So. That happened.
Stingus Interruptus: Lincoln’s Potter hard work has come to naught. It turns out the CIA is in bed with the Galindo cartel, because there is no federal agency in this show’s universe that is not all about screwing over as many innocent people as possible. So Potter’s RICO case gets shut down. The meeting is supposed to go as planned, however the Irish Kings pull their Irish Control Freaks foolishness and insist they’ll only deal with Clay.
Then Jax tries to get SAMCRO out of the cartel business, and that is when Romeo and Luis whip out their federal IDs and drop their government spiel on him: the CIA needs the cartel to keep running guns and coke in order to fund its dirty work. Oy. This whole plotline seems like something dreamed up after falling asleep over an old volume of Bloom County cartoons about the Iran-Contra hearings or the San Jose Mercury News series on how the CIA launched America’s crack cocaine epidemic. ANYWAY. Romeo tells Jax that Otto ratted on SAMCRO, and if Jax doesn’t get Clay back in fighting form so he can deal with that finicky little prick Galen, then Romeo will RICO the club. Also, Jax better not tell anyone anything if he wants the club to survive. Were Jax really serious about leaving, he’d be all, “See my thumbs moving? I’m tweeting this meeting as it happens.” But we know he’s going to be sticking around, so the next 45 minutes are about wrapping up this season’s loose ends and launching next season’s major story arcs.
Juice, Cut Loose: Potter expunges all the intel on Juice’s daddy and hands Roosevelt the jacket with the sole physical proof. Roosevelt hands it over to Juice and tells him that the racism-related plotline we all lived through this season has been magically undone. That will, I am sure, be a comfort to Miles.
They Will See Me Screaming from Charming Heights: The mayor is about to push through his Charming Heights proposal when in walks Potter with a dossier, a duffel bag and a lifesize doll of a prepubescent boy. Since Potter’s had a bad day, he’s decided to salve his irritation by informing everyone exactly who Mayor McCheese got into bed with (metaphorically speaking) in order to secure financing. It turns out the city fathers have no stomach for having a fancy subdivision financed by the makers of the Sumyung Boy line of sex dolls. When Mayor McCheese demands to know why Potter did this, he snarls, “Because I don’t like you. And the good guys need a win.”
Papa, Can You Hear Me? Naturally, Jax ends up not killing Clay. He says, “The only reason I am not slicing you open right now is I need this cartel deal to happen and those prick Irishmen won’t deal with anyone else. You’re done telling me anything. Now I’m telling you: You’re stepping down as president. You can sit at the table, you can have a vote, but that’s it. You keep the Irish happy, and you stay out of my goddamn way. If you don’t, I let the club read the letters and I let Opie tell everyone you murdered his old man. You stay away from Tara and my mother. Do you understand?” Clay does. Having Jax’s knife at his throat sped the decision-making process along. Jax takes the president’s patch, spits on Clay and walks out. Gemma totters by later to see if her husband is still alive. Unfortunately, he is, which is going to make things super-awkward when Tig starts coming by to pick her up for dates.
Prepare to be Excommunicated, Tig: So Laroy’s old lady? Happens to be the daughter of the biggest kingpin in all of Oakland, Damon Pope. And now the Pope and his cardinals of carnage have Charming in their sights. Roosevelt is not pleased by this news.
Teller/Winston 2012? Not Likely: Jax comes to Opie and asks him to be the VP but Opie – sensing correctly that he doesn’t have enough information to make a well-founded decision – tells Jax that his behavior would seem to suggest that he’s a lying liar who lies, and that doesn’t sit too well with the Opester. He’s MIA for the rest of the episode.
Wherein Tara Discovers That “Promise” Is a Synonym for “Status Quo” in Charming: Jax comes home and tells Tara the whole thing – for once deciding that honest communication is perhaps a good thing in a relationship – and Tara decides for them, “You have to stay.” Jax tells her to take the boys and start a new life in Oregon, and Tara considers it for, like, ten minutes, but by the end of the episode she is standing behind her man in the same posture that Gemma and JT had in that early photo. Gemma is not terribly flattered by the similarity.
The episode opens with the full might of the U.S. government arrayed in a grassy field near the Wahewa reservation. Think of Woodstock, only with fewer unwashed miscreants and more firepower. Potter explains, "In the last 16 months, this case has taken 98,000 man hours in four different countries. Recently, it claimed the life of our colleague, FBI Agent Ronald Worski. Now, our sacrifices and hard work allow us this moment -- an opportunity to bring three violent and criminal organizations to justice. Ladies and gentlemen, we are clear to execute all warrants." Interesting note about the posterboards over Potter's shoulders: the SAMCRO one features red slashes through Bobby Elvis and Juice, while Piney and Kozik are next to one another. We also get Happy's mugshot, and it is the only one where his club nickname is his first name. Also, his last name appears to start with an L. It would be kind of awesome if Happy's real name was Happy. And it would explain a lot along the manner of "A Boy Named Sue."
Everyone who's present begins clapping; Roosevelt rolls his eyes and gives a few golf claps. Potter continues, "And whatever or whomever you believe in, may it grant you safety and speed."
And on that note, we flash to Jax and Chibs zooming past Charming Heights on their bikes, presumably off to the big gun-swap show.
Then we flash to Romeo and Luis, who are hanging in the back of their Range Rover. Romeo says, "I talked to Teller. MC's on board. Irish will be there. Transport's all set." In the front seat, a guy identified as Medina nods and says, "All right. Let's go. We don't want to be late."
Jax and Chibs arrive at the Coke-K corral. Happy's terrorized the Tacoma guys into loading the van, and Jax nods, then deputizes him to make sure none of the Wahewa are poking around. We then see the scene through a laptop screen and pull back to watch Potter and Roosevelt watching the bikers. Roosevelt notes that only one out of three notorious criminal gangs is there; Potter explains that only one out of three notorious criminal gangs likes to arrive a little early.
Right then, a Range Rover pulls up. Potter turns around with a "What the hell?" expression, and a minute later, we all join him: the Range Rover has disgorged Medina, Luis and Romeo. And we get a formal introduction: "Alphonse Medina, operative supervisor, Central Intelligence Agency."
Potter won't look Medina in the eye; he looks at his chart and says dryly, "Let me guess. You recruited Señor Parada and Torres from Grupo Aeromóvil. (The Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales are the Mexican army's special forces unit, often recruited to carry out black ops.) Medina would like to talk in private, but Potter mutters tightly, "No. If the three amigos have something to say, say it to my team." Romeo cheerfully says, "Yes, we've been working with the CIA." Luis adds, "NCS, inside Sonora." (The NCS, or National Clandestine Service, is the branch of the CIA that runs covert operations. So, for those of you playing along at home: Romeo and Luis were recruited by the U.S. government while they were still in the Mexican special forces; they are part of a black-ops effort the CIA is executing for the U.S.)