Sons of Anarchy Watch: Season 5, Episode 9 - Andare Pascare

“Come in crying, go out in Tupperware.”

I wonder how many people actually watched the show tonight, what with all the defeat of Mitt Romney on seemingly every other channel. I consider it a good sign that mere minutes after tonight’s “Andare Pescare” ended, the election was sealed. I figure Barack Obama can join SAMCRO, since Juice sort of grandfathered in this whole half-black thing. So it was a good day for the President, but a bad day for people in Charming and Lake Tahoe. (That’s what you call a segue, people.)

Frankie Fucking Diamonds

My problem with the whole Nomad storyline is that these characters were just line-readers, giving viewers nothing to relate to or care for or against. Sure, we hate them because they listened to Clay and made undeserved victims out of innocent people, but it isn’t personal. It’s just expected. While the deaths of Gogo and Greg were good for what they were, Frankie’s death needed something akin to a fireworks display to go along with it, and it just didn’t happen that way.

For a case of glocks, Clay gets intel that Frankie is holed up in Lake Tahoe, kept secure by Leo Pirelli, who’s also arranging for Frankie’s exit from the country. In more ways than one. After a unanimous vote that sealed Frankie’s fate, most of the boys hit the road, headed to a Reno poker room where Pirelli is known to play, but Clay and Juice follow another lead which puts Frankie at a fishing cabin. Clay wants to get there without the club, so that he can kill Frankie himself. Jax, meanwhile, already alerted Bobby to Roosevelt’s knowledge of the RICO case and Frankie’s responsibility in his wife’s murder, so they both are now motivated to secretly keep Frankie alive to trade with Roosevelt for information about the snitch. But of course, nothing goes to plan for anyone.

The poker club ends up in a big poker club fight (“Johnny Goombah put his hands up first,), where it looked like a lot of random poker players got their asses whooped just for being there. Pirelli denies involvement with Frankie until Jax tells him the money Frankie stole will have the IRA and Cartel knocking down doors to find it. Pirelli, pissed that Frankie lied about how much money he had, calls the cabin, where he talks to Petey. Mark my words, Petey will definitely be one of the next villains on this sh…oh wait, Frankie shoots him immediately after Petey unknowingly says the Sons are on their way.

As Frankie tries to leave, Clay and Juice make their timely entrance. Clay sends the van into a propane tank, which blows up half the cabin. Held by Juice at gunpoint, Frankie is finally stuck. He pleads, fingering Clay for the home invasions, confessing they stole his safe for the legal documents inside. Clay is close to making Frankie eat bullets when Jax and the guys storm in, having seen the smoke from the propane explosion. Before anything can be established, Pirelli walks up and plugs Frankie. Who the fuck is Leo Pirelli to step in and alter one of this season’s major storylines? Roosevelt deserved to kill him. Wayne deserved to kill him. Hell, even Clay sorta deserved to kill him. But no, it’s Wild Bill Pirelli. What a waste.

Clay knows his end date is coming. He asks Bobby if there’s anything he should know. Bobby calls him out on being behind the Nomad stuff, which Clay shrugs off. ‘I really hope you’re as smart as you think you are. I’m tired of burning friends,” Bobby tells him. But even if no proof surfaces connecting Clay, the friendship he and Bobby shared is gone forever. Seriously, Clay actually says, “My conscience is clear.” What a fucking tool. Jax and Bobby can’t come down hard on Clay just yet, but I’m willing to bet when they’re able to, it’ll happen without a club voting.

Stewing in One’s Own Juice

If nothing else, Frankie’s mishandled death has possibly sealed the fate for another M.C. mainstay, though this is also handled oddly. Jax meets with Roosevelt down a back road, Frankie’s body laid out in the back of the van. Though he’s pissed, it takes the reality of the corpse in front of him for Roosevelt to realize he’s obviously gotten in far over his head. He refuses to identify the rat, not wanting to cause another person’s death. But Jax is cunning, verbally crossing out all the club members it could be until Juice is the last name on the list. Roosevelt’s face says it all, and he asks what Jax is going to do about it, to which Jax grabs his gun and leaves. At the very end of the episode, Jax is trailing Juice as he leaves Clay’s house. (Why Jax hadn’t already figured out it was Juice on his own is kind of ridiculous, but I guess he needed Roosevelt to

I found myself unconsciously chanting, “Come on, come on, come on,” at this point, thinking maybe another ambiguous character accident may occur. But that’ll have to wait. Juice has got some ‘splainin’ to do, and probably some tattling as well. I can’t decide if his closeness with Clay will get Clay in his defensive corner, or if Juice will just rat Clay out, giving Clay a reason to do the killing himself. However it goes, Juice’s death, should it occur, will affect me far less now than it would have a year ago. There is still room for redemption, however.

Nero and Gemma, Sitting in a Tree All Sexy Like

Several times tonight, Nero and Gemma looked like the cutest couple on television, almost sickeningly so. “Is that what this is? We seeing each other?” “I see you, Gemma.” Fucking gross, right? Nero takes her to meet his son, Lucius, and they briefly discuss their stations in life. He’s in the biz for the money, and Gemma’s only former ambition was to keep moving. Having gotten Carla’s ashes from Clay, Gemma gives them to Nero, and the two share a very odd scene inside of a cemetery crypt. They break in and Nero sort of usurps a flower vase to use as an ash-holder. It’s a very maudlin scene, especially Gemma’s line about nobody having visited because the family was all there. Depressing. Nero replaces the flowers, and says, without looking at Gemma, “Please don’t let that ever be me.” A strange time and place for sincere tenderness, but it works.

It works so well that Gemma is going through a serious moral dilemma, laying her heart out to Jax the best way she knows how, saying that as impossibly unbearable as re-entering the life of “Clay and Gemma” will be, she will do it if she is guaranteed back into their lives. And it had to be Tara that said it, which she does. Gemma’s new love for Nero is not as important as her child and grandsons. She takes several reluctant steps towards letting Clay get closer, such as giving him cortisone shots in his hands after he tells her in the creepiest way possible, “My hands missed you.” This episode plays to Segal’s strengths without forcing her to be either a bitch or a fuck-up. She’s just a troubled woman, and she makes us believe it.

Otto’s Olfactory Orgasm

There wasn’t a single aspect of the Tara/Otto encounter tonight that didn’t leave me feeling skeevy. Tara’s boss Margaret changed Tara’s hospital records to reflect her marriage so Abel could be covered by her insurance. A noble movie, but now it alerts anyone curious to her marriage to a felon. So when the prison needs her assistance for a flu outbreak, despite the bad timing, she takes it. She also takes Luann’s perfume with her, hoping to sway Otto to recant his RICO case confession. Otto greets her in the normal way, “You’re a persistent little gash,” but when she brings out the perfume, his mood shifts dramatically. “Why are you doing this?” he asks, understanding how serious her change in tactics is. It’s one thing to ask for something, it’s another thing entirely to fuck with a man’s nostalgia for his dead wife. This perfume is the strangest catalyst I’ve ever seen on this series.

Once she firmly tells him to recant his confession, Otto makes shit weird. He gets her to squirt the perfume on her wrist, and convinces her to untie his right hand. Very deliberately, he turns to his left side, and asks her to hold the back of his head, which she does, curious. There’s the briefest moment of possible menace, then Otto’s hand digs deep into the front of his pants as he digs his sniffing face into Tara’s “thigh.” Shocked, though not angry, Tara tries to back off, but Otto pleads for the touch of a woman on him again. (Crafting this next sentence is but a perk for this job.) Sympathetic, Tara allows Otto to continue masturbating while breathing in the aromatic mixture of perfume and her vagina. When Jax later asks how it went, Tara is vague, saying the perfume crushed him and that she would probably be able to get him to flip his story. Later still, she stands at her mirror as she squirts a little of the perfume on her wrist and slips her own hand down her pants.

I don’t think or hope this actually has anything to do with any attraction Tara has for Otto. Sometimes an otherwise unmemorable moment in the day can come off as erotic, especially for a woman, as every conceivable moment in a day is erotic to a man. I think if anything, she’s attracted to the love he had for Luann, as evidenced by his emotional trauma and dissociative tendencies. She’ll probably be spending a few more days in the prison, as she’s needed, but there are more talks about the Oregon (or OreGAWN, as Margaret says it) position to be had. It’s tough to call Tara’s story this season. I like it.

Now that the Donkeys and Elephants are done fighting for another three years (in my most wishful thinking), but the battlelines are only now being drawn in full. How can they possibly end this season with anything less than a seven-hour finale? Gah. See you next week.

Stuff That Fell Off the Back of the Bike

In the hospital, Jax kisses Abel’s head as he gets up to get him cookies and milk. He kisses him firmly in the middle of the biggest part of his bandaging, presumably where his wound is. Solid move, Dad.

“He’s got Nero’s whore set aside. You know, her ashes.” I would have been perfectly happy had Clay then thrown his hands up in a ridiculously over-dramatic shrug as the camera zoomed in on his thin-lipped smirk. Then maybe the Merrie Melodies theme could come on.

Poor staple-headed Chibs. He wasn’t the only one who thought Frankie was going to shoot him last week. It’s high time we see Chibs cut someone again.

“Frankie still likes ‘em young and slanted.” I can’t tell if I’m supposed to be laughing at a stereotype here. Also, I can’t possibly stop myself from gagging when thinking about a young girl and Chuck ZIto in a loving embrace.

“Anything we can do?” Filthy Phil, you big softie. Nice of him to offer to take Clay’s bike after Clay rubbed his hands in that “My hands hurt” kind of way. I hope he passed a lot of gas on the seat, to where it seeped into the leather.

“You never broke into one of these things when you were a kid?” Nero, as he tries picking the crypt’s lock.

“No, I’m not Tig…Never mind.” Gemma, realizing awesome inside jokes don’t work here. Such a great moment, since I don’t even recall Kim Coates being in the episode at all.

So, you’re going to a somewhat isolated cabin off of a lake in order to find a guy you intend on murdering. Do you park a few hundred feet away, sneaking up on the cabin so that you can finish your task quietly and anonymously? Not if you’re Clay and Juice, who ride up strong and exit their vehicles mid-conversation. I guess it could be argued that Clay might have thought Frankie was still on his side, but that would be dumber than their approach.

“It’s like blind babies in a beehive here,” is how an orderly describes the prison flu problem to Tara. Coincidentally, a cutting room floor scene has Otto telling Tara the same thing, only describing his hand grabbing his junk.

I’m pretty sure Abel was glaring at Gemma when Jax and Tara brought him home from the hospital. He knows what’s up, you old stoner bitch.

Sometimes when I’m watching this show, I try to figure out how many scenes would be suitably inserted into the Dick Van Dyke Show. And the amount is usually less than one.

“We all have a choice.” And tonight, we made that choice, Jax, and it had nothing to do with trying to hang ourselves after killing someone for finding out we stole the coke.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.