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

Disturbing scene #3: Inside the porn studio, one woman was in a cage and another was being victimized as the director told the assailant to "seek and destroy." Outside, Nero's crew met up with Jax and the boys, and they decided it would be best to knock and pose as fellow pornographers interested in checking out something more hardcore. The guns came out quickly, and Nero wins for his hilarious (albeit offensive) line: "I suggest you tell Zero Dark Sh*thead over there to put down that piece." Jax wanted to handle things with the two Iranian porn-producer brothers in a "calm, professional manner" by freeing the women and getting them paid. But the younger entreporneur pulled a gun out of the makeshift safe instead of cash. Bullets flew (punches for Jax and Nero, which seemed more badass). The older brother got away, and Jax instructed that the younger one be caged. Just as Nero was raiding the lube and weed, cops burst in. Luckily, those cops are in the pocket of Charlie Barosky (Peter Weller, playing a bad guy Elmore Leonard might've enjoyed). He's the crooked ex-cop who runs the docks, who Nero knew they should've checked in with before heading to the studio. I love how civil that meeting was. Then again, Barosky quickly established a way for Jax and Nero to make up for the mess they'd caused him -- he has a friend who runs a brothel who's looking to go legit. Jax said they'd be happy to talk and help out -- they were looking to expand to Stockton. Nero looked less than enthused.

Juice and Rat Boy arrived back at T-M, and Gemma provided more comic relief when she took Rat Boy's hand and placed it on her chest after he called her ma'am: "There. Now you've had your hand on my tits, you can't call me ma'am anymore." Mopey Juice wonders if Bobby will patch out of Redwood Original and go nomad again -- all you need is four Sons who don't have a home. Gemma doesn't think it will happen. Juice said he's tired, and clearly, it's the guilt over framing Clay that's exhausted him. I presume that's what he was going to ask Gemma -- if she felt guilty -- when she stopped him. She said she wouldn't ask him either -- it's done.

Tig and Chibs provided a bit of levity with this exchange at Barosky's bakery:

Tig (with powdered sugar in his facial hair): A crooked cop opens a crooked donut shop. No one else sees the irony in that?

Chibs: The shortbread is bloody marvelous.

Barosky said the guy who'd rented the space to the Iranians had no idea what it was being used for. So Barosky would keep the cash left in the space, and they'd call it even.

Toric's rounds continued with a visit to Tara. It was him who focused the Department of Justice on Tara's relationship with Jax, the RICO case, the documents she forged to gain access to Otto. She told Toric she'd only done that to talk to Otto, and he pointed out she just admitted to a felony. He told her she was probably looking at 5 to 7 years, and he wanted her to turn on Jax. Tara said Jax would never order someone to kill a woman (a bold statement, considering what he'd just done to Wendy) and that Otto had killed his sister to HURT Jax, not help him. Toric offered Tara witness protection for her and her boys. How could she tell the boys she was the one who turned on their dad? Toric didn't know, but at least she and the boys would be alive this way. He said Tara had about two more weeks in protective custody before she'd have to enter gen pop, but she knew her decision now: She's neither guilty nor a rat. She held it together until Toric left the room, and then she cried. When a guard came to get her, she wiped away the tears and steeled up. It's going to be a good season for Maggie Siff. You can feel it.

Gemma phoned to tell Jax that Juice was back. Chibs considers Juice a loose cannon/end after all he's pulled. Jax told Chibs they have to let Juice try to earn their trust back, because if they tell the rest of the club what he did, the brotherhood will crumble.

Jax sent Tig back to free the porn producer and take his equipment. Tig was willing to let the guy go with a slap -- until he said he hopes Tig watches their movies and sees his daughter raped. "Oh, daddy, daddy, that hurts." WRONG MOVE. Disturbing scene #4: Tig drowned the guy in the tub of urine -- then took a piss on him. The other brother is still out there. Tig doesn't need more enemies. I'm worried.

NEXT: Hello, Madame

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