I love it when TV teaches me something new. You know, like the title of tonight’s Sons of Anarchy. I wasn’t exactly sure what “ablation” meant, but it doesn’t sound real positive, does it? Turns out it essentially means the removal of something harmful to the body via surgery. Hmm, yeah, this could get ugly.
So, just to get it out of the way, the kids are OK. Poor Abel has to undergo a bit of surgery but hey, after what that kid’s been through already, he shouldn’t be too worse for wear. But the real suspense is with Gemma. Was she high or just sleepy when she ran the vehicle off the road? Well, we’re not exactly sure for a while (although we have our suspicions) because Clay steps in and makes up a story that Gemma was run off the road by the same crew that went after Jax and Chibs. When Gemma doesn’t correct him, seeing Jax’s face go from murderous to sympathetic in an instant, we pretty much have our answer.
Gemma comes clean to Nero, admitting she was high while driving, but didn’t think much of it because, as she says, “I drive high all the time.” Wow, OK. Nero tries to assure her until she also reveals that she lied to Jax and Tara. Nero tells her she has to be honest, because it will come back to bite her in the ass. I tell ya, not many characters on this show seem to be right about everything all the time, but Nero sure has a pretty good track record up to this point.
But there’s club business going on outside the hospital, too. In order to find out who tried to kill him, Jax lops off the hands of the dead shooter, sending one to Unser for a print ID, and the other to Pope, to see if Pope tries to lie about who it is. If he does, then Jax knows Pope was behind the hit. Unser comes through, giving a name and the guy’s lack of prison affiliation. He also lets Jax know, “Hey, next time a few fingerprints on a glass will suffice.” Pope figures out what’s going on, too, and warns Jax not to test him again. But he’s understanding that Jax is under a lot of stress, and gives him the location of the shooter’s brother-in-law.
Jax and crew head over to the brother-in-law’s address and a shootout ensues, ending with a rooftop confrontation where the guy admits to being the other shooter, but denies going after Gemma and the boys. He also reveals that it was the missing Nomad, Frankie Diamonds, who hired him. The guy begs for his life, but Jax mercilessly puts a couple slugs in his gut and lets him fall over the side of the building. What’s more disturbing is the self-satisfied smirk Jax barely tries to conceal as he walks away. This shit isn’t even bothering him anymore.
As for Clay, other than lying for Gemma, his other schemes include squeezing Juice (see what I did there?) to reveal why Eli is so interested in him. Juice, who’s just been looking for an excuse to unburden himself, lets Clay in on the fact that Juice’s father is black, and that Eli was trying to use that info as leverage to get him to turn and help with the RICO investigation. Clay doesn’t seem all that concerned about Juice’s paterfamilias trouble, and aptly recognizes this as an opportunity to put Juice forever in his corner. He confesses to Juice that he killed the Nomads, or at least sent them to their deaths over at Unser’s. They’re now bound together, and let no man tear them apart.
Clay also believes his little collusion with Gemma is a sign that he’s back in her life. He’s emboldened enough to tell Nero to lay off, under penalty of death. Nero seems more amused than anything, firing off the quip that he doesn’t make mistakes, “like you do.”
Trouble gets accelerated when Jax, Boone and Chibs head to the escort/brothel and find Nero tied to a chair and Frankie Diamonds with a gun in Lyla’s mouth. He shakes them all down for $200,000, which Nero volunteers to provide. Jax tells Frankie this isn’t going to end well for him, and lays into him for attacking Gemma. Frankie denies it, but does confirm that it was indeed Clay who put the Nomads in motion to try and undermine Jax’s rule. Frankie tells Chibs to come with him as he drives away and, just to keep everybody occupied, puts a bullet in Lyla’s leg.
She’ll be all right. There’s a doctor on the way who’s a trusted client. But it’s unsure if Jax and Nero’s relationship will be all right. Nero is understandably pissed about getting brought back into the club’s violent conflicts, and also about the way Jax is treating Gemma. He goes ahead and tells Jax that Gemma was stoned while she was driving with the boys, and that she went with the lie to protect her relationship with Jax. Their discussion gets heated and Jax tells Nero if he wants to be with Gemma, fine, she’s his problem now.
So Jax heads to the hospital where Gemma is taking advantage of being able to still hold little Thomas, and he forces her to admit the truth to Tara. Tara barely lets Gemma finish her sentence before punching her in the face, and telling her never to contact her or the boys again.
Jax also squeezes in a quick visit with Eli, who wants to deal out his own justice to Frankie Diamonds and whoever else had a hand in his wife’s death. In exchange he’ll give him “the rat at your table,” intimating that someone else in SAMCRO is helping with the RICO case.
When Frankie gets to where he wants to be he struggles with the idea of actually executing Chibs — who remains defiant even when it looks pretty damn grim — and instead just knocks him out with the handle of the gun. Not too worried about Chibs, though. Yeah, there’s a pool of blood gathering around him, but we’ve seen him survive worse.
So while Gemma’s goose looks pretty charred toward the end of the episode, she receives an unlikely, if unappetizing, olive branch. Jax comes to her and says the only way to repair the damage she’s caused is to let Clay back into her life. She needs to make him feel comfortable enough to start spilling his secrets and giving Jax the smoking gun he needs to have the club vote on taking him out. Gemma, who swears she’s gone cold turkey on the drugs and booze, is troubled by the idea, but Jax coldly states that if she refuses, she best get used to living in a brothel and having only bangers and hookers to call family. Harsh, but not at all undeserved.
Finally, Jax seems to have caught on that it’s more effective to not let the person you know is trying to kill you know that you know they’re trying to kill you. Ugh, took long enough. But he can’t resist letting Clay know that his little ruse with Gemma didn’t work. But even that’s part of his scheme, as he encourages Clay to comfort Gemma, since he’s now all she’s got. Clever boy, as Chibs would say.
Photo: Credit: Prashant Gupta