We couldn’t really expect Kurt Sutter to deliver an episode as powerful as last week’s, could we? This week’s low-key and somber installment dealt with the aftermath of a character’s major death, Jax looked toward the future with a new partnership, there was a Tara throw-down, and we say goodbye to Ashley Tisdale.
Let’s get right to it.
1. SAMCRO votes to pay Pope — The biggest repercussion, so far, to the death of Opie (besides Opie being dead, of course) is that Jax has convinced SAMCRO to pay Pope $50,000 and play along until they figure something else out. Damon Pope made no appearance last night (a shame because without Ryan Hurst’s character, Harold Perrineau’s character is now the most compelling on the show), but the home invasions were briefly mentioned by Clay again, and Jax reiterated that he’d find out of the Niners were behind it (they are not, because most likely, Clay is).
Also, how happy was this guy to get a line in last night’s episode?
2. Opie’s death drives Gemma to hug Clay. — Wait, strike that. The biggest repercussion to Opie’s death is that it drove a grief-stricken Gemma to embrace Clay. Gemma is all over the place this season. She’s fallen since season two, when she was the most beloved character on the show. Her manipulative maneuvering is starting to feel contrived, and besides becoming increasingly awful, her character is woefully inconsistent. She hates Clay. She loves Clay.
3. Brothel Gets Evicted — We still don’t know who called in the raid on Nero’s whorehouse (a process of elimination would suggest Clay, or perhaps Dora for no other reason than that she’s an evil lady), but Emma Jean (heretofore known only as Ashley Tisdale) was to blame initially. Nero called upon Jax to keep Ashley Tisdale safe from his henchmen associates, and — after avoiding a shoot-out with those associates — Jax and Chibs told the associates that they’d kill her on their behalf. So they had to come up with a finger and a tit to prove her death, and it is my understanding that the Tisdale subplot is over. That she was only in two episodes. So, that’s it, huh?
Sidenote: Turns out, Ashley Tisdale got the part because her Dad is a builder for Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal. According to an interview with EW:
“I didn’t audition for the role. I actually was just a really big fan of the show. It’s kind of a funny story. My dad, who built my house, also actually builds for Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal, and he has for years. And I’ve been in love with the show and I’ve always been like, ‘Dad, you gotta tell Kurt…. I want to be on the show.’ My dad’s so quiet and shy. He’s like, ‘No, no, no. I can’t do that.’ And so it just so happened that Kurt was writing Emma Jean and came upstairs to the kitchen and actually asked my dad. He’s like, ‘I’ve got a favor to ask you. I would love for Ashley to be on the show.’ And my dad was like, ‘Ohmygod, she’s gonna die.’ And so he definitely thought of me for the character. But of course, my agents, at first, were like, ‘I don’t know. We have to read it.’ I’m like, ‘I gotta do it! I gotta do it!’ Because like I said, it is one of my favorite shows.”
In the interview, she also noted that Opie’s death made her “sad, like really sad.”
4. Put a Coin in the Karma Bank — I don’t know what Wendy’s play is, or why she bailed out Gemma, or why she has to be in this goddamn show, but I wish she weren’t. Drea de Matteo annoys me almost as much as biological vs. adoptive mother storylines. Unless this ends with Tara pulling out Wendy’s hair and sticking a pistol in her mouth, I wish this particular subplot would go away. For now, however, we have to put up with the Lifetime movie schtick: “But when Abel is older, he’s gonna want to know who his real mom is.” Will he really?
5. Did you see those eyebrows? — Is it just me, or were Tara and Wendy’s eyebrows dialed up to extra thick last night? Did the make-up department just slap some caterpillars on their foreheads and call it a day? Did anyone else notice this?