There are bad days and there are bad days. The members of SAMCRO are having a string of very, very, very bad days. Sons of Anarchy continues to knee our guys in the groins in what has become the roughest and most painful season of the drama to date, and "Fruit for the Crows" added a stomp and twist to the ball-busting.
SAMCRO should have known that jumping into bed with one cartel means another cartel will play the jealous ex-lover. The club is in way over its greasy head with no easy way to get out of the deal, dodging bullets from the rival Lobos Sonora cartel—which is so ruthless, it's willing to kidnap families in order to get innocent people to do its dirty work. That's low, even for criminals, and opens up a whole new bag of doodoo for the club. That first message was for the Mayans; the next one could be for SAMCRO.
The situation is actually convenient for Clay, as the club can blame any threat to Tara on the Sonora cartel, who SAMCRO believes will handle business by targeting the family members of those they wish to influence. That puts a little distance between Clay and the hit he put out on Tara, so I'm sure he doesn't think it's the worst thing ever. He's certainly not going to tell everyone that the note left in the car wasn't in the Lobos Sonora style, as Alvarez told him ("they would have written it in kids' blood"); he's just going to keep that bit of info to himself. What's more, Clay bullied Wayne into staying out of his business. That Clay is a real jerkface this season! I'm guessing their friendship is over. Wayne has a decision to make: back off or step up. The former will get Tara killed, the latter might get Wayne killed. Like I said, bad day all around.
And I haven't even mentioned Juice yet! His storyline is killing me. It's like seeing a friend of yours who is always chipper walk through the darkest tunnel of his life. This is NOT fun, but props to Theo Rossi for selling it, especially in this episode. "Fruit for Crows" opened with some great foreshadowing, with Juice kneeling beside a tree (note: I don't ever want to see Juice and a tree in the same scene again) mumbling pleas for forgiveness for what he did to Miles and the club. Linc, who is becoming less charming in that straight-jacket sort of way and just plain scary in that straight-jacket kind of way, has tightened the screws on Juice and you can see it. Juice is in bad, bad shape. It was particularly obvious when he walked past Chibs, ignoring his concern, and it was devastating when Clay presented him with his "Men of Mayhem" badge. That was probably the best scene of the season so far, and it's all because of Rossi. The anguish on his face comes through the screen and just squeezes your heart until it's completely wrung out. Right then, I knew what he was planning. Juice wasn't the only one with tears in his eyes during that exchange.
But if ever I heard a sound that was music to my ears, it was the snap of that tree branch right after Juice tried to fresh-squeeze himself by using a chain as a noose. It's telling that he stitched on his patch before trying to end it all; he has no ill will toward the club itself. He's SAMCRO for life, however much longer that lasts. Poor Juice.
Back at the club, Bobby finally boiled over and did the unthinkable: called for a vote to oust Clay as president. Slippery slope there, Bobby! And how badass is it that Clay—CLAY!—is the one who seconded the proposal, putting it into motion? He may be a jerk, but he's got cojones the size of watermelons.
Just when we thought Sons of Anarchy couldn't get crazier, creator Kurt Sutter added more and more drama, and we're only on Episode 7! It's insanity brought to a very frothy lather in what isn't much more than a macho soap, but it's being scrubbed with steel wool.
– Jax going after the cartel shooters solo? Whaaaaat? Not quite buying it. Jax, when you ride a motorcycle, you're pretty much out in the open. Food for thought the next time you go after guys with sub-machine guns.
– Opie and Lyla's marriage didn't last long, did it? I want to feel bad for them, but they split so fast it's hard to root for them to get back together.
– How will the disappearance of Armando, the missing president of SAMTAZ, factor into things? Was he kidnapped by the cartel, and is he worth saving? Or did SAMTAZ's drug-dealing ways push it to a darker side, perhaps right into the open arms of the cartel?
– What the F is Piney doing with an empty bottle of tequila and a loaded shotgun? I thought he was going to decorate the walls with a palette of his own brain.
– Close-range headshots in consecutive episodes! Boom! Headshot!
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom