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 hospital, Margaret told Tara they had to make their move now. Wendy, who was playing with Abel, was told it was time for her "meeting." Unser gave Tara the restraining order, and she told him he'd soon know who needed restraining. Barosky met Jax and Co. at Alice's studio, Happy Carousel. Tig and Chibs busted open the door. Venus can run in those heels. She went to Joey, who was drugged and shirtless on an animal print fainting couch. We saw editing equipment and pictures of adorable children on the walls. There was a camera pointed at a crib. A CRIB. Jax stared at it with the disgusted look we all had on our faces. Alice and her men arrived. Venus grabbed Tig's gun and pointed it at Alice's head. Jax touched Venus' shaking arm, Tig touched her back, and everyone asked her not to shoot. She gave the weapon back to Tig. Jax screamed at Alice to get out and leave the boy with them. Her men left, but Alice stayed behind to belittle Venus.
She told Venus she doesn't deserve a son. Alice had a son once who forgot who he was and deserted his family (WHO USED HIM FOR A CHILD PORNOGRAPHY SERVICE, ALICE). She told Venus to go ahead and tell Joey she's his daddy and how much she loves him and wants the best for him. It won't matter. The camera focused on Jax's face not Venus', so we'd understand that Jax was hearing those words as though they were being said to him. He had tears in his eyes as Alice insisted that when the boy finds out who you are, he'll grow up hating you, hating your lies, hating the life you forced him into and hating himself. The boy was gonna blow his own brains out because of you -- the awful thing that turned out to be his father. Those are the last words Alice spoke, because Jax put a bullet in her head. The blood splattered on the wall and on the framed photos of children. There was just silence and shots of stunned faces. Jax wiped a tear from his eye.
The more you think about that scene, the more ways there are to read it. After watching Jax try to convince Venus that she should tell Joey the truth, that Joey would be proud to have her as a parent after what she'd done that day for him, I think my initial read was correct: Jax is afraid of what his boys will think when they learn about his gun-running days -- even if he's gotten the club out (theoretically). But you could also add in another layer: Was Jax also shooting Tara, who didn’t want to raise their kids around the club she couldn't accept, or Gemma, the mother who'd wanted him to stay in the gun-running business that he was raised in?
After Jax and Barosky watched a clip of Alice's work, Barosky said he would've killed Alice if Jax hadn't and that Jax had done that neighborhood a service. On the one hand, ridding the hood Barosky loves so much of a child pornographer should earn Jax points with him. But Barosky offering to take care of Alice's body and to send his guys to convince Alice's two men to leave town again made me nervous. Could he use Alice against Jax somehow? I'm choosing to believe Barosky is Team Jax at the moment. I think Barosky appreciates Jax being able to do what the cops couldn't in Alice's case.
Venus explained to Jax why she wouldn't be telling Joey the truth: She wasn't ready to lose him. Her lineage suggests he'll judge and hate her. She had to be reborn as Venus to escape the family doom that ends with her dying miserably. Stroking Joey's head in her lap, she said she hopes something comes along to liberate Joey from that fate. "Yeah, I hope so," Jax said. (Thinking of his boys? Or himself?)
NEXT: "You're lucky you're pregnant"