Tonight's lead-in was "Hellboy". FX is all Ron Perlman, all the time.
The episode begins with SAMCRO watching the ambulance take Chibs away following the car bomb. The garage is a madhouse of activity - EMTs, cops and gawkers mill about. Chief Unser and Clay retire to the clubhouse bar. Clay tells Unser that he needs to massage the evidence so that it looks like the explosion was an accident, not a bombing. Unser warns Clay that he cannot retaliate against Ethan Zobelle if it will harm Charming. Clay points out that both Zobelle and his lieutenant, AJ Weston, live out of town. He orders Unser to get him their home addresses, or else he'll execute his retaliation in Charming. "You'll be watching Main Street on the 10 o'clock news," he warns.Deputy Nathan Hale approaches Jax at the garage.
"This was Zobelle," he states. Jax notes that Zobelle is trying to break SAMCRO and the police force, and says that Zobelle does not make mistakes; there will be no evidence for Hale to find. He says that Clay is going to retaliate right away, even though Jax feels that they'll be walking right into a trap. He says that if he can get to Zobelle first, he can protect the club. Jax suggests Hale help him get to Zobelle before Clay does, and the two agree to a plan: Jax will bring Zobelle and Weston in and Hale will hold them in jail for 24 hours. This will give him time to try to tie Zobelle to the bombing, and also give Clay time to calm down and not rush SAMCRO into an attack.
As Jax walks away, he is approached by Opie's mother. She is concerned about her son - since his wife's death, he hardly comes home and when he does, he is distant and does not talk to his kids. She's afraid that the attack on Chibs will push him even further away. "I don't know how to help Ope," Jax whispers. "Talk to him," she responds. Jax agrees to try to help his old friend.
Tara tells her new BFF Gemma that she's going to the hospital to check on Chibbs. The car bomb really has Tara shaken; she cannot comprehend why someone would resort to such an attack (she's apparently forgotten that she's dating a motorcycle gang member). Tara, worried about Jax, asks Gemma if the people behind the bombing were the same that kidnapped and raped her. She says that maybe if Gemma had told someone what had happened... "The isn't on me," Gemma snaps, and storms off. (Uh oh. Trouble in New BFFsville!)
SAMCRO convenes for the second time in as many episodes to determine how to retaliate against Zobelle. Clay is furious - Zobelle has tried to kill two SAMCRO members in 12 hours. "We don't wait anymore," he shouts. "We kill him!" Clay snarls, "Do I need to take a vote?", but the answer is clear. The crew breaks without voting, intent on exacting their revenge on Zobelle as soon as possible. As the meeting breaks up, Jax takes the opportunity to try and talk to Opie. However, Opie turns the conversation to Jax's rift with Clay. He accuses Jax of not doing what's in the best interests of the club, but instead what's in his own best interests. He tells Jax that it is not his time to run the club; it's still Clay's club. He warns Jax that he had better back down "before somebody gets hurt."
The new day finds Jax on the roof of the clubhouse, writing in his journal ("Dear Diary, OMG, Opie hurt my feelings"), when he sees Irish weapons dealer extraordinaire Edmond Hayes slip under the crime scene tape at the clubhouse. He's not the only one - Clay and the others rush outside to meet Hayes, noting that him visiting them in broad daylight is not a good idea. Hayes is concerned that the bombing is going to bring the feds down on the club. As he leaves, Chief Unser arrives with the addresses for Zobelle and Weston. Clay asks him if he can run interference on some of his deputies who are guarding the crime scene so that Juice can "clean up" the clubhouse before the forensics team arrives.
As Unser heads off to send his men for donuts, Jax gets a call from Hale: Zobelle isn't home. Knowing this, he begs off the run at Zobelle's house, telling Clay that he wants to go check on Chibs in the hospital. After he drives off, Tig asks Clay if he thinks Jax is in support of the attack. "I don't give a shit," Clay spits. Opie says that Jax is working some kind of angle. Clay tells him to keep an eye on him.
Opie tails Jax to Darby's warehouse, where he sees him meeting with Hale. Darby is not around, but Opie makes it pretty clear that he thinks Jax and Hale are working together. He decides to sit on Jax, telling him that he'll ride back to the clubhouse with him. As Jax heads off, he tells Hale to call him when he finds Weston's address. Hale asks him where he's going. "To lose my best friend," Jax replies. With Opie following him, Jax runs a stop sign and a red light, and manages to lose him.
At the garage, the Lodi forensics team arrives early, interrupting Juice as he attempts to clean the bomb scene. Chief Unser and Juice both feign ignorance, but the Lodi cops send them on their way, taking over the scene. As the crew pours over the van, Unser and Juice try to work out how they will cover up the evidence. The answer is, of course, a Big Gulp cup filled with Unser's urine, which is in turn filled with his cancer-fighting drugs. As Unser hovers over the evidence kit and makes small talk with the Lodi cops, Juice hops into a car and screeches towards the men, who leap out of the way. Unser tries to splash his drink over the kit; unfortunately, most of it lands on the face of one of the Lodi officers. As Juice apologizes for the accident, the officer asks what Unser had in his cup. "Diet cola," he responds. "Tastes like piss, doesn't it?"
Ethan Zobelle, his daughter, Polly, and AJ Weston are holed up in a church. Zobelle says that his sources in Charming have told him that people are looking for them. It appears that those sources aren't the only ones selling out SAMCRO; Edmond Hayes and his father pull up. As the elder Hayes goes inside to meet with Zobelle and Weston, Edmond and Polly stay outside to flirt as only gun runners and white supremacists can.
Opie connects with Clay,Tig and Bobby and tells them about Jax losing him on his bike. The group prepares to storm AJ Weston's house, but Hale and Jax have already arrived. Jax sneaks into the house, and takes fire from one of the bedrooms. After a tense stand-off, he realizes that the shooter isn't Weston, but one of his two young sons who are holed up in the room. Jax gets the boy to lower his weapon and tries to get Weston's location from him, but suddenly Clay and the others - thinking Weston is inside - began firing into the bedroom. Jax covers the boy, but after the shooting stops, the boy tries to shoot Jax; fortunately, his gun was empty. The boy calls Jax a race-traitor and refuses to divulge his father's location. Jax tells Hale to call Child Services on the boys. He smirks at Clay and the others as he leaves the house. Opie follows him, accusing him of working with Hale now. Jax says that he's working toward the same goal as Clay.
Of course, Clay is taking a more direct approach. He breaks into Zobelle's store and becomes a one-man wrecking crew, overturning counters, smashing displays and helping himself to a free cigar.
At the hospital, Tara fills Gemma in on Chibs' prognosis. He's in critical condition. What's no longer in critical condition is the budding friendship between Tara and Gemma: the good doctor apologizes for what she said about Gemma the night before. Gemma waves it off, and the two make plans to head home together. Gemma runs into Deputy Hale, who asks to speak to her in private. Hale reveals that Unser told him about the attack on Gemma. He implores Gemma to give him any details about the attack that will point him toward Zobelle. Hale tells Gemma that he wants to hurt Zobelle. Gemma gives Hale Polly, saying she's the only one she saw. She describes her as "a girl in her 20s, cute, blonde, good rack" (we hadn't noticed). Before Hale leaves, Gemma threatens that if he or Unser tells anyone about what happened to her, she'll cut their hearts out.
Hale and Jax corner Darby, who had been pulled over by one of Hale's officers. They demand to know where Zobelle is. Darby says that if Zobelle had something to do with the bombing, his group knew nothing about it. He admits that someone told him that something might be going down in Charming, so he is heading out of town for a few days. Before he leaves, Hale runs Gemma's description of Polly by him. Now the cop knows who he's looking for: Zobelle's daughter.
At Gemma's house, the motorcycle matriarch catches Tara staring at her gun. When she learns that Tara got rid of the piece Gemma gave her earlier (after using it to kill her stalker), Gemma pulls out two hat boxes worth of pistols (I suppose she keeps her hats in her pistol box). She gives Tara a new gun and takes her to the studio for some target practice. Ima pulls up and Tara casually points the gun in her direction, sending the tart running into the studio. "That was fun," she admits. "Then you're going to love this," Gemma replies, before shooting out Ima's tire. The two then unload on the porn princess' car. Probably not the money shot she had in mind when she left for work this morning.
At Zobelle's store, Polly is cleaning up after Clay's rampage when Hale arrives. He tries to get her to tell him where Ethan is, but she stonewalls him. That is, until Hale plays hardball. He picks up a piece of glass and says that all he has to do is slice himself open and say she did it. His father is a judge, and she'll get a three-year sentence for aggrevated assault. She quickly reveals that Zobelle is at a League rally and gives him the location: the Mirada Christian Center. He has her held anyway so that she cannot tell her father that she's given Hale his location. Hale in turn tells Jax where Zobelle will be. As Polly is pushed into the squad car, we see her smile.
At the clubhouse, Juice has managed to hack into AJ Weston's computer. He finds a calendar listing that leads Clay to determine that Zobelle will be at the Mirada Christian Center. Clay, Tig, Bobby, and Opie, no longer wearing their club markings, pile into an unmarked van to find their retribution. As they head off, Bobby tells Jax where they're going, causing him concern.
As night falls, SAMCRO is getting ready to storm the rally. Jax calls Hale, asking after the sheriffs who were supposed to break up the rally, but Hale hasn't heard from them. Gemma storms past the feds pouring over evidence from the blast and pulls Unser into a cell, where she berates him for telling Hale about her attack. But Gemma starts to break down, apologizing to Unser for not telling anyone about what happened to her. Unser tells her the bombing isn't on her. "I'm starting to think it's all on me," she replies.
Opie and Tig have completed their surveillance of the rally point. SAMCRO plans on storming in and grabbing Zobelle, claiming that the only witnesses will be Weston's ex-convict Aryan Brotherhood friends. Jax reveals that he has intel from Hale that it will be a membership meeting, meaning many more witnesses. He says that sheriffs are on the way to arrest Zobelle. Clay says all that means is that they don't have a lot f time. Opie asks Jax if there's anything else he has to tell them. "Yes," he says calmly. "If we do this, we all go to jail." Clay opens the van and starts handing out shotguns and AK-47s.
SAMCRO knocks out two guards stationed outside the rally. They storm in, only to find a family dinner gathering, complete with little kids and even a priest. Zobelle gives Weston a nod, and he fires two shots from a hidden pistol into the air. This causes a panic and makes it look like the well-armed SAMCRO faction has started firing. SAMCRO has walked right into Zobelle's trap. As Zobelle retreats, Clay draws down on him, but Jax notices a surveillance camera. He stops Clay from shooting Zobelle, causing Clay to stare holes through his protege. The sheriffs arrive just as SAMCRO runs out of the Center. The men are immediately arrested. Only Opie, who chased after Zobelle, escapes. As Opie races after Zobelle, he runs a stop sign and almost collides with another car, causing him to crash into a parked car and go flying off his bike.
As the episode comes to an end, we see Tara reading Jax's father's journal and Gemma lighting candles. Opie returns to the Center to see his crew being led off in handcuffs. As they are loaded into the sheriff's van, Jax and Clay stare each other down.