Just like the past 2 weeks, I'm not recapping the show, just throwing out my thoughts for discussion. Here's my bulleted list of reactions from part 1 of the finale.
- As I had mentioned last week, Clay was most certainly not going to die at the hands of Opie. Those gunshots were so purposefully not hitting the vital organs to prolong this conflict out into the finale. Compare this to Shane on The Walking Dead shooting up a zombie in every vital organ to prove that this thing is not a living human being as it kept on walking. Now, as I say all of this, Clay did get a punctured lung, but the miracle surgeons at Charming Hospital (sans Tara of course) were able to save ol' Clay and he is "scheduled" to make a full recovery. Of course, what the doctors don't know is all of the behind the scenes drama going on outside of the hospital.
- So we were left on a cliffhanger last week as Jax threatened to shoot Opie if he did anything to Clay. Jax did hesitate but when Opie was going to put the "FINISH HIM" death blow on Clay, Jax shot Opie's hand/wrist or something. This gave Jax the time he needed to sort this whole conflict out. He sent Opie away and made another "promise" to figure out what is going on. Exit Opie for the rest of this episode.
- Jax and his quick thinking decided that they needed a cover story to get Clay to the hospital and treated (as well as a story for the club too). They decided to blame it on LeRoy and the Niners for fallout from the whole cartel business. Loved how Unser had to clean up another crime scene and he said he's getting used to it.
- The whole subplot with Tig feeling guilty for not having Clay's back and needing vengence was a little nuts. But, it seems like this is setting up a future conflict with the Niners. And while he went for LeRoy he actually ran over LeRoy's girl/old lady or whatever she was. This brought out RAGING LeRoy who sent the whole club after Tig. Somehow, the whole SAMCRO gang was able to get out on the road and protect Tig. The whole thing seemed like a Dog fight on the ground. Amazing scene for television though! But what was up with all of those parked cars on the highway? I thought it was a traffic jam at first but there was not one person in those cars! So, to be continued on the SAMCRO/Niners conflict. Perhaps something to keep Jax in town for after this season's major conflict is over?
- Then there is the whole RICO investigation that is causing some background tension for us fans. We know something is coming but it just wasn't the prime focus of the episode. Jax kept talking about the meet but something seemed off. Bobby never checked out when going to see Otto, Juice is off the grid (we know they're both locked up in cells right now). Jax got intel from another dude in the clink (I forget his name) that Otto flipped. So crazy cartel guy told Jax he'd look into it. Now, things got really shady when crazy cartel guy said that Otto most definitely did NOT flip. HUH?!?! Is he in on the whole RICO investigation? Why on earth would he say the deal is still on? Certainly his people on the inside could find out something, right? Fireworks are sure to blow up next week!
- By the way, how about the prospect watching over Tara and his giant bowl of cereal? Hysterical. "well it's a light cereal." Captain Crunch!?! Good times.
- The rest of the episode was dedicated to the Puppet Mastery of Gemma and Tara who both seek the same goal with a different final outcome. Gemma coming clean to to Tara about everything that has happened this season because of those letters was intense and heartbreaking to watch. But the minute she got the key to the storage bin with the letters, I knew she'd be taking them right to Jax to try and force him to stay and take his seat on the SAMCRO throne. And of course, while she told the truth to Jax, she happened to leave out any letters that implicated herself and Unser. And Tara knew all of this was going to happen. So what's up with the flip flopping with Gemma? First she wants Clay dead, then she didn't, now she does again? I guess she wanted to hold off his death until all the right pieces were in place? Probably until she had those letters herself and could manipulate Jax and maintain her and her family's stature in SAMCRO. And what was up with Tara's whole "tell me you love me" bit she did to both Jax and Gemma? Was she trying to see which one was more sincere? Or is she just a raging lunatic!?
- So Jax vows to kill Clay to both Tara and Gemma. But he also promises Tara that he is out once the Cartel deal is done and Clay is dead. Gemma, clearly wasn't happy about this turn of events. And, come on, even if Jax ends up leaving we know he'll be back next season. And if he stays, something tells me he will be taking over as President of the club. But does that mean Clay is going to die? It all seems kind of too obvious at this point doesn't it? Like I said, I'm fine if he does and trust Kurt Sutter, but I'm just not so sure yet. Something tells me that Clay has been holding on to some very important piece of information that could get exposed in the final hour of this season. We've discussed it here and I keep going back to the scene when Clay beat the living daylights out of Gemma. Remember him implying that Gemma killed JT? There has to be a backstory there. Clay seems to feel like he got manipulated into killing JT. And then there was the whole end of that episode a few weeks ago where he was crying about the sudden turn of events. What was that about? Something isn't clear here and it seems like he'll be recovering just in time to see Jax injecting that "death needle" into him. And there's a chance that he could say something that will make Jax understand the FULL truth.