Looks like trying to cover up for things that won't stay buried is going to be a big problem this season; the first scene we get in "Small Tears" is Unser finding Gemma, beaten and bleeding, and nearly the first thing Gemma says to him is that she won't go to the hospital. She's been gang raped, in a professional, bizarrely courteous fashion that doesn't make her situation any less horrible, but instead of wanting revenge, she's already thinking long term. Once Clay and the rest find out what happened, it'll be all out war, and nobody can control that. So, with Tara and Unser's help, she tries to pass the whole thing off as car wreck.
But just like Jax's attempts to pin off the Mayan murder as the work of the Niners, the tricky thing with lies is that they go in unexpected places. When Alvarez finds a corpse showing nine fingers, he decides it's time to go to war, and the only thing Clay can do to balance the equation is by offering Laroy and the rest the guns he wouldn't sell Alvarez. It's a temporary patch on a situation that's only going to get worse--because what happens when Opie figures out Jax covered up his kill? Not to mention the fight between the two rival clubs that's going to inevitably land back on SAMCRO's head. Hell, that's already happened: when the Sons hand the promised AK's off to the Niners, the Mayans are waiting in ambush, and Bobby gets a bullet in the shoulder.
The Mayans had a tip-off from the knight in white whiteness, Zobelle--and while Zobelle and Weston were less involved this week than last, we got more of a glimpse of how the two of them work together. Weston is upset when he realizes that Gemma hasn't told Clay or the others about the rape, but Zobelle is less bothered than impressed; he, at least, realizes that things in Charming might be more difficult to control than he expected. That Weston doesn't get this, and that Zobelle is keeping the Mayan contact in the dark, tells us all we need to know for now about them. Zobelle is the brains here, and Weston is the muscle; even more importantly, Weston is the True Believer, with all the short-sighted stupidity that entails. I don't have any doubt that Zobelle is a racist asshole, but he's smart enough to know it's worth dealing with the "lower races" if it'll get him what he wants in the end. Weston, clearly, wouldn't agree. So there's another lie here, and fingers crossed it'll lead to some much deserved ass-kicking down the line.
Still, while all this craziness is going on, business remains business, and when Luann, the town porn director, has her equipment confiscated by the Feds in a revenge play by Stahl (still a little pissed off at how Luann's husband, Otto, beat the shit out of her last season), Jax steps in to lend a hand. Money's tight, so they can't pay her back on the loans, but they can offer her some new space and protection against Georgie Caruso, the new dick on the block who keeps trying to steal her talent away for his own films. I knew Adam Arkin and Henry Rollins were up for guest spots this season, but I didn't know Tom Arnold was going to be on the show; he only gets a couple scenes as Georgie, but he's sleazy and dumb, so good on him.
About that new space... It seems like Jax is trying to take more control over the club this season, and when he brings the idea of partnering up with Luann to the table, he does it with the air of a man who already knows the answer to his questions. The motion passes--only Clay puts up even a half-hearted debate--but Clay takes Jax aside after the Mayan assault to tell him he needs to think through his actions more carefully. He's got a point. Earlier in the episode, before going to lay a beat-down on Georgie for insulting the club, Jax blows up at Luann for daring to question him. She's still nervous when he meets her later on, and it gets you wondering about Jax's temper again. He wants to pretend like this Opie stuff is going to get passed over, but how long is he going to keep his temper in check? How long before Clay pushes him on something and he snaps and says something he shouldn't?
And hell, how long before Opie, who does a pretty good impression of a suicide when he marches into Mayan gunfire during the stand-off, goes off the rails? He tells Tig he's been having dreams about prison again, violent dreams, and when he wakes up, he's glad to wake up--until he remembers Donna's gone. Tig tries to comfort him, and Opie's buying, but it's just one more lie. What makes it work so well is that Tig is sincere about wanting to commiserate with Opie, and the story he tells is almost certainly true; it's just, since he's responsible for Opie's grief, how much comfort can he really give? (I'm hoping we get more of Tig this season. He's one of the most interesting characters on the show, and Kim Coates always brings the awesome.)
The "Small Tears" of the title refers to injuries to vaginal injuries Gemma sustained during the rape; slight wounds that will heal quickly, or so Tara says. But a thing can look healed and still not be healthy. Gemma does her best to put up a good front, but she flinches when Clay comes to see her, and she nearly tells everything to Neeta, the new housekeeper/nanny (which, to me, was the episode's one real weak-point; am I forgetting some kind of connection these two had?). She's strong, but that doesn't make what happened to her any easier to move past. "Tears" ends with Gemma and Jax on the clubhouse roof. "You okay?" "Yeah." It's a nice, quiet moment for them both; but it's still a lie.
- Funny how Tara has to almost immediately violate her "completely disclosure" agreement with Jax.
- "Cumdog Millionaire." Heh. (Also, Luann to Jax: "Life was so much easier when I was just sucking dick.")
- Nice nod from Jax with "You think I brought you here to Adrianna you?" Explaining the reference would mean spoiling it, though.
- Was that Kate Segal singing the "Ruby Tuesday" cover at the beginning?
- Funniest bit of the night: Tig waking up with some woman on top of him, rolling her off him (and off the bar they were both on) and saying, "I love you" after she lands.