So you know how last week we were all, “Wow, Clay has really sunk to a lowly state over the course of the series?” Well, Clay gets a break this week (in a manner of speaking) because tonight is Tara’s turn to realize that when she got her biker ex to kill her stalker ATF ex, her life really didn’t take a turn for the better.
To make her long and depressing main storyline short: Jax tells he needs space. Wendy disappoints her by being high and useless. Margaret tells her that Gemma and Jax have put the fear into her and she’s fleeing to Sedona until this goes away. And Gemma corners Tara and tells her to get over the silly idea that she’ll be allowed to parent her own children, finishing with the line that Tara’s sole remaining act of mothering is to decide whether Gemma will tell her sons “Mommy moved away” or “Mommy passed away.”
THEN Tara finds out firsthand that Jax’s definition of “space” is, in fact, “approximately four to six inches of depth in Colette’s ladyparts.”
(That Jax appears not to be enjoying the sex is beside the point; the point is that Tara caught him violating the one thing she requested of him. That Jax might then be like, “Hey, you lied about being pregnant, so any and all preexisting conditions in our relationship are off the table” is beside the point in Tara’s head. Because he’s made her crazy.)
Tara pulls a gun on him, then realizes, “Holy shit, in just under three years, I have gone from being a promising pediatric surgeon to being a gun-pulling lunatic who will likely be dead or behind bars in the next three episodes,” and speeds off, leaving Jax somewhat stunned. By the end of the episode, she goes to Patterson and offers to tell her anything in exchange for getting the boys into witness protection, but Patterson’s got bigger career fish to fry (i.e. the IRA), so she tells Tara a deal’s off the table. Tara flees into the night, saying in numb despair, “No one can help me.”
Science has not yet invented the scale needed to measure how much I hope Rat’s actually a Fed and he’ll take it upon himself to disappear Tara and the boys into witness protection. Because I get that this is Hamlet on Harleys and all that, but I am longing for Tara to deliver Gemma the ultimate eff-you by somehow succeeding in a manner neither woman could have anticipated.
Meanwhile, Unser and Nero save Wendy from a stupid death-by-smoke-inhalation contrivance (which is too bad, because that character’s backslid this season and is once again a waste of time) and Gemma decides to take Wendy under her wing, no doubt reasoning that Abel’s biological mom will be easier to keep under control than Abel’s day-to-day mother was.
Also, Clay’s trial date has been moved up two weeks and so it’s become quite urgent that he be broken out of prison sooner rather than later. The Irish make it clear that they expect SAMCRO to do the dirty work of breaking Clay out of his prison transport, so now we know what topic is going to dominate the next three episodes and Jax is totally looking forward to selling out the Irish to Patterson.
There’s also some complication with the Irish shooting up the Chinese in order to make a customer-service point to the Italians, but at this point, I get the feeling that Kurt Sutter is making up the inter-ethnic tensions among Northern California’s criminal elements in revenge for a traumatic ride through “It’s A Small World” down in Disney. So stay tuned for future episodes where Tig learns there's just one moon and a golden sun, and a smile means friendship for everyone, while Jax deals with a gang of gatki-wearing Sami criminals in San Joaquin county. It is only a matter of time.
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Before we start this recap, I want to let you all know up front: I hated this episode.
I mean, really hated it. I can see where it’s a solid contribution for the season and contains turning points for characters and relationships blah-de-blah, but for me, this was the episode where I just reached the end of my tether with one of the principle constraints of the Sons of Anarchy universe. I am really over the "It’s Gemma’s World, We’re All Living In It" conceit, and I don’t trust the writers’ room to ever address this, because in six seasons of monstrous behavior, attempted murder, blatant emotional blackmail, bullying and lying, NOT ONCE has anyone in Gemma’s life ever held her accountable for her actions, and this episode certainly doesn’t suggest that anyone will start now.
So if this recap feels a little perfunctory, know it’s because I really hated this episode. I still gave it a decent grade, because it’s well acted and you can see the pieces moving into place for the final four-and-a-half- or five-hour run we have left. But I protest a fictional world that seems to be sending the moral message of "There are consequences for everyone," and then exempts the most destructive force on the show from that guiding principle.
So, let’s begin …
Tara wakes up alone in her bed, the gun nowhere in sight. She hears rustling and goes into full awake/alert/panic mode, the runs into Thomas’s room only to see an empty crib. (Which raises a question: If she’s that worried about someone absconding with the baby, why not sleep on that futon?).
In full frantic mode, Tara bolts into Abel’s room calling his name, only to run into Jax, holding Thomas. "You should let him sleep," Jax says of the older boy, and then walks to the kitchen with his baby. He hands Thomas over to Tara, who clutches the baby with relief. As Jax picks up his packed bag, he tells Tara, "There will be someone watching you. Don’t try to take them anywhere." Then he heads out, telling Tara that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do, but if he doesn’t get some distance on the situation, "someone’s going to get hurt."
We go into an opening musical montage. There's bikers adoring Gemma as they try to put the garage to rights; Unser walking out of his trailer to look at the clubhouse; Rat putting up a banner saying "Our prices are da bomb" (heh); Nero and Colette reviewing the paperwork for the nice-and-legal Diosa Del Sur, Jax taking a long ride on a country road; Tara walking her boys to the daycare and one of the new guys (West, I think?) ducking out of an alcove to watch her; Clay not having a very good time of it; and Wendy zoned out on smack. Wait, no, that’s Wendy throwing up from heroin sickness. My bad!