(UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE REVIEW)
This episode hurt. I’ve witnessed some intricate plans come to fruition but the latest act on this episode “Sweet and Vaded” had me cringing with portents of the worst fall-out this show will come to see and no amount of Irish retaliation will likely compare. Explosions, firefights, shootouts, hell, even skydiving with dynamite as your parachute is safer than what’s to come if and when Jax finds out what Tara has done to ensure her children’s safety from the MC.
Not withstanding the crushing moment that forced Tara’s hand, the bulk of the episode treated the viewers with a wrap up of Walter Goggins’s huge-chested alter ego to Cletus, Miss Venus Van Damme and her quest to liberate a family member from the clutches of a quite dastardly and sinister mother.
There’s genius tip offs in this episode that unexpectedly give warning as to what’s to come, both in this episode and in the series. I’ll speak to those moments after the recap. Here we go.
Samcro shift as many working pieces of their clubhouse, including their reaper desk, to a new location, an empty sweet-shop. Jacob Hale lets them know that after his term is up, Samcro’s tenure in Charming may be short lived. Even though August is still on board with Pope Enterprises, construction is at least six months off, forcing the Sons to try and generate income by any legit means and somehow make good with the community.
The plan is sidelined when Nero convinces Gemma to ask Jax for help with getting Joey, Venus’s nephew, away from her diabolical mother, Alice. Jax agrees and takes the Sons to Alice’s house. A fight breaks out and Alice takes Joey away in a vehicle. The Sons pursue, but Alice gets away. Venus reveals that Joey is actually his son, but Joey doesn’t know.
Jax enlists Barosky’s help to finding an address that Alice is at. They find Joey inside a suite where Alice and her cohorts make illegal movies. Alice eventually returns and Venus grabs a gun, threatening to shoot her. Alice chastises Venus with the how he changed and verbally lashes out until Jax decides to kill Alice himself. Barosky offers to clean the mess up and dispose of the body. Venus is thankful that she is now free but won’t tell Joey the truth until she’s ready.
Meanwhile, Barosky was earlier contacted by Patterson and Eli, who tell him to help find leverage against the Sons for she’ll make it difficult for Barosky to enjoy his retirement. Patterson also gave Nero twenty-four hours to choose to testify against the Sons saying they sold the KG9 gun to him in exchange for dropped charges.
Jax releases Connor to be returned to the kings. He tells Connor to tell Gaalan that if the gun trade with Clay falls through that August is still willing to distribute for them. August shows up and hears Jax’s tale of the Irish hit on their club. He understands the situation and hopes Jax comes through with a deal in time.
Tara is at the hospital putting blood into a bloodbag as Margaret comes in and helps with keeping her focused on their plan. Tara is later told by her lawyer that the court will only rule against Gemma being a capable guardian if Jax also signs against her. Tara has Wayne procure a retraining order but doesn’t say who it’s for.
Wendy later convinces Gemma that Tara is moving against the, both and plans to give guardianship over to Margaret. Furious, Gemma confronts Tara and tries to choke Margaret. Tara returns to an office room and plants the blood bag in her skirt. Gemma enters and Tara goads her into a fight. Gemma holds back, leaving Tara to ram her stomach into the edge of the table. Margaret and Wayne enter as Tara’s skirt reveals blood. She feigns the injury and collapses saying Gemma attacked her. Security come and take Gemma away. She looks at Wendy before leaving.
Jax finds Tara at the hospital and she says she lost their baby. She pleads for him to keep Gemma away from the kids and Jax agrees. He signs the restraining papers and Gemma is held at Eli’s precinct. Gemma has a contemplative look as she realizes how Tara’s scheme has played out against her.
(END QUICK RECAP)
My brain tucked away the question with “Why is Tara putting blood in a blood-bag?” and that question didn’t come back up until she stuffed it down her skirt. Then everything became clear. I was expecting for Gemma to go full on violent and actually strike the blow, but when she didn’t, watching Tara flat out create the damage on her own, was completely wicked and raw. I’m left pretty much still stunned at the sheer magnitude of Tara’s half season long plan. Did she really lose the baby? I don’t think you can fib your way out of that, which means, unless the schemes keep piling on, Tara murdered her unborn child to set up Gemma. Forget what Clay and Jax have against each other, these women are dangerous. I’ve been rooting for Tara since day one, but, after seeing this episode, I’m really afraid for her life. Here’s where some signs come into play.
Bobby states in the beginning of the episode, “Home is where the reaper is”. In the direct aspect, it’s an endearing statement meant to reflect on how the table’s significance and more so, the charter’s symbol is the focal point of their continued dream. No matter where they drift or go, their home is where the reaper is. Tactically (writing wise), I think Bobby said those words because the reaper is really Tara and her act of (very damn near possible) murder was the home of her unborn child. Regardless of intent, Tara sacrificed that part of her life to save the old one. It’s dark wherever the reaper is.
Furthermore, there’s a clear sign of what’s to come based solely on Jax’s decision to murder Alice in front of the Sons and Venus. On one side, he couldn’t take any more of Alice lashing against Venus. No one else was going to subdue, strike, or punish Alice for what she did, but Jax chose to put a bullet in her head. We’ve seen Jax make split decisions for the sake of the crew and for the sake of others. He’s proved he’ll kill a woman, if the derangement fits. This isn’t a subliminal message. This episode is telling us that Jax could indeed go over the limit and make the same decision with Tara or Gemma. I don’t want to believe he’s capable of such an act, but that was before he put to death a vile character giving a verbally abusive speech. It’s going to take a lot more to fuel that scenario and I really hope it never happens, but the bug has been planted in our brains. When Gemma went peacefully and she had that look on her face in the holding cell, I feared the worst. Gemma can convince Jax the truth, of that I have no doubt. It might take a few episodes, but she’s resourceful. I don’t want to pick sides anymore, I just want the drama to not end in any one of those three getting killed over it.
Ratboy got promoted to full patch. Good on him.
I never expected a Venus centric episode, but we got one. It was twisted and Walter put the tears on several moments to capitalize on the trauma Venus went through. He’s a great actor and sold his performance as expected. Do we need more Venus? I think I’m good. Bringing in more Shield alumni wouldn’t hurt. Vic Mackey, anyone? Just a cameo, a voiceover?
Barosky kept his meeting with Patterson from Jax, which can only mean one thing. He’ll either choose a better time to tell Jax, which is likely never, or he’ll begin a self serving path. Barosky is smart enough to try and push back until he can’t hold his position anymore which could create hostilities in Stockton. Colette should probably be coming back real soon for more intrigue on her relationship with Jax.
Overall, I was expecting a basic filler with some poignant comedy and a few cheap thrills with chase scenes, then Tara completely owned her plan and put Gemma in the same place she helped put Clay in last season. This completely trumps the clubhouse exploding, and if Gemma has patience, she’ll spin her own agenda to turn Jax against Tara. It’ll happen, it’s bound to happen.
Those new members will have their work cut out for them.
(*UPDATE SPOILER* Since speaking with several Sons fans I’ve since realized that Tara conceivably set everything up including a fake pregnancy. A lot of my passionate thoughts regarding what she did may not seem as contextual because of unrevealed facts. Either way, I hope it was an enjoyable read)
No more words