Like last week, this week’s episode starts off again in the charred ruins of the club, but instead of sadly surveying the wreckage, this time Jax and his crew are salvaging that beautiful table, ready to look forward to building a new future.
At their new hangout, the new recruits are officially brought into the Redwood Original charter, as well as the prospect. Rat patching in was great. It was foreshadowed in the last episode, but it still felt earned. We’ve seen a lot of prospects come and go, and a couple have patched in, but it felt like this kid deserved it—and the show deserved it, to acknowledge that we are really moving forward.
Last week, Venus van Damme showed up to Gemma, and that story leads to this week’s episodic adventure. Venus has some heavy material here, dealing with child abuse among other stuff, and Walton Goggins delivers. The character debuted last season apparently as a one-episode joke, but she’s fleshed out. Her nephew/son, Joey, is in a bad place, in the clutches of Venus’s mother Alice, and Venus enlists the help of the Sons to get him out. Of course, it leads to an exciting and fun road chase.
The best part of the sequence is how heavy Alice’s speech lays on jax. She speaks to Venus about her son, and how her son will grow up to hate his father. Forcing Jax to think about his own sons: what will Jax’s children think of him when they grow up and learn about his lifestyle? Will they hate him? The emotion on Jax’s face is brutal. Alice is talking to Venus, but every word she says clings to Jax.
Jax pulls the trigger on Alice. And after the club sees the horrible things that she was doing, it’s impossible to hate Jax for it.
The theme of parenthood continues strong throughout the episode, and culminates in the scene with Tara and Gemma—a scene that much of the season has been building towards. Tara’s plan for full custody of the children has been hanging ominously and mysteriously in the background of the season, and it seems that it’s finally coming to the forefront.
Tara proves herself to be willing to do anything to accomplish her goal. She’s been manipulating for a while, and she proves herself to be as good—or better—than Gemma at manipulating the people around her. It seems that she’s getting what she wants: but do the ends justify the means? I’m having a hard time sympathizing with Tara in this storyline. Maybe it’s because I’m not a mother, or maybe it’s intentional. Either way, it’s certainly a plausible development for her character, and for a show that, while outwardly about a wild motorcycle club, is really about family.
Did Tara really lose the baby? What did she put in her shirt before she banged herself against the table? At first I thought the blood was fake, but then we saw her in the hospital bed with the bruise and everything. Did she really sabotage her own pregnancy to protect the unborn child from Gemma? Was she ever pregnant in the first place? Hopefully this will be made clear next week.
Gemma’s taken away and arrested. Can’t help but wonder: with Jax apparently severing ties with his mother, will the club continue to be safe from Nero? If Gemma loses her connection with Jax, will Nero flip on SAMCRO and play into the DA’s plan?
Exciting stuff all around, and another strong episode that leaves me needing more. The wait between each episode is getting more and more painful as the season goes on.
What did you think? Did you enjoy the Venus van Damme story? Has Tara gone past the point of sympathy? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Tig’s infatuation with Venus is as hilarious as ever. maybe moreso.
What a waste of a fresh baked black and white cookie. Why is it that whenever I see one of those things, I immediately think of that Seinfeld episode?
Clay wasn’t in the episode at all this week.
An ice cream shop as the new hangout. Love it. Chucky’s massive genuine smile in the ending montage was amazing.