Tonight on Sons of Anarchy … WE ELECTED THE LEADER OF THE FREE M*THERF***ING WORLD IS WHAT HAPPENED. Also, I may be feeling the effects of approximately 12 ounces of vodka mixed with an ounce of cranberry juice.
Oh, wait – there was an episode too. So here is what was going on while everyone was twiddling their thumbs waiting for Romney and/or Obama to get on with the speechifying:
We introduced the Mob to the gangster mix, because there aren't nearly enough criminal factions on this show.
Even gangsters and their loved ones have to worry about health insurance. Only in this case, the problem is that Jax and Abel now have health insurance: Margaret, in a fit of surrogate-maternal TCB, altered Tara's insurance benefits to reflect her new married status and thus ensure hospital coverage for both Abel and Jax. Sensible, given how often anyone in SAMCRO is at that place. Great, right? Wrong. There's now documentation tying Tara to the club, and once that gets flagged by the California Department of Corrections, she'll likely never be able to work at Otto's prison again. Therefore, Tara reasons, she had better take the opportunity to do so before anyone realizes why she might be there.
Oh, Chibs in a newsboy cap is damned adorable. But the head wound seems to have made him more incomprehensible than usual. I will be so excited once the vodka wears off and the closed captioning stops wobbling.
Then the club runs off to go find Frankie, because why not? It's not like any of them have any sort of day jobs at the garage. First they have to vote on Frankie "meeting Mr. Mayhem," which honestly sounds like a knockoff version of Guns'N'Roses' "Mr. Brownstone," so I'm wondering if they're going to be giving Frankie some hillbilly heroin. Also, would it have killed anyone to try and cast Slash as a member of the club? Why can't we have nice things?
Killing Frankie presents a problem, because Roosevelt wants Frankie alive, or else he won't reveal the rat at the SAMCRO table. Jax brings this problem to Bobby Elvis and they attempt to strategize, agreeing to a plan that can loosely be summed up as "Jax will pretend to kill Frankie, then deliver him to Roosevelt." Bobby correctly points out that this plan has many steps, and therefore many opportunities to screw up. Jax is all, "I know, but …" and that is how I realized we'll be spending the rest of this episode exploring all the ways in which Jax's bait-and-switch scheme will go wrong.
We zip to the infirmary, where the excellent Karina Logue is playing the prison charge nurse – by the way, she was amazing on the late, lamented Terriers -- and exposits in a way that makes it clear Tara will be seeing Otto that day.
Gemma and Nero have a very sweet day out with Lucius, and we see that Nero actually brings out the best in Gemma. Alas, since we are a scant 22 minutes into the episode and this is the season where the universe makes Gemma reap what she sows, we all know this won't last.
Jax and his crew track down the Italian mobster guy, whose name I cannot be bothered to learn right now, to some hidey-hole used for gambling, etc., there is a biker brawl, and once that's all done, Jax persuades the mobsters to turn over Frankie. They promise to do so, but again, it's still early in the episode and we all know a cardinal rule of this show is that nothing ever goes right.
Otto and Tara, and the only thing of significance here is that Tara admits, "I'm an old lady. I'm protecting my man, just like LuAnne would have done for you." She's all in, in an uncanny parallel with something Gemma said earlier about being all in.
So guess who's ruined Jax's plan to get Frankie alive? Frankie himself. When he figures out that the Mob wants more money from him, he shoots his little Mob babysitter, then makes to flee right as Clay shows up. There's a firefight ending in actual fire, then SAMCRO and the rest of the Mob show up, and the Italians are so enraged at Frankie, they kill him on the spot, thus denying Jax the chance to get the man alive and turn him over to Roosevelt.
Gemma and Nero continue their romantic date in a cemetery, where they break into a mausoleum and leave Carla's ashes. It seems to work for them.
More Tara and Otto: she puts the full-court press on him to recant his statement, and Otto demands the perfume Tara brought plus a free right hand. Tara frees his hand and Otto demands that Tara hold his head (so he can sniff the perfume on a live woman) while he masturbates. “I just want to feel a woman's hand on me one more time. Please,” he says. And, well, Tara's all in, isn't she? The scene ends with Otto weeping and Tara stroking his hair in comfort.
And then Tara's back at the hospital, talking over the Otto thing with Jax – leaving out the part where she was effectively a marital aid – and Margaret comes in to tell Tara that the offer at Providence Hospital up in Oregon is still on the table. Which … I would like to know who is running this hospital in Oregon where they're all, "A surgeon with a gimpy hand who is not aggressively working a rehab program? Where can we sign her up?" Anyway, Tara seems a little surprised that this is even a thing, as does Jax. It's dismaying how quickly they've shifted from their goal of a family exit to keeping the club alive.
Bobby Elvis and Clay have a conversation wherein Bobby subtly alerts Clay to what he knows about Clay's plans. Clay is cheerfully unrepentant with Bobby Elvis, which will probably help Bobby feel better about killing Clay later. If Clay doesn't kill him first, that is. We know Clay's got a track record of doing that sort of thing with people who know too much.
Gemma visits with Jax and lays it all out: She likes Nero, and he makes her feel like life could be worth living. So the prospect of whoring herself out to Clay while also trying to build a new life with Nero? Not really possible, in Gemma's opinion. So if she's going to put herself back in the hateful, dark place she has to live in so that she can endure macking on Clay, she needs a guarantee that she'll be back in the Teller-Knowles family once she's done. Tara promises. And boy, those two have permanently forfeited any moral high ground ever, haven't they? Tara's transmogrification into the new Gemma is beyond complete.
Gemma goes to break it off with Nero, then she sees – and hears – that Nero's bought some lovebirds for his office solely because he knows Gemma loves birds. The realization that someone did something nice for her without expecting anything in reciprocation guts her.
Since Jax has run off to handle club business, Tara is left to occupy herself for a few ideas. She pulls an Otto, as it were.
Jax is leaving his revved-up lady in order to break the news to Roosevelt that Frankie is already dead. Roosevelt does not take it well. Worse, he loses his leverage, because Jax has figured out that Juice is the rat. (This is bad news for Juicey too: it's going to be a race to see who kills him first: Clay or Jax.)
Gemma's come over to Clay's, offering to shoot up some cortisone for him. It's plainly her opening gambit in wooing him back. Clay is delighted. With Frankie dead and Gem back in his house, everything's coming up Clay!
Lisa Schmeiser has recently discovered that the so-called "cape cod" cocktail is not, as she believed, comprised of 11 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of cranberry juice. She is taking suggestions on what to name her new drink.
Previously on Sons of Anarchy... I could tell you but really, let me start this recap with some caveats: this episode aired right after the election returns came in and I had spent the evening flipping between PBS, CNN, Fox News and Comedy Central AND experimenting with the ratio of vodka-to-cranberry juice in my glass. So the whole thing is kind of a blur and five days later, it still hasn't come into focus, mostly because the minute I recovered from invading the Russian section of our liquor cabinet, my daughter came down with some vile malady, because she is now two and all toddlers double as petri dishes for exotic new viruses that may well kill us all. So let's just settle this question and move on: Did I or did I not imagine Joe Biden being sworn in as the newest Son?
Anyway, this episode begins with a shocker: Abel speaks! Actual words! Noises! Out of his little mouth! He's standing next to the cot that Jax is sacked out on, poking Jax's shoulder and saying, "Daddy! Daddy, wake up!" Jax is delighted to be awoken by Abel. He asks Abel how he is; Abel is hungry. Jax asks, "What do you feel like having?" "Cookies," Abel says. "Good choice. Chocolate chip? With some milk on the side?" Jax asks. And there, in a nutshell, is why Tara probably never gets to sleep in.
Meanwhile, Nero's served Gemma her coffee, just like she likes it, and he comments that she's been mighty quiet since her son delivered the "Whore yourself to Clay or never see your family again" ultimatum. Gemma replies, "He kind of leaves me speechless these days. He's setting the rules for Grandma. How about you and Jax? I'm off-limits." Nero replies, "I'm a little too old for dating rules. I see who I want to see." Gemma asks, "Is that what this is? We seeing each other?" Nero grins, "Yeah. I see you, Gemma." This knocks Gemma for a loop -- how dare Nero make her decision more complicated! -- and she recovers by saying she needs to get to the garage. Nero encourages her to play hooky and give him a ride to see Lucius. Gemma is won over by the prospect and she agrees to pick up Nero around noon.
And Clay's up early to talk to a mess of Italians about the wayward Frankie Diamonds. The Italians would like to know why the bikers' normally rigorous vetting standards have slipped and Clay mutters something that sounds suspiciously like, "Ah, kids today." These portly Italians concur. Anyway, Italians galore and Clay is going to making a side deal for some Glocks, because why wouldn't he throw another spanner in the SAMCRO works? Coffee! It picks him up while it calms him down enough to always keep scheming.