This week’s episode of Sons of Anarchy is full of great moments. Yes, it took a couple of weeks to get there but it was worth the wait. By the end of the episode, lines have been clearly drawn. Clay‘s desire to take SAMCRO into the drug business has tested the limits of both personal and professional/brotherly relationships. Most of all, it appears there could be the beginning of a rift between Clay (Ron Perlman) and Gemma (Katey Sagal) that might not heal.
Clay plays every angle he can, from sweet-talking Tara (Maggie Siff), who doesn’t believe him when he tells her raising Jax is the best thing that ever happened to him and he’s pleased she’s marrying into the family, to telling Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) he will be President after he leaves the club no matter how he votes, to killing (we’ll get to that shortly). While we have seen Gemma excessively manipulative, I feel like this is Clay’s worst side yet. Because even though he’s done a lot of bad things, he hasn’t seemed like such a bad guy at points, but this week something in Clay switches off. First we watch him smother the guy on the Indian Reservation who has been unlucky enough to get chosen as the receipt of slow-death by flesh-eating ants. Clay’s really done him a favor by suffocating him as the dying man was eavesdropping on Clay’s and Bobby’s conversation to screw their ammunitions contact out of the profits for running drugs for the Mexican cartel.
Gemma’s obsession with Tara’s knowledge about Maureen’s letters drives her back to Tara’s office to snoop. She gets caught by Tara’s boss, who later lets Tara know. When Gemma returns, she decides on the direct approach, telling Tara some version of the truth about her early relationship with Jax’s dad, in hopes of keeping Tara on her side. By the end of this episode, it is fairly obvious sides are drawn, maybe only along club lines now, but after Piney informs Gemma they are running drugs for the Mexican cartel, things are going to change. At least I believe they are since Gemma calls it “their club” to Clay to which he informs her she isn’t a part of it. Probably not the best idea since it was Gemma who is really the heart of the club. When Clay pushes her out of the way at the end of the episode and tells her to stay out of it, I am guessing something will turn in Gemma because Clay has shown where his true loyalties lie, not with Gemma or the club, but with himself.
Sheriff Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) pulls Juice (Theo Rossi) in for a talk. He informs him that law enforcement knows that Juice’s father is black (which would mean ex-communication from the club, or whatever you might call it) and possible death. Roosevelt offers for Juice to meet his father if Juice, uh, does a few favors for them. Looks like Juice doesn’t have much of a choice.
Finally, Jax is looking more like a true leader for the club when he must fix Kozik’s (Kenny Johnson) screw-up, allowing their truck with a crate of the Russian’s guns heading for the Mexican cartel to get jacked. Jax and the crew track down the missing guns to a fence, Vivica (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) who is slightly reminiscent of the Weeds mother/dealer, Heylia James (Tonye Patano), who Jax later says would give Gemma a run for her money when the mom/fence discovers her sons went behind her back and bought the guns. They should bring her character in a bit more, it added not only a little comic relief but another layer of complicated morality to the show.