With the club as fractured as it's ever been, Clay seems to be going off the deep end!
"The older we get, the further away we get from who we really are."
That statement, delivered by Unser, induces Gemma to roll her eyes, but it seems to reverberate while watching Clay Morrow this season. He's more aware of his aging now than he's ever been since the show started, which is the very reason he's taking so many drastic risks this season. He's getting in bed with the Galindo cartel for the payoff so he can ride off into retirement. He's so driven that he's not so concerned with what the long-term effects will be for the club later on, despite his contention that his "only concern is the future of this MC." Of course, he's setting up more complications down the line anyway. He's already promised Jax that he'll make Opie the head of the club after he steps down, but in "Dorylus," he promises to endorse Bobby for that position (in exchange for his vote on the cartel issue). Opie is already expecting to get the nod, and decides to vote Yes on the cartel matter after seeing the way Jax took charge in the case of the stolen guns. He's also expecting Jax to be there at his side, not knowing that Jax is himself looking to get out of the life.
As for those stolen guns: when a couple of ghetto youths get the better of Kozig and steal the car carrying a box of guns already paid for by the cartel, it sets off an investigation headed up by Jax to go and get them back. The trail leads to a middle-aged French fence played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste who specializes in "iPads, microwaves, and organic vegetables." What she doesn't know is that her two bodyguard sons, named Luther and Vandross, bought the guns behind her back. She immediately apologizes and gives Jax the guns back, with a promise that she'll send Happy's mother some tomatoes. It's basically a trifling side plot that doesn't mean a whole lot to the overall picture, but gives the club a reason to see Jax take charge. Getting in Kozig's face for losing the guns buys him some respect. In fact Kozig, when he votes at the end of the episode, does so because he's "backing my present VP." We also get a great chase scene scored to "Seven and Seven Is" by Love, one of the most underrated bands of the 1960's.
While all this is going on, Juice gets hauled in to Sheriff Roosevelt's office for a little revelation. Roosevelt has gotten a hold of Juice's father's record, and it turns out Papa Juice is black. Roosevelt intimates that he's going to blackmail Juice in exhcange for not telling the club about his heritage. He figures SAMCRO is more like a real-world MC, where racism would be pretty much expected. That has never really figured into the make-up of SAMCRO, though, so this scene felt a little incongruous. It seemed from the first episode of this season that Juice would be occupying a bigger role than he has in the past, and being blackmailed by Roosevelt to inform on the club, if that's where this is heading, would be one way of accomplishing that. As it is, Roosevelt is already turning out to be the most fearsome threat SAMCRO has ever faced, and even Agent Stahl couldn't get any of the members to turn on the club. Roosevelt would be in some uncharted territory here.
With all the lying going around, the most affecting scene of "Dorylus" occurs when Gemma decides to play it somewhat straight with Tara. After some failed snooping around, she simply comes right out and asks Tara if she has the John Teller letters. It leads to her talking about her heartbreak and the dissolution of their marriage, leading her into Clay's arms. It's really understated and played so well by Katey Sagal that it's actually pretty disarming. For one thing, it looked for all the world like we were heading for more Gemma vs. Tara clashes, but this was a nice, unexpected way to play with their dynamic. It's still classic Gemma, as she only played it straight with Tara to tug at her heart strings, thus manipulating her to keep the letters from Jax (it turns out she is indeed squirrelling them away in storage). It seems to have worked, for one week anyway.
Back to the climactic vote, which took place right at the end of "Dorylus:" It passes, 6-5. Everybody has their reasons to vote the way they did, many of which were seen in this episode. But we can't help but wonder about Clay. Before the vote goes down, he manhandles Gemma a little when she confronts him about the drug muling plan, which she does because Piney appealed to her to "talk some sense" into Clay. After the vote, Clay stares down Piney and threatens him should he ever try a stunt like that again. Clay is a man on the edge right now, and his single-mindedness may be making him reckless, or at least not thinking straight. This fractious existence is making things very tense, and it can only be resolved very explosively.
Written or Contributed by: Royal Nonesuch