Buried in the Potter’s Field: Chibs tells Jax about Juice’s suicide attempt. Nobody suggests calling 1-800-442-HOPE. Instead, Jax points out that suicide is somehow against the biker code and says they’ll have to vote Juice out. Chibs pleads for Juice: “Let me watch him for a while … and we’ve got to get Clay to get him off that cartel ****.” Roosevelt is equally alarmed by the state of Juice’s tender, pulpy neck flesh, and goes to Potter to convince him to drop Juice as his pawn. Potter is implacable — and decides today will be a good day to push Big Otto to see whether he ever snaps. So he pretends to be a sheriff’s deputy again and tells Big Otto that Bobby Elvis lied about Georgie Caruso’s death. Then he heads back to Charming for a face-to-face with Juice. Juice sees the command room with all its photos, realizes that he’s helping the Feds build a RICO case, and snaps. Potter then makes Juice an offer: He wants the Real IRA, so if Juice can pass along information about the pending Galindo/Irish Kings meeting, Potter will not “use federal law to shut down your entire organization.” It will be interesting to see how Potter slithers between the words to screw everyone over.
If a Piney Is Killed in the Woods, Does He Make a Sound? Gemma discovers Piney’s body and has a genuine emotional breakdown for about a minute. She quickly figures out that Clay killed Piney, but it takes Unser to explain the motive: Although Gemma saw letters burning in Unser’s firepit, those were only copies. Clay read the copies, he’s convinced Tara and Piney have the originals, and he is probably going to kill the mother of Gemma’s grandchildren next. Unser’s all set to go to the sheriff with all this and turn in Clay, but he is soon swayed by Gemma’s pleading. And that is how Unser ends up faking a convincing “the cartel did it!” scene.
We Happy Few, We Band of Cartel Stooges: This week’s biker intrigue centers around Laroy and the Niners. While the club was formerly allied with SAMCRO and helped them craft a complex web of alliances in the Oakland area, it looks like they’re now working for Lobos Sonora — which means that SAMCRO has to serve them up on a platter to the Galindo cartel. Jax is not too cool with this. Although SAMCRO does set up a meeting between the Niners and Luis (who is now backed by many colleagues who have relocated to scenic northern California), Jax manages to keep everyone alive and brokers a deal with Laroy: Drop the business arrangement with Lobo Sonora and he’ll find a way to cut in the Niners on the Galindo deal. Thus the fragile gang ecosystem is preserved with a minimum of bloodshed. Laroy then serves up some Lobos in a good-faith gesture to Galindo, and when Luis gets pissy about how few were killed in the ambush, Jax steps in, gives a thug life equivalent of the St. Crispin’s Day speech to persuade Luis to spare everyone’s lives, and generally demonstrates to all and sundry that he’s leadership material. This is not lost on embattled president Clay or the other members of SAMCRO. Then Jax has a sit-down with Clay where he demonstrates even more leadership and vision by demanding that the two of them come up with an exit strategy for the cartel deal. So Clay salves his wounded ego by ordering the hit on Tara. So much for the powers of Gemma’s persuasion.