Hey, everyone! It's the Grim Bastards! They're hanging out with SAMCRO and getting the 411 from Clay and Jax: the Mayans want to expand the heroin market in the local pokey, and their cut-and-bag operation is going to go through Lodi on its way to Stockton. T.O's response to Clay: "Ah, shit. I know y'all ain't going to let that happen." Jax stalls: "We run at this now, it'll turn long and bloody --" "Alvarez don't want a war any more than we do," Clay hastens to add. He then pulls a move most upper-level managers would admire: Turning the Lodi expansion into T.O.'s problem by tasking T.O. with collecting intel on when and where the Mayans process and mule their sweet lady H. T.O. looks back at his enormous, bald enforcers and they shrug all, "Dude, I'm not wearing the 'president' patch. Go preside!" So T.O. sighs and says they'll begin digging, but the Grim Bastards want at least half a dozen AK-47s for their trouble. Clay manages to get it down to some MP-5 submachine guns instead. I ... hate to say it, but when Tig's not around, Clay is actually quite an effective leader.
No sooner does that meeting end than the Real IRA's local boys show up. To make a short scene even shorter: the Irish are still maintaining the fiction that Cameron is enjoying poutine and Barenaked Ladies concerts in the Great White North. Jax is not thrilled to hear any of this, and has to be physically pushed out of the meeting; Clay is more suspicious of the Irish, but that doesn't stop him from conducting a little light arms smuggling. As Clay finishes his deal, Opie says gravely, "We've got to find Abel -- and soon." Oh, you think?
Zip! We're in Belfast and Father Ashby has just finished washing his hands, presumably to get the blood off them. Oh, wait, my bad -- he's sitting down to Maureen's kitchen table. She queries, "Should I ask?" and Father Ashby says, "He got the blessings. It was fast. We did what needed to be done." Maureen looks heavenward for a moment before saying, "I'm losing sight of that need, brother." Well, that's too bad, because Father Ashby's not justifying anything. Instead, he's here to take Abel and place him with "a good, Catholic family." When Mo points out that Abel already has a family, Father Ashby clucks, "You can't make this about your love for John." What-what-WHAT? John Teller had a fling on the side when he was in Ireland? What a deliciously soapy revelation! I don't know which likelihood I'd enjoy watching unfold most: 1) That Gemma never knew about it and nobody told her because, hey, the code of the club means old ladies don't exist once you've broken the ten-mile radius out of town; 2) That Gemma did know about it, because their marriage was under strain owing to a sick child and John wanted to come clean for some reason; 3) That Gemma did know about it, because Clay told her.
Anyhoodle, Maureen gives some clues as to how it went down with, "Ever think he got it all wrong, Kell? That if JT had stayed with me in Belfast, we'd all be better off?" Dude. DUDE! The soapy revelations keep foaming up! John was considering abandoning Gemma and his two sons! Oh my gosh, how could Clay not sit on that intel and use it to woo the widow Teller (or the Missus Teller) later? Anyway, Father Ashby has no interest in playing the What-If game. He's here for the boy, and off he goes to fetch TV's most docile baby.
Zip! We're off in ... wherever Nate and Rose had retired to. Tara's cleaning off Tig's wound, no doubt secretly relieved that it's not a scrotum inflamed by a bad prosthesis, or a buttock weeping with sepsis from dog bites, or ... you get the point. A bullet wound to the shoulder is no big whoop. Tig gives every evidence of having liberally indulged in Rose's Vicodin when he says swoopily, "Thanks, doc. You're getting pretty good at this. I'm sorry I pulled you away from your work." OK, forum posters, discussion topic: Is Tig being all solicitous and polite here because a) he's doped up; b) it's a club thing to give respect to an officer's old lady; or c) in his taxonomy of women, there are people he sleeps with, and people he doesn't, and the ones he doesn't, he's more civil to?
Tig asks about Jax, but before Tara can really go to town on her communication problems with Jax, Gemma comes in; she's been unable to find Nate since the morning. Also, the hunting rifle with which Tig was winged is missing. Tig recalls hearing a car take off about half an hour prior, which, of course, reassures nobody. Gemma flees toward the driveway and sure enough, the Cadillac is gone. "Is he okay to drive?" Tara wonders. "It depends what decade he thinks he's cruising in," Gemma answers. (Hee.) Tara reasons, "Where would he go? Someone must know his routine." Gemma sighs, because the one person who does ...
... Is currently being held captive in the basement. Amelia's in an old housecoat, duct-taped to a wheelchair, with a sleep mask on, and an easy-listening station is playing so she can't hear anything upstairs. Tara takes all this in and asks, "My God -- are you insane?" Tara, have you never met Gemma before this? I mean, there's a fine line between acting as a presumed viewer stand-in and acting as if you've had an eight-month-long case of amnesia regarding the capabilities of one Gemma Teller.
Gemma briefly outlines the situation to Amelia, who promptly uses it as a reason to plead for her release: "You cut me loose, I'll help you find him. My hands and my feet are numb, my ass is killing me, you can keep a gun on me, I'll help you make a few calls. That's the deal." Amelia's still blindfolded, so she can't see the Girl, PLEASE look Gemma just gave her. Gemma folds her arm and says, "Let me remind you of your circumstances. You are tied up in a basement with no family, no friends anywhere in the States. You drop off the planet, no one knows. No one cares." Amelia asks, "You threatening to kill me?" Gemma says menacingly, "No. But I look around this room, I see a drill, boycotters, a welding torch, lots of shit [to] make you really uncomfortable." Cut to Tara doing a facepalm, all I cannot believe JAX was the voice of reason in our last conversation. Amelia calls Gemma a psycho, which goes over about as well as you expect: "If anything happens to my dad because of your stalling, I'll make sure you end up in this wheelchair permanently." Amelia spits in Gemma's face, and Gemma shouts, "Bitch!" before belting Amelia in the face and stomping off. Anyone who was betting on Amelia surviving the episode, prepare to pay out. She's not demonstrating anything we could call "survival instincts."
Down in California, Clay's hanging at Lin's restaurant and getting a little cross-cultural education. Oh, not really -- he's making small talk with Lin prior to Lin throwing a lunch for his Hong Kong clients. The small talk turns into a business request -- many big guns, please, and Lin offers SAMCRO the family rate of $2000 per gun. Clay says, "We're gifting this hardware. Ain't got that kind of up-front cash." (Which is why it is baffling to me that SAMCRO considers Juice to be any kind of computer whiz: Why do they not have him trying to siphon cash out of bank accounts, or running a Nigerian prince-style scheme, or stealing credit card numbers? Not that I condone these things, but since this club already has a demonstrable bent toward extralegal ventures, why not look to the 21st century for your money?)
Lin comes up with a possible solution that makes them all happy: SAMCRO provides some Caracara tail for this client party, the client gets to indulge in their new pastime (filming themselves banging American porn stars) and Lin doesn't have to try and sell anyone on his paltry supply of Asian whores. Jax pulls Opie aside and asks if Lyla can reach out to a few of the Caracara girls and offer a 50/50 split for the work. Let's hope Opie has the good sense to not mention the split part and just tell the girls they're getting $5000 apiece for a party, not the $10,000 apiece Jax is asking of Lin. Clay sensitively s