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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Review: “Toad’s Wild Ride”

Sons of Anarchy Toads Wild Ride Review Joel McHale
FX

Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 rides again with its seventh episode of the year, “Toad’s Wild Ride,” as Jax uncovers the source of the home invasions and Unser is placed in a deadly situation, while the club tracks a con man (‘Community‘s Joel McHale) that ripped off Gemma.

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode “Small World” saw Jax entering into yet another new business venture with Damon Pope, as Nero and Gemma found themselves in a deadly conflict with Carla and the truth of the mysterious home invasions was revealed.  So how does “Toad’s Wild Ride”  keep things running?  What more damage can season 5 of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ do?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 episode 7, “Toad’s Wild Ride!”

While Jax and Bobby ride, Clay scolds the three nomads for their botched efforts in killing the Sheriff’s wife.  He advises them to get out of town, a consequence they attribute as his fault for using them to get back at the head of the SAMCRO table.  Elsewhere, Gemma wakes up next to her handsome gentleman caller (McHale), retreating to the bathroom to cry while back at home Tara looks over Otto’s case file.

Jax and Bobby pull into Unser’s new trailer location at his old business, looking to find out what he knows about the invasions.  In his trailer, Jax is surprised to see SAMCRO’s name on Unser’s list of suspects, as the man lays out that Clay would have the most to gain from making the club look weak, likely using the Nomads.  Jax insists that they need proof first, asking Unser to visit the Nomads the next day while they await the DNA results of Roosevelt’s wife’s scratch.  Meanwhile back at her hotel, Gemma leaves the bathroom to find her personal effects stolen, as the man speeds off in her SUV.

The next day, Jax manages to spook Nomad Frankie Diamonds by questioning his reasons for leaving, while Unser pays a visit to Greg the Peg and Go-Go, who similarly try to push him away as they prepare to depart.  Jax pays a visit to the new Diosa headquarters, with Lyla now in Nero’s employ, as the man gets a call from Gemma to come take care of her.

Nero and the club roll up into Gemma’s motel, finding nothing from the employees, as Jax scolds his mother for getting into yet another irresponsible situation.  Jax apologizes for getting Nero caught up in this, but the “companionator” responds that women like Gemma don’t do very well without family in their lives.  Just then, Nero gets a call from his chop shop buddies that the con man Warren indeed brought Gemma’s Escalade in to be stripped, and is still at the site.

While Tara looks for more Otto memorabilia at the clubhouse and shares a tense confrontation with Clay, the boys roll into the chop shop where Gemma’s con man Warren is to be found.  Upon catching a glimpse of the bikers, Warren immediately flees, hopping in a half-stripped sedan to speed his way out of the lot, tearing ass across town with SAMCRO in hot pursuit.  Eventually, he bails out and takes several shots at the club before Jax manages to tackle him to the ground.  Weakly, he agrees to give back Gemma’s money, and the boys leave him by the side of the road with Nero vowing to get even.

Back at TM, Greg alerts Clay that Unser has gotten onto them and that Jax rattled Frankie, forcing Clay to agree with their idea to kill Unser.  Clay asks Greg to storm Unser’s trailer three hours from then wearing masks, making it look like another home invasion strike.  Elsewhere, Tara pays a visit to Gemma hoping that information about Otto’s deceased wife Luann might change the man’s mind, to which she recommends finding an old perfume of hers that he loved.

The Sons roll back into the lot, dismissing their efforts in getting back the Escalade, as Jax pulls his mother aside. Gemma apologizes for everything, particularly that she put the burden of loving his mother on Jax after his brother Thomas died, to which Jax assures his mother that he loves her and that all their mutual craziness will get sorted out.

Over at Unser’s, Clay instructs Juice to text him when the Nomads approach, before receiving a rather cold reception from the former Charming PD sheriff.  While Unser keeps his gun handy, Juice alerts Clay to the bikers’ imminent arrival, and Clay confesses that the Nomads are indeed responsible for the break-ins.  Just then, the masked men burst through the door, and Unser manages to take out Go-Go before Clay shoots Greg the Peg, surprisingly.  Clay lies by pointing toward another holding the Nomads’ leash, as Unser agrees to cover up Clay’s involvement in killing the attackers.

The Sons interrupt Bobby and Jax’s meeting to announce the attack on Unser, and while the club resolves to find Frankie Diamonds and not immediately blame Damon Pope, Juice seems troubled by his knowledge of the truth.  Later, Gemma visits Unser at the scene of the crime, and the two share a joint to bury the hatchet over their argument last week, while Frankie Diamonds eyes the scene from a distance and drives off.

Back at Teller-Morrow, Tara arrives preparing for her and Jax’s trip to the cabin, but with a babysitter unavailable Jax presses his wife to let Gemma take care of the kids.  Gemma gratefully accepts the duty over the phone, despite her recent high, as Nero and his crew find the con man Warren at the same motel, and deliver a savage beating over what happened with Gemma.  So long, Joel McHale.

At Clay’s house, Juice begs the man to tell the club the truth about who might be pulling the Nomad’s strings (cough, Clay), when Jax arrives looking for a word.  Pressing him for his involvement with the Nomads, Jax doubts Clay’s assertion that Damon Pope would be behind it all, and they agree to find Frankie Diamonds and let the club decide.

While Tara sets up at the cabin with Tig on guard, out on the open road a van pulls alongside Jax and Chips and opens fire.  The boys get run off the road, but manage to kill at least one of their attackers before the other drives off.  Pulling off the dead man’s mask, Jax and Chibs see the face of an unidentified African-American man, likely someone associated with Pope.

Elsewhere on the road, Gemma drives with Thomas and Abel in the backseat, before her sleepy drifting gets the better of her and a passing truck runs the car off the road!  Having hit a tree, Gemma seems unconscious at the wheel, while Thomas seems healthy enough, and a tree branch presses up against Abel.  Panning downward, we see the boy’s blood dripping from the car…

O noes!  ‘Sons of Anarchy’ certainly lays the tragedy on thick this week, as Gemma manages to put Jax’s children in mortal danger mere minutes after being trusted with them, while Jax himself nearly dies again fending off more attackers.  The noose certainly seems to be tightening around all of SAMCRO, and it remains to be seen how long Clay can play both sides into thinking someone else would have set the Nomads on Charming.  The hour felt pretty exciting all around, even if Joel McHal appearance seems completely wasted, and there doesn’t seem any lower Gemma can go.

Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ drama?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode recap of “Ablation” on FX!

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