ACHTUNG, BABIES: The Irish are not too keen on doing business with the cartel, thus making them the sanest bunch of criminals in this show's universe. Clay attempts to use the transitive property to persuade the Irish Kings to come around (“You trust me, I trust Galindo …”) and, thus arguing that if a=b and b=c, then clearly, a=c and the Irish are fated to deal with the drug cartel. Since even Irish terrorists do not argue with basic mathematical premises, they graciously concede to a meeting. (Which Juice now knows the location and time of. And which he passes along to the Feds per his agreement with Potter.) Jax then decides that the club will use the Irish as an excuse for getting out of the drug-muling business – oh, sure, they'll still pass along enough heavy weaponry to kill every man, woman and child in Sonora, but drugs? That is a step too far. He also tells Clay that Opie is plainly not fit for leading the club, and Bobby Elvis should get the gavel, with Chibs as the VP and the Sergeant's patch going to Happy.
Jax then heads out for an Irish errand with Chibs, Tig and Happy, possibly the oddest combination of bikers ever. The errand: scaring the bejeesus out of some people who are running the stateside branch of the IRA's baby-brokering business. The Sons are not down with this, and take out their feelings of ill will on the people who have been warehousing adorable, white infants in the modest suburban home, as opposed to beating the crap out of the Irish Kings.
HAIRY POTTER AND THE ONE-EYED FELON: The AUSA leans on Roosevelt to provide backup for the pending Irish/Galindo meet. He also swings by the city clerk office to pick up plans for Charming Heights, and has Juice picked up to keep him off the street. After these errands, he gets Lenny's privileges restored, then seals the deal with Big Otto.
Per the agreement, Otto then gets to have a sit-down with Bobby Elvis. He hands over a letter – a litany of all the things Otto did for the club while incarcerated – and concludes, "I only asked for one thing from SAMCRO. To take care of Luann … you didn't. And now you're going to feel that."
Bobby feels it most immediately by getting arrested.
TARA KNOWLES, VICTIM! Although Gemma tells Tara not to let Jax know that Wendy's back and itching to spend quality time with Abel, Tara has the good sense to buck this show's comprehensive "Let's not tell people what they ought to know" policy and tip Jax off to Wendy's recent visit. She also has the rare good sense to let Jax know that Gemma's pushing the no-communication policy, and Jax finally pulls on the big-boy pants and promises "I will deal with my ex-wife and my mother, okay?" One can only hope he'll also deal with his stepfather, who has given the go-ahead for Romeo and his henchmen to finish the job on Tara.
Jax's idea of dealing with Wendy is to tell Wendy to stay away. Wendy tells him to cram it sideways, pointing out that she is currently the most stable adult in Abel's life, and as an ex-junkie turned success story, judges are likely to give her all sorts of custody.
Meanwhile, Clay pays Tara a hospital visit and makes a simple offer: Give Clay the John Teller letters and he'll do all he can to ease the Teller/Knowles family's departure from Charming; withhold the letters and "I'm not sure you ever make it out of Charming."
Then Jax deals with his mom, laying it all out: "I don't give a shit what anybody wants, including you. We're packing up our boys and we're getting out of Charming." Cue the awkward silence between Gemma and Tara.
WHAT THE HELL, GEMMA? For all her big talk about how Clay's going to go down at the hand of a Son, the battered motorcycle matriarch spends much of the episode trying to keep Opie from killing Clay. What's more, she tells Clay that Opie's gunning for him. (Even Clay is all, "Woman? The hell? I … don't get you.")
IN WHICH SCHLEPROCK FINALLY SNAPS: We don't see Opie much in this episode, but what we do see is heartbreaking. He hunts for truth from Gemma, and gets a handful of lies first thing in the morning, then he visits Donna's grave, then he watches his father burn at the local crematorium after hours.
Opie then informs Jax of who killed Piney, demanding to know, “Did you know? Did you know?” Jax did not, and begs Opie to take the issue to the club table. Opie is all, "Shut it, He With One Foot Out The Door," then takes off on his bike. Jax then takes off on a wild chase – involving a hearse and a stolen bike – to try to get to Clay before Opie does. He does not succeed: Opie gets to the clubhouse, bursts through the doors of the church and plugs Clay a few times.
Will Clay live? We'll have to tune in next week.
Morning comes to Charming, and Gemma is sitting alone at her table, feigning an interest in a plate full of breakfast. And at this point in the season, honestly, you sort of have to wonder why anyone in Charming even bothers to get out of bed. Nevertheless, the fact that Gemma had the routine of making a full breakfast -- and that she continues to stick to the ritual even as the person she did it for is busy sulking in his tent like Achilles -- is a nice little window into the unconscious behaviors that underpin the queen of scheming.
Or maybe the set decorator got bored. Who knows? The upshot is that Opie pounds on Gemma's door, and before she answers it, she discreetly pulls her ladygun out of her bag. When Opie says, "It's Ope," Gemma puts back the gun and opens the door.
Opie is taken aback by Gemma's face, although not nearly so floridly as Jax or so deeply as Tig. Gemma reads his reaction and seems genuinely embarrassed by this vivid reminder that she's just an old lady. Opie comes inside and studies Gemma's face intently; he's confirming what Unser told him and it's rattling his world view vis a vis the club and everything it's based on. Gemma, however, believes Opie's merely shocked because he's got an XY chromosome set and a Charming zip code and should therefore regard her as the inviolate queen of San Joaquin. Anyway, Opie keeps his visit short and to the point: "I want to know why [he hurt you]." Gemma vaguely says, "Heat with the club. When that hits a point same time as family shit, that's just a bad combination." Opie would like to know more about this family shit, but Gemma shuts him down by claiming it all points to past history. And you know, technically, she's correct: It all boils down to that pot she stirred over JT's old letters.
Opie is terribly still as he asks, "So what happens now? You and Clay?" Gemma defensively says, "I do what I always do. I take care of my family." Opie gives Gemma another look, perhaps figuring out where she stands on his scales of guilty v. innocent, and leaves without another word. Gemma sits back at her table, rattled. Who can blame her? Even when he's not smoldering with murderous rage, Opie's an intimidating cat.
In front of the gun barn at the Coke-K Corral. Clay is leaning against his bike. Tig is to his left, looking as if he'd rather be anywhere else, up to and including lingerie shopping with Margeaux-with-an-X. Anyhoodle, the Irish Kings pull up and there is much manly greeting, and then Jax finally rolls in. Clay is busy assuring a skeptical Gaalan and Rourke that this whole deal with the cartel is under control, really it is, when Jax bustles over to apologize for being late. Gaalan says snottily, "Guess you had more pressing business?" and Jax replies, "The mother of my son in the hospital." Brogan smilingly apologizes for Tara's misfortune. We cut to Clay, who is fuming over how people totally can't let go a botched hit job. Gaalan is quick on his feet, though, and points out that "unfortunate events such as yours -- this is why this cartel deal worries us." Everyone studiously avoids looking at Clay, which is too bad because I would love to see the expression on his face.