At the end of last week’s cliffhanger, it didn’t seem possible that Juice would be able to keep himself out of the crosshairs for much longer, but amazingly, he’s done just that, albeit at the cost of one of his biker brothers. Though the Sons and Mayans were quick to start blaming each other for the missing brick, the club came to the conclusion that the only people dumb enough to try stealing from them were the prospects. And after pretending to torture Miles in a failed attempt to scare Dirty Phil and Rat Boy into a confession (and, let’s be honest, have a little laugh in the process), they forced them to play a game of Russian roulette in order to prove their commitment. Anyone watching had to know that there wasn’t actually a bullet in the gun, and that was part of the problem, because although they both passed the test, it didn’t get the club any closer to finding out who took the cocaine.
With time running out until Romeo’s arrival, Clay decides that he has no other choice but to condemn the pair to death and try and save face with the cartel. But Juice, who doesn’t exactly want their blood on his conscience, suggests that they give the prospects one last chance to return the brick with no questions asked. If it shows up, they’ll be kicked out of the club, but at least they’ll still be alive. That gives Juice just enough time to run out into the woods, grab a sample for Roosevelt, and take the brick back to the warehouse… or so he thinks. Instead, he runs into Miles, who quickly puts two and two together and realizes that Juice is the thief. The ensuing chaos led to one of the series’ biggest “holy shit” moments yet, with Juice getting a hold of Miles’ gun and shooting him clean through the face. And now that everyone thinks Miles was the one responsible, Juice has been given yet another lifeline.
But how much longer can this realistically go on? Though the club was a little surprised that it was Miles who stole the cocaine, they don’t seem to be putting too much thought into why he might have done it. Chibs, on the other hand, is the only one who’s even remotely suspicious of the whole situation, especially after the way Juice was acting around him all day. Their conversation about the prohibition of color in SAMCRO must have come across as pretty random to Chibs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started sniffing around Juice’s personal life. Those two appear to have a stronger friendship with each other than most guys in the club, so Chibs will undoubtedly want to do everything he can to get Juice out of trouble before the rest of SAMCRO finds out. The whole thing still feels a bit contrived to me, and even more so after Chibs admitted that many of the club’s rules were pretty outdated. After all, if one of its own members doesn’t even agree with certain by-laws, then surely there’s room for some change.
Nothing else really happened tonight story-wise that was so major it deserves a full breakdown, but there are still plenty of things worth discussing, so as usual, here are some other thoughts from the episode:
* One of the show’s biggest strengths has always been its ability to slip in some humor when you least expect it, and there was a great example of that tonight when, after Happy fired a few more rounds into Miles’ dead body seemingly just for kicks, Chibs deadpanned, “Did you get him?”
* The whole subplot involving Tig and his duplicitous daughter may have seemed kind of lame when compared to some of the other stories this season, but it was a nice piece of character development that allowed the writers to show the usually tough-as-nails enforcer in a completely different light. Some people were probably thinking, “Why did he give her the money if he knew she was lying?,” but that’s what made it so great. He did it because he’s her father, and that’s what fathers do. And that knowing laugh between Gemma and Bobby just about said as much.
* The honeymoon period between Opie and Lyla sure didn’t last long, but is anyone really surprised? They weren’t exactly the ideal couple, and now that Opie knows about Lyla getting the abortion, it’s hard to imagine they’ll be together for much longer. At least Jax made sure that Ima won’t be ruining any more relationships in the future. That was a great bait-and-switch move on his part, and she deserved every bit.
* I can’t believe that Clay is actually going to go through with putting a hit on Tara, and using the cartel to get it done no less. Thankfully, it looks like she’s got a guardian angel in Unser, who has not only tipped off Roosevelt that she could be in danger, but has taken the extreme action of leaving a fake death threat in her car as a scare tactic. I doubt that Sutter would actually go through with killing Tara (or would he?), but it’s certainly going to make for some interesting tension between Clay and Unser.