Written by Duana

Sons of Anarchy
Season 4 Episode 1 recap

You know, I’ve never been arrested. Or detained or, for that matter, grounded with any sense of consistency. So why do I feel such a sense of freedom when the SAMCRO boys peel out of jail into the sunshine?

Welcome to my first SOA recap (and the first TV one of fall! Yay/Gross!) where I’m experimenting with getting to know a whole new ‘family’, feeling out what this show does for me and for you guys, and so forth. The bad news is that, like always, there will be some catching up to do (which means you guys get to yell at me, I guess ) but the good news is that with the new Sherriff and (ugh) a new development of luxury homes, this feels like a great place to come in.

I already love Lieutenant Roosevelt, so that’s a good start. I realize he’s not the one I’m supposed to love, but guess what? Oops. (Lainey: I love his leather jacket and want to buy it.)

Basically in this reunion scene with the kissing and the hugging and the purchasing of fingers, my heart grows three sizes. There are kids looking at picture books in a parking lot, dammit! This is only ever going to go down badly for my emotions, right?

A smarter person can discuss people with the names Hale, Roosevelt and Lincoln (fine, that one’s a stretch) in the same room. In any event, Hale gives Roosevelt the gears a little, while Roosevelt basically tells him not to get in his way when he’s the one who knows what he’s doing.

I love that once these guys start talking about business, their biggest issue is ‘we can NOT have McMansions in Charming’. It’s not that we’re so different, you guys, it’s that we’re so similar, right? I mean, the scorn with which Clay says “Zoning Committees” alone – that’s NIMBYism I can get behind. Then again, so is “Horsemeat in a g string”. They’re meeting the Russians at a gross strip bar. Oh, and Opie’s getting married, y’all. This is the kind of casual we need where nuptials are concerned.

Anyway, the Sherriff’s department is watching from outside, and so Clay takes Jax and Opie with him, which immediately gets the boys bratting like they’re a bunch of teenage girls about who is in fact Clay’s best-best friend.

We’re on the road! The gang splits up as per Clay, and the policeman points out that he wasn’t born yesterday by not taking the bait, and continuing to follow Clay. Which gets him utterly boxed in for his trouble.

Anyway, meanwhile, Roosevelt goes upstairs to Lincoln’s ‘war room’ where he has well-organized pyramids of photos to explain how he’s going to bust everyone. It’s like the Wire with a lot less swearing. Anyway, Lincoln, who I’m going to have to stop calling that, updates all of us newbs on how the IRA fit in, and how the Russians are involved – it’s all a bit complicated but yes, those new scars of Jax’s are because he got shivved in prison, which is payback for getting ripped off, but now, despite the deal Clay brokered, everything’s up in the air. One of the FBI guys looks really bored with the theatrics, even when they reveal they have a guy on the inside with the Russians.

They’re going to get tape on Putlova, then they’ll take down the ROC, then the Real IRA, and the Sons. So, not too ambitious, then. But then Lincoln pulls out that the real reason he wants Roosevelt on his team is because he has gang experience. Roosevelt is all ‘I don’t get paid enough for this extra work’. Actually, he says he’s in.

OK. The Russian secretly-FBI guy (Wursky) is with Putlova at the horsemeat place, and dudes, looks like they did not lie with regard to the quality of strippers. Clay gets down to business, all ‘so we’re back to 50/50, yes?’ Putlova is like “cough it up, we’re holding these for you for this long, we want cash.” 5% profits for one month, 15% for longer. Anyway, they need to see the guns tonight, conveniently at the wedding. You guys. You GUYS. Glasses are clinked, shots are done. The inside guy says, as you might expect, nada.

Gemma bangs on a trailer door long enough that Unser answers. Meanwhile, Gemma implies it’s a filthy mess in the trailer but to be honest, I think I can see a made bed in the background. My God, these people are productive early in the morning. Gemma wants to know how his meds are, but he quit them. She’s really worried about him but basically papers over that by giving him a big bag of weed. And then he starts to cry. Needless to say, this is heartbreaking.

Highway. The boys, minus the Russian Visitation Delegation, are handcuffed against posts, and though I’m immediately thinking about how they managed to round them all up, they are discussing wedding gifts, bitching about how cheap Happy is – case in point, he reuses condoms. Anyway, other gifts include 10 colonics. In any event, Roosevelt’s deputy is getting a strip ripped off him for rounding them up. They are turned loose. Obviously.

An FBI guy tells Lincoln (dammit! I know it’s his first name, not his last!) that Wursky says they’re bringing weapons to the wedding tonight. Lincoln is as impressed with their industry as I am but says to let them chill tonight, and they’ll get them tomorrow.

Jax and Tara make up for a lack of conjugal visits. I call bullshit on the cleanliness of his sneakers. Is the man not a biker? Anyway, giddy and excited like teenagers. Like teenagers!

Gemma and Clay are also like teenagers, as he goes “that was fast”. So fast they didn’t take off their matching black tanks. Anyway, she claims all he could get on the inside was Juice – but then she asks him to please not do more time. She can’t deal. He swears to her the Russians and the new guns are going to make everything OK. His hand shakes, though, as he tells her, and she wants to know ‘how bad are they’? Clay says he has two winters left, and Gemma’s all “Surgery!” but he nixes that fast, they both pretend like it’s fine and he has plenty of time. Then she asks him to go see Unser, because he’s falling apart.

Tara wrecks the afterglow by saying they have to talk. While they’re still cuddling! Anyway, it’s not about the redecorated house, it’s about the boys. But luckily, the baby starts crying, so they don’t have to have a real conversation. Boob jokes, but no conversation. Have all of ya’ll who have been around longer discussed how it’s weird that Jax’s woman looks like his mom?

Opie and Lyla discuss whether they’re gonna go through with getting hitched. I can’t handle any more bikers getting all emotional.

Jax grabs baby Thomas, and the package his mom brought him, and brings the baby in to Tara, and ooops Thomas is holding a ring! You know, that’s a choking hazard. Jax has lots of wonderful reasons, Tara loves him too, but-- he takes the words out of her mouth, she can’t live like this in Charming – and he gets it. They can’t grow up like this, and he’s done with SAMCRO. He swears up and down he’s not his father, and I need to remind you that this is the season premiere… Jax says the key to everything is the big money they’re making with the Irish.

Clay’s at Unser’s. Clay still looks sharp as he asks about Unser’s sold business, then they bitch about the new development in town and the new Sherriff. Clay tells Unser he needs him, and Unser tries to hold back the tears long enough to hear what that means. I cannot get over the efficiency of these people! Unser has a will to live now and it’s not even 4 PM! Anyway, can he bring a truck to the wedding?

Otto is not in fact dead, he is strapped down in the cray-cray ward. A screaming Russian is brought in. At which point an officer gives Otto a scalpel…

Wedding times! It’s a beautiful twilighty hour. Roosevelt and his deputy who I guess have been forgiven keep their eyes on the party – as Unser’s truck goes right in.

Aisle of bikes! Teeny wedding dress! Opie looking uber-nervous! Best-man ring-japery which seems to be a stock-in-trade at weddings these days. The vows end in ‘treat you as good as my leather, and (all together now) Ride you as much as my Harley!” Happiness abounds.

Wedding celebration. Tara’s dancing makes me hate any emotion I harbored for her ever. Her boobs look appropriately nursing-y though. At the truck, Jax warns the boys to abort mission if there’s even the whiff of a tail.

Meanwhile, Putlova brings one of the weapons over for Opie’s approval, he enjoys it, and Clay checks it out as well. Opie goes to dance while the rest of them go to check out the new toy. And they’re dancing to ‘What a Wonderful World’, as the boys in the warehouse check out the new weapons. Then Big Otto climbs out of his bed, takes the scalpel, and jams it deep into the ear of the Russian guy in the crazy room with him. This is when I turn fetal.

Then, like clockwork, the Sons boys take out the Russian guys. Was it smart to have had those weapons loaded, ya’ll? Anyway, so much for the silent informant, I guess.

Out in the woods, Clay checks out the new gun, beaming, and then takes out one of the Russians – though Jax gets the honor of stabbing Putlova in the stomach, which seems inefficient to me.

At home, Gemma tidies up Abel’s bed and finds a note to Jax from Maureen – the one Abel scribbled on at the beginning of the episode.

“The colours of the rainbow” are still being crooned about as bodies are rolled down hills into oblivion. Jax dances with Tara like he didn’t just tap out to get his hands bloody, and says it’s good to be home.

Um, that was a lot of fun. Sorry for the long-windedness. See you next week! Here’s what to expect.