Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy

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Season 5
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"Laying Pipe" is the third episode of the fifth season of the FX original series Sons of Anarchy, and the series' fifty-sixth episode overall.


As Jax, Chibs, Tig, and Opie struggle to stay alive during their time in County jail, Bobby finds out from Luis that the cartel is looking to secure a backup plan. Gemma turns to an unlikely source as Tara continues to maneuver Thomas and Abel away from her. Meanwhile, Clay uses Nero's escort services to get a rise out of Gemma. Damon Pope gives Jax his terms and conditions, which could effectively change the entire dynamic of SAMCRO. Opie is killed so the other members can be released.


Opie, Jax, Chibs and Tig check out County, bracing themselves for a confrontation with black inmates. Mexican gangsters step in, telling the black gang it's not happening. Gemma wakes up in Nero's bed. Carla interrupts, telling him about a new girl at the brothel. In County, the Sons brace for attacks from someone else.

At the clubhouse, Bobby tells Clay and the guys that Romeo says Jax and the boys are safe. But he wants to meet. Gemma comes to the club for information. Bobby promises her they're OK. In County, a guard counts his envelope of cash then steps out as Jax is let into the office of guard Commander Pare (James Moses Black) where he is left alone with Damon Pope, who says he only wants to talk.

Pope knows the Galindo cartel is protecting them inside and they have a deal with the IRA. He asks what they get for running the coke, then says now half of the cartel payday is his. He's not negotiating. He wants Tig to stay in prison for the rest of his life, and he'll deal with him. And he wants a dead Son, for the Niner and the cop they killed, to "maintain his relationships."

He doesn't care who, the Shift Commander will set it up. Then the witnesses against them will go away. Jax says he can't just kill one of his guys, but Pope says they're already at war. He has until the next shift change to decide who. The dirty guard comes back, telling Jax the thing he has to handle will go down in solitary. Gemma tries to visit Abel and Thomas in daycare, but she's not on the list of approved people allowed to see them.

Gemma interrupts Tara meeting with patients. Tara tells Gemma she won't be bullied over how to raise her kids, and tells Gemma to cover up her hickies. Jax talks to Opie in the yard. He asks if Jax is getting tired of chasing money they don't need and trying to stay alive. Jax only tells the guys about the cut Pope demanded from the coke.

Luis tells Clay and Bobby that Jax met with Pope inside. Bobby assures them Galindo will get their coke and guns, but he reminds Luis to keep the boys inside safe. After the meet, Clay asks Juice who Gemma is seeing, and when the Son is reluctant to divulge any information, the deposed head of SAMCRO plays the weepy sympathy card, saying she's all he has left. Gemma goes to visit Wendy (Drea de Matteo), Abel's mom. She tells her about Jax being in jail and then says that she thinks Tara's self-medicating with oxy. Wendy reminds Gemma that she promised that Abel would never call her mommy.

In the yard, it's shift change. Jax gets the guys, saying they need to talk to a guard in solitary. He goes up against the biggest black gangster he can find and starts a brawl, ensuring they end up in solitary. Wendy drops by Tara's office, starting with an apology for barging in. Then she tells Tara she wants to begin a conversation about Abel. When Wendy calls Tara Abel's guardian, Tara says she's his mother, she and Jax got married.

Tara realizes Gemma is behind Wendy's timing. Gemma doesn't really care if Abel knows Wendy is his mom, she tried to kill Wendy. Tara knows that Gemma played Wendy, but Wendy says it doesn't change the truth. "What truth? That I'm a surgeon and you're some ex-junkie biker whore? You want to come after me and my family? Bring it on, darling. I'm not afraid of you, or your bulls--t custody threat," Tara says.

"OK, Gemma," Wendy says ironically. In solitary, Opie asks Jax what he's not telling him. The Guard Sergeant (Jack Conley) comes in and asks Jax the plan. Whoever he picks will get in a fight to the death. Jax lets Opie hear. The guard leaves him to decide. "I'm treading water here, Op. I got no idea how to keep everyone alive," Jax confesses.

Jax tells Opie about the letters in which John Teller predicted Clay would kill him. Tara told Piney and Jax figures that's why Clay killed him. Opie slams Jax around, asking him why he didn't let him kill Clay. Jax tells him about Romeo stalling the RICO case and that Clay is the only one who the IRA will sell guns to. "I had to make a choice, brother. Kill Clay, or save the club," Jax says. "You made the wrong choice," Opie says.

In the hospital, Tara gives administrator Margaret Murphy (McNally Sagal) CDC paperwork so she can volunteer at the prison. Margaret heard Tara got married. She also warns Tara that Gemma is waiting for the kids outside daycare. Tara joins her, mentioning Wendy.

Gemma plays dumb, so Tara tells Gemma she loves her, but she better not try to hurt her or her family again. "Or what, you gonna kill me?" Gemma taunts. "No. But my husband might," Tara says.

She leaves Gemma alone. Carla calls to let her know Juice and Clay are at the escort service. Nero calmly says hello to Clay, who goes to enlist the services of the new "virginal" girl, Emma (Ashley Tisdale).

Carla drags Juice off to a "therapy room," telling Nero he's not the only one who "gets to play with white trash" (although Juice points out good-naturedly that he's Puerto Rican). The Guard Sergeant comes in for a decision. When Jax doesn't give one, he whacks him in the shin with his club. If Jax doesn't pick, he will.

"What are you going to do?" Opie asks. "Pick the guy," Jax says. Gemma comes to Diosa. Nero didn't know she was coming. He intercepts her and says Clay already left. But then Juice comes out from his session with Carla. Gemma goes on the hunt and busts down the room Carla tells her Clay is in. She attacks the girl, throwing her into a wall. Nero has to pull her off. Clay enjoys it. Jax and Opie meet with Chibs and Tig, telling them the score. But Jax doesn't care who Pope is, he doesn't get to make that call.

The guards come in and asks if Jax chose, or if he should. Opie head butts the Guard Sergeant, making the decision for him. "I got this," Opie tells Jax. They drag Opie out as Jax yells helplessly. In the next room, they give Opie a pipe and tell him to keep it interesting... the guards have bets on how long he'll last. They let in four large black men. Opie gives a good account of himself, but he is quickly overpowered and knocked senseless with the pipe. Opie drops to his knees, bleeding and looks at Jax through the glass, waiting. The lead pipe connects with the back of his head and he drops.

Jax turns away, crying, as his best friend is brutally beaten to death in the room next door. The Guard Sergeant brings Jax back to general population. Jax tells him he's getting released, and there's nothing the guard can do to stop it. "I'll find out who you are, and where you live, and then I'm going to kill you," Jax tells him. Nero visits Gemma and mentions that Emma has packed up and left Diosa. She apologizes for losing her "s--t." He suggests maybe she slow down with the booze and weed she's working through.

"You telling me what to do now?" "No, I see what happens when people try to do that," he says. "He pissed me off, coming up here," she says. "Other side of anger...?" "It ain't love. I got nothing good left for Clay," she says. Gemma takes Nero's hand. Jax is brought back to meet with Pope again. "Sounds like things went according to plan," Pope says.

"There's a new plan," Jax says, shaken from seeing his best friend beaten to death. He explains that he'll get the club to sign off on the cash (the 50% Pope had demanded), but he needs Tig outside. Tig knowing Jax saved his life gives him an advantage Jax will need. "And when I'm done, you can send him out the same way you did his kid, because I really don't give a shit," Jax says. Pope is impressed with Jax for finding the hidden advantage in an unfortunate circumstance. "Those are the things that turn players in to kings," Pope tells him.

Jax asks to call his wife and let her know he's safe. Pope agrees. "Be smart, Mr. Teller. It's who you are," Pope says as he strolls out of the Commander's office. With Happy and Bobby at home, Tara answers Jax's call. Gemma is dozing on Nero's bed when she's awoken by a gunshot. Sheriff's deputies bust in, arresting her and all the girls and Nero. A man lies shot behind the desk. Gemma and Nero figure that Emma dimed them to the sheriff's office.

Back in jail, Jax tells Chibs privately that the deal is set. They'll be out tomorrow. He wants to know who they owe favors to in here, and he wants intel on the sergeant in solitary. He calls for Tig. Tig apologizes, he knows it should have been him in the box. Jax tells him the witnesses against him are going to disappear and he's getting out.

Jax doesn't want Tig's thanks, he wants him to back his every play, support all his moves and never vote against him again. "You've got my word, brother," Tig says.

Church meetings[]

(There were no meetings during this episode)


Main Cast[]

Supporting Cast[]

Special guest stars

Guest stars




  • Last living appearance of Harry 'Opie' Winston. In the following episode, his corpse is briefly seen during the funeral.

Featured Music[]

  • Mojo Monkeys - "Beating Dead Horses
  • Keaton Simons - "Mama Song"
  • Sun Kil Moon - "Third and Seneca"
  • Cold Specks - "Lay Me Down"