Image credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
GO TIME Lowen (Robin Weigert) and Tara (Maggie Siff) put Tara's plan in motion: She faked a miscarriage, which she blamed on Gemma; Jax signed a document denying Gemma access to the boys.
At the table, Bobby ran everyone through the club's sad financials. Since they're paying Nero back directly out of Diosa's profits, that's not producing much. Nero's arrest has spooked Colette and her girls, so the Stockton expansion is on hold. Even with that status report, Quinn, West, and Montez still wanted to transfer to SAMCRO, and they were voted in. Jax also wanted the club to vote on giving Ratboy a full patch. It was a unanimous yes. Lifting our spirits up like that just made me more nervous that we were going to get the wind knocked out of us.
Jax met with August to tell him about the Irish declining his initial offer for August to take over the gun distribution. Jax said he's still working on something, so August is cool -- for now. As a sign that Jax trusts his brothers, Chibs and newly christened consigliere Bobby joined him for that chat, while Tig and the others prepared to cut loose Connor. Jax is tired of "blood for blood," he told August. "You're learnin', son," August said. Jax asked Connor to tell Galen that he'll honor his demands and have Clay run the guns -- but if Clay falls through, August is still willing. (Does this mean we're back to waiting for Clay to be killed? And where was Clay this episode? We didn't see him once.)
Gemma went to visit Nero, and he told her about the deal the DA offered him -- which, I think, means he's not planning on taking it. (Though the promo for the next episode may suggest otherwise.) He kissed Gemma's hand and smelled a new perfume. She told him it was Venus'. Jimmy Smits' nervous reaction was precious. Nero didn't know how Gemma would respond to Venus. It made Nero's serious turn when Gemma told him that Venus' mother, Alice, had gotten custody of Venus' "nephew" Joey all the more upsetting. He begged Gemma to ask Jax to help get the boy away from Alice. (Side note: Revisiting season 2 for our latest SOA body count rewind gallery, I was reminded that Venus Van Dam isn't the first Venus we met on the show. When most of the club was arrested after storming a Christian Center looking for Zobelle, they tried to earn protection inside by delivering two rats to the Family. One was an inmate in protective custody -- Juice bait! -- and the other was a transgender dealer named Venus, who Opie and Sheriff Trammel tried to frame for possession. She shot Trammel when he pulled her over.)
With the DNA evidence on Toric's room due back the next afternoon, the DA knew pressing Nero was probably a losing battle (yay), so she wanted to look outside the family. Eli told her about his run-in with Barosky outside Colette's brothel when he was tailing Jax and Nero. The DA told Eli to look into Barosky.
The highlight of the episode for me was seeing Tig's awestruck reaction when he first saw Venus waiting at the new clubhouse. "Maybe she's here for the banana split," he said. Venus waved innocently to Tig. "Hi, baby," he said quietly. Love Kim Coates. "Why?" was Jax's question to Gemma. Jax didn't want the risk of taking on someone else's problem right now -- the circle had to remain closed. But Gemma said Venus was family to Nero and Nero is family to her. Jax agreed to hear Venus out.
NEXT: "Hey, I guess I'm just a sucker for a pretty face"