The new season of "Sons of Anarchy" kicked off with a super-sized premiere and a lot of change in the ranks of SAMCRO. Jax is firmly in place as the new president, with Clay spending much of the episode looking like a shadow of his former self.
Gemma, meanwhile, is out hooking up with a random stranger, played by Jimmy Smits -- though this turned out to be a blessing in disguise later in the episode when Jax and Bobby need a place to disappear for awhile. Nero Padilla may turn out to be a decent guy, but this is "SOA," so don't take anything for granted.
The climax of the episode was horrifying, though EW said "it was an outrageously dramatic action rooted in the richly dark, perhaps ultimately hopeless world that SAMCRO inhabits."
Helplessness was exactly what Tig was feeling, as he was made to pay a terrible price for the woman he killed last season. Even worse, Clay came out and admitted to killing Piney, making Tig's "retribution" utterly worthless.
Played with quiet malevolence by Harold Perrineau, Damon Pope handcuffed Tig and then made him watch as he burned Tig's daughter alive. Pope may prove to be a kind of brutality and evil the club isn't ready to handle, especially as fractured as they are right now.
The tension continues to rise as "Sons of Anarchy" continues Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
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