Sons of Anarchy recap: Love Deep, Hate Deeper

Tara's plan unravels spectacularly as Jax deals with the Italians, the Irish, and the Chinese on the eve of Clay's transport
Ep. 10 | Aired Nov 12, 2013

GOODBYE? Clay (Ron Perlman) told Gemma (Katey Sagal) that he'd see her on the other side.

Prashant Gupta/FX

Connor wasn't the only Irishman who went to SAMCRO's meet with Jimmy. Galen popped out of the car, too. The gun and pony show went according to plan until Henry Lin and his uncle arrived for their turn. Galen decided to show Jimmy how well his guns work on flesh. (SAMCRO pulled a similar move in the season 4 premiere, you'll recall.) He killed one of Henry's men and shot Henry in the arm. Jimmy was pissed, but Galen made it up to him financially. Instead of paying a 20 percent markup, it would be 10 percent for two years and then jump to 12 percent. Galen was satisfied. Jimmy was fine, actually -- he was never gonna go with Lin anyway. Jax, however, was angry: If Lin wouldn't believe SAMCRO didn't know about that set-up, things would blow up in Oakland. Just another day for Jax! Connor said he hadn't known Galen would be sending that message to Lin either. Is Galen going the way of Jimmy O'Phelan? Will the Irish turn on him?

Wendy had called and updated Unser on Tara unraveling. Since Gemma had to go see Clay, Unser offered to check in on Wendy. Nero said he'd go with him and talk junkie-to-junkie with her. Unser wasn't thrilled about Nero driving and getting in touch with his inner "cholo." "I had that removed with my spleen. It's a little cancer joke," he said. "Just a little heads-up," Gemma told Nero. "He's kinda in love with me. Have fun." She made sure her gun was loaded before she drove off. And as if to warn us of the confrontation to come, Tara got her gun out.

Gemma let herself in at Tara's house, claiming she was there to pick up some of the boys' things in case they needed to spend time at Grandma's. I've said it before with this show: I love when heated conversations are had calmly. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. The intensity simmers. Things could ignite at any moment. You appreciate FX allowing episodes to run long so the actors have the chance to let these moments breathe.

The reason Gemma hates what Tara's done so much is because it's something she would have done, Tara said -- pushing the envelope to protect her family. Faking the death of a baby isn't something she'd do, Gemma insisted. She pointed out that Tara is all alone now, bridges burning. Tara said she doesn't need friends; she has her family. Gemma asked what we've been wondering: How did Tara think this was gonna work out, best-case scenario? Did she really think Jax would let her or Wendy take the kids to Oregon or wherever? Gemma said she knew Jax better than Tara: "My son loves deep, hates deeper. It's in our genes," she said, echoing what Venus Van Dam had told Jax about her family. "Betrayal is unforgivable. What you did, what you were planning to do -- there's no coming back from that. All you can do now is tell him you're sorry and go away."

"I'll never do that. Not without my sons," Tara responded.

And then Gemma said the following, not viciously but with whatever tiny bit of love she had left for Tara and as though it was the inevitable, acceptable conclusion: "You need to hear this, Tara. And understand it on every level. Thomas and Abel will not be raised by you. What you do now will determine how we deliver that message: Mommy moved away… or mommy passed away. Your call." I'd say that's one of Katey Sagal's five best scenes of the series. When Gemma left, Tara grabbed a pillar to steady herself before she sat down. So wonderful, the fear, isolation, and desperation Maggie Siff can convey through her eyes.

NEXT: Jax makes some promises

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