Jax takes a break from getting things done to field his angry mother. Gemma is worked up about Nero calling it quits, and tries to cudgel Jax with his daddy issues, but it backfires when Jax points out, "You're connected to that back history [with JT] and Clay, and maybe I am having a little trouble separating my hate." Gemma says, "You can't hate me, Jackson. You're the only thing I still love." This will be news to Tara and the boys, no doubt. Jax tells Gemma to keep it in her pants, and if she wants to be useful, go try to pull Tara's head together before she accidentally sews Tig's cheeks together.
Cut to Tara's hands shaking badly. This does not pass unnoticed by either Gemma -- oh, great, another disease vector in the OR -- or Chibs, and Chibs gently, tactfully, asks Tara if he could tag in. (Remember: he was a medic in the Irish army before being mustered out.) Tara accepts, and Tig puts on his specs and leans forward to begin making stitches. Gemma leans over to ask Tig how he's doing and he slurs, "I don't know if it's good or bad, but I am totally hard right now." Oh, Tig. Nobody does comedic polymorphous perversity like you do.
And now, Jax goes to Charming's mayor and presents him with a moral dilemma: Is Hale the kind of man who is willing to resort to blackmail and consorting with thugs to get his dream of Charming Heights? Oh, who are we kidding? Grinning like the devil on a blind date, Jax promises that he can set up the whole thing so it never touches Hale. And, he adds, "I can also get you a new investor -- one of the biggest developers in Oakland." And this is pretty much when I realized that Jax's entire season three arc -- where he was ostensibly "betraying" the club yet was really engineering a set-up in which the club evened things up with the Irish, got the legal deal they wanted and got Stahl killed in the process -- was just a warm-up for whatever is going to play between now and the rest of the series. Jax's developer is Damon Pope, and him bringing in the man he considers to be Opie's murderer means that Jax has an endgame in mind that will ruin both Hale and Pope. I cannot wait to see how this plays out!
"It's all about being in business with the right people," Jax tells the mayor. "Whether you like it or not, there is no-one in this town who can help you more than me." There. The King has stated his authority. Let's see how he plans to topple his enemies.
Tara heads into Jax's office, where Gemma is waiting. The older woman knows the younger is beating herself up and says tiredly, "Well, we all got a lot of healing to do." Tara finds herself drawn to Gemma and sits down next to her to admit, "The thing that happened with Carla in the garage ... I didn't tell Jax." "I didn't think you would," said Gemma. Tara says, "It scares me sometimes, the extremes." Gemma replies, not unkindly, "Not a lot of gray in this life, sweetheart. Extremes become average." Tara says, "I'm not sure I find that comforting." "You're not supposed to," Gemma replies. She reaches out to stroke Tara's hair, then leaves. Those two! It is fascinating how much they need each other and how much they resent that need.