Sons of Anarchy
To Be, Part 1

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The Queen Is Dead, Long Live the Queen

Tig then turns to Happy and Chibs and says mournfully, "This is on me... Clay wanted me to stay. He had a feeling something was going down." Chibs tries to reason with Tig by pointing out that they don't know anything, but Tig's decided that facts will only get in the way of his conclusion: "A brother asked for help. I turned my back." He storms off and Happy just shakes his head. I am sure he'd rather be home making his mom a cup of tea and organizing his silverware by type and size.

Meanwhile, Gemma watches the medical team roll Clay down the hall. After Gemma plays the wife card, a doctor says, "We're prepping him for surgery. Follow me and I can bring you up to speed." "That's okay. Just keep him alive," Gemma shrugs. Funny she should request that -- she seems like she'd be okay having Clay code on the operating table.

Morning finally breaks over Charming, and poor Roosevelt has to spend it hanging with Potter in the war room. We establish that Potter has swallowed the Niner speculation in re: Clay's shooting, and Roosevelt asks, "[Clay]'s in critical condition, and we've got two other members in lockdown. Do you really think this meet is going to happen?" An eminently reasonable question, and as such, it has no place in Potter's universe. So OF COURSE the meeting is still on. Potter says the opportunity to do business is too great, so both the IRA and the cartel will plow on, and besides, they're committed to playing out their strategy. "That means you don't get Clay," Roosevelt points out. "It appears someone else is determined to right that wrong," Potter says, his eyes shining. Either Potter has an ether chamber in the back where he repairs for quick snorts between table tarantellas or he's out of his mind with anticipation at bringing the full might of the U.S. Attorney's office down on a boatload of gunrunners. I wouldn't rule out either possibility.

And now the long national nightmare is over: Jackson Teller is shirtless on camera. In fact, he's clothes-less on camera, as he's in the shower. We get the full rear shot of Jax in the shower, and it appears that Charlie Hunnam suffers for his art by never eating a refined carbohydrate. I, for one, appreciate the sacrifice.

Tara comes in, takes a long and frankly lustful look (which explains a lot about why she sticks around) and notes the pile of bloody clothing on the floor before sitting on the commode. Jax comes out of the shower and Tara asks, "Rough night?" Jax tells her that Clay got shot and is in critical condition. Tara asks who did it and Jax lies, "I'm not sure." He hastens to reassure Tara that this changes nothing: following today's deal with the Irish, he'll "put my goddamn family in a car and we'll drive the hell out of Charming." Tara gives Jax a brightly poisonous smile and asks, "Just like Jax? Change your clothes, wash off the blood --" "Yeah, Tara, just like that," Jax snaps. He rolls his eyes all, Lord, why does this woman insist on using past history as an indicator of future probability? and crouches down in front of Tara so he can give her the full puppy-dog eye treatment. He says, "I know it's not going to be an easy shift -- I'm not delusional -- I also know you're not clear right now." Tara begs to differ: "I'd argue I'm the clearest I've ever been." Jax replies, "Trust me, babe... rage feels that way. Have Phil and Elyda help you pack. I'll be back to help you tonight." He stands up and we get a shot of his back, with its SAMCRO tattoo across it, in three different angles in the mirror. It's a tidy reflection of Jax as the son of larger-than-life parents, the motorcycle outlaw, and the family man. (I may be reading too much into it, but why include the shot otherwise? Unless it's to make up for the lack of shirtlessness in prior episodes...)

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Sons of Anarchy

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