Prashant Gupta/FX
Mandi Bierly
October 01, 2014 AT 04:53 AM EDT

There are bad days, and then there are bad days for SAMCRO. The former involve one catastrophe, the latter at least four: Tig gets shot while trying to track down the pantyhose preacher’s wife, Aryans shoot the cops during a drug deal, the Chinese blow up Scoops, and the Chinese massacre everyone at Diosa. To quote Bull Durham, they’re dealing with a lot of s—. Let’s dig in.

The Return of Venus Van Dam: In EW.com stories, she’s always referred to as a fan favorite, and then inevitably, a few readers comment that they don’t understand why she’s even there. Her appearance last season, when Jax ended up shooting Venus’ mother (who was refusing to let Venus break their family cycle), seemed pretty apropos. And now, she reenters the picture when Tyler comes asking SAMCRO for help tracking down the wife of the pastor who needs to sign off on August’s business deal before the end of the next day. Lin thinks the Niners hit his massage parlors, so retaliation is imminent; August needs the deal to go through before his investors get skittish. If SAMCRO finds the wife, who has power of attorney, August may not go looking for the pastor Jax killed in the season premiere.

Jax and Tig decide to make Rat, Quinn, and Happy dig up the body in Chigger Woods. Rat, of course, gets the job of retrieving the pastor’s phone out of his pocket, and his reward is a “This is probably gettin’ you hard” jab at Tig—a nice throwback to Tig’s necrophilia conversation with Clay in the season 1 episode “Old Bones.” They get the phone, which, frankly, they should’ve destroyed before burying him, and discover a video of the pastor licking Venus’ boot. Jax wants to find Venus—Tig already knows where she is. They’ve stayed in touch. Cue the reaction shots.

Eventually, the club gathers around Venus outside her building, and that’s something special: A lot of times, you see just Jax or a couple of guys go off to extract information from someone. It’s sweet how non-threatening the group of them are around her. And did you notice that Venus’ neckline is a bit higher this episode? You can focus on her, not it. They show her the video of the pastor, and it seems Charlie Hunnam is trying not to smile because he knows the response is going to be her saying, “Oh, well, I do love those boots,” followed by Tig adding, “Oh yeah, me, too,” enthusiastically and unironically. In my mind, Tig helped Venus shop for them on one of their platonic outings while Jax was inside for those 10 days after Tara’s death. (Update: Read what Walton Goggins thinks went down off-screen.)

Venus is smart enough to ask Jax why he has the preacher’s phone. Tig jumps in to tell her they need to find his family in case they’re in danger. It’s pretty amazing how with just a couple of reaction shots, they can build an offscreen history between Tig and Venus. From the expression on Tig’s face as she explains where the pastor used to take her, you know he’s listened to her tell many stories. I’m picturing them running into one of her friends while shopping and Tig having to stand there and wait as they catch up. He’s holding her shopping bags for her. And her purse.

Anyway, she tells them he took her to a lake house once and she has the address, which she’s willing to give them. “I will help you because I am fond of you,” she tells Tig. “I am fond of you all. I feel we are connected on a deeper vibration. Do you feel that?” Again, best reaction shots, because absolutely, they do (not). She tells them to send Alex (that’s Tig) up to her place in five minutes to fetch it because the client waiting for her is quick. So clearly Tig’s been to her home before. He watches her leave and again, the guys give him grief. He says they’re friends, they’ve got things in common. When Bobby says he can think of one thing, Tig answers, “Don’t be disrespectful.” Tig went straight up to her place because he knows Venus has a tendency to “dilly-dally.” Now Jax is worried. How would/will the guys feel if/when they find out Tig and Venus are more than friends by the end of this hour? I’m choosing to believe their reactions are more of surprise than intolerance. The fact is Chibs called Venus when Tig asked for her later. But let’s not skip over the lake house.

NEXT: More complications

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