Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched this week’s Sons of Anarchy, stop reading now. Before the season 5 premiere, Kim Coates (Tig) told EW that because SOA creator Kurt Sutter is planning for seven seasons, the show doesn’t have to pull any punches now. “It’s just all in. We’re all in. We’re all f—ed,” Coates said. He wasn’t lying. Each episode, they’ve all been f—ed a little more, in ways we may or may not have seen coming. Tara’s always been the character we’re supposed to relate to, and her words in that final scene, as she sat shell-shocked after realizing that she could be facing an accessory to murder charge, resonated:
Jax: Babe, I’m not gonna let that happen. Okay. We’re gonna get through this like we do everything else.
Tara: [She leans in.] That’s what scares me the most. [They kiss.]
Let’s dig in.
We picked up with Jax tailing Juice. Luckily, a squad car was waiting outside Juice’s house to supposedly take him in for questioning on the nomad murders at Unser’s. Really, Eli had called him in to warn him that Jax knew he was the rat and to suggest he leave town. I knew Juice wouldn’t go as he stood there dazed. Eli asked if there was anything that he could do. “No… No,” Juice said. “I got it.” His soft voice always destroys me. Plus, “I got it” sounded an awful lot like “I got this,” which is the phrase people have said this season before they sacrifice themselves (Opie) or execute someone else (first Jax, and now Chibs in this episode). I think Juice knew then that he’d go to Jax in the morning, and if Jax killed him, so be it.
While Tara was home alone with the kids that night, stomping on a toy piano to wake up Thomas so she had someone to hold (that was uncomfortable), Jax met with Bobby and Chibs to talk about Juice. Chibs found out about the RICO case, and Jax and Bobby learned what leverage Eli had on Juice — that his father is black.
Bobby: You gotta be kidding me.
Jax: Maybe it’s time we change a few bylaws.
Jax didn’t want to expose Juice — yet. If word gets out about a rat now, after the nomad debacle, it’d spook the club’s new business partners. Jax suggested they wait. Then what, Chibs asked. “Then we bring it to the table… Let him hang himself,” Jax said.
In the morning, Tara woke Jax up with the announcement that she was going to see Otto and that Abel was playing with Juice. I love when tense scenes on Sons are played calmly rather than as a shouting match. Genuine question: Is this how men always fight with each other? It’s just women who scream? Juice explained that Eli had told him to go, but he has no friends or family, so his life would turn to s— no matter where he went. He told Jax how he was trying to save the club by cooperating with the Feds, but Jax didn’t want to hear it. He guessed that Juice had killed Miles. That’s when Juice broke down. He had a single tear falling down his face when Jax asked him if he wanted to earn a pardon. Jax said he’ll keep Juice’s betrayal from ever hitting the table (and thereby keep him alive) if Juice helps him take down Clay for orchestrating the home invasions. Juice said that Frankie had tried to tell him that Clay was behind them, that the nomads had stolen Clay’s safe and given him back his legal papers. Those papers are the proof that Jax needs, so he told Juice to find them.
Next we saw Tara, she was receiving a job offer to go work as a neonatal specialist for an all-brilliant-female practice willing to gamble on her hand’s good prognosis. “I have a hot date with some inmates,” she joked, explaining why she couldn’t take her potential boss out to lunch. (Also uncomfortable!) Jax met with Mayor Hale to pick up a Charming Heights proposal that he could take to Damon Pope — not that Hale knows that’s who Jax wants to invest. Jax can barely hide how giddy that makes him. In exchange for securing an investor, Jax made Hale promise that all the maintenance on Charming Heights’ vehicles would go to the club’s garage and that Lyla and the kids would get subsidized housing there.
At Stockton, Tara met with Otto, who’d been complaining of a headache, stiff neck, and nausea so he’d get to see her. Their conversation was immediately more civil this time. He asked if she believed in God, and said something happened to him the last time they met — he hadn’t cried the way he had with her since he was a kid. He said he’d make the RICO case go away and asked for one more thing in return: That she bring him the crucifix his mother gave him, which he’d given to religious Luann to hold until he got out of jail. He said he knows they won’t let him have it in prison, but he wanted to wear it for a few minutes. My first thought: He’s preparing to kill himself — he has nothing left, death is what he’s wanted, and that’s one way to make his testimony go away. He told her she needed to find the crucifix today because once his blood work came back, the prison would know there was nothing wrong with him. (That, too, played perfectly into Otto’s plan to set up Tara. Smart.)
Clay, meanwhile, had a meeting of his own at the prison — with Lenny, who told him that Jax knows that Otto has been talking to the Feds. Gemma reconnected with Unser, hoping he’d thought of a way to prove Clay’s involvement with the nomads. (It was one last attempt to save herself.) Nope. But at least Unser has a new place to park his Airstream (at the garage).
NEXT: “Who the hell are you?”