Sons of Anarchy: "Salvage"


Season 6 Episode 6 


WARNING: Spoilers and profanity abound.


In last week's episode SAMCRO gets pwnd by the IRA, Tara confides in a new ally, Nero seals his place in history as the pimp with a heart of gold, Juice channels Evel Knievel, and when the going gets tough, the tough get ghetto.


Get ready for the SOA recap...



Note: I had hoped to post this before episode 7 aired, but time wasn't on my side. Ah well, better late than never. Sooo onwards and forwards...


Fire in the Hole

The episode opens with a shell-shocked Jax surveying the consequences of his decisions.



Jax and Chibs wander through the destruction silently contemplating where the club goes from here. In a poignant moment, Jax sees the tattered remains of his father's bike partially buried in rubble. A fitting image as Jax continues to move further and further away from his father's ideals.


Jax takes responsibility with a pained "I did this", but Chibs refrains from uttering a well deserved "I told you so", and decides instead that it's better to move forward than wallow in blame. He finds and hands Jax the president's gavel and says, "We're going to fix this, Brother." "We" being the operative word here, not only as a show of support from the club, but as a reminder to Jax that the curtain needs to fall on his one man show. Let's hope Jax has finally gotten the message.


Once outside, Eli confronts Jax about the devastation. Eli's nose tells him there were explosives involved. Jax doesn't deny it, and while he can't say who, he can say why. This was about ending a relationship. Eli is somewhat amused because while he knows breakups are hard, they usually don't involve C-4. Regardless, he's not fooled and knows this was the work of the IRA. Jax attempts to give him assurances that he is trying to move the club in a more legitimate direction--all he needs is for Eli to back off for a while and let Jax do his job. Eli is not convinced, and as far as he's concerned, neither is the town. Their relationship is no longer working, and the MC may have cashed in their last "get out of jail" free card.


Jailhouse Rock

At the police station, Gemma demands to see Nero in order to "make sure he's okay". Of course she succeeds by getting herself arrested because, you know, it's Gemma.


In true Gemma fashion, she tells Nero she just stopped by to say hi. So, hi. And don't leave me. Nero is touched by her concern until he realizes she means "don't leave me" as in "don't break up with me", not "I'm really concerned the state is going to put you away for 20-to-Life".  But Nero, like every other man in Gemma's life, disregards Gemma's quirks, and abandonment issues, and takes it in stride. Although, in fairness to Nero, I do think he's starting to wonder if having Gemma in his life is worth the effort.


Gemma can see he's concerned, and she knows he wants to break away from the MC. Though she needs to be there for her family, she also wants to find a way to be there for Nero. She's going to find a way to do both, and mirroring Jax's earlier words to Eli, all she needs is for Nero to give her some time. Nero tells her the State may provide all the time she needs if they send him away. In a moment of foreshadowing, she tells him the charges are bullshit and they will find a way to prove his innocence. Nero remains unconvinced, and one has to wonder if he's unconvinced by her assertions that he'll go free or by her assertions that she'll be able juggle both him and her family. Perhaps both.


Back at the Ranch 

After the night's events, the MC regroups at Gemma's house. Jax checks in on Tara, and we get a glimpse of yet another failing and dysfunctional relationship. I have to say, I'm really saddened by what's been going down between these two. Call me crazy, and a hopeless romantic, but I'm a hardcore Tara/Jax shipper. Despite all the crazy shit these two do to each other, I've always considered them to be a team. I know, I know. Still, no way can I see these two separating.


In any case, while I'm not entirely convinced that Jax will make it out of this series alive, I still have hope that these two will be able to escape Charming and ride off into the sunset together.


Back in Jax's childhood bedroom, Tara is still playing the role of dutiful "old lady". She tells him she's fine but is concerned for Abel. Jax let's her know he's headed to Chester for a meeting with the Northwest charters. He needs to tell them what's going on. Tara says okay, and while you're there I'm going to St. Thomas to get an ultrasound. Jax shows concern, but Tara assures him it's just a precaution. And here is where I start to wonder if at some point Tara will pull a Godfather II and "lose the baby". If she is indeed pregnant, because like Eli my sense of smell is calling bullshit. In any case, Jax kisses her on the forehead, and walks out to take care of business.  


In their new HQ, i.e. the dining room, the club takes a call from Galen and the council. Galen informs Jax that the council is now willing to offer him the peaceful transition he was seeking. Jax wanted the MC out of guns? Well, they're out of guns. Clay will take over the distribution of guns in northern California, never mind the pesky issue of his incarceration, and as penance for their betrayal, the club will facilitate the transition--for free. Jax has no choice but to accept the terms or the IRA will take out every single charter in the northwest. Jax, still trying to hold on to some semblance of dignity and independence, and perhaps with Chib's earlier words still echoing in his mind, says the club will have to vote on it. Galen makes his feelings known about the MC's democratic system, and those feelings fall somewhere in the vicinity of "fuck you"--the offer isn't really up for discussion, or a vote. Jax still quietly looks to his members for approval, and all unanimously vote yes.


The council is pleased they could work this out, but Jax has trouble believing in their sincerity considering their earlier version of "working things out" consisted of separating his limbs from his body. The council feels Jax shouldn't wallow in the past, and anyway, that unfortunate incident was all Jax's fault. Don't let it happen again. Jax can live with that but he isn't sure Galen will be satisfied. Regardless, he'll set Connor and the other guys free. The council is stunned to hear their guys are still alive, and all eyes turn to Galen. Either Galen was mistaken or he intentionally deceived the council members. Jax says, of course they're alive--when I said peaceful transition I meant peaceful transition. The call is ended, but no one at the council table looks happy. They give Galen permission to proceed with Clay, but something tells me Galen is not long for this world.

Outside, the crew prepares for their meeting with the officers of the various chapters. Officer Eglee drops Gemma off, and Gemma kindly issues a fond farewell of "eat me".


Jax asks Gemma to pay another visit to Clay. He needs her to pass along the message that Clay should take Galen's offer, but this time relaying the message doesn't require privacy. Gemma, momentarily shaken by the memory of the horror she endured at the hands of the prison guards, has an emotional moment but recovers quickly. She'll visit Clay. And at Jax's request, she will also keep an eye on Tara. Of course, for Gemma watching Tara is hardly an inconviencence considering it's probably one of her most favorite pastimes. In any case, satisfied that the business is handled, Jax drives off as Tara emerges from the house.


Tara tells Gemma she's off to meet with Lowen. I say interesting--which is it, Lowen or an ultrasound? Unser arrives to pick up Tara and the boys, while Gemma takes note of the close relationship developing between Unser and Tara.


Law and Order  

DA Patterson arrives at the station demanding to know why shit is blowing up in her jurisdiction. 


Eli's guess is that SAMCRO pissed off their supplier. Patterson agrees it was probably the IRA, but whatever, she could care less. All her eggs are firmly placed in the Nero basket. Eli takes her aside and relays his suspicions that Nero was set up. Patterson isn't interested in Eli's intuition, she prefers to stick with the evidence thankyouverymuch, and if it's all the same to him, get out 'cause she needs to make a call.


Spinning Plates

Tara and Unser drop the boys off at daycare. Finally alone, Tara bemoans how "the life" may be turning her into Gemma. Too late, Honey, you've been turning into Gemma for the last three seasons.

Unser takes the opportunity to ask Tara if she's ready to accept his help. Tara says maybe but there are some things he cannot know. And in my mind I add, like the fact she's planning to take out Gemma. Unser is willing to accept not knowing all the facts.Tara confides that she's planning on filing for divorce, as well as full custody of the boys--there is no way she's allowing her children to stay in Charming should she go to prison. Unser asks who will get the boys if she goes inside? Wendy makes an appearance, and Unser gets his answer.


Wendy heard about the explosion and wants to know if everyone is okay, including Gemma--which I find odd considering all the shit Gemma put her through.  If I were Wendy, I'd be roasting marshmallows over Gemma's burning ashes. In any case, Tara makes a point to remind Wendy that the events of the previous night only serve as an exclamation point to the whys of their plan. It's important they stay on course. And by the way, call Gemma in order to continue building trust. Hmmm...


Unser doesn't seem all that convinced in Tara's plans. And, frankly, I'm not convinced Unser can ever keep a secret from Gemma, even if his heart is truly in the right the place.


Welcome to Eden

As if Jax needed any more problems, the MC is pulled over for speeding while on their way to the summit. 

Jax tries to charm his way out of the situation, which totally would have worked on me because, well, look at him, but the cop is unimpressed. Not only is wearing gang colors illegal in their town, but there have been a rash of motorcycle robberies in the area. The cop offers to do the crew a solid by confiscating their bikes to make sure all the parts are legit. Jax tells the officer he's gotten the message--they won't pass through their town again. Just let them move on. And in one of the worst attempts at sounding cool ever, the cop says "I feel you, Pres, but I've got a job to do".


Juice chooses this moment to prove himself to the crew by antagonizing the cop. Jax once again tries to defuse the situation, but by this point there is no stopping the train wreck. Juice is handcuffed to the bike and the cop shoots out his tires. Juice knows a shakedown by dirty cops when he sees one, so he goes apeshit. The crew is forced to follow his lead, all hell breaks loose and this episode's police chase du jour ensues.

Juice, having stolen the cop's bike, attempts to slow them down by jumping from the bike into a moving van, causing the bike to crash into the pursuing police cruiser. And in true Hollywood fashion, Juice makes it into the van and even though the police cruiser flips over approximately 3 times, everyone emerges unscathed.


The guys celebrate, and I smile because I've really missed their macho camaraderie.


On the Inside

Gemma visits Clay to pass along Jax's message.

She also wants to know if Toric was capable of setting Nero up. Clay's all, seriously, you want me to help your boyfriend? Gemma's like, yeah considering I "rode your cock" for the guards yesterday it's the least you can do. Clay concedes her point and  acknowledges that Toric was capable of planting evidence and a whole lot more, i.e. the repeated rape of Otto, in order to take down the club. But Clay's had enough of this conversation. He leaves, and I'm left wondering what's truly going on with Clay. Can he really be trusted?


The Summit

The guys make it to the summit in one piece. Jax has a sit down with the officers of the various charters in order to inform them of the situation with the IRA, as well as the new direction the club is headed in.


He makes an eloquent and impassioned speech letting them know he will not make the same mistakes as John Teller. Jax's priority is the club, and all of the decisions he makes, he makes with their best interest in mind. It's time for a change. To change is to survive and thrive. Therefore, Sons of Anarchy is officially out of guns. Redwood, at least, is headed into more legitimate business--pussy. But the other charters are free to find their own means to earn as long as it's not running guns. He does, however, hope they do it legitimately, so his crew is there to help the rest of the charters get to that place if needed. All members present make a show of support.


Outside, Jax takes a call from Tara. Jax is relieved that the baby is fine and tells Tara he's certain it's a girl; she'll be just as "strong and beautiful" as her mom. My heart shatters. He gives Tara the good news that the club is done with guns and all charters are on board.  

Bobby finally meets up with Jax to inform him that he hasn't gone nomad, he's been recruiting new quality members for their charter. He loves Jax and he loves the club--this is the only way he knew to help both. Can I just say how happy I am that Bobby is back? Bobby is the most rational and reasonable of them all, and I feel having him back will give some much needed stability to this crew--and to Jax. Plus, I just love Bobby. I mean, he's an Elvis impersonator--what's not to love? I'm so glad these two made up.


Hotel California

Armed with the knowledge that Toric was a sick S.O.B., Gemma forces her way in to see Eli. Finding both Eli and DA Patterson, Gemma tells them Toric had Otto repeatedly raped, and he set Nero up for murder. Eli reminds Patterson that Toric was her employee--if he was dirty, the blowback will fall on her. She instructs Eli to search Toric's hotel room.



Eli finds the distinct scent of bleach and bullet holes in the linoleum. Patterson takes this new evidence in stride--maybe Toric was simply a clean freak with a penchant for shooting off guns in the privacy of local motel rooms. She really didn't know him all that well. Regardless, she's not satisfied enough to give up on Nero. Still, she decides to take a run at Tara, just to be on the safe side.   


Girlz n the Hood

Patterson meets with Tara and Lowen at the hospital; she offers Tara full immunity in exchange for Jax and the MC. Tara refuses, and when Lowen tells her privately that she should think about it, Tara delivers my favorite lines of the night: "The betrayal of love has boundaries. Ones that I have to live with." She doesn't need to think about an offer.


Patterson doesn't take the news well; she needs a moment to regroup. She heads into the ladies room, and in what has got to be one of the weirdest versions of Felicity moments ever (shout out to Alan!), yanks off her wig 'cause "it's time to go 'hood."


Believe me when I say that Tara is not the only one wearing a WTF expression when she encounters Patterson after this scene. I'm not even sure what to say after watching that--but from a fashion standpoint, I will say that Patterson looks 100x better without that wig. In any case, Patterson confronts Tara in the hall; she's through messing around so the trial date is being moved up. Tara is left stunned.


The Crying Game

Gemma goes back to Nero's to find a battered and bruised Venus Van Dam waiting in his room.

Nero had provided safe sanctuary when she was just a 15 year old boy with no one to turn to, and he never asked for anything in return. Nero is such a good guy--I really don't see things ending well for him.


Venus finds herself seeking safe sanctuary once again, and ends up providing one of my favorite scenes of the episode. Not only did this scene make me a bit teary eyed, but it also showed the brilliance of the Gemma character. She is such a complex and well written character.


Gemma shows enormous compassion and tells Venus she is safe now. And I am now officially shipping Tig and Venus.


Full Circle 

On the way back to Charming, the crew makes a detour to Eden in order to retrieve Juice's bike. Once they force their way into the chop shop, they blackmail the dirty cops into giving Juice a replacement bike and into forgetting the earlier events of the day. And, the cops have to apologize to each and every member of the crew for their untoward behavior.


After some hesitation, and an elbow to the face, the cops concede. Thus concludes another bang-up episode of Sons of Anarchy.  


This episode rocked my socks. Though I'm enjoying the season as a whole, it has felt somewhat scattered and unfocused. This episode felt like a return to the tone of previous seasons. Plus, it was just nice to see some levity after such darkness--the episode ending on a humorous note is something I don't think we've seen in a while. It was also nice to see a little bit of the Jax of 'ol emerge. Clay!Jax was killing me, even if I do understand the reasons behind it.


Up next: Episode 7, "Sweet and Vaded".



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