Air Date: 12/1/09
SoA concluded its best season to date with a bang. We were so invested in seeing Jax (Charlie Hunnam), Clay (Ron Perlman), and the club get their due revenge on the racist scumbag Ethan Zobelle (Adam Arkin), who ordered Gemma's (Katey Sagal) brutal gang-rape at the beginning of the season, that we, like Jax, were completely blindsided when the episode ended with his infant son's kidnapping.
The reasons in which the third party, the IRA-connected Cameron, does the deed are a little contrived, but the thematic implication is clear: pursuing vengeance only begets more violence, no matter how righteous the cause. Following that thread, Jax's murder of Zobelle's right hand, AJ (Henry Rollins), is robbed of triumph when his young son practically bears witness, and Gemma barely gets to savor taking out Zobelle's equally ruthless daughter before the unscrupulous ATF agent Stahl (Ally Walker) complicates things for her.
But the episode is most notable for its climax, which finds Jax, who has spent the season at odds with Clay, calling on the old man for help. At the moment he receives the call he and the club are staring at a finally defenseless Zobelle, but upon hearing that his family is in trouble they wordlessly turn their back on him. In SoA's early years, before the back-stabbing and double-crossing, brotherhood came first.