Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 rides again with its twelfth and penultimate episode of the year “Darthy,” as Jax’ dangerously attempts to smooth over his transition between the Mexicans, Irish and Chinese, while Clay throws himself at the mercy of the club, and Tara finds herself threatened both by Wendy (Drea Di Matteo) and U.S. Marshall Lee Toric (Donal Logue).

Last week’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode “To Thine Own Self” saw Jax's efforts landing him in hot water with the Galindo cartel, while Nero found himself slipping back into his darker days, Tara considered a new opportunity, and Otto (Kurt Sutter) received a mysterious visitor.  So, how does “Darthy”  keep things running?  Is ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5's endgame for SAMCRO in motion?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 5 episode 12, “Darthy!”

Jax continues writing to his children about manhood, and the nature of making difficult decisions, vowing to remain firm in his.  Afterward, Bobby briefs Jax before the club meeting that Clay has agreed to confess to his crimes, and throw himself at the mercy of the club.

Clay admits his crimes with the Nomads to the group, having wanted to reclaim his leadership from Jax, but having seen his surrogate son’s capability, now only seeks to make peace.  Clay departs the table as the group unanimously votes to strip him of his patch, but only Bobby objects to the vote of killing Clay for his transgressions.  The vote shot down, Jax finds Clay outside the building and beats him mercilessly.

After calming down, Jax listens as Bobby tries to explain that he wanted to keep Jax innocent of Clay’s fate, so as to avoid eventually becoming Clay himself, but Jax admits that Opie was right about the gavel corrupting no matter what.  Meanwhile, Clay sobs to himself in a moment alone, having lost his place in SAMCRO.

Over at the hospital, the club’s lawyer Ally Lowen advises Tara to put some kind of will in place, lest Gemma gain custody of the kids in the event of something happening.  The two next attend Tara’s interview for her role in Otto’s murder of Pamela Toric (Karina Logue), Tara testifying her ignorance of what Otto planned to do with the crucifix.

Meanwhile at the future site of Charming Heights, Jax talks with August Marks and Damon Pope himself, asking if he should follow the advice of his crew to spare Clay’s life.  Pope presses that he should find another angle to remove the emotional aspect of his need for revenge, before demanding Jax follow through on his own agreement to deliver Tig the following day.

SAMCRO takes Romeo Parada (Danny Trejo) and his crew to meet with Henry Lin, and negotiate the terms of their weapons buy.  Lin explains that it will take a few months before bi-monthly shipments become possible, in spite of his earlier assurance, to which Romeo demands SAMCRO set up one last buy from the Irish to compensate.

Tara meets with Wendy, having had an epiphany about who might be left to care for her children in the event of the worst, and reveals that she may soon have to leave Charming.  She allows Wendy to spend time with her son Abel in daycare downstairs, though for the moment passing Wendy off as Tara’s “friend.”  Meanwhile at the Irish barn, Jax explains to Galen that Clay turned in his patch, and the two men put their past differences with Father Kellan Ashby behind, agreeing to one last shipment for the Mexicans.  Not having trusted Jax however, Romeo and his crew crash the meet, and the ensuing gunfight sees a number of dead bodies and damaged weaponry.  Romeo blames the loss on the Sons, and Galen vows to make them pay as well.

While Jax calls Chibs, and urges all SAMCRO associates to go on lock-down, Nero meets with his old crew ((including Dave Navarro!) to strategize how best to take their territory back from “Dante.”  Gemma interrupts the meeting, bringing Nero up to speed on the development with Clay, and assuring the tortured gang-banger that she meant every word of her earlier pledge to him.

Juice aids Clay in ridding all SAMCRO memorabilia from his home, reluctantly accepting Clay’s gift of a favored pistol bestowed on him by Piney, when Tig arrives to bring both in for the lock-down.  Meanwhile, a mysterious man follows Jax into the hospital, observing as Jax angrily retrieves Abel from Wendy, in spite of her protests.  Jax demands she wait for him outside the hospital, but after a moment of distraction sees that the mysterious man kidnapped Wendy, leaving her purse behind.

In a different section of the hospital, Donal Logue’s equally mysterious character Lee Toric waits in Tara’s office to ask details of his sister Pamela’s murder.  Lee’s questions grow more and more incriminatory, as he reveals himself to be a retired U.S. Marshall, intent on getting the facts from both Tara and Otto.  Toric admits that he believes Tara didn’t intend to take part in his sister’s death, but professes that his sister’s children growing up without a mother prevents him from caring.

At the TM lock-down, Jax assures Tara that their various problems will work out, as Galen finally calls demanding $475,000 in exchange for Wendy’s life.  Nero offers a solution to Jax, dipping into his “retirement fund” to pay the ransom, in exchange for entering into a new gun partnership to help reclaim his old neighborhood.  Reluctantly, Jax has no choice but to accept, understanding Nero’s wisdom about getting one’s hands dirty.

Back at the barn, Clay completes the exchange with Galen for Wendy’s life, but in a moment alone informs the Irishman he plans to go into business for himself picking up the Sons’ discarded criminal ventures.  For the time being, Clay may need to lay low however, and requests asylum in Belfast.  Galen agrees, even amenable to Clay’s request to bring Gemma along with him.  Clay offers a deal to Tig as well, noting they’d do well to get away from all of SAMCRO’s politics in favor of easy money.

Back at the clubhouse, Wendy reveals that she learned of Abel’s kidnapping to Belfast, and threatens to take her knowledge to court if the Tellers continue putting Abel’s life in jeopardy with their criminal enterprises.  Tara worries with Jax that Wendy will make good on her threats, but he assures his wife he’ll take care of it.

Meanwhile, Clay returns the original birth certificates to Gemma, and offers her the chance to retreat to Belfast with him, a prospect she agrees to consider.  Afterward, Clay faces his former SAMCRO brethren, and complies as Happy blacks out all his tattoos, severing ties to the club.  Gemma retreats into Nero’s arms, while Tara prays, Lee Toric reads in his hotel room full of guns, and Jax leaves the scene in disgust.

Jax meets with Tig outside of Wendy’s apartment complex, and makes his way upstairs, apologetically asking to speak with Wendy.  Once inside however, he slams the woman into the wall, and forcibly injects her with heroin to discredit any of her claims, warning her never to threaten his family again.

As we've practically come to expect from 'Sons of Anarchy,' once again the series throws a last-minute curveball to upset the various ends characters have been striving towards.  We're impressed by the apparent honesty of Clay's efforts to turn over a new leaf, and allow his brothers to decide his fate, but the entire season might feel unbalanced if Jax doesn't find some true measure of vengeance.  Meanwhile, the major conflicts seem to have already been settled, leaving the season finale to spotlight Tara's conflict with Lee Toric, and finally achieve some measure of closure with Damon Pope.  Low body count, but we're hoping next week revs things up for real.

Did you get your fill of road-rashing ‘Sons of Anarchy’ drama?  What did you think about the  penultimate episode of the season? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode recap of season finale “J'ai Obtenu Cette” on FX!

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