Sons of Anarchy season premiere recap: The Straw

Disturbing from start to finish, the premiere's most tragic moment signals the beginning of the end
Ep. 01 | Aired Sep 10, 2013

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS Can Lee Toric (Donal Logue) really turn Clay (Ron Perlman)?

Prashant Gupta/FX

After we saw the young blond boy kiss his mother goodbye and wave to Dave Navarro's character (whose name I imagine we should now learn), we saw Tara meeting with the club's lawyer, Ally Lowen. (I've always liked her, so her name I do know.) Lowen can't find out who provided the information on Tara that led to her arrest or what the DA's office has on her; Tara, we learned, won't talk to Jax or let him see her like this. Did she mean with that short hair or wearing prison orange? Tara's bail hearing will be the next morning. "I have to get out of here," she told Lowen in a scared, but almost involuntary plea. Did she mean jail or Charming? When Lowen turned Jax away at the jail, she told him Tara's suspicion that Gemma had turned her in. Jax didn't think his mom would go to the cops, but, just like Clay, there's little she wouldn't do when she's desperate to keep hold of something.

Major props to Mercedes-Benz for allowing one of their cars to be featured with a license plate that reads IMATITE. It was driven by Ima, that porn star who's always wanted Jax. She told the guys Lyla was hurt badly, and they brought her to Jax -- who was at Diosa interrupting the moment of Gemma and Nero comic relief to confront his mother. (Gemma convincingly denied going to the cops). Disturbing scene #2: Burn-covered Lyla wailing in Jax's arms: "Please, oh God, I want Opie. I want Opie." I about burst into tears myself. That wound still feels raw, and this re-opened it. Lyla has been having money problems raising three kids, so she asked Ima to get her more work. They thought it was fetish porn, but it was torture porn. Before Jax, Nero, and the guys headed to the Stockton Navy Yards to bust some heads, Chibs and Gemma took Lyla back to the clubhouse to clean her up. Gemma slammed Ima's face into the bar on her way out. That's something fans would not have tolerated any of the guys doing to Ima, no matter how much we dislike her. "She'll be fine," Gemma told Chibs.

Toric paid Clay a visit and introduced himself as the man who's keeping Clay alive for the moment. Toric knows Clay is too smart to have dumped the murder weapon where it was found, so he figures Jax is framing Clay for Pope's murder. Correct. Where he's wrong though: Toric thinks the club asked Otto to kill his sister to crush the RICO case. He wants Clay to turn on the club. If Clay didn't give Toric's card to a guard before the next shift change, he'd be put in gen pop. And then, bye-bye Clay.

After we saw Bobby move into his new digs with the help of Phil ("No oven, how are you gonna bake anything?") and former nomad Quinn, we watched the blond boy cross the street and Abel playing with Unser. Wendy showed up at T-M because she heard about Tara's arrest, and Gemma assumed that Wendy knew Tara had typed up a will naming Wendy guardian of the boys. Wendy said she didn't ask Tara to do that, and it doesn't matter now: After what went down last week -- you remember, Jax shooting Wendy up -- she was done. She doesn't want to lose three years of sobriety, and she knows she'll end up dead or Abel will end up hurt if she pursues custody. She won't let Tara make her a guardian, Wendy said. Was the cut to the torture porn set, past a TUB FILLED WITH URINE, a way of telling us Wendy was full of s---?

NEXT: Oh, the irony of Charlie Hunnam being cast in Fifty Shades of Grey

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