'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Jax smells a rat (and other developments that make us uncomfortable)

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• Jax knows Juice is the rat: With Chibs reunited with the club, the search for Frankie Diamonds was officially on this episode. He was in South Tahoe after buying himself mob protection from Leo Pirelli’s crew with the money he’d taken from Nero. Jax took Frankie’s fate to the club. They’d press him on the attacks, then, as per the unanimous vote, Frankie would meet Mr. Mayhem. Jax reminded Bobby that they can’t actually kill Frankie because of their deal with Eli: They give him Frankie for Rita’s murder, and Eli gives them the rat at their table. So Jax said once they find Frankie, he’d insist on pulling the trigger himself. He and Bobby would splinter off to do it and take Frankie somewhere where Eli could intercept him. Bobby thought that was a lot of moves; we knew Clay would never let them happen.

Clay had payed for his own private intel and got a call that Frankie was in a cabin. Conveniently, Clay’s hands had started hurting him, so Jax had just suggested that he pass off his ride and jump in the van with Juice. Juice wanted to call Jax with the new information, since the rest of the club was headed to a poker club to press Leo Pirelli for Frankie’s whereabouts. But Clay told Juice they’d check it out first to make sure the tip was accurate. Reluctantly, Juice agreed.

At the poker club, a fight broke out almost immediately between SAMCRO and Pirelli’s crew. “Somebody sneezes, you throw a fist? How do you get any business done?” Pirelli asked. Jax played Pirelli well: he told him Frankie had stolen $500,000 from the club and its associates (instead of the $130,000+ he really took) and was using it to bankroll his exit. With the threat of the cartel and IRA coming knocking if Jax didn’t get his man, Jax suggested Pirelli keep the cash and just give them Frankie. Of course, Pirelli knew Frankie had offered them much less than half a million, so Pirelli was open to the trade — especially if Frankie was holding out on them. The guy watching Frankie at the cabin told Frankie they thought he was cheating them and that the club was coming for him. Stupid. Frankie shot and killed him. Juice and Clay showed up just as Frankie was fleeing.

Juice fired some shots, and Clay sent the van careening into the cabin. Explosion! Frankie told Juice the truth about Clay’s involvement in the home invasions. Then Clay came in with a shotgun. Jax and Pirelli got there in time to stop Clay from shooting him, but seeing his man killed, Pirelli took Frankie out himself. Pirelli told Jax if SAMCRO covers the damage to the club and cabin, they’d call it even. Only problem: They don’t have Frankie to make the case against Clay or trade with Eli. Bobby told Jax if they go to the club with just Frankie’s story, Jax will look vindictive and weak and Clay will stay put. They need evidence (which is why Gemma is now key). Clay found Bobby in the clubhouse and asked him if there was anything he should know. Bobby asked him the same question. I’m not sure why Bobby brought up Clay setting the nomads in motion. Maybe he figured Clay wasn’t dumb enough to think Jax would let this go.

Bobby: I really hope you’re as smart as you think you are. I am tired of burnin’ friends.

Clay: Me too.

Later, Jax played “weekend at Frankie’s,” in Bobby’s words, and delivered Frankie to Eli in the dark of the night. Eli wasn’t happy that Frankie was dead, obviously, and tried to use that as an out on his deal with Jax because he didn’t want to name the rat and be responsible for another death. But Jax told him he already knew who it was. There was only one person who made sense, the guy who tried to hang himself. Eli tried to tell Jax that Juice had no choice, but Jax said we always have a choice. “So what happens to him now?” Eli asked. Jax didn’t answer. He just reloaded the gun that Eli had emptied for him at the start of their meeting. How many of us yelled, “Nooooo!” at our TVs? Cut to Gemma showing up at Clay’s house with those shots and Juice excusing himself. He rode away from Clay’s with Jax tailing him in the SUV. Will Jax kill Juice? I don’t think so. I bet he uses Juice to get information on Clay, since he knows that Clay trusts Juice and that Juice felt guilty enough about betraying the club once before to try to kill himself. Still, that’s a good cliffhanger. We feel protective of fragile Juice. We’ll worry about him all week and look forward to seeing those tears in his eyes as he explains himself to Jax — assuming Jax gives him the chance.

NEXT: Tara and Otto do what?

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