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"Better Half" is the tenth episode of the first season of the FX original series Sons of Anarchy, and the series' tenth episode overall.


With ATF agent Stahl pressing the women of SAMCRO, Jax sees Chief Unser as the key to the club's salvation. Tara still reels from the Kohn situation. And Cherry reveals some interesting information about her past to Gemma.


The ATF raid the Cara Cara porn studio. Luann tells Stahl that they have no reason to be there. The Feds find a stash of drugs ("Viagra, uppers and blow") however, and Luann is charged with possession with intent to distribute. At Teller-Morrow, Opie apologizes to Jax about the Brenan Hefner hit, saying that he just wasn't ready. Jax says that he understands, but the rest of the club may not.

The ATF take over Unser's office at the police station, much to his frustration. Stahl comes in, with Luann in handcuffs, and tells Unser that she will be "borrowing [his] office for a few weeks". They clash, and she mocks the way he deals with SAMCRO. He tells her that she knows nothing about how things work in Charming. He then leaves, and David Hale tells Stahl that she was wrong to humiliate him like that. During this conversation, it becomes apparent that Hale was the one who called the ATF in for assistance on bringing down the bikers. They go on to discuss SAMCRO's dealings with the True IRA, importing guns in oil barrels from Dungloe, Ireland and Hefner's recent murder, but the only way to get convictions is to use the RICO Act, which allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do. Stahl believes she can threaten Luann with incarceration in order to pressure Otto to give up information about SAMCRO, and possibly do the same with Tara, Donna, and Cherry.

SAMCRO takes Cameron to a secluded cabin in the woods. Gemma brings him some supplies, and finds him in the middle of praying the Rosary. Hayes apologizes, and notes that he's missed a couple of Sundays so he thought he'd do some catching up. He asks if Gemma's a Catholic. She responds by telling him that she is whatever she needs to be, and that she believes in family rather than God. Clay then phones and tells Gemma to make sure Hayes doesn't leave the cabin because, like Michael McKeavey, he is on a number of federal watch lists. He also says that he will send Happy over to take Cameron out of the country.

At the clubhouse, Opie tells Clay and Bobby that he is behind on his bills and asks for his share of the payment for the hit on Hefner. Bobby says he'll get the money to Opie. As Opie leaves, Clay and Bobby exchange a look of irritation. Opie arrives home to find Donna packing and ready to leave. He puts an envelope of money (his payment for the Hefner hit) on the table, and says that it should cover their mortgage for two months and "put a dent" in some of their bills. He asks her why she has decided to leave now and not when he was sent to prison. She tells him it was because their children were babies at the time but they need a father now. They continue to argue about his involvement with the club. He says that he will not leave SAMCRO because he's not the kind of guy who can punch a clock from 6:00 to 6:00. The club is how he earns money to support the family. If she cannot accept this then she can keep packing.

Cherry runs into Gemma at a grocery store. She tells Gemma that she is "sorta married" and her husband was abusive, but he wouldn't grant her a divorce so she took everything and left. She also burned down their condo and is wanted for grand theft and arson in Nevada. ATF agents arrive at the store to arrest Cherry, who tries to escape by hitting one agent in the face with a can of food, but is apprehended at the front door. Gemma does not try to assist Cherry. At the police station, Stahl questions Cherry about the Sons patch-over of The Devil's Tribe. When Cherry says nothing, Stahl threatens her with a 25-year prison sentence for attempted murder.

Clay calls a meeting at the clubhouse to discuss Luann and Cherry's arrests. Unser is with them at the table, and informs them that Stahl is trying to use the RICO Act to take SAMCRO down for racketeering. Jax comes up with a plan; Bobby and Tig will start a brawl at a local bar to clear the station of police officers; meanwhile Jax and Opie will go into the station to tell Luann that she needs to get a message to Otto that Stahl is trying to use the RICO statute to bring down SAMCRO. Luann will have to tell Otto that he can't give the Feds any information, not even the any seemingly irrelevant facts.

Stahl visits Otto in prison, and tells him that Luann faces 10 years in prison on drugs charges; but if he gives up some info on SAMCRO, she will let Luann go and will assist Otto at his next parole hearing in three months. Otto agrees to the deal, but he wants it in writing.

That night, Bobby, Tig, and Piney go to a local bar and order drinks. After a while, Tig walks up to a group and introduces himself. He tells them that he has a Mexican girlfriend, and informs them that the people at the next table are talking bad about one of the Mexican girls in the group. Piney walks over to the other table, and tells them that he has a daughter about the age of one of the people at their table and that the people at the other table are saying rude and disgusting things about her. One of the guys asks who said it, and Piney points to Tig. The guy gets up, and Tig slugs him. A fight breaks out in the bar, and Bobby calls the cops and tells them to get out to there.

Sitting outside the police station, Jax and Opie watch the officers rush out of the police station and drive away. Jax changes the plan and tells Opie to stay in the vehicle to keep watch, clearly sending the message that Opie isn't ready to help. Unser unlocks the gate to the cells and gives Jax access to the Luann and Cherry. Jax tells Luann that the ATF are using her to get to Otto and she informs him that they're letting her visit him tomorrow. Jax then tells her to get a message to Otto because the ATF is trying to use the RICO Act against the club; Otto can't tell the Feds anything. Cherry tells Jax that she faces prison in Nevada. She tells him that she'll break under pressure and will tell everything and inform on the club. Jax decides to take Cherry with him, breaking her out of prison. Unser protests but does nothing to stop the escape. Jax then approaches Unser's office to look for information, and sees Stahl inside moaning and sobbing. It turns out that she and Hale are having sex. Jax can't help but chuckle as he sneaks away.

The next morning, Hale and Stahl find Cherry missing. Stahl tells Hale not to worry as she has more evidence to bring down SAMCRO. She tells him that there was a witness to Hefner's murder who identified two men; she shows him two sketches that are clear images of Bobby and Opie.

At the prison, Otto gives Stahl a handwritten paper containing information about a 1999 heist that involved SAMCRO and a number of other chapters. He clearly thinks this will satisfy his deal with Stahl and not be so damaging that anyone at SAMCRO will get into trouble. He doesn't realize Stahl will use this information to satisfy the RICO conspiracy Act. Stahl tells Otto she will have the information typed up for his signature. As part of the agreement, Stahl gives Otto and Luann ten minutes alone with each other, but tells Otto the cameras will be on. Luann whispers in Otto's ear that the ATF are using the RICO Act. Otto realizes his mistake in giving Stahl the information but tells Luann he has it covered.

Clay tells Happy at the clubhouse that Unser has supplied him a truck that he can use to smuggle Cameron and Cherry across the border into Canada. Happy notes that his mother is sick and that she's in a home in Bakersfield. He says that he is thinking about going Nomad so that he can spend more time with her. Clay tells him that there's always a seat for him at the table.

At Stockton State Prison‏‎, Stahl shows Otto the statement she typed, and gives it to him to make sure they got it all right. She tells him she will sign off on the deal as soon as Otto signs the statement. However, Otto then acts confused and suggests that he may have gotten some dates wrong. He points to the paper and asks Stahl if these are the dates he wrote. She approaches the table to look at the paper. Suddenly, Otto jumps out of his chair, grabs Stahl by the head, and smashes her face against he table several times before he is tackled to the ground and beaten by multiple correctional officers. Stahl is helped out, and shoves everyone away that tries to help her. Bleeding profusely from the face, Stahl looks at the camera to see Otto chuckling about what he's done. Stahl vows to bury the club.


Main CastEdit

Supporting CastEdit

Special Guest Star

Guest Stars



Notable QuotesEdit

Hayes: Do you believe in God, Gemma?
Gemma: I believe in family.
Hayes: Think that's enough?
Gemma: Who you kiddin'? Sitting here ticking off Hail Mary's, think that gives you some kind of heavenly pass? God's gonna open the pearly gates when those next two bullets catch you in the head?
Hayes: It's all a little absurd, I guess. Truth is I know I'm going to hell. Prayer just makes my time here a little less miserable. A few good acts of contrition can make you feel good too, love.
(hands her a cross)
Gemma: There's only one way these beads could make me feel good…love. And it involves a whole different act.

Tara: What exactly is it you're hoping to find? Just wondering what digging up dirt on old girlfriends gets you?
Stahl: Is that what Kohn liked? Your inquisitive nature? You know, I understand that he never got off the plane in Chicago. He's M.I.A. Threw away his career for love. I just hope you're not doing the same, Doctor.

Tig: You ever get high off of this?
Piney: It's just oxygen.
Tig: No, I know. I know. But can't you just turn it up and get, like, you know, the Blue Velvet kind of thing going on.
Piney: What the hell is wrong with him?
Bobby: The list is too long, my friend.

Stahl: I'm gonna bury these assholes.

Church meetings Edit

Clay: They got Luann on drug charges, Cherry on theft and arson.

Half-Sack: That don't make sense.

Unser: Stahl's trying to use RICO. If she can prove her case, she can take you all down.

Chibs: And if we go down?

Unser: Why do you think I'm sitting at the goddamn table, Scotty?

Clay: We got anything to be worried about with the doc? She's seen a lot of shit over the last couple of weeks.

Jax: No.

Tig: Little Miss Tara's the one who got ATF here in the first place.

Jax: Yeah, well Kohn's gone. That bullshit didn't hurt us anyway. Stahl's here 'cuz of the AK FUBAR with Meineke. (deleted scene)

Clay: We can't argue with that. (deleted scene)

Jax: We got nothing to worry about with Tara. I trust her. (Bobby enters)

Bobby: Rosen can't get through to Otto in Stockton. He's on federal watch.

Clay: Aye yi yi

Bobby: No calls in or out.

Clay: Shit!

Jax: Stahl's pressing him for history, huh? Using Luann as leverage.

Piney: Otto will never rat.

Clay: You know, if it was me, and they had Gemma, I'd just give 'em something useless. Some old shit wouldn't hurt the club.

Unser: With RICO, no info is useless.

Jax: The way Otto pines for Luann, he'll do anything he can to protect her.

Tig: (to Half Sack) Little Cherry pie knows all about Indian Hills.

Half-Sack: Cherry would never say nothing.

Chibs: Oh yeah? You willing to bet your top rocker on that, prospect?

Bobby: We all have our past and present indiscretions, boys.

Clay: Goddamn ATF bitch, that goddamn bitch!

Jax: (to Unser) Hey, they keep the girls in your cell overnight?

Unser: Yeah

Jax: You still got your keys?

Clay: What are you thinking here?

Jax: Get a message to Luann. She talks to Otto, she can warn him about Stahl using RICO.

Half-Sack: What about Cherry?

Jax: We'll see where she's at. (to Unser) You think you can get me inside?

Unser: I doubt the feds are working around the clock. But I got 4 guys, and dispatch on 11 to 7.

Tig: Well, maybe we come up with something. Keep them busy.

Unser: Well, you clear 'em out, I'll get you in.

Chibs: What about like, security cameras?

Unser: It's a police station. I got cops. I don't need cameras.

Clay: Last thing we need is to get caught doing this shit. (deleted scene)

Unser: We're already 3 feet on the ground, my friend. And I don't feel like dying behind bars (deleted scene)

Jax: Look, we'll make sure we're clear before we move inside. (deleted scene)

Half-Sack: (to Jax) Maybe I should go with you, talk to Cherry.

Jax: No, retard, you shouldn't. Me and Ope.

Clay: Everybody in favor?

Bobby: Hear, hear.

Tig: Yeah.

Clay: (to Unser) Put your goddamn hand down. (hits gavel)



  • During filming of this episode, in the scene where Kip 'Half-Sack' Epps and Cherry arrive on his bike back to Teller-Morrow, real police vehicles were caught on camera responding to a call. Because it fit well in the scene due to the shooting in the previous scene in was decided to leave it in. You can see the look of surprise on actor Johnny Lewis' face as the sirens go by in the background, as he figures the scene is ruined.

Featured MusicEdit

  • The Waco Brothers - "Say Hello to Everybody"
  • Monster Magnet - "Monolithic"
  • The Donkeys - "Dolphin Center"
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