Wow. So much happens in "Hands" that it's impossible to turn back. Looking back at the previous 9 episodes, the cartel business was reversible to a degree. The Sons could have backed out before things got too deep or maybe shot their way out. We'll never know if it would be possible since they don't even try, but now it's too late. The cartel does things their way, despite Clay's urgings to call off the hit, and that's that.
Clay beats the shit out of Gemma and Tara gets her hand crushed by Clay's hired hitman. If Clay shooting Piney wasn't enough, those two evens were the nails in the coffin. Clay's not going to make it out alive, and if he is, he'll be very marginalized. With four episodes left in the season (an extra added earlier this week), Jax has plenty of time to deal with Clay.
The most powerful part of the episode is Tara getting her hand crushed. Being a surgeon is the one thing she has which keep her tethered to the outside world, the one skill interchangeable in Charming and anywhere else in the world. Her hand, crushed, represents any hope Tara has of leaving Charming. She has nothing now but Jax, the kids, Charming, and the club which doomed her career. After 9 episodes of not getting much to do, Maggie Siff is simply amazing in the episode, in her calm and anger.
And what can Jax do? Apologize, say sorry? He's out of luck, with nowhere to turn, and he still doesn't know the half of what Clay has done.