as fitting as a snow globe vs a pipe. For the meaning behind the snow globe, other than the choices of what was available, I can’t argue your theory about the innocence and karma, and im sure whatever Jax used would be happiness n joy to kill the guard, sure can be symbolic, I just dont see where Cocaine had anything to do with it. I do know yes snow is referred to cocaine, but the subject of cocaine n its place within the snow globe n the murder, i quite don’t understand your meaning, when cocaine has nothing to do with the prison guard or his death. I just don’t see how much depth of a snow globe would be that it has to do with cocaine as well, it was what Tig found, not really a personal choice becuz of a symbolic feature, tho its valid, I just think it would’ve been chosen instead of wanting a pipe. but good theory.

  8. This will be a very good show next week, As the NoMads are exposed for what they are doing, and on the run, Clay confronts Unser, (possibly Unser’s Death?) And Jax finally finding out Clay is using the NoMads to undermine his leadership, and confronts Clay about this. Its gonna be sooooo good. The whole story line with Gemma anymore seems to be slipping away tho, as she seems to find herself naked in bed with a strange guy more than she can find her place within her own family. Hoping there is more to this, other than her just sopping because shes not the queen everyone once worship. So I for one think Kurt is a lot smarter than that, n has a very good ending to Gemma’s path to self destruction. Jax and his decisions with Pope, I know a lot of people are worried n concerned about it, which is why its happening the way it is, but i solely believe there is a trick up his sleeve that he is planning, while bad mistake may seem as negative, but look back at season 3, when he ratted out the IRA and his brothers for the freedom of his mother, n reduce sentencing, we all thought he was going down the wrong path. Never count Jax “appear” to be bad choices, where a smart man is behind this rough badass biker. I cannot wait for Tuesday to get here!!

  9. Poor Nero is the victim here. Ever since he banged Gemma , she has totally ruined him. Excellent acting by both.

  10. Any one else Notice when boobys run off the road it’s daylight then when jax confronts cop it’s dark