TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Episode 3 – “Laying Pipe”

Written by Jesse Gelinas September 27, 2012

“One of you four leaves in a bag.”

This episode broke me. Kurt Sutter has a knack for making moments of great brutality become unbearably heart-wrenching. “Laying Pipe” brings the show back to the intensity level of the season premiere, but with a twist. This isn’t high octane action throughout, or gun fights and car chases. This is quiet intensity, foreboding, fear of death type stuff. This is “Sons” at its best, and most painful.

“He fights… until he dies.”

We find our beloved antiheroes in county waiting for news on their murder charges and worried that Pope’s reach will have them die inside. Things don’t look good for Jax, Chibs, Tig, and Opie until they find they have protection from their Cartel connection. They’re safe for now. Damon Pope soon meets Jax face to face to list his demands for their freedom and continued safety. Half of their drug muling profit is his now, Tig stays in prison for life, and someone has to die. Only these conditions will appease Pope, and let SAMCRO put this behind them.

On the outside, Gemma is still continuing her fling with Nero the ‘companionator’, and the rest of the boys are working together to try and keep things with the Cartel running smoothly. There’s no mention of the home invasions from previous episodes, so we can assume there’ve been no new ones since Clay and Gemma’s place. We also get to see Drea de Matteo return as Wendy (Jax’s junkie ex, and mother to his first son). At Gemma’s behest, she confronts Tara about a nonexistent drug problem trying to stir up a custody dispute. Tara holds her own against both former queens of SAMCRO, showing her own progression toward becoming the hardcore bitch she was born to be. Clay also makes his way to Nero’s brothel and stirs up some trouble by sleeping with one of the escorts, which drives Gemma (quite irrationally) a bit over the edge.

Yeah, I don’t know why they wanted Ashley Tisdale for this either.

Back inside, Jax informs the boys about the decision they have to make: one of them has to die, for Pope to get the charges against the others dropped. Assuring his crew that they’re in charge of their own fate, Jax refuses to choose and when the time comes Opie makes the choice for him. Yes, in one of the saddest and probably most brutal executions the show has given us, Opie, the only truly steadfast Son, lays his life down for his best friend.

“I got this.” <<< famous last words

The scene is fantastic and also horrible. Fans hate to see Opie go, but at least he went out like a warrior, fighting off numerous enemies (with a lead pipe, hence the title?). Afterward, Jax informs the guard who arranged the murder that he’ll be coming for him once he’s released. The words are short, simple, and chilling. Pope is appeased, and Jax negotiates Tig’s freedom for his own agenda, but only on the condition that he will be given up later to answer for Veronica Pope’s murder (I suppose burning his daughter alive wasn’t enough).

“Be smart, Mr. Teller. It’s who you are.”

Overall the episode is almost a slap in the face to the audience, but it works. We’ve been waiting four years for Opie to get revenge for his wife’s death. We’ve wanted to see him kill Clay for killing his old man last season. Now, with so much on the line, Opie dies. There cant always be happy endings, especially in this business. The bad guys pay the price sometimes too. The scene itself is heart-wrenching and only serves to make us hate Pope even more for killing a fan favourite. The season is picking up speed early on, and with so much building up, it had better pay off. Last season’s fizzling finale has to be proven a fluke.

My Rating: 9/10

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Episode 3 – “Laying Pipe”. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment