While the promos for this week's episode of Sons of Anarchy spent multitudes of energy trying to convince us that Juice told Jax Gemma killed Tara, Gemma's son still doesn't know she's a murderer. The problem is that "Greensleeves" didn't exactly reveal that in a way that could relieve any of us. Jax doesn't know, but little Abel, Jax's son, now knows Gemma killed his mother. And the result is sure to be heartbreaking.
Abel has gone through quite a transformation this season, you know, from needy toddler to growing boy who can understand the bad stuff and have adverse reactions to all of it. During "Greensleeves," Wendy confirms what we've known for a few episodes now (especially since Abel took to picking up bats to try and protect his little brother): this kid is having issues as a result of his environment, losing his mother, and having a gangster for a father. Is Abel's daddy a bad man? It's certainly starting to look that way.
But now, Abel doesn't even have his beloved grandma. In the moments before Gemma is whisked away to the SAMCRO cabin to help one of the club's allies ween herself off some nasty, addictive drugs, she's convinced that Jax knows the truth about Tara and is about to have her killed. She has Wendy send Nero after her and takes her potentially final moment to cuddle with her grandbaby, thinking that she can confess safely to him since babies don't generally rat. She tearfully confesses her crimes and whispers that she was just trying to be a good grandma as the baby wails and Abel secretly looks on from the doorway. He's old enough to understand what Gemma said — she blatantly states "killing your mommy was an accident" and Abel is getting wise to the evil ways of the world. That kid knows his grammy killed his mother.
The question is, what will Abel do with that information? He may know who really killed his mother, but does he know what that really means in a larger sense? Does he know that's something he should his father or Wendy? Does he know that's what turned his daddy into a veritable bad man, more Clay Morrow than John Teller? That seems to be the tension SoA is laying on us after an episode that built up to one giant misunderstanding on Gemma's part.
My guess is that we will be left wondering when Abel will sleepily wander up to Wendy and ask her about what his grandma said. It would make more sense for Kurt Sutter to have the tyke tell his primary care taker first and let her wrestle with the decision to confront Gemma or tell Jax — we do have half a season still waiting to be unfurled.
Plus, Wendy has been primed to become a bigger part of Jax's life and the series all season, and giving her the responsibility of knowing that awful truth would really bring her into the center of the action. (Something Drea De Matteo certainly deserves after seasons upon seasons of being "Wendy the junkie mom.") Does she hold the family together with her silence? Or does she ultimately win Jax for herself by cutting Gemma out of the picture? We already know Wendy still loves Jax, but if she knows the truth, the question will be whether she is a Gemma style old lady (cutthroat and aggressively protective), or that elusive good person that doesn't seem to exist in Charming, Calif.
While the truth about the Gemma question always comes back to Jax, I appreciate that Sutter's subtle move revealed it to the youngest speaking character and opened up of a wealth of possibilities and potential twists that include not just the motorcycle kingpin, but the women who matter most in his life.
Images: Prashant Gupta/FX (2)