|Season 5, Episode 01|
|Air date||September 11, 2012|
|Written by||Kurt Sutter|
|Directed by||Paris Barclay|
"To Be, Act 2"
|Season 4||Season 6|
The members of SAMCRO and those nearby are adjusting to the events that happened at the end of season 4. Jax Teller is now president of the club; Bobby Munson is still in prison; Clay Morrow is out of hospital, but still recovering from his gunshot wounds at the hands of Opie; Gemma is seen having sex with an unknown man in a room where other naked women are asleep; and the club members believe the One-Niners killed Piney and shot Clay.
While transporting cocaine, the Sons are ambushed by members of the One-Niners who force a truck driven by Phil off the road and set it afire. He is removed from the burning vehicle, as is the cocaine, and a brief gunfight takes place before the One-Niners flee the scene. Following this, a meet is arranged in an attempt to settle things between the two gangs. Meanwhile, Gemma wakes up hungover, not knowing where she is. The man she had sex with enters the room, revealing himself to be Nero Padilla, the owner of an escort agency operating from below his apartment. After a conversation with Gemma, she decides that he isn't the sleazy pimp she assumed him to be, and gives him her phone number. Elsewhere, SAMCRO is holding a memorial for Piney. Jax tries to assure Opie that Clay's punishment will come, but it wouldn't be wise to act yet. Opie warns about the effects of wielding the gavel. "I'm not going to turn into Clay," Jax says. Opie isn't convinced as evidenced by his statement to Jax, "I'm more afraid that I'm gonna turn into you".
Back at Gemma's house, Clay is collecting his things when Gemma comes home earlier than expected. Gemma comes home to Wayne Unser; she had forgotten about Piney's memorial. Gemma finds Clay in their bedroom searching for a ring. He's weak and wearing a portable oxygen system. He asks to talk to her, opening with: "I know you want me dead, that's why you gave Jax those letters." After a civil conversation that ends with Gemma in tears, Clay attempts to console her but she pushes him to the ground telling him to never put his hands on her again, referring to his beating her in a fit of rage the previous season.
Jax meets with Romeo Parada and his partner, Luis Torres, who tell him that their deal will be off if one more incident like the attack from the One-Niners occurs, furthering the need to settle the beef. Jax tells them he needs a face-to-face with Damon Pope, as "[the accidental death of Pope's daughter] only gets settled with a face-to-face". Romeo inquires about a meet with Gaalan; Jax assures him that the meet is still on, that the Irish will know Clay's running point, and that Romeo will start getting his big guns.
Jax asks what he's supposed to tell Bobby, since he knows Otto gave him up to RICO. Romero suggests he tell Bobby about his CIA deal, but the rest of the club can't know about RICO or the CIA involvement. CIA will get Bobby out, but Jax will tell the club that the Georgie Caruso hit case fell apart. Jax reasons that someone other than Otto had to be giving the DA new info, how else did the DA know about the gun deal? (It was Juice.) Romero tells Jax to keep the coke and guns running and he'll keep RICO off his back. Jax reminds Romero that he's keeping his CIA affiliation a secret, protecting him, and they need each other.
Sheriff Eli Roosevelt pays a visit to the club house, asking about the recent violence in Charming ~ home invasions and the running down of Veronica Pope by an unidentified man. The first home invasion was Lynette Brice, a club groupie; the second was Wade Steiner, a mechanic at the garage, attacked in his own kitchen. Roosevelt suggests it's retaliation; Tig replies that the club knows of no conflicts. Roosevelt doubts this and questions, "Then who would attack your auto parts truck outside of Modesto last night?" He then declares that the violence isn't going to happen in "my quadrant" followed by veiled threats. Bobby enters and is warmly welcomed by his brothers. Roosevelt quietly tells Juice, his former snitch, that he expects to hear if "this Pope thing spills over into Charming".
Members of the One-Niners gather in an empty rail yard and are met by Damon Pope - drug kingpin and the most dangerous and powerful gangster in Oakland - overseer of many criminal organizations and gangs including the One-Niners. Despite his direct orders to lay low following the death of his daughter, the One-Niners hit the Sons' truck acting on orders from Laroy Wayne, leader of the One-Niners. Pope lets them know that any retaliatory actions against the Sons will put suspicion on himself. Pope questions acting spokesman for the gang, Darnell, if he's aware of Pope's efforts to distance himself from the likes of the Sons. He informs Darnell and the One-Niners in no uncertain terms that "It stops now". Darnell, asks why Pope isn't discussing this with Laroy. Aggravated, Pope starts walking and telling August Marks, his 2nd in command, that he feels too close to this situation. Indicating his desire for closure on the matter, he tells August "no loose ends", and departs. August reveals the corpse of Laroy, which leaves acting spokesman Darnell in charge.
Jax calls a meeting at the table to announce that a newly free Bobby will be his VP and to vote in three nomads. The Nomad charter is disbanding so they have Frankie Diamonds, Go Go and Greg the Peg wanting to join the Charming crew. One of which makes a joke about being in a place where he can put his feet up, revealing a prosthetic leg. The others ask why Opie will not be taking the VP position, to which Jax replies that Opie needs some time away to get himself together following the death of his father. After the nomads are voted in, Clay tells everyone that he wants to come clean. It seems as though he is going to tell the truth, but he lies and says that the reason he killed Piney is because Piney drew a gun on him and he had no choice. He blamed the Mexicans so the Irish wouldn't back out of their deal. Clay says he was going to tell Opie the truth, but Opie found out. He also tells them that it was indeed Opie who shot him, but that he doesn't blame him. Jax chimes in, saying Clay lied to protect Opie when the ambulance came.
Some time later, August, Darnell & One-Niners members are gathering in the rail yard once again. August proceeds to inform Darnell that he gets to deliver a message, he must kill Jax Teller. As Darnell picks up the weapon provided, Jax and other SAMCRO members are arriving. After the One-Niners' false show of being unarmed, Jax begins speaking. Darnell scoffs, turns, and points the gun at Jax and pulls the trigger; the gun isn't loaded and Jax attacks Darnell. August Marks shoots Darnell in the head as punishment for not following Pope's orders, then tells the rest of the crew that it is now settled.
Clay knows the club must vote on whether he stays or goes. Tig can't believe it. Clay and Tig have a private conversation in which Tig asks why Clay didn't just tell the truth in the first place, and then tells Clay that he doesn't know whether or not things are okay between the two of them. During this conversation, he is contacted by a police officer claiming Tig's daughter has been picked up on a DUI and suggesting a link to the Grim Bastards, a friendly MC. If Tig picks her up, she won't be charged.
Upon arriving at the specified location (the rail yard), Tig is handcuffed and shackled to a valve near a familiar hatch. Damon Pope arrives, Tig realizes that Pope knows it was him who killed his daughter (referring to the previous season when Tig inadvertently killed Veronica Pope in a misguided attempt to kill Laroy). Pope lets Tig know that he wants retribution. Realizing Pope's intentions to kill Dawn Trager, Tig begins to beg Pope to kill him. Rather than kill Tig, Pope opens the same hatch that holds the bodies of Laroy and Darnell, revealing Tig's daughter. She wakes up confused and is doused in gasoline as a helpless Tig screams at Pope to kill him and spare his daughter. Pope tells Tig that he can now feel his pain before tossing his cigar into the hatch, setting Dawn Trager alight and leaving as she burns her to death, her chained and helpless father standing a few yards away.
As two witnesses have come forward claiming that they saw Tig driving the car that killed Pope's daughter, Pope instructs the police officer to take him to the station to be arrested. He also warns Tig to keep everything a secret, otherwise other members of his family would be in jeopardy. After Pope has left the scene, Tig manages to break free of his shackles, chokes the police officer to death, and shoots dead the man hired to clean up the dead bodies. He remains at the scene in shock, not wanting to leave his daughter's body.
Word gets back to Jax that there are also witnesses who claim they saw him and Chibs shooting at members of the One-Niners, and that the police will be on their way to arrest them any time soon. Gemma insists that they need to leave, but Tara protests that her child's father should not become a fugitive. Regardless, they set off to a location of Gemma's choice which turns out to be Nero Padilla's apartment/escort agency. At the same time, Wayne Unser is at Gemma's house to feed her bird. Four masked men burst into the house, beat him up, and trash the house. A close-up reveals the same prosthetic leg used by one of the nomads earlier in the episode.
- Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller
- Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller Morrow
- Mark Boone Junior as Bobby 'Elvis' Munson
- Dayton Callie as Wayne Unser
- Kim Coates as Alex 'Tig' Trager
- Tommy Flanagan as Filip 'Chibs' Telford
- Ryan Hurst as Harry 'Opie' Winston
- Theo Rossi as Juan Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz
- Maggie Siff as Tara Knowles
- Ron Perlman as Clarence 'Clay' Morrow
Special guest stars
- Danny Trejo as Romero 'Romeo' Parada
- Benito Martinez as Luis Torres
- Rockmond Dunbar as Eli Roosevelt
- Harold Perrineau as Damon Pope
- Jimmy Smits as Neron 'Nero' Padilla
- Michael Ornstein as Chuck Marstein
- David Labrava as Happy
- Rachel Miner as Dawn Trager
- Billy Brown as August Marks
- Wanda De Jesus as Carla
- Chuck Zito as Frankie Diamonds
- Chris Browning as GoGo
- Kurt Yaeger as Greg the Peg
- Niko Nicotera as George 'Ratboy' Skogstrom
- Christopher Douglas Reed as Philip 'Filthy Phil' Russell
- BJ Britt as Darnell
- Mo McRae as Tyler
- LaMonica Garrett as Deputy Sheriff Cane
- Laroy Wayne - Dismembered by August Marks (off screen).
- Darnell - Shot in the head by August Marks.
- Dawn Trager - Burned alive by Damon Pope.
- Goodman - Strangled by Tig Trager.
- Unnamed cleaner - Shot by Tig Trager
- Franky Perez & The Forest Rangers - "Higher Ground"
- The Vim Dicta - "Your Man"
- Jeffery Foucault - "Horse Latitude"
- Noah Gundersen & The Forest Rangers - "He Got Away"