Sons of Anarchy
Una Venta

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | 4 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
In Which Clay and Jax Get Very Cranky

After the greetings, Bobby Elvis sets this week's plot in motion by offering the chapter's condolences for the departed Little Paul. (One presumes they couldn't make the funeral because it took place while they were in Stockton.)

Clay changes the topic and tells Armando that they're meeting Romeo at the bike expo at 10 a.m. the next day, Armando says, "SAMTAZ, ready to protect and serve," and while I appreciate the naming conventions for the club, "SAMTAZ" honestly sounds like something out of a Dungeon & Dragons game. Oh, Samtaz, you puckish half-dwarf archer! Is there no fight with a Balrog you can't turn into a hilarious monologue? I mean, you have SAMBEL for the Sons of Anarchy, Belfast charter. Why not SAMTUC for Tucson? (And don't tell me it's because bikers think names with "Z"s in them are automatically cool. Please.)

Jax asks if the truck stop is good for all this, and right as Huff is busy assuring him that neither cop nor scumbag besmirch the rest area with their presence, we hear a few members of SAMTAXZ beating the crap out of a few scumbags. Whoops. Somehow, Tig gets into it -- a southwestern version of Nancy Spungen jumps on his back after he tackles the guy trying to get away from SAMTAZ -- and once the melee subsides, it hits SAMCRO that their southern counterparts are dealing crank.

Jax is not too pleased about this, because crank brings out the law enforcement, and given that SAMCRO's just driven a big truck full of automatic weapons right into crank central, the odds of them getting caught have just increased. Armando quietly calls him out with, "Coke, crank, you mule, we sell. It's the same shit." Clay fails to appreciate the comparison and growls at Armando to shut it down. Armando replies, "Sorry, esse. Not your club, not your call." Clay is all, "Who in the what now?" and the remaining members of SAMCRO are dismayed -- but not surprised -- at how this shook out.

The next morning, the boys are in SAMTAZ's church, and Clay invokes argumentum ad antiquam with, "I ain't telling you how to run your club, but the charter has precedence." Huff points out that SAMCRO's just gotten into bed with a big, fat cocaine cartel, so ...? Clay shouts, "We don't deal! That's always been the message." Armando tells Clay that his distinction seems rather arbitrary. Bobby Elvis cuts his eyes sideways, as if looking for someone to receive the "I TOLD YOU SO" stare. Jax is thinking more strategically: He points out that SAMCRO just voted in their partnership with the cartel, and if that trucker (and his lot lizard) had back debt, then it seems as if this has been going on a while. The sergeant-at-arms looks very uncomfortable and looks to Huff, who looks to Armando; the SAMTAZ president says his club voted it in four months ago. He adds, "This town is drying up, Clay. I'm just trying to keep this charter alive, man." Jax says with some asperity, "We would have never brought you into this if we knew you were cooking [crank]." Huff is all, "Good luck finding another charter this close to the border, chumps!" and when Clay reminds him that SAMTAZ is getting a hefty protection fee, Huff points out that the protection fee hardly reflects the presumed riches SAMCRO will be rolling in. Tig is all, "Fascinating as this discussion on the merits of trickle-down economics may be, it is getting in the way of our meeting with Romeo, who is the faucet for the flow of money. Keeping him waiting is a bad idea." SAMCRO gets up and files out, but as he walks by the hall of fame, Jax notices something next to Little Paul's black-ribboned photo: another biker, Reggie, turned in his patch, and his photo is now upside-down. We find out Reggie turned in his patch after 18 years because Little Paul had been his sponsor. All of these events unfolded right before the crank vote. "Close vote?" Jax asks. Benny (the sergeant at arms) says, "It was, but everyone's behind it now." Jax asks, "How about you?" "Four kids, 'mano. I ain't gotta a choice," Benny says, having apparently forgotten that birth control is not yet illegal in the U.S. Chibs comes in and is all, "Come on already!" and Jax takes off. He looks troubled.

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