‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 episode 12 recap: Tattoo Removal

K. Thor Jensen Contributing Writer, Entertainment

sons ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 episode 12 recap: Tattoo Removal

FX


We’ve only got two more episodes this season, and there’s a lot of stuff to deal with. Let’s ride! We open with Jax writing a letter about being “the man my father tried to be,” further pushing his goal to get SAMCRO out of the dangerous business the last few seasons have found them in. At the table, Clay sort of confesses to the home invasions, but claims it was Frankie Diamonds’ idea, and he’s dead so who can argue? They vote on Clay losing his patch, and it’s unanimous. He’s out. They then vote on Clay “meeting Mr. Mayhem,” (that’s getting killed, if you’re not a biker) and everybody agrees except for Bobby. Now this could be interesting. Jax then goes after Clay himself outside, being pulled off by Chibs.

Jax confronts Bobby about the deal he made with Clay that kept him alive, as Bobby says it was for his own good. Meanwhile, Gemma tends to Clay’s wounds. What is next for that guy? Stripped of the only thing that gives his life meaning, where can he go from here? Tara is also getting grilled over her connection to SAMCRO and the murder committed by Otto, and things aren’t looking good. Jax meets with Pope to bring him up to speed on the business, but also asks him some advice on how to deal with the Bobby situation. Stuff is happening so fast in this episode that I can barely keep up.

Jax makes the introduction between Chinese arms supplier Lin and the Gallindo cartel. Things seem to go pretty smoothly, and then Jax meets with Galen to let him know that the IRA only has two more shipments to make. And then things go all to hell, as the Cartel guys show up with guns to make sure “everything goes smoothly.” People start shooting, with the Mexicans coming out on top and then saying that the buy’s on SAMCRO. So this part of Jax’s plan has gone into the toilet through no fault of his own.

Clay is packing up his stuff from the clubhouse with Juice, making plans for the future. But there might not be one, as the Irish are pissed as hell and they kidnap Wendy and hold her for ransom for the payment for the gun shipment – $475,000. If they don’t pay up, the Irish next step is to kidnap Abel to Belfast again. Nero steps in and saves the day, bailing out the club again. We also learn that Nero’s whole “exit strategy” is kind of a scam – he could have quit pimping years ago, but stayed in the game because he liked it.

We get more of Donal Logue’s character, Lee Toric, and we learn that he’s the brother of the nurse who was killed by Otto. He meets with Tara and plays dumb about what happened, but he doesn’t do it for long: he’s also a U.S. marshal and he starts to nail Tara to the wall. There’s literally no way she’s getting out of this without losing her career and becoming the new Gemma.

Clay, meanwhile, is laying some foundations for his future, talking to Galen about relocating to Belfast and picking up SAMCRO’s lost business there. Honestly, the Ireland parts of past seasons have been the least compelling parts of the show, but maybe they can make it work a second time. They need to do something with Clay to take him off the board for a little bit and let him build back up to being a threat. He asks Gemma to come with him.

The episode ends with Clay getting his SAMCRO tattoos removed in the garage, leaving his back and arms a bloody mess. We stop in and visit the other main characters, including a foreboding shot of Lee Toric with a huge arsenal of guns. We close with Jax visiting Wendy, assaulting her and shooting her up with heroin, telling her that he’s going to call the cops and demand a drug test. Wow. If you weren’t sold on Jax as a totally horrible person before, you better be now.

I left so many little character moments out of this damn episode that I feel guilty, but so much stuff happened. As usual with this show, I have no idea what next week’s finale will bring. Predictions?

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