“All this activity makes me think we’re in the wrong business.”

First off, I shamefully hang my head for failing to recognize glaringly obvious connections between peg-legged home invaders and peg-legged regular citizens nicknamed “Peg.” I’ve been kicking myself, with a real foot, all week.

On to the drama! Jax, Chibs, and Tig (who I won’t refer to as the “Three Fugi-teers,” because that’s awful) are still being hunted by both the cops and Damon Pope. Sheriff Roosevelt is going so far as to shine flashlights outside Opie’s house. This shit is serious! After setting up shop at Diosa International (because black biker jackets don’t clash with white whorehouse walls), the guys retrieve Tig from the trainyard. Kim Coates’ acting is subtle and moving…until we see him holding the blackened husk that was once his daughter Dawn. Jax and Chibs flambé the fresh bodies in the pit, and a side-hunt begins for Tig’s other daughter, Fawn. Though he appears for the rest of the episode not connected to a charred corpse, Tig’s morbid hug will continue to haunt me.

The guys later find Fawn, just as she’s getting her insides rearranged by her boyfriend’s black dong. This coitus interruptus, coupled with the news of Dawn’s death, sets Tig in Fawn’s rage-infused sights. (Tig’s other offspring, Vince Vaughn, Spawn, and Wallace Shawn, were not seen in tonight’s episode.) Jax pays Fawn’s boyfriend to take her away for a while, so hopefully she’s gone for good. The segue here involves Tara getting mildly upset with Jax (no way!) for putting Tig’s daughter ahead of his own children. She apologizes quickly, probably realizing her kids are in daycare while she gallivants at a brothel, and Jax drops his bombshell.

Wedding episode! Jax and Tara get married inside of Diosa, in one of the least sappy TV weddings I’ve seen, despite the schmaltzy piano in the background. The “secret” marriage license clumsily finding its way into Gemma’s clueless hands was very sitcom-ish. Gemma eventually shows major restraint by keeping her talons sheathed, even offering her and John’s old rings to Tara as emotionally-driven stand-ins, and Jax is touched. One Chibs prayer later, and bravo, it’s over.

“Authority Vested” holds loosely to an eight-hour time limit, starting when the guys surrender themselves to the D.A. The time is used for normal behavior, but also to find ample protection inside prison, which they’re sure Romeo can provide. Robin Weigert is back as club lawyer Ally Lowen. Jax brings her in on the Bobby situation. Otto’s statement against Bobby needs to be proven false for Bobby to stay free. She says the witnesses accusing Jax and Chibs look legit, and that a possible club member is offering up intel on their current gun-running schemes. I think Otto is getting this intel, but the hushed voices and rampant pronoun use confused me. So the lawyer is tasked with finding someone who can talk to Otto.

This recap suffers from a lack of Jimmy Smits! Jax rightly questions Nero’s intentions for helping SAMCRO out so easily, all while paying him handsomely for the services. Nero picks Jax up from Fawn’s house, and the two bond, largely over talk about gangs and girls, before Nero pulls up to St. Emilio’s Home for the Physically Challenged. Jax openly, and unconvincingly, buys a newspaper and watches as Nero plays with his spina bifida-laden son, Lucius. Turns out Nero and Jax share a history of junkie baby mamas. When it’s noticed that a couple of black guys are tailing Nero’s truck, he lets loose with that Chicano insanity, turning a tense car chase into a game of chicken. Luckily, our guys come out safe, and a wordless statement was hopefully made. If Nero really is the hands-off O.G. he says he is, his “retarded driving through traffic” skills emerged a little too quickly, and I don’t believe it was all in an effort to merely impress Jax. Beyond someone’s spot-on comment last week about Nero’s probable reveal as the super-secret leader of the Galindo cartel, I have no idea where this is going.

While Nero’s intentions are unknown, Opie wears his on every sleeve he’s ever worn. Clay shows up at his house to deliver a man-to-man confession for shooting Piney, no apology included. He says he was partly relieved when Opie shot him, hoping not to have to live with the consequences of his life. (Great weathered acting by Perlman, despite Clay being a selfish vagina.) When he hears that Jax, Tig, and Chibs are turning themselves in, Opie visits Lyla on a porn set and offers her $20,000 to watch his kids for a few weeks while he takes care of some business. I loved when he responded to her question by saying he didn’t know if he loved anything. Rip her slut heart out, Ope.

It was obvious what Opie had in mind, even though his intentions seem as ill-informed as a single man taking on an army. When the cops arrive at the clubhouse with warrants blazing, Opie drives up. He promptly knocks Roosevelt’s block off, adding himself to the trio already going into the paddy wagon. I understand the loyalty, and that Opie doesn’t care about much in the world anymore, but who voluntarily get himself put in prison with the vaguest possibility of saving three people from hundreds of others? Not a wimpy mathematician, to be sure.

So where is Romeo in all this? Who knows? By the time we see him, it’s nearly too late to reach any local connections for prison protection. Jax is swinging dick while wrongly assuming that Romeo relies on him equally. After Jax huffs, puffs and walks away, Romeo shows no hesitation in speaking his mind about allowing black gang members to get vengeance if help can’t be found for SAMCRO. A second plan will then have to be formed in order for their cartel bust to work. I’m fairly certain “black” won’t kill the Sons, but I bet next week’s prison-centered episode is going to be action-packed, bar none. (Prison. Bar. Get it?) I wonder how long it will be before Jax realizes he’s holding three cards in seven-card stud.

Re-enter the home invasion plotline. Wayne wakes up from his attack and alerts just about everyone. The home’s contents are broken and shattered all over the place, and Clay’s first thought is reporting it in order to claim it on his insurance. Warning bells are ringing. Then he points out rather nonchalantly that his safe is missing, along with some “important papers,” and the cops need to find it. Wayne starts his own investigation into the matter, making damned sure Roosevelt understands it will be impartial, and that he’s never done dirty work, beyond racially stereotyping his attackers based on his beating feeling obligatory instead of angry. Too bad he wasn’t standing outside the dumpster at the end of the episode where three white guys are disposing of Clay’s safe. But not before the remove Clay and Gemma’s marriage license and Thomas Teller’s birth certificate. What the fuck?

Pope is largely absent tonight, popping in only when August has information about Goodman’s death and the Sons’ arrests. Pope doesn’t want the other city employees on his payroll to get riled up. I like the cut of Pope’s jib, especially when he’s not saying anything. A villain should always speak louder in his actions, and I feel they’ll be screaming in upcoming weeks.

Though the episode ends not with a bang, but with a whimper, the myriad implications are felt. Also, I’d like to witness both the whimper and the bang when Gemma goes up to Nero’s room at the end. A fairly solid episode with far more middle ground than peaks or valleys, “Authority Vested” is the grease on this season’s wheels, trading narrative convenience for (hopefully) an endless amount of conflicts. I mean, even a pointless fight still needs to be fought. It’s the American way.

Stuff That Fell Off the Back of the Bike

What is the deal with the birth certificate? Why would Clay need people to steal a marriage license from his own safe? Am I too blinded by hate? Is Clay not the one behind the robberies? Why are all of my sentences ending in raised inflections?

I might be wrong about context here, but I remember Bobby saying that the home invasions aren’t about payback, presumably from the 09ers. Why would Bobby have any insight into this? Is he the one behind them? Should I just assume, as loudly and intoxicated as possible, that everyone is in on it?

Jax: “So the bigger picture was pussy?”
Nero: “Every picture is pussy, ese.”
A clean-shaven or naturally bushy metaphor for our times.

Even though they do it in the clubhouse, it’s still weird to see characters smoking indoors. Yes, even on a series that features a house of ill repute and a porn shoot in the same episode.

“Hey…Clay…It’s not good. House was hit last night. Home invasion. Unser was there, feeding the bird. Got stomped.” Someone tell me why Chibs isn’t a news anchor on a major news outlet.

How does Wayne go from being a trailer-dwelling cancer-ridden pothead back to a cop on a beat, even after getting his ass severely handed to him? I would have just gotten the rest of my stash and posted up for a Wonder Years marathon. I’d love to know what these people do for Wayne that keeps him to tightly knit with everyone. If I get bruised, protruding cheeks because I got slaughtered while feeding the bird of someone who probably had something to do with my beating, a silent treatment is definitely in the works. And Jesus, did his make-up make him look like shit.

“I killed a fed for you. Nothing says love like capital murder.” While these may not, in fact, be the most horrifying words to hear soon after a marriage proposal, they’re certainly up there. Especially when the person who says the words is grinning coyly with just the corner of their mouth.

Why does Dodge think it’s a good idea to create a commercial for their new Ram truck that presents the truck favorably in comparison to a group of motorcycles, and to air it during a series that glorifies motorcycles, and is watched by people who probably don’t give a shit about Dodge?

“On your knees, bitches, before I blow your coon bellies.” Just in case any forgetful blind people with ADHD needed to know the races involved. And I believe in was Chibs who said this. In front of Juice, who was all in a tizzy when he confessed to Chibs last season that he was a co…half-black man. So insensitive.

“Life moves on. We change. I hate different things now.” One of my favorite Gemma lines in the series. It dutifully explains the fickle motivations of both television characters and real people. Everyone should still hate Tara though.

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