Last week’s premiere ended with a school shooting that promised serious repercussions. This week’s episode takes place the next day, and those repercussions start to affect the club and the people around them.
I was almost expecting the episode to begin with the characters sitting around, sadly discussing the tragedy. I’m glad that Sons was above dwelling on it. They’re aware of what happened at the school– likely they saw it on the news, but they aren’t personally connected to it. Until Nero’s cousin, Arcadio, tells him that they are.
Meanwhile, Toric continues his crusade to take town SAMCRO. He’s again pressuring Clay to flip, and while Clay agreed at the end of the previous episode, he hasn’t signed anything yet. Clay demands to see Gemma and Jax face-to-face one last time, claiming that he wants to tell them to their faces that he’s going to hurt them. Part of me doesn’t want to believe that– that Clay’s just stalling to milk his protective custody and that he’ll never turn against the club (at not least to the law). Toric’s frustrated at Clay’s refusal to sign the papers, and he does what any grief-stricken crooked cop would do: he forges Clay’s signature.
While Clay’s stuck behind bars, Tara comes home. I love the first scene where she sees Jax. They don’t exchange any words– she just silently buckles her helmet and hops onto his bike behind him. There’s still heavy tension between them after the way things ended in the previous season: Tara wanted to take the kids to Oregon and away from the dangerous lifestyle of the club (the Oregon job offer, of course, is off the table after her brief time in jail). Jax isn’t interested in continuing that conversation. He’s glad that she’s home.
It’s clear that Jax wants to fix things with Tara, and that he really loves her (his infidelity last week doesn’t detract from that– that’s just how these guys roll). He’s trying to make it work. And while Tara plays along (sorta), she’s filing for divorce behind his back. She has a great scene with their lawyer, where the lawyer urges Tara to get the custody papers taken care of quickly. In case anything happens to Tara. We know what this means.
It’s hard to believe that Jax would hurt Tara (though we’ve seen him do some horrible things to Wendy), but Tara’s learned something that justifies her fear of her husband: Gemma wasn’t the one who turned her over to the police, and it’s looking like Jax was behind it.
Speaking of Gemma and Tara, their relationship is one of the most interesting ones on the show. It has its ups and downs. And ups and downs. Despite their on and off rivalry, there’s definitely a mutual respect between the two queens. But now it’s clear that Tara no longer has any interest in the role of SAMCRO royalty. So where are these two going to go from here?
While all this is going on at home, Bobby’s touring the nation on his motorcycle to start a new nomad group. As mentioned in the premiere, he needs four members. And now he’s got three. His brief scenes were strangely disconnected from the rest of the episode, but I can’t help but feel that they’re going to pay off big.
Jax tells Galen, the club’s Irish gun connect, that he’s finally moving out of the gun business. Jax’s reasoning is logical, and he avoids bringing his emotions or personal motives up in the meeting. He even sweetens the deal for the Irishman by keeping the business intact and shifting it to another charter. But Galen wants nothing of it, and leaves them with a heap of guns, promising more trouble in the future.
It leads to another decision made by Jax that he doesn’t bring to the table, which Chibs is clearly concerned with. More and more, Jax is following Clay down that dark path. And he doesn’t even realize. He takes another giant step down that path when he makes a dangerous and secretive decision towards the end of the episode.
The main action of the episode is dealing with the direct consequences of the school shooting and the club’s relationship to it as the gun distributors. Darbany, the drug-abusing mother of the boy who brought a gun to his school, is in serious trouble. The club is worried that the police will get her to flip. The only thing worse than a rat, after all, is a junkie rat. They, along with Nero’s guys, bring her to their cabin in the woods. She’s terrified that they are going to kill her, though they have no intentions of doing that– at least at the beginning.
Darbany gets her hand on a shotgun and attempts to make an escape, and Nero’s hand is forced as he shoots and kills Arcadio. Even after her outburst, Nero wants to keep her alive, but Jax makes the decision behind his back: Juice smothers the woman with a pillow. He does the deed with a horrible blank look. When he washes his hands afterwards, you can’t help but feel sympathy for the pain that Juice is going through. At this point, Juice has become Jax’s tool for the dirty stuff that he needs to do behind the backs of the rest of the club.
And behind Nero’s back, too. Jimmy Smits brings a lot to the show as Nero, and his distress over the events of the episode is clear on his face when he tells Jax that he doesn’t want more people to get hurt. He asks is Jax had a hand in Darbany’s death, and Jax denies it.
The seeds are being planted for massive fallout between Jax and Nero. There was a small hint of it in last week’s episode, but this lie is going to have huge ramifications when everything gets out in the open. And it will.
I thought it was another great episode in the story. Maybe it wasn’t as heavy as the premiere, but that is to be expected. Things are pushing forward, and at the pace that I really enjoy: little pieces here and there that promise to lead to big things.
What did you think of “One One Six”? Share your thoughts in the comments.
- Didn’t have the chance to talk about it in the main review, but Toric has weaved himself into the investigation of the school shooting, using it to push his vendetta against SAMCRO. The investigation is looking for a scapegoat to pin the tragedy on, and they’re initially looking at the local latino gangs. Toric provides the club as a better target.
- “You said your tubes were tied.” “I said my tubes were tired.”
- Gemma comments on Tara’s hair. Was wondering is anybody was going to mention it. Nobody seemed to notice until Gemma said something.
- Tara wants a confidential pregnancy test. Is it for her? Most likely, since there isn’t really anybody else who it would make sense with. Spells more trouble.