After last week’s cliffhanger left many wondering if Clay was dead, tonight’s episode was quick to clarify things by confirming that, while he was definitely wounded, Opie hadn’t succeeded in killing him. (Surely a shot to the head or the heart would have been the way to go, but then there wouldn’t be a need for a two-part season finale.) Of course, Opie could have easily finished the job if Jax hadn’t shot him in the hand, but at that point in time, Clay was still innocent until proven guilty in his mind, despite Opie’s insistence that we was telling the truth. Jax wasn’t ready to buy into that theory just yet, and promised Opie that he would get to the bottom of Piney’s murder, to which Opie mockingly replied, “Just what I need. Another promise.”
It probably wasn’t the best idea for Jax to pin the shooting on “some black guys,” but no one could have expected that Tig would take the news so personally. I can understand why he feels like it might be his fault after turning his back on Clay, but to just retaliate on the Niners like that without any proof they were even responsible was really stupid. Tig was lucky to get out of that situation alive, because you can be sure that’s not the last we’re going to see of the Niners. Though Laroy made it out in one piece, his wife/girlfriend/someone important was killed in the initial attack, and two more of his men died in the ensuing chase. Geez, just when all the gangs in Charming we’re starting to play nice with one another and Tig had to go and mess it up.
Meanwhile, Gemma looks like she’s finally done protecting Clay (either that, or she just wants to be on the winning side) and decides to open up to Tara about all the horrible things that Clay has done lately. It was obviously just a ploy to make her feel guilty about using John Teller’s letters as leverage, but it worked, because Tara gave Gemma the key to the storage unit where they were hiding all along. After reading through the letters, however, Gemma took out the ones that implicated her and Unser and handed the rest over to Jax, which ultimately led to her spilling the beans on years of secrets – from Clay’s initial attempt to kill JT by sending him into a Mayan ambush, to rigging his bike to crash, to shooting Piney in the cabin and even putting out the hit on Tara.
All in all, it was a pretty clever attempt at getting Jax to stay in Charming and take over his rightful place at the head of the club, but Gemma wasn’t expecting Tara to outwit her. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen the good doctor evolve as a result of spending so much time around Gemma, but it is the first time that she’s let her know it. Tara knew all along what Gemma was going to do with those letters and even had the gall to brag about it. In fact, she’s so confident that Jax will keep his word about leaving town that she’s willing to help kill Clay (using a blood thinner, natch) and allow him to wrap up business with the IRA and the cartel before heading off on their merry way, and Gemma definitely wasn’t happy about it.
What neither woman realizes, though, is that Jax is about to walk in to a world of trouble. Forced to take Clay’s place at the meeting due to his (ahem) condition, Jax is given assurance by Romeo that despite what Lennie the Pimp may have told him about Otto striking a deal with the Feds, his inside source has confirmed that it’s not true. Now, either Romeo knows something that the Sons don’t or they need to find better sources, because if Jax and Chibs get caught at the meet, they’ll be arrested as part of the RICO case. And when you think about it, that only makes Juice’s cooperation with Lincoln that much worse, since those are the two guys (particularly Chibs) who were there for him after his suicide attempt. Kurt Sutter always has an ace up his sleeve, however, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with this time around.