Did it really surprise anyone that Jax double-crossed the law?
This week’s Krazy Kaper is, of course, the job to break Clay out of his prison transport so he can begin a new life as Galen’s sales rep for the gun running business. Jax makes the job easier by telling Patterson one thing (oh, the Irish are going to be at this warehouse in Stockton, look for my guys) and does another (breaks out Clay using a gambit not unlike the whole Mini Cooper scene in The Italian Job only with 100% fewer subways and 100% more unpleasant revelation that nobody looks good in the gray jumpsuits they’re wearing).
Getting Clay is the easy part. The hard part is escaping. One of the two guards on the scene manages to fire off several well-aimed shots, pegging Bobby Elvis, and Juice manages to stop the gunfire only by running over the officer in question. This last point proves hard for Roosevelt and Patterson to swallow.
Once Clay’s at the Irish’s well-appointed hanger, he lays a headtrip on Juice, then discovers that he is not going to trip off into the sunset to the strains of Enya. Jax, Chibs and Tig kill Galen and his two underlings, then tell Clay, “We had a vote. This had to happen.” Then we learn that there’s a second vote – and it’s to kill Clay. The club goes back into the office where the Irish bodies are, and Jax shoots Clay repeatedly.
It is notable that the last person Clay chooses to look at before he dies is Gemma, who looks back at him with nothing but sorrow in her eyes.
When Connor comes in, Jax tells him that he can do one of two things: Swallow Jax’s improbable fiction about who killed whom, then work with August Marks, or he can refuse to swallow Jax’s tale and enjoy watching the Chinese take over the gun market in the days he has left before the heads of the Real IRA decide to shake up the personnel. Connor eventually goes along.
And Jax even leaves a parting present for Patterson: the bodies of Clay and the Irish guys, plus a few cases of KG-9s. She has the means by which to spin an ending to the school shooting story. Will she take it – or will she double down on Tara and the shot at getting the club on RICO? We don’t find out this week.
Things to watch out for, part one: Gemma continues with her assumption that she will be the boys’ mother, even as Nero tries to tell her she’ll be happier if she works things out with Tara and moves toward forgiveness and Unser flat-out tells her that raising the boys as her own is absolutely the wrong thing for the boys. After Nero is present for what goes down in the hangar, he tells Jax he’s about hit his limit for crazy murderous shit.
(And later, when Gemma says to him, “You can always marry me,” Nero says, “No thanks, Mama. I’ve seen what happens to your husbands. It ain’t pretty.”)
Things to watch out for, part two: Tara gets dragooned into caring for the wounded Bobby, and while she’s in the hangar, she watches Jax kill the hated Clay (whom she has wanted dead for two seasons) and speechify about how he’s closing the books on the old business and launching the club in a whole new direction. This seems to soften her toward him – well, that and realizing that she’s basically screwed legally if she tries to divorce Jax – and so when Patterson comes back all, “Sooooo … whatcha doing?” and offers a deal, Tara seems really conflicted about squealing on the man who is helping his mother take away the boys. But she promises a bullet dug out of a club member as part of a deal that could lead to witness protection for herself and the boys. She does sew up Bobby. She does pocket a bullet. Now we’ll see if she goes through with giving up the club.Quote of the week: “This life, it ain’t romantic or free. There’s no path to anything that makes any sense. It’s just dirty. And sad. We both know it’s going to get worse.” – Unser, trying to talk Gemma out of raising a third-generation biker child.
We begin the episode with a glimmer of hope: Tara has finally had the brains to use the futon in Thomas’s room as her crash pad. In a welcome touch of verisimilitude, Thomas coos her awake. (Babies are some of the noisiest sleepers around, and I am danged glad someone finally showed that on TV). Tara checks on Abel, who’s asleep in his bed, notes that nobody slept in the marital bed the night before, then sees the pillow on the couch right as she hears Rat reading the paper in the kitchen.
Unsurprisingly, Tara is fairly chilly toward Rat. She asks, "When I drop them off at day care, who do you watch then?" Rat tells her, "You. But no daycare… Jax doesn’t want them at St. Thomas anymore." In effect, Tara’s under house arrest. She either has to cart the boys everywhere under the club’s supervision or she has to leave them with Jax-sanctioned caregivers. This reminds of the treatment Jimmy O gave Fiona back in Season 3 -- how darkly funny that Jax can’t or won’t see the parallels.
Rat leaves Tara fuming, so much so that she cannot think of the bright side of this situation, which is that Filthy Phil is dead and therefore unable to eat her out of house and home. RIP, you mixing-bowl-full-of-cereal-eating schlump.
Meanwhile, Jax is meeting with Patterson, who is showing him the immunity agreement ("It covers everyone in or associated with the MC") and Tara’s deal -- no jail time, just fines and community service. Jax inspects the paperwork and Patterson assures him, "They’re both signed and approved. They don’t get executed until you deliver Galen O’Shay and the guns." Jax sighs, then gives a location and a time: An old maintenance warehouse on Kilmer Pier, and Galen will be there with the guns sometime between 11 AM and 1 PM. He warns that there will be approximately a dozen "cautious and very well armed" Irish guys, thus guaranteeing that a ton of law enforcement will at that site.
After Patterson takes off, Chibs asks, "Think that helped?" Jax sighs again and says, "I don’t know. At least I’ll know I tried." In the background, a train speeds by. It is in no way a metaphor for the events buffeting the club, I am sure.
Morning at Gemma’s and Nero’s pouring the coffee. Gemma comes bustling out with the breakfast tray she had brought to Wendy. Nero says, “All this stuff you’re doing for her now? Great. Great.” (I take it Gemma has not said, "Funny story! I’m responsible for one of her overdoses, when I suggested she kill herself and gave her a loaded needle. Good times…"). Gemma sips her coffee and Nero presses gently, "Mama? Wendy’s got to get herself into a rehab." Gemma defensively nods and says, "I’ll make the calls. We have a rough history, me and her. I was trying to help her more than hurt her. For a change." Nero smiles, because he loves it when Gemma pretends she’s got a conscience and is capable of repenting her past misdeeds. It fits nicely into his own need to believe that a person’s past sins can be forgiven by present and future reform.