This episode was a roller coaster. I was up, I was down. I was cheering, jeering, and cringing. Then, after anxious spins and a nauseating finale, I’m back where I started—a little weak-kneed… and questioning my decision to ride the roller coaster in the first place.
First, let’s get Greensleeves out of the way. Adam Greenblatt (aka “Greensleeves”) is an abusive pimp who extorts his clients. Why do the Sons care? Because they’re good guys! Haha! No. Really, it’s because Greensleeves is blackmailing the pastor’s wife, the woman we met in episode four, and the Sons need her to blackmail someone else. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) Anyway, SAMCRO pays him a visit, shoots him dead, and tries to throw him out a window. Listen, guys, if you’re going to fake a suicide, don’t shoot the guy in the back of the shoulder first. I’m not a forensics expert, but it seems unlikely that you could do that to yourself.
Anyway, Juice rode again for the Sons. But only temporarily—he shot at some cops to get thrown in jail, supposedly to be able to kill Lin from the inside. I say “supposedly,” because… well… look. I like Juice. I have a soft spot for him. But he’s not the brightest bulb in the pack, is he? Now that he’s Inside… I don’t know. It’s a different world in there. Things don’t always go as planned. Like, Juice has a new roommate, and he’s “a friend of Tully’s.” Does that mean that the Aryan Brotherhood will help Juice kill Lin? Or does it mean that the AB will kill Juice if he doesn’t kill Lin? Poor Juice. I fear it won’t end up well for him either way.
I fear the same for poor ol’ Nero too. It’s official—he wants out. He’s got the farm lined up, he’s invited Gemma, he’s asked Jax and Alvarez to buy him out of Diosa. He just needs $150,000 to put a down payment on the farm. (So this is what an OG’s retirement plan looks like—sell your share in a whorehouse to buy a farm.) Sigh. I want Nero to ride his pretty blue Cadillac into the sunset, I really do. But somehow I just don’t think it’s happening.
At least, he won’t be riding into the sunset with Gemma. I’ll admit, it was fun watching Gemma squirm this episode. She’s been sitting on pins since Juice has been in SAMCRO custody, but this episode was especially tense. After Jax summoned Gemma up to the cabin to deal with “mother/son/family stuff,” it was fun watching her sweat it out. When she got up to the cabin and saw the junkie on the bed, I nearly unclenched for her. Gemma lives to see another episode.
But she better start sleeping with one eye open because ohmygod her grandson might kill her before her son does. What?! Yes. Little Abel heard Gemma confess to baby Thomas, “Killing your mom was an accident. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean to kill your mom. I loved her.” Whoopsie! Gemma lays it all out and Abel is standing in the doorway, looking like a first-generation Children of the Corn. And he just got in trouble for shoving a first-grader, so he’s all warmed up. Like I said Gemma, sleep with one eye open.
Speaking of eyes… let’s talk about that finale, shall we? Bobby is on his way to the cabin to check on Gemma when he’s driven off the road by August Marks and crew. I won’t get into details about what happens to Bobby in case you’re reading this over breakfast, but let’s just say it was an eye-full. (Oh yes, I went there.) Yeah, that scene was a lot to take. In the end, Marks has Bobby in custody, and a piece of him sent to the Sons.
So, now we know how August Marks responds to blackmail threats. The episode opened with Jax telling his crew that Marks has gotten too powerful, and their clash is inevitable. It’s interesting because August Marks has been mysteriously absent this season. Even when he strikes, we don’t see him. He barely made an appearance this episode, and he still devastated the club. In contrast, SAMCRO is about as subtle as… well, the sound of a dozen motorcycles roaring down your street followed by gunfights in broad daylight. In this episode we learned that Marks is ominous, powerful, and deadly, and he still has Bobby in custody.
If this were any other season I wouldn’t be worried for Bobby, because SAMCRO usually walks away unscathed. However, this is the “Final Ride” and Kurt Sutter has promised some blood—I think he was talking about the club’s. At this point that seems only fair because of all the damage the boys have caused, but, damn I wish big, lovable Bobby wasn’t the first victim.
And this leads me back to the roller coaster analogy. This episode gave me ups, downs, cheers, and jeers… but why do I feel like we’re back in the same place where we started? Because Jax is no closer to finding out the truth about Gemma. In fact, he might be farther from it. And this is frustrating because it’s supposed to be our big payoff—we keep watching to see how Jax will react to his mother’s deception.
We’ve been waiting seven super-sized episodes for this to happen. That’s a long time, and the longer it takes to happen, the less interested I become. And we still have six episodes to go. At this point, I only want to see Jax find out about Gemma or 90 minutes of pure Venus Van Dam. Everything else just feels like filler.
Favorite Quote: “Are you afraid of my mother?” (Jax) “We all are.” (Happy)
Favorite Moment: Learning the name of Redwoody’s latest epic production, “Cocks and Bagels”
?What do you guys think? Did the episode make you jump? Is it time for Jax to learn the truth about Gemma? What do you think will happen with Juice in jail? Sound off below!
Emily Worden is a Boston-based freelance writer and author of Make. Sell. Repeat. The Ultimate Business Guide for Artists, Crafters, and Makers. You can follow her on Twitter.