Let’s just recap for a second here: In only four episodes of the new season, we’ve had some major bombshells dropped, including Clay’s fall from power, an escort ring and the death of our beloved Opie. It’s safe to say that it’s been a somber few weeks down in Charming. So it makes sense that this week’s episode would be a bit lighter than the antics of the past few weeks.
The episode starts with Jax bringing a partnership with Nero to the SOA table. The boys vote and a glorious relationship in the sex trade is brought about. Jax then hits up Mayor Hale to get the property for the business to run, further indebting himself to the town of Charming. If you’re keeping track, which means Jax has partnerships with just about everyone in town, so he’s going to need to keep them straight. To solidify Jax’s future vote for Hale, they cook up a scheme to blackmail Allen Biancone by drugging him severely and then getting him into a questionable position with a cross-dressing prostitute before snapping a barrage of pictures to keep for later. While the sting is going down, Biancone’s stepson arrives. Luckily, they’re able to buy his silence with seven minutes in heaven with the prostitute himself. No harm, no foul, right?
Jax hands the pictures over to Hale and a new relationship is born. Jax lets everyone who’ll listen know that he’s going into the brothel biz, pointing out that he’s not going to rule SAMCRO like the constantly lying Clay. Hale knows what he’s getting into by siding with Jax, something that will have dire consequences in the future.
We also learn a little more about the home invasions that are occurring. Roosevelt meets with Clay and Gemma to bring some of their recovered possessions to them. Clay notices that his safe is missing; too bad it’s long gone. They also found out that the East Dub Crew is responsible for that particular robbery, if not all of them. While they aren’t members of the Niners, they’re definitely under Damon Pope’s thumb.
The home invaders strike again, this time overtaking Roosevelt’s pregnant wife Rita. She tries to fight them off with a loaded gun, but it’s three against one. She manages to scratch one invader across the face but then falls to the floor and is later found at the hospital. Roosevelt thinks that he can get DNA samples from under her fingernails, but we don’t know if the baby has been harmed in the scuffle.
Some of Jax’s many deals go wrong when he finally introduces Galen O’Shay (from the IRA) to Romeo (from the CIA). Jax and Galen go after each other after Galen tells Romeo that he doesn’t trust Jax. After they draw blood in a fight, Galen admits that Jax might have some Irish blood, thanks to his fighting skills. Jax still holds onto the grudge, vowing to never rest until O’Shay’s blood is in a puddle at his feet. How does Galen respond? Oh, just by using a huge gun to essentially blow up the boys’ bikes. It proves that the IRA relationship is a volatile one at best.
Tara’s having a rough go of it at home, especially after having her hand injured in the previous scuffle. While she gets the good news that she might one day be able to perform surgery, she still remains depressed. Gemma shows up to help out with the boys while Tara follows in Wendy’s footsteps and gets stoned. Unfortunately, Gemma and Nero’s relationship was short lived, thanks to Jax’s forbiddance of Nero pursuing Gemma while in business with SAMCRO. She uses her new free time to give Tara some tips on how to be the perfect old lady, letting her know that she’s going to have to learn how to deal with the fact that extremes become average when you’re at the head of the club.
As far as episodes go, this was a lighter snack-sized offering than the bombshells of the past few weeks, especially in some of the details. At one point, Tig gets bitten in the butt by an angry Allen Biancone. Even if you can’t take that seriously, this episode was clearly a setup for future drama. With Jax in the pocket of so many unsavory staples, the club is bound to get tied up with the wrong people.
8/10 Seriable Stars
Stephanie Caldwell is a pop culture geek from Salt Lake City and writes for CableTV.com.