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.