I never wrote TV recaps for Sons of Anarchy on FabulouslyEntertaining.com, because I had a special relationship with the show. I couldn’t just watch the show week after week. SOA put me into such an anxiety-ridden state, that I had to wait till the season was over in order to binge watch the entire season.
Last week was the end of the final season and I actually caught up in time to watch the last few episodes in a timely fashion. Here are my thoughts:
First, and foremost, Kurt Sutter is a god of TV writing that made sure that all of our favorite characters were spun into a cyclone of issues till they were all at the end of the line. This did not exclude Otto, who was played by Kurt Sutter himself. That poor bastard was put through the ringer a few times before he elegantly bowed out into the afterlife. And although I agree with all of Kurt’s decisions, I think they killed Gemma too early.
I’m going to admit that I was in one of my anxious states, after they killed Juice, and ended up totally missing the end of the episode, thinking that they ended it with Juice quietly bleeding out on the prison floor. Being that I didn’t get to see Unser and Gemma’s end, I was super excited about the final episode. That excitement came to a screeching halt when during the short recap at the beginning of the episode, I realized that Gemma was dead and the thrill was over with.
The last episode was obviously Jax’s road to the end. The only true question was how he was going to go and who, if any, was he going to take with him. As a man with nothing to lose, he righted the wrongs that others couldn’t have done without facing some major consequences. He killed Barosky, to the dismay of no one; he was a pompous self-concerned fuck. He also took down August Marks for killing Bobby and to help out Tyler. BTW, I love Tyler. He was the only non-SamCro affiliate that was not part of a betrayal. He was behind Jax to the end and whenever he thought things got too hot for his team, he let Jax know that his hand might be pushed. Thank God he never had to do anything crazy.
We also got the whole homeless lady thing wrapped up. If you haven’t noticed, the homeless lady made several appearances in the backdrop of the show throughout season seven. In an effort to describe who she is, I would have to say she is a portrayal of death. She hands Jax her wool throw and tells him “It’s time.” A serving of bread with grape stains and a bottle of wine or grape juice is left behind.
Jax also divulges that the club has to vote whether he has to meet Mr. Mayhem for his sins. And he’s hoping that they all agree he does. When they unanimously vote for his death, he takes the burden away from the club by figuring out on his own how he will die. The responsibility of being President is passed on to Chibs and he chooses Tig as his Vice President. Before it’s time for him to go, Chibs shoots Happy in the arm. Now if the cops ask, Jax shot Happy in some unforeseen betrayal and got away. This way SAMCRO gets no heat for Jax’s actions. Then Jax says bye to them. “I got this.” Opie’s final words before he died are also Jax’s words to his club. You have to remember the family bond that has formed between these men. The untraditional fathers and sons, and brothers, that have been joined for years. It’s the saddest moment of the episode.
What about his kids? Abel and Thomas are on their way to Norco with Nero and Wendy. The plan is that all of Jax’s money and estate will go to Wendy and Nero will help her find a place near his farm, to raise the boys. Like his deceased wife, Tara, Jax doesn’t want the boys to be raised anywhere near Charming. After Jax makes these arrangements and breaks down to Nero his plan to end his life, he says his goodbyes to his children and Wendy. He doesn’t want them to know anything till its all said and done. He doesn’t even want his kids to think well of him. Jax wants them to see him as a bad guy because he wants them to loathe his lifestyle. But Abel is last seen twisting his SONS ring around his finger. The ring his grandmother gave him when he last saw her.
This is where I think they should have given us a minuscule bonus of satisfaction. I see what they did there. They left us with the idea that Abel twirling that ring may mean he could grow an interest in SAMCRO in the future. But it would have been so good to have seen what Abel decided. To show him passing SAMCRO and moving in another direction or at the head of the table as president of the Redwood Original at TM. That is left for us to imagine now.
Jax pays a visit to the DA. He tells her about Tara’s death and that the Chinese lives that were taken were uncalled for. He tells her his mother did it. Absolutely everything. That way no one takes the blame for the nonsense except for him and his mother. There’s a promise that he leaves this woman, who has always claimed to be doing right because of her inner battles. Jax tells her at that at the end of the day there will be no more violence. He doesn’t explain how and that leaves her perplexed. But she will see. He mentions where Unser and his mom are. The two corpses are found back in Oregon.
Finally, there’s Jax. He leaves his wedding ring at Tara’s grave and kisses the tombstone. He then makes a final visit to the road where his dad died. He tells him he understands that the outlaw lifestyle doesn’t mix with family. Jax’s final revelation is that he should have followed the road his Dad had discovered, leaving the outlaw life behind. But what he doesn’t realize is that he did try. Ever since he read his fathers journals, he had a new found direction for the club. But like his father, the life wouldn’t leave him. The IRA wouldn’t let him get out of guns. The Mayans approached him because he gave Marks the connect to the Irish. Everywhere he turned there was a problem, although he kept saying he was getting out of guns. In order to get things done and reach home, he started taking lives. That caused Jax to lose his conscious and in the process, lose himself. In John Teller’s life, they would have rather have him die in SAMCRO then lead the club out of the life of crime they were leading. And somehow the same went for Jax.
Jax shoots a few rounds in a cops direction and manages to attract a hoard of troopers riding after him. Jarry called an APB out on him for all of the murders he committed that day. In a state of inner peace, Jax continues riding out the highway in his fathers old fixed up bike. He’s not riding his own bike for this ride. The bike doesn’t look like it could outrun a scooter, but the cops follow behind leisurely as if they don’t have a care in the world either. The final ride. He can see double the amount of cops coming from the front and it looks like Jax is going to get cornered. But out of the corner of the road comes a truck and Jax smiles with relief. It’s Milo the truck driver that helped Gemma get to her dad’s nursing home back in Oregon. Jax steers his bike towards the truck with his hands extended at his side, in freedom. He hits.
The piece of bread, the homeless lady was seen eating, is on the side of the road. The crows are pecking at it. The crows are significant in the show SOA and they symbolize death. A pool of blood leaks towards the bread, supposedly from Jax’s body. The grape stains from earlier make so much sense now. There’s a final touch of destiny in this scene. Like it was supposed to happen no matter what.
Thank you, Kurt Sutter, for 7 wonderful seasons! Seven years of nothing but stress and anxiety, and I loved every bit of it. We didn’t want it to end but I’m happy that Jax went out like his dad to join his parents wherever they are.
Thoughts on the finale?
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image source: FX Network