Whatever else happens in my life, I can now say I’ve seen a Fat Elvis impersonator sing “Hava Nagila” at a bar mitzvah. I have this episode of Sons of Anarchy to thank for that, and I’ll always be grateful.
That glorious interlude serves to remind us that these bikers are in many ways just working stiffs trying to get by. Bobby, for instance, needs to catch up on child support, alimony, kids’ oral surgery. Clay feels for the guy, or perhaps is just wary of the idea of walking into the club and seeing Sad Elvis every day, so he tells him he should handle the books for SAMCRO’s new porn empire that it’s running with Luanne.
Gemma is unable to resume her regular life after the attack, unintentionally distancing herself from Clay, who is losing patience. Unser suggests she join a support group (out of town, of course), but Gemma isn’t warm to the idea, calling those groups just a “holy poor me circle jerk.”
Jax and Tara ride off into the countryside for some reading and writing time — he writing in his journals and she reading The Jungle — and it soon turns into one of the cheesiest scenes in the show’s history. This is aggravated, no doubt, by my overwhelming dissatisfaction with the Jax/Tara storyline to begin with. She’s already way too good for him, they both know it, and now I’m supposed to root for a guy who pulls her hand down to his crotch and tells her, “I got a porterhouse for you right here, baby.” After hearing that, I felt like Jerry walking in on George crying at the end of Home Alone: ” I dunno if I can be friends with you anymore after this display.”
Thankfully, it doesn’t go any further than that before Jax gets a call summoning him to the porn studio to cool down Luanne, who’s gone ballistic at Bobby showing up to be her new accountant.
Zobelle brings some pictures of Clay associating with the Niners, hoping to fire up Hale, who’s still not willing to bite. Undeterred, Zobelle pulls out the big guns, fronting the idea that he would bring drugs into Charming temporarily, i.e. long enough to discredit the Sons’ reputation in the town. Hale is predictably self-righteous in his response, but can’t quite dismiss it completely.
When Jax gets to the studio, he takes Luanne’s abuse but stands tall, saying it was a club decision. Luanne calms down a bit, then tells Jax to play nice with her biggest star, Ima, who has a thing for him. We know this based on Ima’s “oh no she di’int” diss of Tara on her way to the studio. She sees the doc with Jax’s bike and says, “Aren’t you supposed to be polishing that?” Oooh.
Tara. Please leave. These people don’t deserve to breathe your air. More degradation to come, however. Sigh.
Gemma has also come to the studio to defend Luanne, and she and Clay have it out, with Clay hurling a cinder block into her SUV before they start really yelling at each other. Tara knows what’s really going on, though, and comforts Gemma once she finally breaks down.
Opie and Half-Sack find a guy dealing meth in town, but before they can run him off they see the Aryan goons nearby. They bring the news to the club, and the decision is made to test where Hale’s loyalty lies. They’ll leak to him the info of where the meth is being cooked — Darby’s got a place out in the boonies — and if he acts on it, then he’s for real about all that law-and-order talk. If he sits on it, he’s in league with Zobelle. Hale bites, pays a visit to Darby, but ultimately decides to give Zobelle’s method a try. SAMCRO isn’t good with that, though, and they sneak in later and blow the place to hell.
Elsewhere, another fire needs putting out, one which explains the extent to why Luann was so upset about Bobby getting hold of her books. He uncovers the fact that she’s been running a skim on the club going on six years. He’s going to take it to the club to see what the consequences are, when Luann offers to show him what she’s famous for from her adult-movie past. Yeah, she’s Otto’s old lady, but there’s a prison clause. He’ll understand, right?
At the wrap party for the latest porn shoot, Tara completes her transformation from respected doctor to Jerry Springer skank. Gemma had told her that she needed to make an example out of trashy girls like Ima, but Tara demurred, saying her catfighting days were over. But a gal can only be pushed so far. When Ima gets in her face (yes, the b-word does get tossed about), Tara initially gets right back at her, then comes up with a different plan.
She storms off to the bathroom where Jax tries to comfort her, only to spring on him and make one of those angry-sex scenes that only happen on TV or movies. It just gets better when Ima walks in and is apparently heartbroken to see Jax isn’t solely devoted to her. Tara flashes her a triumphant smirk that shows she can be just as psycho as the next crazy chick. So, how is this teaching Jax to respect her and not encourage other women?
– The porn studio looks to be a making an adult version of Mad Men, with the Don Draper character getting a paddling, then a plugging. Got any ideas for what the title might be?
– Zobelle’s shop is named Impeccable Smokes. He slips a $150 gift certificate to Hale for the grand opening. We also learn that Zobelle’s wife was killed in a drive-by, which set him on his current hateful road.
– Bobby’s old man was a mob accountant. Who knew?
– Another new term, via Luanne: Anal Rain Dance. That’s either an odd sexual maneuver or the name of a really lousy band.
Photo: Prashant Gupta/FX