Episode Title: "Dorylus"
Writers: Regina Corrado & Liz Sagal
Director: Peter Weller
Previously on "Sons of Anarchy":
Almost immediately after their release from prison, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), his step-son, Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and the rest of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle club took out their Russian mob partners in retaliation for the attempt on Jax's life in jail. Clay then made the bold move of aligning with the Galindo cartel and their representative, Romero Parada (Danny Trejo). However, Clay neglected to tell Jax that part of the weapons deal with Romero included SAMCRO muling drugs for the cartel. In exchange for Jax's support, Clay agreed to eventually let him leave the club and hand over the Presidency to Opie (Ryan Hurst).
Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Junior) and Piney (William Lucking) were the most outspoken about Clay's intentions and they openly told him that it went against what SAMCRO meant to them. Meanwhile, Jax's mother, Gemma (Katy Sagal) discovered that Tara (Maggie Siff) had the letters from her late husband, John Teller which implicated her and Clay in John's death. Sheriff Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) also struck a blow against the Sons when he trashed their clubhouse in retaliation for the brutal murders of the Russians. Although Romero and the Galindo cartel helped save Jax and Opie from the Russians themselves, the mood was grim until Tara announced that she and Jax were getting married.
But Jax noticed that Bobby was still unmoved by the news and he watched him pour out his drink to illustrate his disgust with the direction of the club.
At the house belonging to Happy's aunt, Kozik (Kenny Johnson) finishes loading the truck with a case of weapons when he is challenged to play a game of street basketball by some local kids. Kozik's skills are impressive, but it was just a ruse to distract him and steal the keys to the truck. By the time Kozik recovered, the kids stole his truck and the weapons. At Tara's home, Clay corners her in the bedroom and thanks her for lightening the mood with the news of her wedding… and then he makes her uncomfortable when he hints that he knows about the letters from John Teller.
Clay is summoned to Wahewa reservation to talk about their ammo deal and he insists that Bobby accompany him in a bid to win his support for the drug deal with the cartel. To a certain extent, he levels with Bobby about his intentions to leave and Jax's plans as well. But he gives Bobby his word to pass the Presidency of the club on to him even though he doesn't directly link it to support for the vote. While there, the chief of the Wahewa accuses Clay of holding out on them as they watch flesh eating ants feast on one of the Russians who attacked the tribe in the previous episode.
When they are alone, Clay tells Bobby that he won't give the Wahewa a bump in pay even though the Russians are giving them more money for the ammo. The Russian overhears them, so Clay suffocates the man before pledging his word to the chief that they made the standard deal with the Russians. Meanwhile, Jax is furious with Kozik over losing the guns and the two nearly come to blows. Using their resources, they track down one of the local stolen good brokers: a stern older woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) with her "family," including two brothers she calls Luther and Vandross. The mother denies that she deals with guns, but Kozik spots the kids who robbed him and a car chase ensues.
When the speeding car catches the attention of the local cops, Kozik redeems himself by firing at the cops and getting them to chase him instead. Jax and the rest of his crew then corner the thieves and get them to confess that they did sell the weapons at the mother's house. It turns out that Luther and Vandross attempted to pull a weapons deal under her nose to help buy her an expensive car. She gives Jax the weapons back and angrily scolds her family, much to his amusement. Back at the hospital Gemma enlists Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie) to act as her lookout while she attempts to find the letters from John Teller in Tara's office.
Gemma is caught in the act by Tara's supervisor and later she comes to Tara and admits that she was looking for the letters. She tells Tara how she fell in love with JT when she was 19 and her heartbreak in dealing with him before warning her that the letters would destroy their family. We also learn that Tara has gotten offers from other hospitals, but she is waiting for Jax to lead her out of town so her family can be intact. But Gemma doesn't know that yet…
With the loss of their operative inside the Russian organization, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) and Sheriff Roosevelt target Jean Carlos "Juice" Ortiz (Theo Rossi) as a possible replacement by blackmailing him with the information that his father is black. And from Juice's reactions, Roosevelt's predictions about SAMCRO's reaction could potentially put Juice at risk if the info came out.
Prior to the pivotal drug vote, Piney takes Gemma aside in order to enlist her help with talking Clay out of getting involved with drugs. When she confronts her husband, Clay's angry reaction causes Gemma to recoil in fear. At the meeting, Bobby decides not to support Clay, but Kozik and Opie's support is enough to carry the motion. However, Opie is convinced that he and Jax are going to eventually remake the club together; which Jax lets him believe. Bobby walks away in disgust and Clay threatens to slit Piney's throat if he ever goes around him with Gemma again.
It seems that Clay's time in prison has changed him to the point that he doesn't even realize how freely he lies. His pitch to Bobby could have worked if Clay had not immediately turned around and lied to the Wahewa tribe and offered his word that the cartel wasn't paying more for the weapons. All that did was illustrate to Bobby how little Clay's word is worth these days. Even Jax seems more duplicitous than ever. Opie is his best friend and all he wants is to sit at the head of the table with Jax and remake the club into what it should be. But Jax doesn't even try to hint that he's looking to get out of the club with as much money as he can.
Although the vote went against him, Bobby now holds a lot of the cards going forward. He's the only one who knows that Jax and Clay are both trying to get out and it seems likely that the rest of SAMCRO wouldn't take that news well. Bobby may even be angry enough to split the chapter and form a new faction of SAMCRO outside of Clay's control.
The revelation about Juice's parentage may give him his first major storyline. It also raises an interesting question regarding SAMCRO's tolerance towards black people. I had assumed that the club wasn't racist in part because Clay was so close to the head of the One-Niners gang. But Roosevelt may have had a point when he noted that SAMCRO never had any black members. And Juice is clearly afraid of what would happen if that were to come out. Of course, if he turns rat then the club will definitely kill him… as opposed to the more intangible threat about his race.
When Kozik went down at the beginning of this episode, I assumed that this would be the end of Kenny Johnson's run on the series. Instead, Kozik rebounded by getting the cops away from the thieves and by siding with Jax in the critical vote. The mother and her family of thieves were hilarious, especially when she noted that the cops wouldn't come even after the semi-automatic gunfire.
There were also some subtle revelations in this episode, like the apparent failure of Roosevelt's wife to conceive and Tara's original intent to flee Charming whether Jax came with her or not. Tara clearly loves Jax, or she would have left him a long time ago. But she should probably heed the advice of her administrator, because the longer she waits, the more Jax will get sucked into staying with SAMCRO indefinitely.
I also have to note that it's really interesting to see Lincoln Potter go after the club without ever letting them know that he's their primary enemy in law enforcement. Thus far, the only interaction he's had with any of them was a brief acknowledgement to Jax in the season premiere. SAMCRO has no idea who Lincoln is and that makes him far more dangerous than Roosevelt. If Lincoln can remain in the shadows, he has a better chance of taking out the club than anyone else before him.
But at this rate, SAMCRO will tear itself apart before anyone else can.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10