This episode is called “The Mad King” by the end of it, you understand why. There’s no shortage of twists and trials as Samcro is unceremoniously expelled from their beloved clubhouse in fire and wrath. The ramp up to full retaliation has officially begun with the Sons and hell naturally follows with engines roaring loudly.
Jax and crew corner Gaalan’s man Connor and Jax tries to negotiate an amicable offer to The Kings brought by August regarding the gun trade. Clay is offered a chance to resume his original plan in Belfast and Wendy is having second thoughts on continuing with Tara’s plan. Meanwhile, Barosky begins to understand what kind of heat is landing on his doorstep in Stockton while the DA enlists Eli’s help in her plan to bring down the Sons and the Biz Lats. All signs point to chaos. Let’s do this.
Jax and crew are watching for areas the Irish may be at or go to. Jax and Happy spot a pair of Irish men enter the back of an import shop and Jax corners one of them into giving the location of Gaalan but has to settle for a pick up meeting with Connor at a beverage supply warehouse.
The DA visits Eli at the station and reiterates her plan for someone to take the fall for the church murders. Eli is waiting for the DNA results based on the evidence in Nero’s vehicle. She tells Eli to look into Nero’s friends while she goes to question Tara, thinking she’ll know something they can use.
At the clubhouse Tara tells Jax that she doesn’t trust Gemma and is going to her old office at the hospital to talk to her lawyer. Jax sends Rat to go with her and leaves with Nero to visit Collette’s. Eli follows them.
Jax tells Nero about the Irish situation and says Nero’s escort pad is still his priority and that the Irish wouldn’t have killed his escort. Nero wants disclosure and that he’s a part of their “other” business whether they like it or not. Jax agrees to keep him informed as need be.
After Jax and Nero arrive at Collette’s, Barosky catches Eli surveying. He comments that he can tell the local sheriff about Eli’s involvement in Stockton territory and Eli leaves. Barosky tells Jax and Nero about Eli and is heated about it. Nero calms him down by offering to show him and Collette his escort pad.
At the clubhouse, Wayne offers to help Tara with her situation but needs to know the details with what he saw regarding Wendy and the lawyer. Tara thinks about it.
Jax and crew arrive at the beverage warehouse and spot Connor, who sees them and makes a run for it with two other men. One of them escapes while the other is killed. Connor is cornered inside the warehouse and subdued by Jax. Tig finds the guns Gaalan stole from Samcro’s warehouse but Jax says to leave them as a peace offering. Tig wants to enlist Bobby for help, but Jax says to find the San Bernardino crew if they are still in town for help.
In prison, Clay is back in gen pop and receives a book from an Irish inmate. Clay finds a note in the book and reads it.
Jax convinces Connor to give him intel on Gaalan and uses Connor’s phone to call The Kings. They answer and Jax explains the situation and that Gaalan is undermining them while only choosing to work with Clay. He extends August’s deal to trade guns and The Kings say they don’t like dealing in drugs. Jax says August will triple their business and the Kings offer to discuss the matter internally. Gaalan, however, is in the room with the King’s and explains that August will only deal until his network is setup and then dump them. When they ask about Clay, Gaalan informs them that he’s planning on an escape plan.
Gemma goes to see Wendy, who has to pretend she’s still bruised by wearing a scarf. Gemma explains the lockdown with Samcro and that she thinks the problem with the Irish will cause Tara to expedite her plan to leave with the kids. She asks Wendy to get a copy of Tara’s will to prove to Jax what she intends to do with the kids. Wendy pretends to agree and Gemma gives her pictures of Abel to have and adds that she’s good for Jax.
Back at the clubhouse, Juice tells Jax Clay’s lawyer set up a conjugal visit between Gemma and Clay that’s scheduled that day and to have Gemma bring 500 for the visit. They realize Clay has to tell them something.
Nero visits Eli about the surveillance and Eli dances around his intentions and that Samcro is connected to the church shooting and that the DNA results on Nero’s car will arrive in a few hours. Nero mocks Eli with his whereabouts for that day.
At the hospital, Ellie informs Tara that Toric’s murder by Otto hurts their chances at the hearing because it looks like an organized move by Samcro. Wendy bursts in and talks to Tara alone. She having issues continuing to lie to Gemma and everyone and Tara reminds her that it’s for their children’s safety. Tara knows she’s going back to prison and wants them to be taken care of. Wendy agrees to continue as long as Tara sets up a time when Wendy can see Abel. Tara agrees.
Gemma arrives at the prison and visits Clay in the conjugal room. Gemma mentions the deaths of V-Lin and Phil and Clay tells her the plans Gaalan is making with springing him loose while he’s being transferred to his hearing. He is then going to Belfast to build a new crew to run point with the gun trade and he knows the Irish won’t deal with August. He tells Gemma find out what Jax wants him to do. When Gemma goes to leave, both guards enter and tell Gemma that the conjugal visit needs to conclude with actual sex between she and Clay. They intend to watch and threatens that if they don’t, one of the guards will rape her. They beat Clay until Gemma relents. The guards watch while Clay whispers an apology.
Afterward, Clay vows to kill both guards but Gemma warns him not to because Jax needs him. As she leaves, the lead guard tells her that if she mentions the act to anyone they’ll kill Clay.
At Nero’s escort house, Barosky complains about the DA’s heat coming back on him and Jax persuades him to let their deal with Collette stand and that they’ll pull out of Stockton if they have to. Barosky agrees but further instills that nothing is to come back on him.
When Gemma returns with Chibs, he physically corners Jax and angrily chastises him with the offer Jax gave The Kings about August. Chibs knows The Irish won’t make that deal. Jax calls The Kings who inform him that they’re close to a decision about Jax’s offer and to have everyone at the table to vote on their conditions, should they agree to follow through.
Gemma seemingly tells Nero about her incident with Clay and the guards.
Eli gets the DNA results back and goes to collect Nero at the clubhouse.
Everyone is gathered back at the clubhouse. Tara leaves Abel in a room to sleep as Nero arrives to drop Gemma off. She asks him not to mention what she said to Jax. Meanwhile, Jax is about to get everyone situated in the meeting room for the call when they notice the police arrive. He then spots a green pen with shamrocks on the table and asks Chucky where it came from. Chucky said the delivery man who brought the keg they’ve been drinking from left it. The crew realize the keg is a bomb left by The Kings and quickly evacuate the clubhouse. Jax runs to grab Abel and escapes just as the entire building explodes. Samcro watches the aftermath in shock.
Samcro lost their beloved home which can only mean one thing: Everyone’s a Nomad now! Kidding. It means The Irish have dealt their cards and payback will be coming in spades. Somehow, Clay is needed now more than ever to help bring down The Kings from the inside. Will Clay be free from prison in the coming episodes to help Jax? I’d like to think this will happen. I’m all for Clay proving his worth to Samcro. He may be broken, but he’s got a legacy to keep whole and unless he’s duping the audience, he’s genuinely concerned about the fate of his former charter.
If August’s deal doesn’t go through, you can expect double coverage of retaliation which may include another hit on Tig’s life. There’s subtlety that can blowback on Tig if he’s not careful and we all know how bad he can react when his back it against the wall. Unless Jax can swing August to his corner, it’ll be a fight on two fronts soon coming.
Part of me is starting to get super dizzy with Wendy’s allegiance and Tara’s plan with her “exit strategy” Ultimately I’m certain Wendy is on Tara’s side, but I can’t help but feel in a way that she’s playing both sides until she knows for sure who’s going to come out ontop. Either way she’ll get the kids, just that in one outcome, Gemma is right there with her. And Wendy should know just how dangerous and manipulative she can be. The pictures of Abel and the mention of family may pull Wendy in ways she’s not prepared for. It’s tough to know where she’ll fall. I feel Wayne truly wants to help Tara which could her only ace if Wendy falls through.
One subtle move that caught my eye was when Nero went to see Eli at the station and Eli unbutton the strap on his gun. That seemed like such a super cautious move considering that it was in his office in a police station. It does show how Eli sees the situation and that he’s not blindly trusting anything no matter his comfort zone. His arrival at the clubhouse just as it exploded should help distort the situation plenty. Odds are he’ll still bring in Nero.
DA Patterson didn’t speak to Tara yet, so I can imagine that will happen very soon. The explosion could be exactly what Tara needs to finally be pushed into complete submission, however I hope she can hold out at least until Jax understands the situation.
I was a bit mortified that Gemma and Clay were forced to perform for the guard’s amusement. It’s an example of perverse power being exercised and there is no way Clay is going to sit back and let them get away with it. I feel bad Clay and Gemma even though they’ve done some heinous things…like plan JT’s death. Still, that wasn’t right.
Overall, the events culminating into an explosive finale was just what SOA needs to continue building on his foundation of real mayhem. Charming continues to suffer through these brutal acts and it’s only bound to get worse before this seasons end. I like where the tension is going and it feels pretty well paced. It can only mean the escalation of violence will try and outdo the previous episode until Jax is swimming in blood. He’s been relatively steady with his aim on the charter, even with Chibs forever on his back. His loyalty continues to keep him on a straighter path and this explosion can only bring the crew closer together, Clay included.
Now Bobby just needs to show up with the Nomads to save the day. Let’s get him back on this program already!
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