In the latest Sons of Anarchy recap, Jax finally comes face to face with August Marks before a shocking death occurs that will rattle SAMCRO to the very core…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The old saying goes if you cut off the head, the body will die.
In the world of Sons of Anarchy, a much more interesting question arose during Tuesday’s episode titled “What a Piece of Work Man Is” — what happens when you cut out the heart?
For the past six plus seasons, Bobby Munson aka Bobby Elvis has been the heart and soul of SAMCRO. He was a pragmatist. He was the moral compass at the table before each time the gavel dropped. He didn’t always get his way, but the one thing we always knew about Bobby was he had the club’s best interest at heart. He loved the club more than any member sitting in front of the reaper. No member was bigger than the principles that governed the Sons of Anarchy and nobody understood that better than Bobby.
And now he’s gone.
Brutally shot and killed because a web of lies infected SAMCRO’s chapel. When business got personal and revenge outweighed rational decisions. And the blood soaked stains land direction on Jax and Gemma, who have done more to tear this club apart than any misdeed perpetrated by Clay Morrow during his tenure of president. Let that sink in for a minute and with that let’s kick off this week’s Sons of Anarchy recap.
Long Road to Ruin
This week opens with a somber tone as the episode features no music whatsoever as we pan room by room and see Gemma having her morning cigarette and Jax waking up while holding his son, Abel. It’s an eerie silence that’s not normal for this series that’s so branded by the songs that define it. This should have been an early clue that something bad was going to happen. A moment of silence, if you will.
Jax — as always — has a busy day ahead of him but it starts with his family packing up and heading to the cabin while he deals with August Marks. Wendy tries to fight for Abel’s need to go to school because with his recent lashing out episodes, he’s already falling behind and missing class will only live to further frustrate the little boy. Gemma and Jax disagree of course and it seems the only way Wendy can help here is to parent the way her ex-husband chooses.
Jax and the guys head out for a day centered on getting Bobby back in one piece after another part of him showed up in a box the night before. Jax promises no more boxes with parts of Bobby will be landing on their doorstep. He’s right about that at least.
Unser shows up to the house to let Gemma in on the deal Juice struck with the district attorney to identify at least one man who was involved in Tara’s murder in exchange for placement in the same part of the prison where Henry Lin is located. Unser tells Gemma she needs to go see Sheriff Jarry and do the same — point the finger at Chris Dunn, the lackey who Juice fingered as the murderer (and who ended up with a carving fork in the back of his head. Gemma balks at first, but Rat tells her she needs to comply. It’s what the club needs of her now.
He confirms that Juice is inside on club business, but that’s all she needs to know. Gemma doesn’t like not knowing so it’s clear that’s going to rub her raw all day long. She gets even more agitated when Rat lashes out at Brooke for interrupting before telling her to go wait in another room and he’ll tell her when to come out. Gemma has plenty of faults and might be the catalyst that eventually buries the Sons of Anarchy, but she can still give sage advice from time to time.
“Don’t buy into the myth. That to wear the patch you gotta treat women like shit. Cause when it comes to finding a good old lady, you don’t get what you want, Rat — you get what you are. Don’t be a dick.”
Gemma begrudgingly heads off to the sheriff’s office to meet with Jarry to ID the same guy Juice did a day earlier. Jarry is completely perplexed as to why Gemma is so difficult to deal with when all she’s trying to do is put Tara’s murder to bed. Considering Gemma is the one who ACTUALLY committed the crime, you’d think she’d want this to get pinned on someone else also, but regardless her disdain for law enforcement knows no bounds. Jarry then smartly asks how it is Juice knew who the guy was involved with Tara’s murder if Gemma was the eyewitness? Gemma says she’ll have to ask him that question as if to maybe implicate him as involved somehow?
The heated conversation finally comes to a head with a few insults being tossed back and forth before Gemma lays all her cards on the table. She knows Jarry is taking cash from the club and she knows she’s taking it somewhere else from the Scot.
“You’re on the club’s dime and Chib’s dick.”
Jarry responds with a slap, Gemma counters with a shove that sends the much smaller woman crashing to the floor. Nero, who sat outside waiting, just looks on in disapproval throwing his hands up as if to say ‘not again’. Cooler heads prevail although Jarry promises the next time Gemma puts her hands on her, she’ll throw her white trash ass in jail. Gemma wins the battle of idle threats saying if Jarry slaps her again, she’ll put a bullet into her throat. Advantage, Gemma.
At the cabin, Jax and the guys have to tell Grant (the pastor’s stepson) that the rules of the game have changed yet again. They now need the phone with the video of his stepfather having sex with underage children on it so they can use it as leverage to give to Marks. They hope that him having the video will be enough so that he won’t actually have to kill the mother and son who own the church. If he has the video, he can disgrace their entire congregation in one fell swoop. Trust me, Jax says, this plan will back Marks off.
Grant may be a little rattled and he may be scared, but he’s not stupid. When Jax says trust me, it’s like hearing a four letter word rattle around your brain like a pinball machine on tilt. Tyler’s arrival on the scene only furthers his worry. Jax tells his partner in the One-Niners that he wants to meet with Marks or Moses Cartwright and it has to happen today. Watching his situation go from the frying pan into the fire forces Grant to make a rash decision. He smacks Montez with a tire iron and makes a run for it in his SUV. The plan is to give himself over to Marks, throw his life on the sword and hope he’ll leave his mother alone. The Sons give chase and in the melee Grant runs Happy off the road (probably the last guy you’d want gunning for revenge).
When they finally catch up, Jax yells at him that there’s no going back now. They’re going to put an end to this Marks situation today but he needs to stick by them while they take care of things. His options are pretty limited at this point. As an dollop of whipped cream on his shit sandwich, Grant takes a heavy punch from Happy as payback for running him off the road. Grant has to take a big bite and something tells me there’s only going to be more to swallow for this poor kid.
Meeting No. 1
Welcome back to the show Billy Brown, whose presence as August Marks has sorely been missed these last few weeks. In his stead, Moses Cartwright has been running the show, but Marks has a certain presence that he inherited from Damon Pope that carries gravitas that no paid enforcer can lug around. At the meeting, Marks and Jax face off while trying to come to a conclusion about their mutually assured destruction.
August tells Jax that this all started because he went after the Chinese when he should have come to him first about it. Jax responds by saying that he would have only shut him down and retaliation wouldn’t have been allowed. With his wife brutally murdered laying in a pool of her own blood, revenge had to be doled out in quick order. He says August wouldn’t understand because he doesn’t have a family. August in turn states that Jax’s biggest mistake was mixing personal relations with business.
Throughout the course of the history of the show, when personal feelings bleed into business it’s when the worst things start to happen. The problem with a club like SAMCRO is they are all family. This isn’t just a business to them. It’s like a criminal organization taking on the Hatfields and McCoys. A soldier lost is just another soldier. A brother, son, father, mother, daughter — that’s blood. That’s love. That’s losing something worth much, much more.
August knows how the club works and all the leverage is on his side. In reality, getting Bobby back is the only thing that matters so August uses it against them. He agrees to give back the former vice president in exchange for the phone with video footage of the pastor along with the pastor’s body removed from his construction site. He also wants to meet with Grant while promising not to murder the young man, only issue a very personal and stern warning to never cross him again.
August asks very slyly if the Sons were responsible for killing Pastor Haddem. Jax says they found him all cut up when they went on the hunt for the East Dub crew member who killed two of the Grim Bastards. All cut up you say?
The two factions agree to terms and go their separate ways before reconvening at 4pm later that day.
Piecing Things Together
The next time we see the Sons they are out at two separate sites where bodies are buried. Happy and Tig dig up one set of bodies while Jax and Chibs are at Marks’ construction site pulling Pastor Haddem from the ground for second time in just a few weeks. They are cutting up the bodies to construct a strange Frankenstein like monster, but it all comes together a little later when they finally met with August again. In the proceedings during a rare moment of levity this season, Happy insists that he gets to hacksaw the body apart. Tig can only smile before delivering the best line of the night.
“You know why I like teaming up with you, Hap? Cause when we team up, I’m the normal one.”
Back at the porn studio, Happy and Tig are constructing a new Pastor Haddem while insuring that the phone they are about to hand over to Marks has minimal footage inside. Jax is still toying with Bobby’s life and it’s going to cost him eventually.
Matters only get worse when the Indian Hills charter shows up unexpectedly for a meeting with Jax. Gaines (the vice president under Jury and now president of the chapter) and his new VP meet with Jax and Chibs in private to discuss what happened a day earlier in the desert. Jax explains the entire ordeal with Jury, Gib O’Leary and his supposed confession, which led to his death. Jax swears Jury was the rat because the only other explanation would be that someone inside the club sold them out to the Chinese. Pay close attention to those words — only someone else inside the club could have sold them out to the Chinese. There’s a rat at SAMCRO’s table and the time to theorize who it could be is now.
Gaines still isn’t buying it and in response to watching his president get gunned down in what he believes is cold blood, he’s called a meeting of all the Sons of Anarchy charters in the area for a meeting. It’s clear he’s not letting this go. The “forum” as he calls it will be discussing what should happen with the SAMCRO charter as a whole. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate slap in the face? Jax tries to rebuild the club in his father’s memory, throws it all away to avenge his wife’s death and in the end he’s left with no satisfaction and no club either. Brutal.
“This is bigger than just Redwood and Indian Hills, Jax. We’ll let you know what comes out of the meeting. What has to be done.”
In response, Jax decides he needs to find out about the rat from Henry Lin inside Stockton prison before Juice shows up to kill him. He tells Chibs to reach out to Tully and make it happen. The plan is to have Juice call them on a phone, they record the confession and then Lin dies. They’ll have their proof that Jury was a rat and Indian Hills will have no choice but to back off. This plan has about a zero percent chance of succeeding, I can tell you that right now.
Time to Go Home
Nero is still leaving Charming as soon as he can collect his money from Alvarez and the sale of Diosa to the Mayans goes through. Jax still has no idea he’s doing this, but thanks to a valuable club member being cut apart day by day and a myriad of other dead bodies piling up all over town, he has more things on his plate to worry about than sharing a whore house with some new Mexican partners.
Nero also tells Gemma once again that he’s leaving and she should come with him. If Nero survives this season, I’ll be shocked, but every fiber of my being says that he’s going to go sooner rather than later. The fact that he keeps talking about leaving yet never actually going anywhere just screams death sentence.
Back at Marks’ warehouse, Moses shows up and tosses Bobby his cut back and tells him the good news that he’s going home. Bobby mouths off of course, but Moses is as cool as the other side of the pillow like always. He does have one more order that needs carried out before they leave — Bobby’s jaw needs to be broken. A first punch doesn’t get the job done and when Bobby taunts Moses for not doing his own dirty work, he finally goads a response out the calculating former military man.
“I like you Munson. You’re a good soldier, stay hard, loyal to the very end. It’s a very rare quality.”
~ Moses Cartwright
Moses then winds up and slams his fist into Bobby’s face, shattering his jaw, but why?
Juice arrives at Stockton and immediately meets up with a guard on Tully’s payroll. He’s got a weapon for Juice to use to finish off Henry Lin, but he gets it during a rather inopportune time — the cavity search portion of prison entry. With nowhere to go but up (get it?), Juice shoves the package where the sun don’t shine. I can just hear Christopher Walken’s voice in my head right now (“he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something — his ass”).
Later that day, Juice gets another package courtesy of Tully with a roll of electrical tape and a bag full of sand. The idea was to pack down the hollow end of his shiv, tape it up so when he jabs it into Lin, the implement holds up as it digs into his skin. The time is coming soon when he’ll be taking out the man responsible for Tara’s death (so Jax thinks anyways) and he’ll be a member of SAMCRO again.
But not so fast.
Jarry shows up at Unser’s tin can with a little bit of information that will certainly shed some light on Tara’s murder. The man whose been identified by both Juice and Gemma — Chris Dunn — got picked up on a drunk and disorderly in Vegas recently. He wasn’t charged so the cops didn’t put it on his official record, but he did spend the night in the drunk tank sobering up. Care to guess which night it was?
The night Tara Knowles was murdered.
Now Jarry and Unser know that Juice was lying and so was Gemma, but to what end? Unser tells Jarry to pull Juice’s deal out from under him immediately so he doesn’t get his shot at Lin. Meanwhile, Unser stares at the canvas he’s put together with all the pieces that make up the puzzle of Tara’s death. I’ve said all along the person to finally figure out that Gemma was the murderer would be Unser because it would be the ultimate betrayal for him as well. A woman he’s pined after for years is actually a cold-blooded killer.
In prison, Juice gets taken from his cell but instead of being delivered into the same section where Henry Lin resides, he’s thrown into solitary. Jarry yanked his deal and now Juice is in the one place he doesn’t want to be — alone. The guards tell Juice that Tully will be in touch, but as of now Lin is alive, Juice is screwed and the truth seems closer to coming out than ever before.
Meeting No. 2
As 4 o’clock rolls around, Jax and his boys show up at the meeting spot where they will exchange the pastor’s “body” and the phone with videos over to August Marks and he will hand back Bobby Munson. Jax insists that this whole thing started just between him and Marks and that’s how it should end as well. Despite Chibs’ pleas to the contrary, everybody agrees and they are both patted down for weapons.
The club lays out the body and Bobby is pulled from the truck. Everybody pulls away and it’s just down to Jax, August, Bobby and the pastor’s stepson Grant. In one of those terrifying moments that makes Sons of Anarchy the best show on television, a split second after it seemed as if everything was going to be alright, the world gets turned on its head again.
As Bobby falls into Jax’s arms we see why his jaw was broken — it’s so he couldn’t warn his president that Marks’ men had tucked a gun into his belt. No one bothered to check Bobby after all. August pulls the gun and puts it on Jax. He then warns Grant to never, ever cross him again or this will be the result.
August swivels the gun away and points it directly at Bobby’s head and pulls the trigger. As he slumps to the ground, Jax drops with him, immediately brought to tears by the loss of one of his closest friends, a mentor and a brother. August then puts the gun at the base of Jax’s head and issues one more ominous warning.
“This is on you Jackson. Your betrayal. Don’t ever lie to me again.”
~ August Marks
One Last Play
Chibs is in tears. Tig can’t even bear to look. Happy is inconsolable. And Jax has turned ghostly white while sitting with his fallen friend, who was sacrificed in this ongoing war that no one was ever going to walk away from unscathed.
At this point there’s no where left to turn except to make one final push at August Marks while he’s still somewhat vulnerable. They agree to turn over the statement from Leticia Haddem as well as a map drawn by an “anonymous” source showing the location of the rest of Pastor Haddem’s body. The hope is with Marks in jail it will give SAMCRO enough time to recoup and allow them just a little bit of breathing room. Jax is ready to hand this over to Patterson, but Chibs insists they give it Jarry instead. She needs a win.
At the garage where they meet, Chibs hands over the evidence and while Jarry is happy to get a big score like August Marks on her arrest record, there are bigger questions. Like how did a sheriff in a town that’s not Oakland come into this information? Why would a woman she’s never met give a statement attesting to August’s role in the murder and the location of the body?
Eventually Jarry agrees to put the wheels into motion to have August arrested but she has a few questions for her Scot as well. First off is to ask him about Chris Dunn, the Triad soldier who was fingered as Tara’s murderer, but actually wasn’t anywhere nearby at the time. Chibs says Lin probably got him out of town because he screwed up the job. So she already knows Chibs is lying.
Second off, Jarry wants to know if this “relationship” is all about business or if he actually has feelings for her. Chibs pauses, but Jarry does not. She proclaims that if he really cares about her, Chibs will take her right there on top of the car in the middle of the parking garage with Quinn sitting 20 feet away on his bike. When she turns to leave, Chibs grabs her, kisses her and throws her on the car before they go at it like two teenagers on a deserted road. Oh yeah, Quinn is still right there!
Kind of romantic. Kind of creepy.
Back at the cabin, Tig and the rest of the boys are digging a grave out back to bury their fallen brother. Jax wants him there because Bobby loved the cabin and this way he’ll always be nearby. Gemma finds out about Bobby’s death and can’t handle it anymore. She knows that her lies led to Jax’s attacks on the Chinese, which in turn led to August Marks coming after them, which then led to Bobby’s death. She caused this all.
She breaks down in tears and weeps over Bobby’s fallen body as she once again apologizes for all the wrong she’s caused. And once again the only person hearing her tear soaked confession is Abel. This poor kid just can’t catch a break and now has double confirmation that his grandmother is responsible for his mother’s death. There are a lot of online comments stating that Abel will ultimately be the one to kill Gemma, but I don’t think even Kurt Sutter would go that far. Abel finally telling someone else what he knows — that’s another story entirely.
The final scene this week sees Jax and Chibs reconvene in Oakland where the sheriffs are at a swanky, upscale restaurant arresting August Marks. The beheaded corpse of Pastor Haddem was found and with Leticia’s statement, they had enough to put him behind bars. As August is getting into the backseat of the cop cruiser, he spots Jax and Chibs in the distance. His stoic face never breaks. Moses Cartwright isn’t far behind and he engages in a staring match with the Sons as well. The same stone face.
SAMCRO has now played its biggest and most ambitious hand in a strike against August Marks. It feels more like a desperate full court shot with just seconds left on the clock. With Bobby dead, Juice in jail with very little chance of getting to Lin much less corroborating the story about Jury, and the Sons’ numbers dwindling, Jax is almost out of options.
Putting Marks behind bars buys him a few more days. Leaving him out may have put Jax’s survival rate down to a matter of minutes. At this point, every second counts.
Notes of Anarchy:
— As previously noted, there was no music featured in this episode at all. It was done on purpose by Kurt Sutter although his true motives haven’t be revealed. I stand by the fact that I believe it was a tribute to Bobby’s passing in one silent note recorded throughout an entire episode. Since there was no music how about a song by Mark Boone Junior instead? Incredible work on this one
— Who is the rat? The most obvious choice seems to be Tyler, who has been a reluctant partner of Jax for weeks now. I just don’t remember if he knew where the Chinese gun warehouse was. The only other outsider that knew about it was Barosky, who we haven’t seen in weeks. Could he have been swayed to turn on the Sons? I just don’t see it knowing it would cost Collette his life. The one name that continues to stick with me is Tig. I can’t help but remember the episode last season where Tig is alone in the porn warehouse and Marks shows up. Jax thinks it’s an execution. Marks says it was a test. The piece of paper with the address on it in Jax’s writing that he gave to Marks was laying on the floor of the warehouse if memory serves. Maybe Marks proved to Tig that he was expendable in Jax’s eyes and got him to turn on the SAMCRO president? Or maybe I just like conspiracy theories a little too much.
— Following Bobby’s death, the only club members left alive from the first episode of season one are Jax, Tig, Juice and Chibs. Talk about dwindling numbers.
— The lone happy moment this week was Rat confessing his love to Brooke and she returned in kind. Are these the two lovebirds that will survive to the end?
Tune into Sons of Anarchy next week at 10pm ET as the club continues the all out assault on August Marks. Only four episodes left to go…