'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Crucifixed': Out with the new, in with the old?

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sons-of-anarchy-crucifixed.jpgTuesday's (Nov. 13) episode of "Sons of Anarchy" featured one of the more brutal scenes in the show's history -- no small feat, that.

In addition to the shock value of Otto plunging a crucifix into the nurse's neck, though, it also threw yet another variable into the season's endgame. "Crucifixed" was very much about putting pieces in place for the final run, and putting competing agendas in play.

And as things stand now, it looks as though Clay might have a leg up on Jax in that arena, even if Jax is amassing more evidence on the home invasions -- with help from Juice, whose secrets are all in the open now -- with which to bury Clay. On the other hand, Jax has also burned a bridge with the Grim Bastards MC and alienated Bobby to some extent, and his wife is staring at an accessory to murder charge in addition to slowly losing her grip on her old life.

PICS: 'Sons of Anarchy' Season 5

Even before witnessing Otto's RICO-clearing act -- the feds won't press a case with a murderer as its key witness -- Tara was clearly not herself. The scene in which she purposely wakes up a sleeping Thomas so she can then comfort him was chilling in showing how little control Tara feels over her life at the moment. Jax assures her that they'll get through it, as they always have, she replies "That's what scares me the most."

Clay, meanwhile, is projecting the image of a weary man who just wants to be left in peace, but it's hard to buy that. Gemma and Juice are, at least to some extent, because Clay is very good at manipulating people to get what he wants.

But if that were truly what he wants, he probably wouldn't be going to the cartel and maneuvering to keep their arrangement in place even if the RICO case goes away. The cartel would still need Clay to be the go-between with the Irish, which would leave Jax on the outs. "If that push comes to that shove, we need you more than Jax," Torres tells him.

So who's going to get the upper hand as the season rolls toward its conclusion? What did you think of "Sons of Anarchy" this week?

Photo/Video credit: FX