Image credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
REGRETS, I'VE HAD A FEW Clay (Ron Perlman) didn't turn on the club. And yet, he's still alive. For now.
Jax showed up at County to see Clay, and the look on Charlie Hunnam's face when he walked into the room was downright scary. In the same way it's more affecting when you see someone grief-stricken struggle not to cry rather than wailing, it's always more tense when you have someone who wants to explode struggling to stay calm. Clay tried to tell Jax he understood what went down and that he'd earned it, but Jax wasn't buying it. He just wanted to know what Clay had given Toric in exchange for protective custody. Clay was honest: He said he promised to give up the club if Toric let him see Gemma and Jax. "I just want you to know I'm sorry, for all of it," Clay said. Ron Perlman was so utterly believable in that moment. I'd already guessed what Clay was doing. I wonder if Jax had, too. Was his audible gulp him suppressing his fear of what Clay had told Toric, or him realizing that Clay was saying his goodbyes because he wasn't going to tell Toric anything? I think the latter, and Clay just spelled it out for us and Toric, who was listening behind the glass. He said he wouldn't give Toric s---, they'd send him to gen pop, and that would play out as expected (meaning Pope's crew would kill him). That's all Clay had to say.
As Clay sat resigned to his fate, Jax stood and walked to the glass. He told Toric he was sorry about his sister, that he could feel how personal this was for him. "But SAMCRO didn't kill her. Otto acted alone. He's not a member anymore. He's just a broken guy, more than a few blocks from sane. I don't give a s--- what you do to him," Jax said, motioning back toward Clay, "but if you try to come after my wife, try to tie her to this murder, you're gonna feel how personal this is for me." That's also why episodes are running long his season -- you can't deliver threats like that quickly. You have to go slow, so the weight of each sentence piles on. Jax left without looking at Clay. Clay crossed his legs and Toric came in, saying he hoped that was all posturing and Clay was ready to sign. If not, he's headed back to Stockton and probably won't even make it to a cell. Clay reminded me of my sister's sweet but stubborn redbone coonhound -- sad stare that won't meet your gaze when you ask him to do something he doesn't want to, won't move no matter how hard you pull on his collar. Toric noted the irony of Clay dying for the one murder he didn't commit. Did laying it out like that make you think Clay must somehow survive or that he was definitely going to die?
Back at T-M, Jax updated the table on Clay (cut to sad Tig) and Toric. He told the boys to assume Toric had made the Byz-Lat connection and everything they were doing was being watched. Sad Juice said someone should update Bobby about Clay, and Chibs said Bobby needed to hear from Jax. Jax shot that down. While Bobby was in a coffee shop convincing two Reno Sons to go nomad, Toric had the two Byz-Lats bound at a kitchen table so he could question them on the whereabouts of Darvany and Arcadio. He couldn't find a bottle opener, so when they refused to answer, HE USED THEIR MOUTHS AS BOTTLE OPENERS. "What'd you know, twist off," he said, after wiping the blood off the cap and removing it. He took a sip. "That is good. That's real good." I don't even want to think about the sound of the flesh tearing, the grinding against the gums, the blood pooling on the table and the white tank top. (Though I just did.)
Wendy showed up at T-M looking for Jax (really, Wendy?), but since he wasn't there, she instead told Gemma how she'd been attacked by a Mexican NA newcomer named Luis with prison ink whom she'd refused to give her number to. He'd followed her to her car, grabbed her by the neck (she had a mark), and shoved his hands down her pants. She gouged his eyes and got away, but he screamed after her that he and his friends were going to find her and "rape me bloody." Flashbacks to season 2 in her mind, no doubt, Gemma was visibly unsettled. She told Wendy, who admitted she knows Jax is pissed at her, that she would talk to him. In the meantime, Gemma told Wendy to drop by her house when she was done with work. And Gemma hugged her. HUGGED HER.
NEXT: "Is this us or you?"