I should have known that Juice’s failed suicide attempt was going to have much bigger repercussions once someone in the club found out, and sure enough, it’s become almost as much of a problem as the race issue that got him into this whole mess. After Jax learns where Juice’s neck bruises really came from, he reminds Chibs that “Sons don’t kill themselves,” and as a result, Juice would likely be voted out of the club since they can longer trust him. But Chibs seems to believe that Juice is worth saving and asks Jax for a little more time to see if he can’t help him get out of this emotional rut.
What neither of them realizes, however, is that Juice isn’t depressed – he’s just nursing a guilty conscience, which he hopes to remedy by getting out of the spy game with Roosevelt. But Lincoln believes that he can still be useful, so he brings Juice into the secret RICO room to show him just how deep his investigation goes. Though he claims that he’s only after the Real IRA and promises that SAMCRO won’t be dragged into a federal case (thereby saving the club and all of its charters from certain extinction), he can’t guarantee that some of its members won’t be punished for their involvement. All Lincoln wants in return is the details of the upcoming meet between the IRA and the cartel, but Juice probably couldn’t get that information even if he wanted. In fact, if he’s so adamant about helping the club, his best bet would be to just call Lincoln’s bluff, because it’s pretty obvious the investigation hinges on whether or not he cooperates.
SAMCRO could sure use the old Juice on their side, especially with increasing pressure from Lobos Sonora, who they discover have been working with the Niners to expand their coke business into the States. Though it’s hard to blame the Niners for cutting a deal with the Lobos while the Sons were still in prison, Jax convinces their President that’s in his best interest to stay out of the middle of a cartel beef and join them and the Mayans in working for Galindo. Part of that deal means luring the Lobos into a trap so that Torres can take care of them once and for all, but when the surprise attack goes south and a few manage to escape thanks to some handy grenade launchers, Jax persuades Torres not to take out his anger on the Niners by ensuring him that they’ll be more useful alive than dead. All in all a pretty worthless subplot in the grand scheme of things, although it did provide Torres the chance to give Clay a cell phone that would solve his “doctor problem.” And just to emphasize the gravity of the decision, he tells him that once the assassination is set in motion, it can’t be stopped.
Clay just wants to make sure it doesn’t blow back on him or the club, because after killing Piney the night before, he must be starting to worry about what might happen to him if anyone finds out. (Which begs the question, why didn’t he just have the cartel kill Piney to make it look more legit?) Thankfully, he has Gemma on his side, who will do just about anything to protect her husband – even if it means planting a suspiciously seductive kiss on Unser’s lips. Though Unser initially wanted to call the murder in to the cops after he realized that Clay had officially lost control and was beyond saving, he suddenly changed his mind after that kiss, which admittedly made him look pretty weak.
In defense of Gemma, she’s doing her best to clean up Clay’s mess. You can tell from her reaction upon discovering Piney’s body that she never expected it would come to this, and she wants to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to Tara, who Gemma believes is no longer a threat after admitting she would never show JT’s letters to Jax at the risk of how it would affect him. But while Gemma makes Clay promise to her that he won’t hurt Tara, he’s already proven to be cold-hearted and an adept liar, and I wasn’t very surprised when he opened the cell phone in the final scene and dialed the contract killer’s number. Fortunately, Jax has decided to drive Tara up to Oregon for the hospital conference, so at least he’ll be there to protect her. I just can’t wait to see Clay’s face when he finds out that Jax is with Tara and he can’t cancel the hit. What will he do then?
Other thoughts from the episode:
* The whole scene between Lincoln and Otto seemed pretty redundant. I mean, didn’t he try to turn him against the club already? Okay, so Georgie Caruso might have an alibi that places him in Thailand during the time of Luanne’s murder, but that doesn’t exactly exonerate him of her death. He could have easily hired someone else to kill her. Plus, what exactly could Otto give Lincoln on SAMCRO that would be of any substance?
* If Tara doesn’t plan on telling Jax about the letters or the truth behind JT’s death, then why is she being so damn secretive? She could have easily prevented Piney’s murder if she had just given them to Gemma in the first place. How much do you want to bet that Jax discovers the letters on his own?
* The discussion between Bobby and Jax was perhaps one of the most telling moments of the season thus far. Though Jax claims that he wants out of the club, Bobby is adamant that the President’s chair is not only his birthright, but his fate. And from the way that he handled the situation with Torres and the Niners, it’s hard to argue that he’s not the best man for the job.