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Sons of Anarchy Recap: Not a Good Episode for Opie

Sons of Anarchy Prashant Gupta / FX

Last week, we learned that Gemma was sleeping with Jimmy Smits. OK, so not quite, but she was sleeping with a classy pimp, played by a gruff but still sorta handsome Jimmy Smits, and it felt like just as shocking revelation nonetheless. There was more news in the love department, too, as Jax and Tara held an impromptu wedding (in Jimmy Smits' prostitution den!), just before he and the Sons turned themselves in on a manslaughter warrant. And if that sounds like a lot of ground to cover for just one hour of television, that's because it was.

The Price of Getting Out of Jail: Because of big bad Pope's connections, he's able to buy his way into the sheriff's office, and blackmail the Sons, ultimately getting them out of lockup. But that doesn't mean the guys are getting off without as much as a scratch—not at all. If you remember, Tig killed Pope's daughter last season, and, not surprisingly, Pope is not the most forgiving guy in the world. As punishment, he wants Tig in jail for life. Oh, and he also wants one of the Sons dead as retribution for a lost Niner. And soon. Doesn't matter which one, but it's up to Jax to decide. And that about it does it for the blackmail. Oh, wait, no, that's not all: once the guys are out, Pope wants an even split of their earn from their drug muling. So, in other words, Pope is a nuanced business-type of gangster, and he's in it for the money.

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Gemma Manipulates People, and Her Son Does Too: Clay is still the most compelling and horrifying man on all of cable TV, even with an oxygen tank, and now it seems he wants to rekindle things with Gemma. And he's willing to go the distance to meet up with her. Meanwhile, Gemma's off being pissed about the fact that she can't pick up her grandchildren from daycare because she hasn't been given permission by the kids' parents. This pisses her off, so off she goes to Abel's mom, Wendy, to try and convince her to accuse Tara of abusing oxy. But Wendy sees through Gemma (it's not hard). Back in the jail yard, Jax is given the chance to tell the dude's what Pope's conditions for their release are—so he does so, but leaves out the part about one of the Sons needing to die. A tactical move on his part, or just one he doesn't feel prepared to deal with at the time? It turns out to be the latter.

How Will Jax Keep Everyone Alive? So as to delay the inevitable, Jax initiates a jail-yard fight, and the Sons and others involved in the scrap are punished by being put in tiny jail cells, two per cube. Jax, luckily enough, is placed with Opie, and Opie can tell something is up with his buddy: "Lying by omission is still lying, and you suck at it." And right he is. So Jax tells him, which leads to rehashing of some past wounds, but ultimately a kind of calm. A guard returns and Jax hasn't made a choice yet. "If you guys don't pick which guy fights, I will," the guard informs them. It's time to choose.

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Gemma Beats Up a Hooker: So, at the brothel, Clay showed up to talk to Gemma, but didn't find her there and instead just slept with the prettiest girl he could find. Gemma arrives eventually, because the brothel madame called and told her Clay was there. She enters the brothel and promptly begins kicking the ass of the prostitute with Clay. Clay sits there, but she doesn't even really bother acknowledging her old man. She'd rather get her angst out in a physical manner, and perhaps that's best done by using the woman who just slept with her husband as a punching bag. Or maybe Gemma should get some kind of counseling and deal with these feelings. Who can say.

Opie Thinks He's Got This: Wow. Who knew this episode would lead to such a tragedy? After the Sons reconvene in the jail (again, a little too convenient to the plot?) and Jax tells them all the truth, it's time to tell the guards who is to be beaten to death by other inmates. Jax decides that he will not pick, and that the men will not live under the power of others, and that they are the only ones capable of deciding their fate. But Opie ends up socking the prison guard, thereby becoming the de facto volunteer for death. And it's a death that turns out to be as gruesome as any other on this show. A handful of men surround him, and what at first appears at least a hopeful situation quickly turns into Opie being repeatedly struck with a tire iron, all while the Sons scream from behind thick glass. After his death, Jax meets with Pope again and makes a deal: Tig is to be release with the others. Pope agrees, seeing it as a tactical move to help achieve his ultimate goals. But man: Opie is really, really dead.

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ONE-LINERS

"What a nightmare. My son didn't invite me to his wedding, and then he got arrested." —Gemma
"Come on, man; I'm not just going to kill one of my guys." —Jax
"She's the only thing I got left." —Clay
"We need to begin the conversation about Abel." —Wendy
"Lying by omission is still lying, and you suck at it." —Opie
"One of you four leaves in a body bag."—Jail guard
"We decide our fate."  —Jax

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