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

Man, we should have guessed something was up when we got that nice long shot of the clubhouse exterior as Nero drove in past the row of bikes. It was no doubt meant to show us how separate from the M/C Nero feels, but it also gave us a good look at that exterior before it went boom. After Gemma told Nero they simply tell garage customers they're remodeling during a lockdown, Jax and Rat arrived. We're at the point in the series when Gemma asking Jax if the rest of the club members are alive isn't a joke. He assured her he wasn't starting a war (which I didn't believe at that point). "No more bodies, Jackson, please," she told him. Before he and Nero left for Colette's, Jax spoke with Tara. Notice they didn't kiss hello on the lips. She told him she had to get out of there -- Gemma scares her. She said nothing had happened yet, but she knows Gemma still thinks she's trying to take the boys away and doesn't trust her. She told Jax not to say anything to Gemma. "It's just too much anxiety in my first trimester," she said. She told him she was going to use her old office to talk to Lowen, and he insisted Rat go with her. They hugged goodbye but again didn't kiss on the lips. So clearly Tara is going to fake a miscarriage, right? Is she hoping that will turn Jax against Gemma, or the court against Jax and Gemma? As Jax got in Nero's car, we got a moment of levity: "Where my 40, homes?" Jax asked. "Eh, just get in the car scooter boy," Nero answered. As they pulled out of T-M, Eli followed tailing them.

On the drive to Colette's, Nero asked for an update on the Irish, which Gemma had mentioned. Whether he likes it or not, he knows he's a part of Jax's "other business" now. Jax told Nero the situation might get worse before it gets better. Nero wanted to know if the Irish could have had something to do with Erin. "No, if they wanted to kill someone close, it would've been family," Jax explained. "That's comforting," Nero said. Jax told Nero he was going to make Diosa work and end the violence. He didn't need him to believe it now, he just needed him not to bail. Nero said he doesn't need details, he just needs to know when to duck. Fair enough, Jax said. "Plus, I'm lettin' you tap my mom. That's gotta be worth something," he added. "Ouch," Nero said. "I'm gonna pretend I didn't even hear that." Charlie Hunnam and Jimmy Smits always give their vehicle chatter a breeziness that makes you wonder if they're ad-libbing. This one reminded me of that first ride Jax and Nero took together last season, the one that ended in a chase. Nero had been almost giddy then, seeing (comparatively harmless) action again after being out of the game. Now, he's tired but still fighting to keep the relationship going.

While those two went inside and prepared to meet the inspector with Colette, Eli parked outside a block away. I howled when Barosky's car drove past, then backed up so he could roll down his window and ask Eli if he could help him with something. Barosky, of course, would know a police tail when he sees one. And Eli knew Barosky's retirement was forced -- it was that or prosecution. Still, Barosky scared Eli off by threatening to out him for a stakeout in someone else's jurisdiction. Jax is all smiley around Colette -- did he forget he saw her boning Barosky? Barosky asked Jax and Nero if either of them knows a "thick black sheriff." They went outside and told him about Nero being a person of interest in Erin's murder. Barosky was predictably pissed that they were bringing a problem to his doorstep and threatening his delicate balance. Before the lecture could get too long, the guys pulled up ready to deal with the Irish again. Nero said Barosky and Colette should stop by Diosa to put their minds at ease, and off Jax went. Barosky gave Jax a look that said he hasn't forgotten Jax saw him boning Colette, and then he told Nero he hopes he knows what he's doing. Suddenly I'm worried that Barosky is going to end up taking out Nero. Stress!

While playing on the swings with Abel, Unser and Tara had time to talk about him having walked in on her coven at the hospital. "Pretty obvious you didn't want the queen to be privy," he said, referring to Gemma. "Exit strategy?" She told him it was best he doesn't know. "Do you need my help?" he asked. He'd need to know all the facts -- cop in him. He said it was an offer and she should think it over. I trust Unser. Even though we know he has feelings for Gemma, he can separate right from wrong, and he knows better than anyone that those boys aren't safe with her or near the club.

NEXT: "Jesus, another fine Irishman brought down by the bottle"

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