Getting picked up in a bar by Joel McHale might just be worth him stealing your wallet and car.
"Too many people feelin' shit. That's the problem What you said was the truth. If more people would do that, there'd be less bodies flyin' on the floor. Don't do it again."
Truth is something that's pretty much always been in short supply on Sons of Anarchy. It's rare that anybody's honest with themselves around here, let alone with each other. It's gotten to the point where any honest moment is either ineffective or undermined later on. That's basically the case with Gemma in "Toad's Wild Ride." All season, she's been running around trying to justify her existence in Jax' life, and it hasn't gone well for her so far. After getting picked up in a bar by a tall, handsome stranger played by Joel McHale (it's happened to so many of us), Gemma ends up having to call Nero when her one night stand steals her wallet and car. Nero brings along Jax, who chides Gemma on the spot. Before he and Jax head out on a chase for Joel McHale, Nero cuts through Jax' anger. "She's still your mother, try to respect that," he explains. "She's caught between a husband she hates and a son she thinks hates her. Women like that don't do too well without family." They're able to get Gemma's stuff back, and she and Jax have themselves a sit down heart to heart. Gemma just can't avoid the truth of the matter anymore – her smothering Jax so much has roots in Tommy's death. She lost one son, and she manipulated the other son into making up for his absence. She made him love her enough for both of them. It's a melancholy moment, one where Gemma comes off so frail and vulnerable. But it's a true moment, and it elicits some truth from Jax as well. Deep down, she is still his mother, and he still loves her dearly. Later, as a show of that love, he and Tara decide to call on Gemma to watch the kids for a few days while they have themselves a sexy little getaway up at their cabin. Gemma, who's over the moon about getting that call, comes to pick up the kids from the clubhouse and on the way home, whether due to being drunk or stoned or something else entirely, Gemma ends up crashing the car, and in a dark (sickening, even) turn, it looks like young Abel is the one who gets speared by a tree branch. It's about as horrifying a cliffhanger as the show has ever had, and can only mean so much more darkness ahead. Although Gemma seems to have come to a bit of a breakthrough with Jax, she's still totally self-destructive, and now it appears her own grandchild is going to the victim of that.
Shifting away from the possible death of a child, Clay is still shifting around. After last week's confimation of what everyone pretty muc already figured out, that Clay was leading the Nomads around and masterminding the home invasions in Charming. Unser pretty much figures it out, and he all but tells Jax and Bobby about it. Unser also ends up tipping his hand when he tries to pump Gogo and Greg the Peg for information which gets them formulating a plan with Clay to kill off Unser. Clay, as he so often does, has other ideas. While it looks like he's about to take out Unser, he at the last second ends up helping Unser kill off Gogo and Greg (Frankie Diamonds is off in the wind after an encounter with Jax). Clay has Unser convinced that he's not ordering the Nomads around, and he has to really sell the lie to Jax. He's sticking with the theory that the Nomads were working with Pope and the one-niners to bring down the Sons. It's a plausible enough theory to the characters on the show (and nobody else), especially when Clay couches it in that humbled "You got every right to think I'm the devil" talk. It's a pretty bold tactic: get people to trust you by starting your sentence off with all the reasons why they shouldn't. "I get why you'd think I'd do bad things to you, but I promise you, it isn't me." Everyone should try that once. "It's only natural that you'd believe that I'm the one who ate your cookies, but I swear, it was the downstairs neighbor." "You got every reasont to think I shaved your dog while you were away, but I swear to you, it was your dad." In any case, Jax seems to buy it, and he and Chibs are off on their merry way. They're probably even more likely to believe Clay when they're attached by two gunmen, one of whom turns out to be black. The natural tendency is to think these particular black dudes are one-niners, or in some other way connected to Pope. After all, where would clay find black dudes to do his bidding, right?
Elsewhere in this episode, Nero catches up to Joel McHale, who is apparently a part of a crew of dudes who seduce older woman and steal their cars (Nero's henchmen just figure this out somehow) and kicks the crap out of him. Sure, we'll take it. Meanwhile, Juice is finally starting to ask Clay some hard questions. Maybe he's starting to rethink this whole blind loyalty thing. Also, and this is probably on the backburner now if one of her kids is injured or dead, but Tara spends some time in this episode looking for some kind of "peace offering" to offer to Otto. Tara, in a previous episode, had volunteered to do some pro bono work at the prison in order to get close to Otto to convince him not to turn on the club. Gemma tells her about this perfume that LuAnne used to wear that might do the trick. She doesn't seem to remember the name of the stuff, but it apparently smells like cum and patchouli.