It looks like an emerging theme for this season is “Never underestimate what a parent will do.” In an episode full of juicy quotes, the following lines and developments stood out …
“The run we've been on the last couple of years, any direction is a better direction.” – Bobby Elvis, commenting on SAMCRO's likely future under Jax.”
The club's on edge because a newspaper has linked the gun used in the school shooting to SAMCRO. Everyone is aware of how this only hurts them in Charming, and the Byz-Lats are even more nervous and prone to stupidity than usual. Right as SAMCRO is persuading them all to stay calm, a car mows down one in spectacular gooey style and it's all reactive gang BS, all the time.
Barofsky – who is trying to keep Patterson off his back – promises to find the hit-and-run. But the Byz-Lats get there first, SAMCRO gets there second, and while everyone's got their guns out, Jax notices the pictures of a little boy and realizes: This is the grieving father of one of the children killed by Matthew Jennings. He's overcome with guilt and manages to get everyone out of there whole. So it's the cops who storm the place minutes later that get the guy dead by his own hand. Patterson is heartsick over it; she sees the death as collateral damage from the gangs.
Speaking of Patterson: Nero cuts a deal with Patterson – the finest care in the land for Lucius plus incarceration close enough to his son so they can visit – and tells her he was the one who supplied the gun that led to the school shooting. Patterson is almost into it because it provides a scapegoat and takes heat off her, but the two things happen. First, Roosevelt comes back with the CSI work proving that Toric killed Erin, so that will throw a wrench into any deal Nero might make. Second, she's shaken by the clusterflock of the week (see above), so she goes into Nero's interrogation room, slams down a folder full of photos of the slain children and thunders, “You're trying to do right by your kid? I want to do right by these! You're too proud, too stupid to do the right thing! If you cared about these kids, you'd tell me everything, the whole truth.” Nero protests that he's not saying another word without his lawyer and Patterson snarls, “You don't need a lawyer. Toric killed Erin Byrne. You hold on to these [photos of dead children] and you think about them every time you visit Lucius. And know that if we believe in the same God, debts will be paid.” She leaves him to look at the pictures of the children.
“What drives you is bad history. It ain't real. And it ain't what's best for those boys.” – Unser, to Gemma, because he gets to spend the episode telling people how it is.
Gemma knows everything – OF COURSE – and she basically tells a version of the truth to Roosevelt. In one of the show's nicer moments, Roosevelt and Unser confer about the whole Gemma-Tara thing, and Roosevelt asks Unser what call he thinks he should make. Unser's all, “Dude, I am retired for a reason,” but does note that Charming and SAMCRO derive some sense of their identities from one another, and if you cut out SAMCRO, the town unravels.
So, Gemma walks free and Tara plans not to press charges. Unser delivers a delightful come-to-Jesus talk, but Gemma's determined to do things the hard way, i.e. try to get Wendy as her wedge to discredit Tara and skirt the boundaries of the restraining order to try and see Jax. (Why she's allowed within ten feet of that hospital, AKA the workplace of Margaret Murphy, is a mystery.) We'll see how soon it is before she turns to her relationship with Clay as leverage to get back in with Jax.
“It breaks my heart that you had to become something so wrong to do what you thought was right.” – Unser, to Tara, after a fraught conversation over her scheme to permanently bar Gemma from her children's lives.
Everyone seems compelled to lay some heavy truth on the woman whom they think miscarried a mere 24 hours ago. Unser calls Tara out on her whackadoodle plan and its human cost. Lowen asks Tara what the hell just happened and gets stiff-armed; (though we do discover that Tara's had a separate cash stash for some time, smart girl.) Bobby begs Tara not to give up on Jax, noting that he's the kind of guy who needs to be with someone, and since the club's up against all manner of mayhem, Jax having a stable home life is more important than ever. And then Jax asks Tara if she ever regrets coming back to Charming. Looking down at her sleeping baby boy, Tara says, “A lot of things I'd do differently, but no. He makes it all worth it.”
Then it's Jax's turn to twist the blade in Tara's heart: “I just feel so far away from you now. I know it's my fault. Please, just tell me, how do I get back? Please let me back in.”
With all those heavy trips being laid on Tara, it's fortunate she has no idea what a crappy day Wendy had. The events of the past week or two have finally broken her. She picks up some drugs, she attempts to connect with Tara and only gets a faceful of Jax telling her to stay out of his family's lives, and then Gemma visits Wendy and tells her, “You backed the wrong horse. I'm giving you a chance to change your bet. Help me prove what she's done.” When Wendy asks her to take the drugs, Gemma refuses, saying that Wendy has to do it on her own to prove that she can be trusted. Cue Wendy shooting up. That act of sabotage – ruining her own recovery, torpedoing any notion that she's a decent guardian – is all the sadder when you think how it's the only way a powerless-feeling woman could take control of her own life again.
This show and its themes of control and loss! You're killing me here, Sutter.
THE QUOTE OF THE WEEK:“Let this eat into your brain, Mother. You're never going to see my wife. And you will never see my kids again. Grandma is dead.” – Jax, to Gemma.
Jax is playing with Thomas's toes as the baby chills in a high chair the next morning. And I know we're one sentence into this recap, but indulge me this observation: You can tell which of the Teller-Knowleses had the punishingly lonely upbringing with the dead mother and drunk father, and which had the upbringing where physical affection is freely bestowed for no reason whatsoever, because Jax is so much more tactile in his affection for his children than Tara is. I love it when the actors carry out their characters' backstories in even the smallest details.
Anyway, Jax is parenting his kids this morning, and what does it say about his life that managing a preschooler and a baby is the most calm and Zen part of his day? He makes Tara some tea and brings it to her in bed, then promises that he'll be home to dote on her all day after he takes the kids to daycare and checks in with the club. Tara is pretty much nonresponsive until he gets to the door, then she calls out, "What are you going to do about Gemma?" Jax shrugs, "Don't worry about her. The restraining order keeps her away from you and the boys." Tara points out that there's an entire club of enablers to bail out Gemma, but Jax doesn't care.
Inside the sheriffs' station, Roosevelt brings over a coffee for Gemma and tells her, "You haven't given my sheriffs anything yet and we need more information before we can process you." Gemma spits, "You got everything you need. Eyewitness saw me kick my pregnant daughter in the stomach." (Note that she refers to Tara as her daughter. Truly, Gemma and Tara illustrate the saying, "The opposite of love isn't hate -- it's indifference.") Roosevelt asks, "Is that how it went down?" Gemma leans in and says, "I'm the dirty biker whore with a record. She's the good doctor. Does it really matter what I have to say?" Oddly, Roosevelt thinks it does.
Gemma tells him, "Jax's ex found out that Tara was setting up a will. Some kind of legal shit that would give custody of the boys to a stranger. Margaret Murphy. I went down there to confront Tara. She baited me. Hit me. I checked myself and I did not hit her back. Then she threw herself on the edge of her desk and started screaming that I kicked her in the stomach. I would never hurt that baby."
Roosevelt listens to this and notes that the eyewitnesses also have axes to grind with Gemma. Then he asks, "Why would framing you be worth causing her own miscarriage?" Gemma, of course, has figured all that out too. Because it's handy when the show's creator is in love with you and has granted you the wisdom of Athena and the Helen of Troy-like ability to send men to war in your name.