Before we recap last night's episode, I want to remind you to head over to Eco Women and enter to win a 5-pack of VZWraps we're giving away!
This episode focused mainly on Gemma, which I liked, even though it wasn't the strongest episode of the season. We see her serving SAMCRO breakfast in her kitchen, then asking Opie if he's heard from his dad. Eventually she ends up at Piney's cabin and discovers his corpse. She knows everything, but mostly she's so, so sad because she does believe if he'd have kept his mouth shut, he'd still be alive. It's funny at the end of this episode because I'm thinking if she'd just keep HER mouth shut, Tara would still be alive at the end of the season, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. I was disappointed we don't see the club learn about Piney's death in this episode.
Gemma brings Wayne in to "cover up" and deflect blame from Clay. Wayne's smart and tries to warn Gemma off, telling her Clay's a "wounded animal" and it would be best for everyone to pin this on him, but she loves Clay too much. Their scene together ends with a really REALLY weird kiss. It was almost like she was trying to seduce him into helping her, but it seemed out of context.
Meanwhile, Tara's planning to head to Oregon and discovers JT's letters are missing. She and Gemma have a good conversation about it, but ultimately Gemma fails to see anyone's point of view besides her own (she's more like Clay than I'd first thought--but it makes sense).
Great scene between Chibs and Jax when Chibs discusses Juice's suicide attempt. Later, Roosevelt brings Juice in and Potter reveals ALL to him. Juice is furious, understands just how bad things are. Interesting how Potter tries to play the same card Stahl did. I don't think deals will get made here. Potter also tries to deal with Otto by telling him that Bobby lied to him, who calls bull to his sh*t. Otto's no dummy, that's pretty clear here. We also learn that while bringing in a drug cartel is a nice coup, the real prize is the IRA.
There's more really confusing cartel violence. I'm not up on my Mexican Drug Cartel Facts, but from how it's portrayed, they just kill and kill and kill. Is this stereotypical? I don't know. Until they arrived on the scene, there seemed to be a lot more negotiation and a lot less mass killing. From what I gather, the Galindo Cartel is pissy because another rival cartel is honing in on their turf and the Niners are in bed with them. Per their request, Clay and Jax call in the Niners and the Galindo guys gets ready to shoot them. Clay steps back to the let the bullets fly, but Jax jumps in the middle to let the Niners speak their piece. The Niners agree to shift alliances to Galindo, call in the other cartel to "meet them" and when they arrive, Galindo and SAMCRO are waiting in ambush to take them all down.
What they didn't expect was how well armed the other cartel would be for a casual meeting with the Niners. After the other cartel leaves, Galindo gets ready to execute the Niners standing beside them. Jax jumps in between them again--he's made a promise to protect them and his fear and rage are palpable in this scene. He stands down Galindo--"This isn't Mexico!" He uses diplomacy and logic to argue that if they start shooting everyone around them, SAMCRO becomes even more endangered and they have to protect their alliances and previous agreements. It's a freaking scary scene, but Galindo agrees to let the Niners go--provided they "don't make another bad decision" (like agreeing to mule drugs for the first cartel offering them cash, in this case). This scene demonstrates how Jax really IS the crown prince of SAMCRO--it IS his destiny to take over the club, but it's also clear how he's conflicted about taking on the job. It's interesting to see BOBBY is the one getting the others to untie the Niners who are on their knees waiting for the bullets to enter the backs of their heads. Clay's off getting a cell phone that has one number on it--the phone number of the hit man the cartel has hired to kill Tara. He's such a bastard at this point. Unbelievable.
Good scene between Bobby and Jax, where Bobby kind of begs him not to leave. He tells Jax that Clay offered him the gavel. Jax confronts Clay and says he's working on an exit strategy. The cartel is a huge mistake, he's leaving sooner, not later. Clay makes a nasty remark about Tara when Jax turns to leave and Jax delivers a threat to hammer his half-dead hands so they'll never be able to hold a gavel again if he ever says anything bad about Tara. I think Clay is afraid of him at this point.
There's some stuff with the IRA and the cartel--I did not follow it at ALL.
Finally, Jax goes home to tell Tara (who is packing to leave) that he'll drive her down. Gemma and Clay have a quiet moment where she says she understands she lives with a lot of secrets. But Clay is the only truth in her life. She says she knows about Piney. She tells Clay (SHUT UP, GEMMA! SHUT UP!!!) to leave Tara alone--she's going to Oregon and won't be a problem. OF COURSE as she's walking away he's hitting speed dial on that phone. The only thing that makes this interesting is that Jax will be with her when the hit man arrives.