Once Jax and Tig got to the location, in the middle of nowhere, I paused to pick up a pillow to hold, and Tig didn’t see any kennels or pens. It was too quiet. Tig turned around, and Jax had his gun pointed at him. He made Tig give him his gun and knife. As Tig demanded to know what was happening, Pope pulled up. “Sorry, man,” Jax said, coldly. Pope had Jax’s gun taken, too, as a precaution. Jax made sure that Pope gave him the contract that Auggie had drawn up. They’d sent one to Hale’s lawyer as well. Jax suggested Pope take care of Tig inside the garage because he’d spotted hikers and sound travels out there. That’s the first moment I believed Jax might have a plan to save Tig. Jax told them he’d need Tig’s cut, and they stripped it off of him. “It all comes around, Tiggy,” Jax said. And Tig spit at him. Pope and two of his men led Tig inside. Jax took the cut to his bike and pulled out the wrapped gun that Juice had placed at the start of the episode. He shot the guy doing a crappy job watching him in the head and ran inside. Jax shot one henchman, and then the other. Tig, who had his hands tied, shoved Pope so he fell to the ground and dropped his gun. Jax cut Tig free and handed him his gun so he could kill the man who burned his daughter Dawn alive. Pope tried to remind Jax that he knows what happens to whomever kills him. “I’m countin’ on it,” Jax said, with a big grin. Then Tig fired two shots into Pope’s head. Whoever is in charge of splatter earned their money this episode. Jax put his hand on Tig’s shoulder, and Tig was understandably jumpy and pushed Jax away. Jax apologized — he couldn’t tip Tig off because Pope would have picked up on it. Tig pointed out that Pope could’ve killed him right away. But he didn’t, Jax said. “That’s Clay’s gun,” Tig said, as Jax went to grab it back. “Yeah, it is. Is that gonna be a problem for you?” Jax asked. Tig shook his head no and cried as Jax held him and told him it was over.
Someone called in the tip to the cops and said Eli would want to find the body. Once there, Eli got a call from Jax, who pointed him to a vent halfway up the hill and said “You’re welcome.” Presumably, that’s where “Clay” dumped the murder weapon. And yes, Eli found it.
Back at the hospital, the lawyer told Tara about Otto’s self-inflicted plan to stay silent. It was gruesome but good news: Anything they could charge her with without his testimony is only a misdemeanor. The lawyer then gave Tara the papers she’d drawn up: life insurance, guardianship of the boys, documents for both Jax’s house and her dad’s home. Tara didn’t want to read them, she just wanted to sign. The lawyer told her they weren’t binding until Jax signed them and they were notarized. (So you knew that wasn’t going to happen, right?)
Over at Clay’s, Clay told Juicey that he’d miss him most of all. Ah. He knew Juice had found the legal documents, and understood that Jax had pressured him and forgave him for it — he told Juice to forgive himself. As they hugged, Juice got teary-eyed and told Clay he needed to take his bike and leave now — but it was too late. A knock at the door. It was Eli and his second in command, whose name I should really learn at this point. They had the gun used to kill Pope and three of his associates. They asked Clay where he was all day. He said at the house, which Gemma could confirm. Should have gone with Juicey, Clay. He’d have broken. But not Gemma. She said Clay had left for a few hours and took the gun with him. She said he told her that he had to settle up some accounts before he left. Clay just closed his eyes and shook his head. “I didn’t think he’d kill anyone,” Gemma said. And then Clay’s eyes were wide open — shocked, angry, hurt, lost, everything at once. Bravo, Ron Perlman. And because we were at least a bit anti-Gemma at this point, we could allow ourselves to feel for Clay. He was arrested, and Eli told Gemma she’d need to come down and give a formal statement. Gemma exhaled. Juice crouched. Are they gonna have to kill Juice to keep him quiet? He’s the weak link.
Back at Charming Heights, Jax waited as Auggie got the call confirming that police reports say Clay’s prints are on the weapon. I’m so happy Auggie wasn’t killed! Truth: He was my favorite part of the Pope story. He has an energy that’s similar to Jax’s, and he can wear a suit. Auggie had questions, and Jax had answers: He explained how Clay could’ve followed him to the Heights, then Pope to the meeting spot. He said he and Tig bailed when they got there and saw all the cars, because Jax didn’t want to spook Tig. Auggie knew it all fit together so nicely and wondered if Jax had set it up. Jax said Auggie gives him way too much credit — “I ain’t Pope, I’m just a mechanic lookin’ out for my family.” Auggie said they’d be looking into Pope’s death, and if the police are wrong, they’d probably retaliate against more than one man. Jax said if it was any consolation, he was looking forward to working with Auggie. They shook hands. As Jax left, Auggie put the bounty on Clay. He said he wanted him dead before his hearing. My question: Will Auggie still want Tig killed, since that was part of Pope’s agreement with Jax?
Back at T-M, Jax told Juice he was proud of him and kissed him on the head. Tig was there loving on the dog (I wonder what he named her) and told Jax she was going to be just fine. (This was one girl he could save.) Jax sat at the head of the table by himself, and Bobby came in. He said he knew what Jax had done to Clay — but not because Tig and Juice told him. Jax said he’d kept his word to Bobby and the club and hadn’t touched Clay. “It wasn’t about being smart enough to hurt him, it was about being smart enough NOT to hurt him,” Bobby said. “You had a chance to be different.” “Maybe I’m not so different,” Jax said. Again, that’s what this whole season was about. Jax turning into Clay, even using Tig to pull the trigger for him.
Gemma told Nero what happened. She’s ready to be with him. He wasn’t sure he could give her what she needs right now. “And what is it you think I need? Love? Only men need to be loved, sweetheart. Women need to be wanted,” Gemma said. He told her his life is about to get very messy. “I know messy. It’s what I do best,” she said. And they kissed. Lyla interrupted them to tell them Jax was there. Nero and Gemma must be officially together because he used the bird names she suggested earlier in the episode: “You should look after Carl and Carla,” Nero said. “They want you.”
That scene between Jax and Nero is also what we’ve been building toward all season. Nero wanted to give him the club’s half of Dante’s haul, but Jax wanted to give it back to Nero as payment toward what he owes Nero for saving Wendy from Galen. Jax told Nero he needs to buy that farm and get out, and Jax will help his cousin keep the crew whole. Nero said he’d make Jax a deal — if Jax walks away now that his business is handled with the cartel and Feds, he’ll walk away, too. “Have a good night,” Jax said. I took that as a no.
Jax went home and found the legal documents on the table. I was glad Tara was holding Thomas — I didn’t really think Jax would have grabbed her, but why risk it. He wanted to know why Wendy was listed as the guardian. Tara told him she was the best choice, and he shouldn’t have attacked Wendy. “Is that what this is? You’re trying to teach me some kind of lesson?” Jax said. Tara put Thomas down and explained that she used to think she’d be betraying him if she wasn’t loyal to the club and Charming. But now she knows that being his old lady means being strong in moments when and where he can’t be. So she took the job in Oregon, and it starts in two weeks. The boys are coming with her, she said. “If you love them, and if you love me, you will follow us up there.” She said they both know if they stay in Charming, they’ll end up like the two people they hate most and the boys will be destined to relive all of their mistakes. There was a knock at the door. It was Eli. Jax thought he was there to talk about Clay. But no. He was there to arrest Tara for conspiracy to commit murder. On cue, Thomas started crying.
“No,” Tara said. “He’s crying.” Tara’s mind couldn’t comprehend the moment — how she could be led away from someone who needs her that badly. She broke down in tears, shaking. She looked at Jax. Then, she went numb (or steeled up, depending how you want to look at it) as she walked out and told Jax to call the lawyer. Maggie Siff is the unsung hero of this show. It felt like we were the ones being punished for daring to live in this outlaw world.
As the episode came to a close, we saw how unraveled this world had come: Bobby cut off his Vice President patch and left it on the table. (Good for him for sticking to his guns.) Tig had the dog on his lap and was doting on her — that was our only happy ending. Nero once again had to sleep with a weapon on his nightstand. Clay was being transported to prison, where he’ll be a sitting duck. Tara was in a cop car, looking out at Gemma walking by. I assume she gave her statement on Clay and Tara, when she went to the station. (Maybe she did it for herself, maybe she did it because she heard Jax tell Nero he wasn’t getting out, so she thinks she’s doing it for him, so he can stay in Charming with his boys.) And then Gemma walked into Jax’s house, where he was sitting at the table holding Abel by the legal documents, which were now torn in half. She put her hand on Jax’s shoulder, and he reached for it. “I’m here, baby,” she said. He needs her now, and Gemma is the Queen again.
Your turn. What did you think of the episode? Do you like how it sets us up for season 6? Will Clay die in prison, or will he somehow get out? (If they can prove Gemma was lying about Tara telling her she was going to have Otto kill the nurse, wouldn’t the authorities have to question her story about Clay, too?) Do you want Lee Toric to stick around? I assume Jax will do whatever he needs to do to get Tara out, but if he doesn’t, I’d be fine with Toric having a go at him. And wait, was it Toric — not Gemma — who somehow got the police to arrest Tara, hoping they could get her to turn on Jax and the club to save herself? That sounds like Lincoln Potter’s M.O. — could he be back next season working with Toric to take down SAMCRO now that the Romeo/Luis c—block has been removed? Imagine Potter and Toric in a room together… Perfect, or more like Justified than SOA?
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