Season 4, Episode 2:
The morning after, the news about 4 dead Russians hits all over Charming and all the Old Ladies are asking about it--Clay tells all to Gemma, Jax starts to tell all to Tara (until Gemma interrupts them) and Lila asks Opie who tells her unequivocally "No. The Russians were connected with a lot of bad people--could've been anyone." I love that he protects her from knowing. She asked him about it, sure, but she seemed happy to think he had nothing to do with it. It was the first, but not last time he will abide by that wedding vow I bet...and as I pointed out to Mr. D, if she knows nothing, if the Feds pull her in, she is safer.
Meanwhile, Gemma's all twitchy about the discovery that Jax or Tara knows more about John via Maureen Ashby (Jax's dad, Gemma's 1st husband and founder of the Sons who had a family with Maureen as well--totally soap operatic). Her quote? Totally awesome: "This Irish gash is reaching across the Atlantic." Yay! We're keeping the Irish storyline alive! Later Gemma becomes even more erratic, tearing apart Jax and Tara's house while babysitting (gotta love a grandma who babysits in tight leather pants and mutters "shit" under her breath while scavenging through every drawer and cupboard), looking for what else Maureen might have sent. Why is she worried? What does she think Maureen sent? Is she just jealous of John and Maureen? She concludes it must be at Tara's office and sure enough, she finds a trove locked in Tara's desk. At the bottom is something official signed by Wayne. Much later a conversation between Gemma and Clay (who doesn't seem worried about this) reveals John's death is probably their fault...somehow. Tres Hamlet, no?
The sheriff and USDA discuss the body count--Agent Potter has the best lines--when Hale tells him, "Good morning," he tosses back, "Not if you're Russian" in that voice. He is just eerie, this character. And now that his inside man is dead, their operation is at a standstill until they figure out WTF happened. The sheriff is advised to proceed as normal, so he turns up at the club later with the fire department and the slightest hint of a smirk "smelling smoke." In a stunning scene, he feels a wall while Clay and the gang look on and determines, "it feels hot--could be electrical," grabs an axe from a fireman and starts destroying the wall--the wall where all the pictures hang. I totally dig Sheriff Roosevelt, he's got balls and integrity and while he's in direct opposition to the Sons, I have a hunch they may play for the same side at some point.
while Jax shows their inventory, which is jaw-dropping--I began wondering what kind of gun I'd favor if I were an outlaw. I like the sound of a Glock. Anyone else care to share? Funny thing, the cartel doesn't want Glocks. No Glocks. But RPGs if they can get them--and some other stuff packing serious firepower. The cartel's main guy is "Romeo" Parada, a bad-ass Mexican who is cooler than Samuel L. Jackson. No shit. As Clay and Jax conclude their gun show to the Galingo (sp?) Cartel, Clay hands Jax the downpayment (in a grocery sack) it comes up that while in prison Clay's agreed to move drugs back for the cartel as well.
Clay and Jax have (best scene in the whole show--the interaction between them is so well-played) a talk about this. Jax is PISSED about Clay's agreement to run drugs. Clay argues he needs the money if he's going to get out of SAMCRO soon--he's broke and this will pay the way for his and Gemma's retirement. Plus the cartel can keep the Russians from retaliating. Long silence. Finally Jax agrees, IF Clay stands by him letting out too--he's to back Opie for president when he steps down and keep Gemma off his back, too. The tension is totally ratcheted up before they return to the clubhouse to vote.
At the table, no one's happy about the drugs. Especially the old-timers like Bobby and Piney. Jax makes a convincing case when he lays out the stacks of money from the Cartel, but they agree to vote later. Jax and Opie leave to check on the ammunition (which is manufactured on the Reservation). After the room clears, Clay and Bobby talk--Bobby tells him he loves him, but loves the club more. The general feeling is that the club's falling apart. Later Tig and Bobby talk--Bobby's concerned that Clay relies so heavily on Jax instead of them, he's shutting them out and SAMCRO's headed in a bad direction. I predict everyone's loyalties will get tested--but let's take a moment here to appreciate Tig's hotness, okay?
Opie calls Jax on WTF just happened back there--he gets Jax like no one else. Jax tries to argue, but wise Opie sees right through him. As soon as they reach the Res, they're met by Russians. Just before the sheriff and crew arrive at the club, Jax makes a desperate phone call while at gunpoint, "I don't speak Russian, dad, but I think they want their weapons back." I totally thought Opie was a goner--Jax won't die yet, but Opie totally COULD. Like JK Rowling killed Dumbledore, SOA's writers would totally off a character like Opie. While they're lying on the floor waiting for salvation or death, Opie quips that it's his honeymoon. He should be in bed with his wife the porn star.
Just before SAMCRO arrives at the Res, Romeo shows up in a Hummer and he and his sidekick cooly take care of business, busting a cap on each of the Russians and leaving Jax and Opie grateful and stunned. Romeo shakes off their thanks, they're associates now, happy to help. But funny story, SAMCRO hasn't voted yet on whether they're running the blow.
The episode ends back at the clubhouse--where Tara pulls out her engagement ring to lighten the dark mood. Hugs and shots of whiskey all around, but there's no getting around the elephant in the middle of the room. The new alliance with this cartel is dangerous business and half the members aren't on board.