SEND BIKERS, GUNS MONEY Kozik's back, along with some guys from the Tacoma chapter, and he's brought a boatload of BFG with him. We learn that the Irish are not rarin' to get into bed with the cartel, but rather than listen to the instincts of a bunch of old terrorists who are probably alive because of the aforementioned instincts, Clay mulishly insists that he will broker a Mexican/Irish gun deal in our time. He's a regular Kissinger of the underworld.
Clay uses this presumed big-money deal as a cudgel to keep Jax in line, as the younger man is not too keen on his stepfather using his mom as a speedbag. Clay could not care less, so long as Jax is still on board with this cartel foolishness.
Speaking of cartel foolishness: Romeo and Luis show Jax two bound bodies, their faces mutilated beyond recognition, and claims those were the people who attacked Tara. Jax points out that there were three assailants and you can see Luis inventing the "We're on it!" lie as it comes out of his mouth. Also, the bodies do not look as though they belonged to people of northern European stock (which, remember, the abductors were). Jax wants to be there when Romeo takes out Thug Number Three, and Romeo cuts his eyes all, You bikers are easier to manipulate than an Atari joystick. Clay helps the fiction along by arguing that SAMCRO's presence will somehow bolster the Irish King's confidence in the pending meet.
Cut to Jax trying to talk the rest of SAMCRO out of the pending Lobo hunt, arguing that for him, it's personal. Tig points out that so far as he is concerned, "personal" is a broad umbrella that covers many things including "shooting up our clubhouse" and "beheading the president of SAMTAZ." So everyone else decides they're also in, for various reasons. Then they go off and spend an interminable amount of time killing more Mexicans per minute than Cortés. Also dead: Kozik, who is blowed up real good, and his body parts rain down on or near Juice.
Following the firefight, Juice skips across the landmine-strewn field to allegedly clear it for everyone else, prompting Chibs to stage the world's first one-man Scots-Irish biker intervention. Juice finally admits that he's got an African American father. Chins' response: "So?" Juice is both relieved -- he's not about to be killed for his heritage -- and remorseful, because if he had known this early on, Miles might not be dead and Juice would certainly not be calling in to the Feds every four hours.
WENDY AND THE LOST BOYS: Jax chivvies Tara out of her darkest mood by promising that Operation: Get the Hell Out of Charming is still a go. Margaret also contributes to the cause: She's managed to get Providence to make Tara an offer and pay her while they wait out her recovery. It's a win-win: Tara gets out of Charming and St. Taypayers Regretting Every Bond Measure can stay within its budget. Alas, 17 minutes into the episode, it all goes to hell when Wendy comes by and tells Tara she wants back into Abel's life. This leads to Tara having a total meltdown and probably re-breaking all the bones in her hand. Oh, girl. Gemma, however, is On It. Wendy threatens lawyers, but Gemma cares not for any foolish civil code. Wendy will dance to Gemma's tune or else.
THEY WILL SEE YOU WAVING FROM CHARMING HEIGHTS: To the surprise of absolutely nobody outside SAMCRO, Georgie Caruso decided it was okay to double cross a gang of homicidal biker thugs, and he helped line up the funding that will make the Charming Heights development possible. Bobby Elvis and Tig were dispatched; they took along Opie since he could ask his estranged wife as to Georgie's whereabouts. One painful conversation with Lyla later, the SAMCRO boys track down Georgie to a photo op with him and his premium sex dolls. Bobby Elvis demands that Georgie make things right, and it is left to poor Opie to corral Tig, who is paralyzed with both fear and arousal, and get him to help kill Georgie immediately after Georgie admits that he set the goons on Luann.
TIG AND CLAY: NO LONGER BFF: At the beginning of the episode, Tig rebukes Clay for his recent "Shut up and stop asking questions, worm!" attitude, pointing out, "I'm the guy who steps between you and the shit that's trying to kill you. I'm your right hand." Clay, who is hellbent on hurtling toward his inevitable sticky end at a velocity approaching that of a cheetah on Adderall, tells Tig to cram his stupid feelings. By the end of the episode, when Tig has seen Gemma's face, he's compelled to turn in his Sergeant of Arms patch. As he speeds out of the club house, Clay looks across the motor yard and sees Gemma standing in the office doorway. He closes the door to the clubhouse and a single tear falls. Whether it's for what he ruined with Gemma or what he ruined with Tig is anyone's guess.
WELCOME BACK POTTER: The AUSA finally comes clean to Otto about who he really is, and what he's really doing (using Bobby Elvis as a way to establish history for the RICO case). In return, Otto tells Potter what he wants: his money to go to Luanne's sister; a better set of specs; more privileges for Lenny; a sooner execution date. Otto's waiving his appeals. "I want to go as soon as I can," he says. Because now that he has no Luann, and he has no club, why bother? Finally, Otto says, "I want to be the one to tell Bobby I gave him up. Face to face. Me." And he promises to start providing all sorts of criminal background on both Bobby Elvis and Clay.
OPIE, THE SCHLEPROCK OF SAMCRO: First, Opie and Lyla mutually decide their marriage is over. Then he and Jax have a spat over Jax’s pending departure. Then, when Opie goes up to the cabin to check on his dad, he discovers Piney's body. Fortunately, Unser is on hand to explain exactly what happened, and helpfully reminds Opie that Clay has killed Opie's wife and his father. Since Opie was already in an "I hate everything" frame of mind, Unser has effectively loaded a rocket launcher and aimed it directly at Clay. He closes the episode with "Clay's got to go, son, before he kills someone else that you love."
EXCHANGE OF THE NIGHT:
Margaret, on seeing Gemma's battered face: "What in God's name happened to you?"
Gemma: "I flew my broomstick into a brick wall."
It's another brand-new morning in Charming. That seems to be a thing this season -- nearly every episode begins in the morning, the time of the day when you can entertain the hope that nothing will go pear-shaped and you'll end the day slightly ahead of where you began it. It could be seen as a metaphor for the gamble Clay and Jax are making: Maybe nothing will go wrong, and we'll end our days in SAMCRO slightly ahead of where we began them. Jax is in a chair by Tara's bedside, and he's scribbling away in his biker diary.
Tara groggily comes to, and Jax sets aside the notebook and perches next to her in the bed. She apologizes for "kind of" losing it, and Jax shrugs, "It's okay. You love me, Tara. That's where it takes you." Truly, a love that takes one into the haunting visions of a dead-end life with no purpose beyond trying to make sure your sons don't become felons by the time they're seniors in high school. Tara tries to explain that this latest chapter in Tara Knowles: Victim! was not authored solely by Jax alone, but shrugs when she realizes she'd have to deliver a really long monologue recapping everything stretching back to season one -- and before -- and honestly, how can we expect that when she's recovering from an attempted abduction and major hand surgery?
Tara admits that she's lost: A slamming van has destroyed her escape route. "No hospital wants me," she says bitterly. Jax points out that Tara's MD didn't get smashed in the van door, and Tara rebuts that one does not set up an MD practice without first enduring a lengthy establishment period. Jax is all, "Hi, cartel money. We can live off that until you get your practice going." Then Jax assures Tara her hand will get better. Rather than point out that she is the barber here, Tara just whispers, "Okay," to all his assurances. Jax gives her the full stare and quietly requests, "I need you to believe I can do this." Tara says she does, and then tears up as she realizes, against all logic, that she does.
(I liked this scene, mostly because it illustrates that the same qualities that make Jax a leader in the club -- his ability to pin you with the sheer force of his sincere conviction -- make him a lousy partner. How could he not be? He believes what he says when he says it, but that doesn't mean anything Jax says holds up to time or reality.)
Morning at Gemma's. Somehow, she got bandaged up -- I would expect that any self-respecting biker household has first aid supplies that put most ambulances to shame -- and Unser comes into the kitchen, clumsily expositing that sleeping on the couch sure was comfy. For real, the Morrows don't have a guest bedroom? Or it didn't occur to Gemma to offer? Anyhoodle, Coffee Talk with Unser commences, and Gemma gives her marching orders: "Finish what you started with Piney. Point it at the cartel. This is about the club now -- this landing on Clay is the last thing they need. Wait a few days before you call it in." Oh, and too bad about the emotional impact Piney's death will have about Opie. Unser then asks the million-dollar question: "What are we going to do about Clay?" Gemma assures him she's on it. She also assures Unser that she's got few illusions about who her husband is anymore. "Clay would kill me, no doubt about that. But don't worry, sweetheart. I'm not going to let that happen," she says. Oh, Clay should just pick out his cemetery plot now. He may be able to take Gemma in a fistfight, but I think she's got him on long-term strategy.