Tig and Clay are having breakfast, and Tig asks, sotto voce, if Clay and Gemma got into it. Clay shrugs that Tig doesn't need to know. Tig paces in frustration, then reigns himself in and asks sharply, "What do I need to know, Clay?" What follows is a conversation that should be shown in MBA programs across the land, as it beautifully illustrates how managers can alienate their employees by dismissing their concerns:
CLAY: "I ain't gotta talk to you about my old lady."
TIG: "You don't want to talk about nothin' no more. Ever since we got out, man, I mean, you cut me off. I got no idea what's going on with you."
CLAY: "Jesus Christ, you and fat Elvis. A couple of chicks. What, I marry you too?"
TIG: "Yeah. Sorta. You did. 'Cause I'm the guy at your side [that] steps between you and the shit that tries to kill you. I'm your right hand, Clay."
CLAY: "What do you want, a pat on your back every time you climb on your Dyna? It don't work like that around here, pal."
TIG: "Oh. You know why you're losing this club? Do you? Ain't cause of the drugs. It's 'cause you crawl in there, and you shut those doors, and you lock all of us out."
Clay has no reply for that because it's true: he's a wounded animal holed up in his den. But he will die before he concedes that Tig's right, because to Clay, concession equals ceding authority, and right now, leading the club is all Clay's got left. So he watches his strongest remaining supporter in the club walk off.
Clad in a low-pulled hat and giant sunglasses, Gemma heads to the hospital -- not as a patient -- and as she's going through security, Margaret gets a good look at her. She comes over and asks Gemma, "What in God's name happened?" "I flew my broomstick into a brick wall," Gemma cracks impatiently. Margaret's not in the mood to joke. She grabs Gemma by the elbow and walks her down the hall, saying urgently, "This is why Tara has to get out. Do you understand that?" Gemma protests, "My son would never do that!" perhaps conveniently forgetting that she suggested he do precisely that to Ima a few episodes ago -- and Jax did. Because Margaret is not omniscient, she can only rebut, "I'm sure Clay's mother said the same thing about him."
TANGENT AHOY! Margaret's mention of Clay's hypothetical mother brings up a good point: What do we really know about Clay? About where he comes from and what shaped him as a person? Almost everyone else in the club, we have something. But Clay ... all we have ever seen is that as a young man, he was orbiting the Gemma-JT axis; as a young man, he was under Piney's wing. He's a human mockingbird, quietly moving into other people's lives and taking them for his, creating nothing of his own.