Sons of Anarchy

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SAMCRO: Doing More Before Noon …
e, only this time she's bearing paperwork, not a satchel full of ass-whooping. Tara wants a leave of absence. Margaret says, "I saw what happened yesterday in surgery. Panic attack?" Tara admits she doesn't know what it was, because it's never happened before. Margaret says, "I'm guessing you've never watched a man get stabbed to death before either." No, but she has watched a man get shot to death, then humped the shooter while the body cooled in the corner. Still, I'm guessing that's not something she'll share at work. Margaret says that Tara shouldn't have been back in the OR that soon. Tara, completely missing the point, snaps, "Now you get your way. I'll be gone." Margaret tries again: "Dropping out for six months will hurt your career. Maybe you should take a few personal days, think about this." Tara refuses to get it -- "Why should you care about my career?" -- and for a moment, I sympathize with Jax. Margaret spells it out: She cares about the hospital, and despite all her personal baggage, Tara is a gifted doctor, so it is in Margaret's best interests as a hospital administrator to protect Tara's best interests as a doctor. Margaret leaves, and THAT is when the lightbulb goes off over Tara's head. "You mean it's possible to separate the personal and professional? That some people even find this to be a preferable way of living? I ... need to think about this."

In another part of the hospital, Clay's striding through the corridors, the rest of the SAMCRO regulars trailing behind him. There's a little bit of chit-chat -- Opie offers Jax condolences on his grandma and Jax is all, "Whatever" -- and then the boys get down to solving the problem at hand: How to get rid of the guards surrounding the shooter's room so they can question him. Jax wants to see if Tara can help, but Clay has other ideas: "Let's go visit Chuckie, see if we can brighten his day."

Meanwhile, in a bar, Jimmy O is busy making the case to the home office that Eddie set him up, "put me in a safehouse so ATF could catch me with guns. Clay can back me up. He was there." I find it interesting that the Real IRA appears to be splitting along "John Teller's our legit connection"/"Clay Morrow's our man" lines, the same way SAMCRO does. Jimmy O presses his case: "I find it hard to believe that Cammy wasn't privy to what his son was doing. He needs to go away. Quietly." Father Ashby reminds him that the who-lives-and-who-dies decisions go to the council, and Jimmy O's all, "Well, the council is packed with idiots if it doesn't follow my recommendation." Only he's a lot more subtle. Father Ashby is nothing if not attuned to subtlety and issues a smackdown with, "You've been away too long. You've forgotten how we do things at home. It's not a one-man army." Jimmy O reminds Father Ashby that so far as he's concerned, his days of being an altar boy subordinate are over, and Father Ashby gets a tad snippy in response. When Jimmy O hangs up, he comments, "Our good priest, getting a mite too godly for his collar."

Back at the hospital, Jax is nosing around the front desk looking for Tara, and is surprised to find that she's off rotation for the indefinite future. Murray comes out and she has a brief chat with Jax about Tara's career prospects: "Tara asked for a leave of absence. I think it's a mistake. She needs her work. We both know she belongs here." Jax is impressed by this, not only because Margaret's managed to articulate what he can't, but because she's also doing so with huge bruises on her face from the beatdown Tara gave her a few days ago. (Note been: Jax has just figured out who gave Murray the bruises.) I may be going out on a limb here, but it seems that one thing Jax has always admired in other people is their ability to separate emotional reactions and strategic thinking -- possibly because he doesn't have that aptitude, and it's becoming apparent Tara's grasp on that skill is shaky -- and to see it in Tara's boss is reassuring to him. Anyway, Jax and Murray are in agreement: Tara needs to be back at work.

He strolls back to the hospital corridor and tells Clay that his old lady's no use. Clay drawls, "We got it covered." Cue Chuckie the Masturbating Accountant bursting through the doors of the hospital, clad only in a hospital gown, screaming, "They cut off my fingers! Oh my God, they cut off my fingers! They took my thumbs, Charlie!" HAAAAAAAA. The SAMCRO boys are amused too, and as the guards follow the screaming patient down the hall, Clay purrs, "I love Chuckie."

And now, a sight to terrify anyone who's not expecting it: a clutch of burly, leather-clad bikers bursting into a hospital room. Chibs and Opie pin the spray-and-pray dude down by the shoulders, and when he spits in reply to Clay's first question, Clay grabs him by the testicles and squeezes. That's not going to help his recovery. The boys soon determine it's not a Mayan hit -- not overtly, anyway -- but Jax has a hunch and peels open the guy's lip to see a "312" tat. Opie translates: "CL -- Calaveras, Lodi. It's a [motorcycle club for riders of definite Latino origin]." After the guys are outside, Bobby Elvis reminds them all that Calaveras is a Mayan puppet club, and asks, "What the hell are they doing proxying a retaliation?" This stumps the SAMCRO brain trust. Jax finally gets it: "Holy shit. What if the attack was an initiation?" Clay looks appalled as he realizes, "It's a goddamned patchover? Mayans are moving into Lodi."

Gemma's on the phone with Jax, explaining that Rose died of "the family flaw" (i.e. heart disease) and looking over a photo collage of herself and her brother as children. We see one shot of Gemma as a very young woman, singing into a microphone. Gemma sighs, "She's still pulling the strings. Even dead, Rose is a control freak." Jax cracks, "Sounds familiar," and Gemma says indulgently, "I am not my mother, you little shithead." Jax grins at this and tells his mom he loves her. Then the conversation gets awkward as Gemma asks about Abel. Fortunately, he has to hang up. Gemma takes a moment to compose herself -- and the camera swoops over the photo board to a picture of Gemma, clad in bridal/maternity white and beaming up at the SAMCRO biker who's got his arm wrapped around her while another smiles at them both. I'm guessing we're looking at a young John Teller and Clay Morrow. Gemma absently rubs the scar over her breastbone.

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Sons of Anarchy

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