What starts out with good intentions leads to … well, where the road paved with good intentions often leads to. The club is running guns under the cover of a blood drive to the town of Eureka. Before takeoff, Jax tells Tara he loves her, and Tara suddenly realizes she’s arrived at the status of “old lady.” And she seems OK with it.
As the gang prepares to take off, we’re treated to the sight of Bobby’s beloved but decrepit Fat Boy bike, belching a cloud of smoke that would make Greenpeace take notice. Seems like a throwaway character detail, but it comes into play mightily later.
While they’re getting their packages to deliver — six guns per rider, packed neatly into their bedrolls — Gemma is getting a package of her own. An anonymous parcel arrives in a bag containing one of the Michael Myers-type masks worn by her attackers.
She immediately heads down to the cigar store to do … she’s not sure what. But Zobelle is there, pleasant as punch, telling her he hopes she’s not looking for the previous store, giving no sign that he knows who she is. She doesn’t say a word before backing away, only to run into A.J., instantly recognizing his throat tattoo. He also smiles politely (and scarily — is there any human being who looks more unnatural smiling than Henry Rollins?) and acts as though everything’s jake.
Gemma sits in her SUV, trying to think, only to be interrupted by a woman wanting her parking spot. Gemma does the reasonable thing and points a gun at the lady, who scurries off. That’s not the end of it, though, as Unser comes down and says the lady reported the incident, that some crazy woman wielded a weapon at her. That’s when she lets Unser know about the mask.
The ride to Eureka takes a detour as the exhaust from Bobby’s bike causes Tig to crash off the side of the road. They split up, with Bobby and Half-Sack taking Tig to the hospital and the rest of the gang continuing the run. But the hospital they go to won’t treat Tig, since it’s not in his health coverage area. Even outlaw bikers don’t stand a chance against Kaiser Permanente, I guess. As they get ready to take Tig to a different hospital, a gang of bounty hunters jump them and make off with the wounded biker.
There’s immediate dissension in the ranks as Clay wants to keep on the run, while Jax thinks they can easily push it back a few hours to go get Tig. It turns ugly pretty quickly, and Opie is able to not get them to call truce, but at least let Clay agree to rescue Tig without having Clay lose face.
Unser pays a visit to Tara to tell her he’s worried about Gemma, but instead only accomplishes to freak the hell out of Tara. He relays how he’s known Gemma since she was 12, and that she ran away when she was 16 only to return 10 years later. Sounds like someone else we know, eh?
Gemma, meanwhile, nearly makes another fateful decision, getting the drop on Weston, pointing a gun at him from afar and itching to pull the trigger. She doesn’t, though, pulling away at the last minute. Maybe because he was on the phone with his son at the time, having a surprisingly warm father-son conversation.
Tig has fun with his captors, trying to get them to tell him what he’s being picked up for, and to maybe goad them into beating him to a pulp. Apparently if they bring him in that way, they can’t collect. Never heard that one before, but sure, I’ll bite. He succeeds on both counts, and we find out Tig was busted in Oregon for assault and indecent exposure inside a livestock transport. No further details are given, but really, would you be surprised at anything?
Their prey not in deliverable condition, the bounty hunters hole up in a fleabag motel to wait for his wounds to heal before they take him back. The gang is again at each other’s throats trying to decide what to do. Clay wants to wait until dark before storming the motel, and do it with reinforcements. He and Jax even get into a shoving match before cooler heads prevail. That doesn’t last long, though, as Piney corrals a group — including Jax — to go get Tig. Right now. They hop aboard a big truck and crash it into the room, make off with Tig and are done with it.
Later, Jax and Clay steal a minute alone but it does anything but patch things up. They lay it all out, Jax saying he doesn’t know how he can get past what Clay did to Donna. Clay says he better figure out something, because if he mentions Donna to him again, he’ll kill him. Whoa.
Odds and ends:
— Half-Sack might need to get a new name soon, after he gets his neuticle implant. Yeah, I didn’t know about them either.
— Unser talks tough to Zobelle, delivering his theory that Charming chooses its own occupants, and that the wrong ones … disappear.
— Opie has a nice line, when an arthritic-ridden Clay complains that some days he can’t even get his manhood out of his pants. “That’s what prospects are for.”
— Someone finally seems to be noticing Tara’s bad decisions. The administrator at her hospital notices how she has many frequent visitors on both sides of the law. Between that and the parallels between her story and Gemma’s, maybe something is clicking.
Photo: Prashant Gupta / FX / Sons of Anarchy