Sons of Anarchy recap: The Mad King

Jax takes it upon himself to negotiate with the Irish, and Gemma visits Clay for information (both plans end badly)
Ep. 05 | Aired Oct 8, 2013

KABOOM Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) realized the Irish had delivered a bomb, not beer, in the nick of time.

Prashant Gupta/FX

The first time I watched this episode, I focused on the devastation of the clubhouse being bombed by the Irish. But the second time, I paid more attention to Chibs’ scene with Jax right before it. Did he finally get through to him? Will Jax slow down and trust Chibs and the rest of the guys to weigh in on decisions that affect them all? Did SAMCRO need to fall to rise back up again? Am I naïve to think this season will bring me anything more than more pain?

Because we’d seen pistol-whipping in the promo for this episode, the opening montage of the boys staking out various Irish haunts ratcheted up the tension. We also saw Gemma, Lyla, and Chucky tucking everyone in at the clubhouse, which is still on lockdown; Clay getting a new black cellmate; weary Nero locking up at Diosa and placing the gun from his ankle holster on the coffee table as he sat watching the door; and Eli looking at crime scene photos of Toric and Otto. Happy told Jax to get some sleep, but Jax said he was good. The fade to daylight on his face let you know he stayed up all night staring. You know you’re old when you start thinking about how the lack of sleep will affect his decision-making capabilities. Back at the clubhouse, a shaken Chucky was on refreshment duty, he told Gemma they needed beer and soda; she sensed he was upset about Otto, who had saved his life on the inside.

Jax's persistence paid off. They saw a Suburban SUV arrive. One of the Irish went inside while the other was introduced to the butt of Happy's gun. Happy honked the horn so the other guy would come back out, and Jax chased him -- kind of awkwardly, let's be honest, there's no way to jump over a box like a badass. The guy got smacked in the head with the butt of Jax's gun (that's the go-to move this season), then Jax told him this didn't need to get any bloodier. He just wanted to know where Galen and Connor are. The guy wouldn't talk -- until Jax stabbed his hand. Galen left the day before, he said, but they had Connor's suitcase and were due to pick him up at a beverage supply house in Lodi. Jax handed the guy a pen and paper sitting conveniently nearby and told him to write down the address. "I hope you're not a leftie," Jax quipped. The second time you watch the episode, you notice that it was a shamrock pen, just like the one that appeared in the clubhouse at the end.

Jax had the two Irish tied up and said the plan would be to roll up in their Suburban and see if they could get close to Connor. But first, he had to go handle escort business. Good thing Juice was thinking of Tara since Jax wasn't. Jax was going to have Rat watch her. Meanwhile, the DA paid Eli a visit to tell him Toric believed the dead escort Erin could tie the Byz-Lats and Sons to the school shooting. Was Otto killing Toric a hit, they wondered. Otto won't be able to tell them, so the DA wants to use Tara. Eli knows Tara's not the bad guy, but in the DA's book, she'd bad until she does something good. So while the DA presses Tara, she wants errand boy Eli to focus on finding dirt on Nero. Eli didn't look happy. I think he learned with Juice that pressuring good people to get at bad ones isn't his style. I'm torn between wanting to see less of the DA because she’s still pretty one-dimensional and wanting to see more of her so she can be developed as a character. Since we need the DA in this story to keep the heat on SAMCRO, let's hope for the latter?

NEXT: "No more bodies, Jackson, please"

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