It felt a little odd that Jax would choose now to resume his vendetta against the men who killed Opie, but the prospects has found one. SAMCRO went to a club to find Randall Hightower, the largest of the four guys who’d beaten Opie. Instead, they found T.O. and the Grim Bastards. Slight problem: Hightower had hired the Grim Bastards to protect him, and oh yeah, he’s T.O.’s cousin. T.O. said he hadn’t known who Randall was running from, but he couldn’t turn on family. Randall came out shooting, and a foot chase ensued. How badass did Jax look walking out into the middle of the street and firing at Hightower’s oncoming SUV? Chibs had to pull him back. Then Chibs kept firing as Hightower sped off. Jax was pissed at T.O., but Bobby told Jax not to ruin the 20 years of peace between the clubs. Jax agreed to compromise: He said he’d beat Hightower but let him live, if T.O. arranges a meeting so Hightower can give Jax the names of the other three guys who beat Opie.
Clay was now off trying to cut a deal with Romeo and Luis. Clay’s smarter than I gave him credit for. He figured out that Romeo and Luis must be Feds holding the RICO case over Jax so he’d let Clay live and keep the guns running to the cartel. Clay told them he figures Jax is trying to squash the case so both Clay and the guns go away. Clay said he wants protection, and he and Galen will keep the cartel in business with the Irish once the club bails. Romeo and Luis said they need the club, so if it comes to that, they’ll take out Jax so Clay gets his chair back. To his credit, Clay said he wouldn’t make that deal. But Romeo said he would.
Now that Jax’s life was freshly endangered, it was time to remind us that Tig is a marked man as well. Jax presented Pope the Charming Heights proposal, and Pope seemed not only interested but also proud that Jax was thinking beyond the street (like him). Jax’s smile seemed less genuine than it did with Hale, but he was selling it. Pope said there’s only one thing standing in the way of their beautiful new friendship: Tig being alive. Jax said he still needs him to help bring Clay down, but once that’s done, he’s all Pope’s. It’d happen soon, Jax promised. “If not, I intervene, and that’s bad for everyone,” Pope said. As another good faith gesture, Pope told Jax where to find Randall — at the boatyard. Man, Pope has balls selling out all these guys that carried out his orders.
The Grim Bastards also showed up at the boatyard — on their own — and Jax promised again that he wouldn’t kill Hightower. Jax had sunglasses on, which made me think he was lying. We never see him in sunglasses making deals. When they caught up with Hightower, T.O. convinced his cousin to put down his gun. Hightower gave the names — Aldo Smith, Fox, and Mace — and said that’s all he knows. Jax looked at Chibs, who was standing behind Hightower. “I got this,” Chibs said. Jax nodded. Chibs shot Hightower in the back of head, then two more times after he fell. Guns were raised everywhere as T.O. and Bobby tried to process what Jax had done. The way Jax rationalized it, T.O. hadn’t delivered his cousin, so Jax didn’t need to keep his word either. The blood splatter on Chibs’ face or the look of horror on Bobby’s face — which was tougher to see? I believe Bobby was thinking what T.O. said: “Who the hell are you?” Jax didn’t answer.
Later, Bobby told Jax what he’d done was wrong because it ended two decades of brotherhood and hurts all of the guys. But Jax told Bobby he wasn’t there when Opie died — he hadn’t seen how much Hightower had enjoyed it. Alone with Jax, Chibs told Jax he’d done what he had to do. ”Things are gonna get bloody, brother. I’m not sure if Bobby’s gonna be able to roll with it,” Jax said. He wanted to know he has Chibs in his corner. “I’ve always been there, and I always will,” Chibs said, angry that Jax even had to ask. “Come here. I love you, kid. You understand.” That’s the juxtaposition that makes this show powerful — Chibs had just had a man’s blood on his cheek, and now he’s kissing Jax’s cheek. And you believe it.
NEXT: “No… Not here,” she said. “Let’s go home.”