A Sashurai’s Review: Sons of Anarchy – Season 6×09 (I thought Clay was channeling Hannibal Chau for a short moment)

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My head is still spinning a wee bit. I kept wanting just one more scene, just one more moment that gave us some inkling as to Jax’s intentions. Then I realized, the last shot of the episode was the most important piece adding to the dreaded reality that Tara is in a whole different zone. I’ve never been more afraid for a favorite character’s life, except maybe Gannicus in the last episode of Spartacus, but that’s long over. Tonight we witnessed a major event unfold. Jax wanted answers, and he got them. Jax wanted to broker a deal, and he got it. Jax wanted to punch someone in the face, and he got to. Now he’s faced with one of his hardest decisions ever. What will he do? First, he needs a smoke, then he’ll decide.

The wheels keep spinning as old and new wounds reopen with the blood of truth. Good Guy Nero tries to stitch the unraveling threads of the Teller family and learns a few unconditional lessons regarding how that family handles their drama. And Clay returns with a bit of overzealous selling to solidify his role in the Irish relationship. Not withstanding was the anti-hero/villain meeting between this seasons enforcer, Patterson and one Jax Teller. How did their conversation go down? Who has the upper hand? Let’s find out?

(QUICK RECAP)

Jax is helping to feed Thomas when Tara comes in the kitchen and politely takes him to do it herself. Gemma kneels in front of Nero’s bed, presumably in gratitude over Nero’s return home. After she makes him coffee, she tells him about Tara while Jax tells Tara about the Sons’s plan to allow Clay to continue the gun trade after he’s broken out of prison.

Nero is surprised by Gemma’s confession and asks if she can prove any of it. She knows Wendy was in on it and thinks she’ll back Gemma up, but Nero believes it’s not enough. Meanwhile, Jax tells Tara he understands why she’s putting distance between them and that he’s tried to protect them and it hasn’t worked. Gemma is happy that Nero believes her.

Patterson informs Eli that she is giving him extra units and to begin surveillance on Jax 24/7. Eli says the Sons will stay out of trouble and Patterson says she won’t allow themselves to look away while something else bad happens.

Jax arrives at the sweet shop and observes a young girl sitting nearby and staring off. Happy tells him that the buyers support Samcro’s decision to leave the gun trade and will continue their business with the Irish. Chibs mentions that someone is setting up a phone-call between Clay and the Irish. Wayne arrives and speaks to Jax alone. Wayne defends Gemma while Jax notices the young girl trashing Tig’s bike with a blunt object. She then throws it through the window and runs away. Jax gives chase and catches her but is forced to let her go when she begins yelling, bringing attention on Jax. He let’s her go and she disappears.

Clay enters a prison church area as the reverend begins reciting a passage from John 8:32. The Irish inmate is nearby as well.

Wayne recognizes the young girl as Brooke, the daughter of Gary Putner, a mechanic who Clay once knew. Her mother died in the same car wreck that killed John Teller on hwy 18 just after Brooke was born. Eli arrives and lets Jax know that he’s going to be tailed for the time being. Jax gets a call from Barosky who he tells to have him meet at Nero’s escort house.

Ellie goes over Tara’s income plans and asks if she has any character witnesses. Tara doesn’t mention any. Ellie then shows her all the documents that were signed detailing her pregnancy and miscarriage. All were signed by Margaret. Ellie knows it was all a lie and says what Tara did was a felony and asks if Tara is planning anything else. Tara says Ellie knows everything.

Clay gets a signal from the Irish inmate and begins distracting everyone by mocking the reverend in his gospel with his own ideals. As he’s being held by guards, Clay bites the nose off of a guard and is then taken down.

Jax and crew go to Diosas to and are happy to see Nero again. Nero takes him to the kitchen and mentions the drama between Gemma and Tara. Jax gets defensive and tells him his family is off limits. Barosky and Colette arrive to tell Jax that he’s received health violations and that Colette’s escort house was denied rating for unspecified reasons. Barosky says he’s getting out of Stockton even though Nero and Jax persist he stay.

Gemma shows up, not knowing Jax was going to be there. The two argue and Gemma makes Nero tell Jax that Nero tried to give himself up for the KG9 but was released because he was innocent in Erin’s murder. Jax realizes what Nero almost did for them. He tells Happy to get the crew together for a vote he’ll explain later. Tig and Juice arrive with Brooke’s home address.

They arrive at the Putner house where Gary is. He’s looking for Brooke and mentions he just lost their house. As they were packing, Brooke found old pictures of her mom and the article detailing her death. She’s bipolar like her mother and blamed the Sons for her mother, Emily’s, death. Jax spots a picture of Emily and thinks she looks familiar. Gary offers to pay for the damage Brooke caused but Jax says not to worry about it.

Nero shows up at the daycare where Tara is and tries to smooth out the incident with her and Gemma. She gets defensive and tries to leave. He goes after her asks that they try and find a middle ground. Tara tells him that Gemma killed John Teller and suggests he get out before he ends up dead too.

Clay is strapped and bound with a mask in a patient room. A doctor arrives and sends the guards away. He gives Clay a phone to make his call and leaves Clay alone.

Margaret enters the hospital meeting room thinking Tara is in there and finds Gemma instead. Gemma fools Margaret into revealing that Tara’s pregnancy was indeed a lie and she tells Margaret that she won’t be safe after Jax learns the truth.

The club meet and agree to the offer that Jax presented to them off screen.

Patterson receives a call that Jax wants to see her. He arrives and sits in her office. He offers a deal stating that he’ll give her Gaalan (Galen) and the Irish Kings in exchange for immunity on and current and past gun charges. He wants to run a legit club business and promises no violence with the added stipulation that Patterson look at Tara’s case again and he reaffirms that Tara had no connection to why Otto killed Toric’s sister. Patterson agrees to the deal but warns him to deliver, else she’ll use her last 7 months in office to ruin Jax and Tara.

Jax talks to Oswald at the old clubhouse and tells him they’re getting out of the gun business and asks a favor to help Gary with his house situation. Jax will owe him one and Oswald says he’s running for mayor soon and will ask for future favors. They shake on it. Jax then gets a call from Tara who tells him about Nero’s visit.

Clay is strapped up again the doctor, keeping his relationship to the Irish secret, lets two guards in, including the one who Clay bit. They are left alone and they proceed to beat Clay.

Nero goes to meet Jax in his kitchen and the Jax punches him saying Tara told him Nero called her a liar. Nero defends himself but the two brawl until Gemma arrives and helps Happy break the fight up. Nero confesses to Jax that Gemma’s conjugal meeting with Clay ended badly as the guards forced them to have sex while they watched. Gemma then tells Jax that Tara lied to everyone and it going to divorce Jax and take the kids away, and if Tara won’t tell him, then he’ll need to find someone who will. Jax appears upset and leaves.

That night, Ellie arrives at Wayne’s trailer who says he wanted to talk to her and to wait inside. He proceeds to lock the door as Jax appears from the darkness holding a gun. He angrily forces Ellie to reveal the truth about Tara. She tells him everything she knows about the fake pregnancy and the divorce plans and that it was in place to prevent Gemma from taking the boys. Jax sends her away and she calls Tara while driving, presumably telling her what just happened.

Gemma cleans Nero’s wounds when he mentions what Tara said about John’s murder. He asks if what Tara said about what Gemma did was true. Gemma explains that John was trying to get the Sons out of the drug business and made trips to Belfast several times to help with the transition and fell for Maureen Ashby. Gemma lost her child, Thomas, and put her anger and resentment toward John who fell apart afterward. Gemma fell for Clay and gave him her blessing in killing John. She mentions she never told anyone, including Jax and walks away.

Jax goes to the new clubhouse and sees that Brooke is sitting inside. He talks to her alone as she explains what she went through and why she went after Jax. She apologizes for the damage and thanks him for saving their house. She also asks him why and he tells her because of what happened t her mother. She cries. When Brooke leaves, she passes by a woman fishing through a dumpster who takes notice of her.

Tara is seen singing softly to Thomas

Clay is in a strait jacket sitting in a padded room.

Nero and Gemma are seen alone as is Jax, who is smoking inside the new clubhouse.

Tara is last scene still holding Thomas with a six-shooter resting on her lap.

(END RECAP)

I almost forgot about the Irish, I was so wrapped up in Tara’s plot and Gemma’s return to dominance. The cat’s out of the bag and now Jax knows everything. Considering the surreal nature of how the Teller’s tend to end their feuds, I’m absolutely fearful for Tara’s life right now. Again, I don’t peek at future promos so if something’s going down, I’m just in speculation city at the moment. I’m still on Tara’s side, mostly out of principle and remembering what she’s endured, but I do have to say, Gemma almost turned it around for me. Almost.

Case and point, she told Nero everything about her involvement with John’s murder. That was a major step in the right direction to keep the muddy waters just as murky as ever. And by that I mean, I can’t just universally decide that Gemma’s fate has been sealed. I don’t think it has. She owned up to the person she loves and committed to a full confession, and what’s more, she owned it with no regrets. She will never forgive John for what happened all those years ago and in a cruel sense of situation, Brooke’s mother, Emily died because of Gemma’s blessing. I’m not necessarily torn over who’s right and who’s wrong in this, but Tara is seriously out of cards to play. Gemma has the experience and the gall to follow through strategically, and Tara’s endgame just wasn’t enough to put Gemma down for the count. Tara has a gun on her lap. She’s not going to sleep ever again, at least not until she’s in protective custody. Which bring me to that final scene.

Why stay? Why stay and confront Jax in such a violent situation. She had time to pack up and run. I know she committed a felon and her lawyer was forced to reveal that to Jax, but still, when one’s life is in danger, you flee, you run, you think about the ones you’re protecting. Tara is staying home and dealing with it. I don’t think she’s entirely naive to her dilemma, but I really have no earthly clue what she intends to do if Jax bursts through that door and reaps hell. Although, there is a flipside to this coin.

Jax took the time to return to the clubhouse and reflect. He didn’t go straight home to confront Tara. He’s really thinking about the situation. My guess is he’s either giving Tara the chance to run for the hills, or he’s really deeply considering the possibility that all this is his fault. The guilt he supplied in the beginning of the episode had to be eating him up inside. Tara’s committeemen for causing Gemma’s arrest and subsequent divorce plans Are all because he couldn’t leave with her when they had the chance. Jax doesn’t push blame like that. Whether he makes Tara answer for what she’s done is serious dark territory, but is Jax willing to take that into account when deciding on his next action? I hope so. The real twist is if he let’s her go. But the Teller’s have had issues with letting go of family. He loves those kids and as a father, he’ll cross the lines he needs to do what he feels is safe. Not right, but safe.

His meeting with Patterson was excellent. Characters rightfully calling each other out on their agendas and what’s more, there’s a certain flair for the dramatic when Jax mentions his status as a scumbag outlaw and her status as a pillar of justice and neither one enjoys looking at themselves in the mirror. He knows how to call the truth in the situation and even though he came and widely arrogant, It’s the brass he brings with it that convinced her to go along with the plan to lure the Irish. There’s a lot of echoes of past plots going over these similar circumstance, but as always, it manages to continue captivating as the Sons once more throw themselves in the fire hoping to come out only singed. Does that mean there won’t be fatalities? My money is out on some of the new recruits not surviving the season. And, as always, a major Son’s member may not make it either. It’s not practical. Everyone left is a character that deserves longevity. Even Happy has a place on that crew. The Irish will be blood and guns. Can Clay keep the peace to mark their end? Will he get cold feet? And worse, will he fold and try to eliminate the guards who forced him and Gemma to have sex in front of them. Nero’s confession was brought on for a reason. We can’t forget what happened, and shouldn’t. Payback is still around the corner, I’m certain.

Hayley McFarland guest starred as Brooke in this episode. It was good to see her back on TV again after her limited seasons in “Lie To Me” another show I wish that kept going longer than it did. Playing bipolar characters can’t seem easy but she did a decent job. So, I ask anyone who reads this to please inform me of the connection Jax has with her mother. Why is Emily familiar. I’m easily foggy on earlier seasons, but is this a secret we don’t know yet. And, not to sound completely off the grid, but is there a reason why Brooke walked past an older woman who stopped going through garbage to notice her? That’s not Emily, right? It’s really late and my brain is officially swiss-cheese. Any pointers would be well received.

Lastly, I had high hopes that Barosky would be more of a major player but it seems his jump to bail out of Patterson’s vision seems a bit anti-climactic. As a supporting role I think Barosky played the part that was needed, but I was thinking there’d be something more twisted going on. Who knows, maybe there is and I’m just not seeing it. Red Herring villains are nothing new, but he should still be around for future segments. Who knows, maybe they’ll prep for him to have a bigger role in season 7 if he makes it.

Overall, this episode had me gripped once Jax discovered the truth. That anger is rooted, and betrayal cannot sit lightly with him. I want him to forgive Tara and help her get out of Charming, but Gemma is so smart at what she does. She can be taken by surprise, but if you give a mouse a cookie, she’ll ruin your life with that damned glass of milk. Keep the tension coming, I’m loving every minute of it.

If you’d like to leave a comment or discuss any moments that had meaning or insight for you, feel free to post them. Thanks for reading!

And, it’s one line, but the quote for the episode’s title chapter is “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” Fitting with the name being “John”

 

No more words

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