Sons of Anarchy
To Be, Part 1

Episode Report Card
Sobell: A | Grade It Now!
The Queen Is Dead, Long Live the Queen

Across the courtyard, Chibs gives a sharp whistle and summons Jax, as it's time for them to meet up with the cartel and the Irish Kings. Jax turns back to Tara, genuinely at a loss for words, and then puts the syringe back in the case. Gemma is staring at Tara; Tara tosses a cool look over her shoulder, and then focuses that calm, pitiless stare on Jax. She stands up, takes his hand and pulls him to her. She orders, "You kill him. And then you come and get me and our boys and drive us out of this poisonous town." And... way to play Jax, Tara. Make him feel as if he's the one who engineered the escape! It's a callback to the first episode, and to the conversation Tara had with Margaret about how she had to let Jax lead them out.

Jax nods and keeps his eyes on Tara as he says, "I will. I promise." He then kisses her. Gemma watches, looking resentful and alone. When the kiss breaks, Jax looks at Gemma apologetically; Tara looks considerably less sorry for Gemma. After he walks away, Gemma shakily sighs and attempts to put Tara on the defensive with "What are you doing?" Tara says quietly, "Everything you taught me. He's mine." She walks off, and -- SYMBOLISM AHOY -- the scene closes with Gemma up against the ropes.

Then the music swells up again as the singer tells us "It's such a hard way to fall/no I ain't going to go to Heaven/ they have locked me in these walls/ it's such a hard way to fall," and we see Jax hopping on his bike in the sunshine, then shift to Clay, weak and alone in a darkened room. A hard way for Clay to fall indeed. The question is whether -- or why -- Jax gives him a final push.

Lisa Schmeiser is an Oakland-adjacent writer and reporter. Send her promises of ether chambers, mixing bowls full of cereal and syringes full of blood thinners at

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Sons of Anarchy




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