Sons of Anarchy season 6 episode 5 recap: ‘The Mad King’


Don’t piss off the Irish. When will people learn this? Don’t they watch Sons of Anarchy? If there’s one thing this show is really good at, it’s burying the lede. The antagonists of a particular season are usually not who you’d expect at the end of the last one, and that tradition is continuing with season 6. We all thought it was going to be Lee Toric and the U.S. Marshalls bringing down SAMCRO, but it’s looking more likely that an old ally – the real IRA – is the actual threat. Let’s get to the episode.

Jax and the crew are frantically hunting Galen and Connor, and they get a tip that lets them intercept the latter on his way to the airport. Their plan is to hook the IRA up with August Marks, triple their business and let the Sons step away from the gun game. Unfortunately, Galen has other ideas – and they involve Clay. The Irish want him to escape prison to handle Belfast distribution, which would boomerang on SAMCRO. He tells Gemma that in a “conjugal visit” before a pair of guards force the two of them to get it on in front of them. Man, prison is gross.

The second story is DA Patterson trying to get SAMCRO through the murder of Nero’s escort. He leans on Roosevelt to get DNA testing on the murder victim, which by the end ties him conclusively to it and prepares him to make an arrest. I can’t see the show putting another character in prison right now, and by the end of the episode Roosevelt has other things on his mind.

Meanwhile, the Teller family drama with Gemma, Tara and Wendy continues. I’m sorry, it’s really hard to stay interested in a child custody battle with all this other stuff going on. Jax’s kids are non-entities, plot-wise, and there’s just so many double-crosses and lies in this storyline that I wish they’d put on the backburner. With Toric’s murder now being investigated as a pre-meditated SAMCRO killing (which it wasn’t), Tara’s chances of getting out look slimmer and slimmer.

The entire crew gets together at the clubhouse to await the Irish’s call when Jax notices a shamrock pen that came from a delivery of kegs of beer earlier. Those weren’t beer, though – they were explosives, and SAMCRO barely gets everybody out before the building explodes. Looks like the deal’s off, and now without a roof over their heads the Sons are more vulnerable than ever.

I’m enjoying this season so far but I have to admit episodes are suffering a little bit from being overlong and bloated. The show just has so many characters that need screen time (and we’re not even seeing all of them – where the hell is Bobby Elvis?) that it’s more and more difficult to keep a coherent narrative through an episode, for better or for worse.