Back in Charming: a bunch of men, including Unser, are preparing to get groomed at Floyd the Barber's (hee!), possibly in anticipation of Jacob Hale's funeral that afternoon. At least, that's what they were planning to do until Piney walked in. Then, everyone makes a point of getting up and leaving. Funny how a town can hold a grudge over a biker gang bringing violence onto its formerly-safe streets, huh? The most wounding part of this cut direct? Unser shaking Hale the Lesser's hand in clear sight of the shop. With that handshake, and the sentence, "This town needs Charming PD," Unser's thrown in his lot with Hale the Lesser.
SAMCRO is hanging with Precious's significant other/bounty hunter Serge, and he's delivering the news: ""Timothy O'Dell" only stayed one night in Vancouver, then ... nothing. "If it were me, I'd pick up another ID and keep the trail cold," Serge says. Even worse news for Jax: Serge has no heft north of the border, as hunting bounties is an American privilege. "What do you do if you want to hunt someone north of the border?" Bobby Elvis asks. The answer: resort to mercenaries, preferably the type who don't ask questions. He can recommend someone, but the guy doesn't work cheap -- $10,000 per head. Nobody thinks to ask if there's a "children under 2 hunted for free" clause in the deal, so Jax just goes ahead. Looks like the club will need $12,000 for the MP5s, and $20,000 for their fool's errand in Canada.
And in what I believe is the first shot of SAMCRO at their body shop -- remember? These guys allegedly fix cars for a living? -- we get some bad news. Rosen's partner Ally Lowen swings by and explains, "Charming City Council put a motion before the San Joaquin judge. They want a new bail hearing in the assault case." Clay stalks off so he doesn't have to curse in anyone's face directly, and it's up to Chibs to wring exposition out of Lowen with "What does that mean?" It means everyone goes back inside until the trial for the break-in at the church dinner. This is basically the town fathers' response to the spray-and-pray at Half-Sack's wake. Clay asks what happens if they don't show. "Longer you're in the wind, the more time it adds. A hundred and eighty days before your bail is forfeited," Lowen says. She is no dummy, and realizes that these guys are weighing their options as to whether to skip or not. The hearing is Friday, and all she asks is a heads-up either way. On a completely unrelated note: Good to see you, Deadwood alumna Robin Weigert! I hardly recognized you all clean and sober.
And now, SAMCRO's in church. Jax is explaining that the best intel he has puts Cameron and Abel in Vancouver, so that's where he's headed. Jax sells it with, "I'll do this last run for the Irish, pick up my mom, get some new ID, and head north. It gets Gemma out of Dodge, I'll hook up with Serge's tracker, find my kid." Clay says only, "You ain't going alone." Jax tries to plead reason: "We don't know how these San Joaquin charges are going to land. Lowen said most of the people in that hall won't testify. It might end up just being the federal gun charges, but if we all skip, we look guilty. They'll use that against us. I can't ask you guys to take that hit." "But I can," says Clay. He grins and asks, "Who's up for a Canadian adventure?" Everyone raises their hands. Jax grins and shakes his head, overwhelmed. Then he grins and says, "You're all very unbalanced individuals." (Hee!) Bobby Elvis points out that Jax's plan has one flaw: Gemma's going to find out about Abel. Yeah, well, no plan is perfect. Besides, now that's Clay's on board, Jax has a human shield.
Speaking of Gemma: Neither Tig, nor Gemma, nor Tara have been able to find him. Gemma despairs, "I can't believe I just let him drive away. Jesus, how could I do that? [sigh] Stupid bitch!" Tara says, "You have her tied up in a basement, you can't expect her to be cooper --" "I'm not talking about her!" Gemma shouts. Because sometimes, that's the only way the obvious sinks into Tara's skull. Gemma throws the phonebook into the curio cabinet. Cut to Tig freaking out because oh my God, now the dolls are freed from their glass prison! They can run wild around the house! Gemma leaves.
Cut to Nate sitting on a downed tree next to a small pond. He tucks the barrel of the rifle under his chin, weeping, then pushes it away.
Back at Teller Morrow, Lyla is picking up the Caddy from Piney so she can collect her and Opie's brood of children. Opie waylays her and awkwardly asks for the favor: Would Lyla round up some of her pals and provide the entertainment at a private party? He does have the brains to phrase it as a $5000 opportunity, thank goodness. Lyla's all over it and makes the pitch for her awesome old ladyness by offering to donate her $5000 fee to the club for the Project Fetch Abel fund. Opie is not thrilled, but Lyla sells it, "I know you hate it, but I've got maybe another year or two in this niche. I need to cash in while I still look like everyone's kid sister. You gotta let it go." Opie ... is not so much about the letting anything go. He feels guilty about what his involvement in the club is doing to the second lady in his life, but can only blurt out, "I just don't want you to be sad." Lyla assures him that nothing makes her happier than nuzzling his big, grizzly beard, but Opie's not quite sold. She kisses him goodbye and the club begins its catcalling. Opie heads back to his bike and then we get the comedy exchange of the episode:
JAX: [asking about Opie and Lyla] Looks like you guys are working things out, huh?
OPIE: I can never tell. Every time I try to talk to her, we end up naked.
BOBBY ELVIS: Just marry her. That'll stop it.
And now, a brief detour into Bad Idea Theatre. Tara heads down to the basement alone to check on Amelia. She's going to have to clean out the facial wound Gemma gave Amelia, and Amelia cannily uses the time to claim she can't feel her fingers and has no circulation. Tara says, "I'll cut one hand free, let the blood flow back in. Don't do anything stupid." Oh, Tara, you need to take your own advice. Did you not notice how Amelia reacted to Gemma's torture threats last time? This is a woman who's plenty bellicose.
Anyway, Tara cuts a hand free, and sure enough, Amelia furtively lifts her eyeshade, notices a canister of oxygen nearby, then uses it to render Tara unconscious. Not that anyone ever deserves a blow to the head, but you have to admit: Tara did not exactly do everything in her power to prevent it. Amelia then wheels herself over to the table where the boycotter is.
The basement door opens and Gemma begins tramping down; Amelia freezes mid-wheel. But then Tig calls: Nate just pulled up and he's in the back yard. And so Gemma heads back up the stairs. Amelia has time to free herself and figure out what to do next.
Cut to a backyard that could more accurately be labeled "the botanical garden." It's just gorgeous -- huge rosebushes in different colors, trees framing the entire thing -- and makes me wonder who's been maintaining it. Gemma sits with her dad on a bench and asks, "Where'd you go? Where's the gun?" Nate got rid of it; he asks Gemma almost pleadingly, "Did I kill someone?" Gemma hastens to reassure him that he didn't, and Nate says, "I remember --" Gemma cuts him off with, "It was an accident. Tig is okay. It's perfect. Everything is fine." What is so great about this scene is how Gemma mirrors Nate's body language; it is such a huge change from the self-contained or confrontational stances she takes with almost everyone else