Only on Sons could an episode that includes both a violent prison death (RIP, Henry Lin) and an homage to Bullitt’s car chase be considered quiet. But that’s the best word to describe this episode, which will be remembered for its conversations: Juice tells Jax the truth about Tara’s murder. Nero hears that truth from Jax as Gemma tries to say goodbye. And Jax ultimately breaks down as he asks Nero how the mother he still loves, in spite of everything, could have done this to Tara. If last episode was all about the performances delivered by Kim Coates and Walton Goggins, this one belongs to Charlie Hunnam, Theo Rossi, Jimmy Smits, and Katey Sagal. (Update: Read our postmortems with director Peter Weller and Jimmy Smits.)
The morning: Once again, we have an opening montage without music. As Jax sits on the floor of Abel’s room, where he’s been all night, Gemma sits at her dining room table and talks to Tara. She doesn’t know why Abel would blame the fork incident on her because even Tara knows she’d never hurt the person she loves the most in the world. She’s sorry “this happened.” Does she mean setting this nightmare in motion by killing Tara? Abel hurting himself? Or her ending up at that long table all by herself? Juice sits on the floor of his cell talking to himself: Everyone will forgive him, and he’ll figure out a way to make it through his sentence, if he just does what he’s supposed to do—meaning get Lin to name the rat on tape and then kill him. Chibs, meanwhile, thinks about kissing a supposedly sleepy Jarry goodbye but stops himself. The cut is on—he’s a club member first, lover second.
When Jax leaves Abel’s room, you expect Abel to open his eyes like we’ve seen him do before. But he’s no longer in a horror film—he’s actually asleep. Learning Wendy is his first mommy has brought him some comfort and already made him less creepy. As Wendy gets Jax a cup of coffee, Jax changes into a fresh T-shirt, which is the only skin we see this hour, PTC. Now that Abel knows the truth about her, Wendy doesn’t want any more secrets between her and Jax. She tells him about Juice being at her apartment when she checked out of rehab, and Jax figures out that Gemma helped him. After hearing that Unser accidentally found Juice there, Jax heads off to the Airstream to get answers. “You take care of our boys,” he tells Wendy. She’s the only one he can trust now, the only one without an agenda.
Jax asks Unser why Juice would think to go to Gemma, which Unser doesn’t know. What Jax really wants is for Jarry to arrange him a face-to-face with Juice. Unser hesitates, since all Jax has done is lie to him—he tells him about Chris Dunn being in a Vegas drunk tank the night Tara was killed. A shocked Jax vows that the camera footage of the meet will get Unser and Jarry the truth about Tara’s death. You believe him, but of course, when he sees Tig and Chibs later, he asks them to reach out to Otis so Tully knows to buy the room and get that camera turned off. Unser warns Jax that his loyalty to the club and Teller family ends if Jax burns him on this, so we’re already worried. Also noteworthy: Jax is the one having his father’s bike updated. And again, Abel really does seem better: He’s showing empathy again asking Wendy how his father is. Working, Abel. Always working.
The rat reveal: Juice gets word that Lin’s death goes down after breakfast and repeats his mantra, “This gets done” (his version of Opie’s “I got this”). Ultimately, he’s led on the show’s longest walk down to the boiler room, where a nonchalant Henry Lin stands on a chair handcuffed to a pipe. Juice sets up the phone and promises Lin he’ll be fine if he just names the rat and promises not to give up the club for a deal. Lin says what some of us called the moment Barosky shot Desi, that cop/pawn shop owner, a little too quickly in episode 5: Barosky’s the rat. He’d reached out to Lin and held out for a ton of cash. (In an EW.com poll after episode 9, only 29 percent of fans thought it’d be Barosky.)
Juice turns off the phone, and Lin thinks he’s going to be freed. Instead, Juice stabs him in the throat with that shiv we’ve been waiting for him to use. Somehow, Lin manages to say, “You lying piece…” as the blood oozes out. As Juice points out, he’s a rat—why shouldn’t Lin have assumed he’s a liar, too? Juice stabs him two more times, and as the blood flows down Lin’s prisonwear, Juice smirks and slowly takes off his shirt to change into the nice new outfit the guard had so thoughtfully left him in case things got messy. You can feel bad for Henry Lin, but don’t feel bad for actor Kenneth Choi, who wanted to die a glorious Sons death.
NEXT: The truth comes out