'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Juice Can't Concentrate

sons-of-anarchy-s3-tommy-flanagan-320.jpg The "MD" stands for "Maybe Dead:" Gemma finds the death threat in Tara's van, convinces her not to take it to the police, then immediately calls in the SAMCRO reinforcements to keep her son's old lady safe, apparently never dreaming that the threat originates with her husband. Unser tips off Roosevelt to the threat, but Tara lies (poorly) when Roosevelt swings by Teller Morrow to make sure she's okay. Her day gets worse when she figures out that Jax and the rest of the MC have now added drug smuggling to their vast repertoire of law-breaking enterprises. The only thing Tara has going for her right now is one thing she doesn't even know about: despite Clay's warnings to the contrary, Unser is persisting in trying to keep Tara safe, and it looks like he's enlisting Margaret in the fight.

It'll be tough making "Jax Teller" scan in a narcorrido ballad: The SAMCRO boys get an eyeful of what life with the cartel is going to be like after they're present during a horrific spray-and-pray right in the heart of the Mayan's cocaine factory. Using only his wits, a Social Distortion backing soundtrack, and one meager pistol, Jax heads out for vengeance against the shooters. He kills one, tracks another to Oakland (in theory, if mention of Fruitvale means anything), and figures he's found the apartment where the shooter is hiding. A few members of SAMCRO make a field trip - and they end up terrorizing an apartment full of women and children who are, as it turns out, also being terrorized by the Sonoro Lobos cartel. THAT is when it sinks in to SAMCRO that hey, cartels often target families to make people do terrible things. This galvanizes Bobby Elvis, who calls for a vote of no confidence; he thinks the club needs a new president.

Squeezed dry: Potter continues to put pressure on Roosevelt to get that sample from Juice, blithely suggesting that Roosevelt resort to entrapment. To his credit, Roosevelt suggests that Potter cram that suggestion sideways. Potter then threatens to torpedo Roosevelt's career, because apparently there is no member of the federal law enforcement who's not wantonly abusing authority for their own kicks. Anyway, Roosevelt reluctantly pulls an entrapment move on Juice. Potter suggests a few more mess-with-the-head moves Roosevelt needs to make on Juice, and Roosevelt elects instead to gently break it to Juice that he needs to cooperate with law enforcement. "It doesn't matter," Juice replies, sniffling. When he heads back to the club, Clay bestows the "Men of Mayhem" patch on him as an incentive for not being a sketchy little mope. Then Clay sends Juice back out to the Coke-K Corral. He doesn't show, electing instead to sew on his patch, then to hang himself from a tree. A branch cracks right as the screen goes black.