Where we last left our friends in SAMCRO, Jax framed Clay for Damon Pope’s murder, with the help of his mother Gemma. Since Pope had a 5 million dollar ransom for his potential murderer, Clay is in danger in lock up, as per Jax’s design. Tara was arrested for accidently helping that crazy bastard, Otto, murder a nurse. The nurse was related to Toric, who is out for blood or justice, whichever comes first. So, now Jax if left raising his two children with them help of Gemma, still introspective about his future with the club. (As if he hasn’t been going back in forth on the same issue for five years.)

I wonder how long they will have Jax thinking about the same issue over and over. He’s so like his long dead father. Always wondering about the future of the club and whether his children can avoid his fate. It was a strong plot line for one or two seasons, but after five years you’d think he’d be a bit more decisive. With Tara in jail, you’d think his first priority would be his family, but he still deals with club business first.

In the week or so since the events of the end of season 5, Toric has continued his quest to avenge his sister’s death. He has ordered Otto to be raped daily within his solitary prison cell. If you needed any proof that he was evil, there you go. Furthermore, it’s revealed that he was the one who told the police about Tara’s involvement with the club and got her incarcerated. Believing that Jax ordered his sister’s death, he’s out to get Tara to turn on Jax in return for her freedom and a new life for her family. A new life is what she has wanted since she gave birth to her son, but I don’t think anybody believes that she would do so at the expense of her husband. (I’m dreading what will happen to her this season for her to get to that point.)

By the end of the episode he doesn’t get what he wants from Tara, but luckily he still has Clay. He’s a man who has lost the only things that ever mattered to him: his wife and his club. He’s killed for both. But he’s also hurt both tremendously. Turning on Jax will be destructive to both Gemma and the club, but Clay is a man who has always protected himself above all so the move is hardly surprising.

Toric is a fascinating villain because he’s very clearly a bad guy, but his motive (so far) isn’t about money or drugs. It’s about the anger he feels about his sister’s death. That’s definitely a relatable emotion. Who wouldn’t feel a devastatingly, overwhelming anger about the murder of a loved one? But the lengths he’s going, mixed with what little we’ve heard about his criminal history, makes him truly scary. A man who is out for vengeance and has very little morality is not somebody who is going to be reasoned with or bought off. There will probably be nothing that can convince him that Jax wasn’t involved in his sister’s death, so it will only be more infuriating when he moves to destroy him. Nothing like vengeance against the wrong person.

Throughout the episode, a cherub faced blonde kid in a nice suit travels throughout Charming. He is seemingly without connection to the club. At the beginning I thought perhaps he was supposed to mirror Jax’s loss of innocence or some other symbol, especially since he’s constantly writing in his composition notebook, just like Jax and his narration dissertation. But then the boy takes out a machine gun, no doubt provided by a club member, and shoots up a school. (It looked like Biker Dave Navarro is either his father or just connected to his mother.) This will likely have ramifications on the club all season, as it should. Of course Kurt Sutter would be the first to do something regarding school shootings. This is not a storyline I’m looking forward to.

The episode ends with Tara giving into her badass nature by beating a woman down for stealing her blanket. And who could blame her. Prison gets cold. Meanwhile, her husband, who she has pushed away the entire episode, cheats on her with the first sex worker to give him a little attention. In six seasons, Jax hasn’t changed. Could this be the season that finally does it?

Other Musings:

  • When Unser began the series, he had a trucking company, one of the most powerful jobs in Charming, a wife, and lots of friends. Now he’s living alone in a trailer in the parking lot of the club. He’s lost everything for these people with very little return. His love for Gemma has always pushed him forward, but she barely acknowledges him, especially now that she has Nero for company. She has her whole life but he only has her. It’s too sad.
  • Apparently, Lyla is still around the club, despite losing Opie. It’s nice to see the club members protecting Opie’s widow but I wish she could just go off screen to live a happy life. In “Straw” she has basically been tricked into doing torture porn, left bloody and scarred. It leads to an introduction into the porn business once again. Not really looking forward to this storyline throughout the season.
  • Jax to Ima: “You’re a stupid whore.” Gemma bashes her face into a table. This is bad but I love it when she gets a beating, verbal or physical, from the Teller family.
  • “How are your accommodations?” “Confined.”
  • One of the Iranian torture porn directors is drowned in a bathtub filled with urine, but Tig’s hand. Let’s face it: this whole storyline was a setup for this particular death. Somebody in the writer’s room asked, “How can we get a set where there’s a bathtub filled with bright, yellow pee?” “Torture porn set, of course!”
  • My favorite Tig moment of all time is him singing “Dock of the Bay” while sitting on a dock, moments after pushing a caged man to his watery grave.
  • Toric has a drug problem. This will definitely end well.
  • I can’t stand seeing Wendy on the show because I’m always afraid something bad will happen to her. She’s genuinely trying to put her life back together. Every time she’s on screen I’m on edge that Gemma or Jax will hurt her.
  • “I love you brother,” says Juice. “I know,” says Chibs. It’s a very Star Wars moment right up until the moment Chibs starts beating on him.
  • Is anybody enjoying Nero (Jimmy Smits)? I’m not. I don’t think Gemma needs another love interest. Jax doesn’t need another father-like figure. And the club doesn’t need another addition.