Sons of Anarchy: Finally, The Finale
FINALE TIME! Spoiler alert: it sucks on many levels! Sorry it took so long to finish this. I hope we’ve all had time to digest.
We open with Jax opining in that journal/love letter to Abel & Thomas he’s authored as he sits on Opie’s grave. He’s whining about good and evil and his place in this world and sometimes I wish his little golf pencil had an eraser on it. Why doesn’t he just eat his feelings, like I do?
He continues to voiceover as we see Bobby leaving the cabin with the help of Tig, Chibs and Juice. Wendy’s packing for rehab at Gemma’s place, Unser’s the only attendee at Clay’s prison graveyard burial (probably didn’t get buried with his cut, if I had to guess), and Gemma’s scrubbing dishes at Casa Teller, washing them the old-fashioned way by letting them soak in one side of the double sink first and then cleaning them on the other. The gray water is gross. Then she sits down at their kitchen table with her two empty beer bottles, a half-finger of whiskey in a glass, and a cigarette. Guess Nero’s too busy to help get her mind off things.
Jax is still talking, but I wish he was just listening to Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page”. The audience would still get the point but our ears would be happier.
Nero’s in Stockton with his old crew, picking up his protection tax from the local businesses while Tara and the boys sit in their hotel room and watch some Sesame Street.
Jax leaves the graveyard and rides down the road on his bike, completely creaming a dove (the bird of peace!) on his way. Don’t let Thomas and Abel know about that, dude.
Eli’s at the D.A. office and after checking in with their respective staffs, he and Thyne chat with the ATF agent about their options to find and protect Tara. They decide to go talk to Jax about the situation.
At Ye Olde Ice Cream Shoppe, we see the wrench-throwing teenager is helping out, working off the window debt. Gemma is waiting nervously for the guys to arrive, but no one has any news about Tara and the boys. Gemma is frustrated that no one’s found her yet and figures she’s already in police protection, but Bobby astutely points out that the sheriffs and other law enforcement wouldn’t be looking for her still if she had made a deal. They tell Gemma to pipe down and wait for Jax before she .
Gemma pulls Juice aside while the other guys go upstairs to the clubhouse room and asks him how he’s doing after the suicide attempt.
Feeling defensive, Juice tells her to get off her soapbox since she smells like she’s been licking hospital walls. Gemma admits she’s trying to keep busy by cleaning the pigsty of a house that Tara left behind. Juicy tells Gemma he doesn’t want to die and asks her not to tell Jax. She promises she won’t and he asks if Nero told her about any beans he may have spilled last night. She insists to Juice that he didn’t say anything damning and Nero wouldn’t tell Jax about the incident. Jax arrives and tells Gemma he’s fine but hasn’t heard anything new about Tara. Jax asks where Nero is and Gemma tells him Nero’s in Stockton but should be back in a few hours. When the D.A. and Eli show up, much to everyone’s surprise, Jax ushers his upset and insult-spitting mother out of the store with a whisper for her to tell Nero to meet him at Diosa later.
Thyne also asks Eli to leave so she can talk to Jax alone. Jax tells the guys, who have rushed downstairs, that everything’s okay and to wait in the club room for him.
Once they’re alone, Jax and Thyne play a verbal cat-and-mouse game about Tara’s whereabouts during which they both find out that the other person doesn’t know shit. Then she goes all Madea on him, trying to reach his deep-seated conscience.
It’s actually a pretty powerful scene in which Thyne asks him, on a personal level, to remember his priorities as a man, husband and father. She knows that deep down, Jax’s family comes before the club to him, even in the midst of an apparent betrayal by the love of his life. The D.A. and Gemma should play Crazy Cop, Bad Cop with Jax more often.
At church, Jax tells the guys that Thyne doesn’t know where Tara is. They all agree they need to find her. In this back-and-forth, Jax says that Tara would NOT HAVE GONE FAR because she wouldn’t want their very sick toddler to be far away from his doctors. This is information that would have been useful half an episode ago, show. I love how they bring up Abel’s heart condition only when it’s a convenient plot point.
Juice presses the issue of Tara turning state’s evidence and asks Jax what they do if they can’t convince her not to rat once they find her. Jax ominously says, “We’ll do what we have to do.” Bobby gets pissed and says they’ll decide that later, when they know more. The MC decides to split up and look for Tara by using her only connections in town: Margaret at the hospital (good idea to take that vacation, Maggie!) and her new lawyer, whom Unser can track down for them. They’re also going to use Barosky’s police connections in Stockton to look for Tara down there. Chuckie interrupts to let Jax know that Marcus Alvarez is downstairs and wants to chat. Happy looks pissed.
Marcus is just there to whine about August getting all the gun distro business and what that means for the Mayans’ power struggle in Oakland. I could go into detail, but really, who cares about the Mexicans? None of us do. I don’t even think they’re covered by Obamacare. Kurt Sutter doesn’t care about the Mayans; their storyline is just one step above the Chinese one.
Marcus tells Jax about the Stockton Chapter the Mayans are setting up and that he doesn’t give a shit if that interferes with Diosa del Sur. He tells Jax he’ll see him at the salvage yard in Oakland to meet with the Sons, Marks, Nero, and the Niners, to guarantee a friendly relationship in Oakland. Marcus wants to buy a shipment of guns, and he needs Jax there to play referee and back up his claims that the power won’t be shifting to black in Oakland. Then Marcus minces off in his tiny cowgirl boots while Jax tells Happy to get Nero on the phone.
At her hotel room, Tara grabs her cell and goes outside to call her new attorney, Mitch. He’s at the county courthouse and wants to know where she is. Tara tells him she’s in Lodi and just needed some time to think, but she’s really ready to make the deal with the D.A. and ATF now. Mitch tells her after the last no-show, he’s got to bring her in to the D.A. himself. Tara wants to meet with him first, to make sure the paperwork is airtight before turning herself and the boys in. She tells him she’ll text him where she wants to meet later and hangs up.
Juice and Bobby tail the lawyer as Mitch leaves the courthouse, while Jax meets with the Mayans, Nero, the Niners and Marks in the Oakland junkyard. Jax greets the Niners and wants Chibs to find out where Marks is since he’s not in attendance. Then he walks over to Nero, who’s holding himself like the O.G. of olden times rather than the cuckolded Gemma-lover he is. Jax accuses him of keeping Marcus’s secret about the Mayans opening a Stockton chapter and Nero tells him he doesn’t keep secrets from his friends. He also asks Jax if he thinks Tara’s actions and suffering are karmic cosmic payback for making Juice kill Darvany and then lying to Nero about it.
Jax is starting to think that his day is NOT going to plan, especially after Tig and Chibs come up and let him know Marks is NOT coming to the meet while Nero goes over to greet Marcus. Tig tells him that Tyler, the head of the Niners, is “handling all the street work” now. Marks isn’t one to get his hands dirty. Marcus wants to know where Marks is, and Tyler tells him he’ll be handling all the gun sales. Marcus is concerned about Lin, but Tyler tells him the Chinese will be fine as long as they keep their place. Marcus shoots back at Tyler that Lin the Younger might have a slight problem with the Niners killing Lin the Elder and eight of their guys. Nero is fucking shocked that, yet again, Jax has kept him out of the loop.
With a few more assurances from Tyler and SAMCRO, Marcus shakes Tyler’s hand, who tells Marcus to get the guns from his second and pay him, too. Tyler rides off as Marcus makes fun of Jax for not being able to get an audience with Jax himself; now he’s just a lowly thug like the rest of them in Marks’s eyes. Marcus asks Nero to stay and help the Mayans load the guns. As SAMCRO rides off, Marcus tells Nero about the Lin massacre: that SAMCRO and the Niners gunned them down to impress the IRA and seal the deal with Marks. As soon as the four Niners show Marcus and the Mayans the guns, the Mayans gun down the four Niners. Nero and Fiasco, who also stuck around for gun-loading duty, are shocked. Nero is just about finished with the fraternal homicide surprises for the day.
In Stockton, Jax is visiting Barosky at his bakery. Barosky promises to have his P.D. connections keep an eye out for Tara, and Jax gives him a heads-up about the incoming Mayan chapter in Stockton. Rat comes in to let Jax know that Bobby & Juice followed Mitch the Lawyer to a park in Lodi, where’s he’s parked as if he’s waiting for someone. Jax and Happy head off to that park, and Barosky lets Tig and Chibs know about the Niners getting gunned down in the junkyard; he heard it on the police scanner and thought SAMCRO might like to know about it. Chibs and Tig tell Barosky the Mayans must have decided that the Niners aren’t going to have all the power in Oakland even if they do control the gun channels.
At a food stand, Nero calls bullshit on Marcus and then tells him he really cares about Gemma and wants to keep that relationship. Marcus completely understands and encourages him to retire to his farm with Lucius and a sweet ride like this
and then turn over the Byz-Lats to Fiasco. Fiasco looks ready to lead.
Marcus tells Nero he’s meeting with Lin tonight, to discuss power-sharing between brown and yellow in Stockton and Oakland. He encourages Nero to send Fiasco to the meet so the Byz-Lats can share in the seamy underworld wealth in those two towns.
At the park in Lodi, Tara gets out of the car with the boys and sits down with Mitch while an unobserved Juice and Bobby watch in the van. Mitch tells Tara the deal is solid and she tells Mitch where her hotel is so the D.A. can pick her up later there with the boys. Mitch leaves while Tara stays to Abel can enjoy the park.
Unser comes over to Gemma’s to pick up Wendy and has a little chat with Gemma in the kitchen. She tells him that Tara’s still MIA but it doesn’t appear that she’s made a deal yet. Gemma asks about Clay’s funeral this morning and thanks him for going. Wendy appears, ready to go to rehab but worried about the missing Abel and Gemma tells her just to worry about getting well. She promises to come visit on Family Day. She tells them she’s off to Diosa and leaves. Unser and Wendy share their stories of being recent dumpees of mean girls and continual dumpees of Gemma and Jax, respectively.
At the park, Tara’s sharing some quality time with Melon Head while Abel plays on the playground equipment. He runs toward her, but then runs past her, shouting, “Daddy!” Oh, shitballs … Jax is there with the whole crew and Tara stands up with Thomas in her arms, panicked, and starts looking around for help.
And if I thought other scenes were intense in this show, this tops them all. Tara begs for her life and Jax tells her he can’t let her rat on the club. She asks him not to hurt her in front of the boys (ouch!) and he tells her he’s not going to hurt her. Tara doesn’t believe him and tells him she tried her best to reconcile the man she thought he was with the monster he turned out to be. She is resigned to her death at his hands, as long as she knows she tried her best to protect their boys from that life. After they chat some more about the cycle of violence and Jax’s choice of club over family, Tara sobs and asks if she can say good-bye to the boys before he takes her away.
Jax grabs her hand and tells her that he’s not going to hurt her (physically) or the boys (emotionally). He tells her she doesn’t have to run anymore and just has to be a good mother. Well … some things are easier said than done.
Back at Diosa, Gemma’s waiting on Nero as he walks into his private room there. She tells him she’s been waiting for him to see if he wants to go with her to Casa Teller to finish cleaning the mess Tara left behind. He declines and she asks if he wants to talk about anything. Again he rebuffs her. I feel a third strike coming, mano. She asks if she can talk to him about her issues; he quickly says “not right now”. Then he gives her some “it’s not you, it’s me” shit and she almost peels off her wig in anger. She tries to stalk out and he begs her to run away with him, right now, forever, and she’s not into it.
He tells her that since she can’t make the choice between the MC family and him, he’ll do it for her. Getting dumped feels like shit; getting dumped at 60 feels shittier, apparently, and she storms out without her purse.
Back at Tara’s hotel room, the D.A. knocks and is let in with Eli and the ATF agent by Tara. They are surprised to see Jax sitting there. Yet again, they want to talk all alone like, so Butler Eli and Agent McFatty are sent out. Jax offers Thyne himself — not the club, only him — as the source of the KG-9 at the school shooting. In return, Thyne will drop all charges against Tara. Thyne’s worried about Tara’s safety from retribution by the MC, but Jax assures her that Tara and the boys will not be harmed. In fact, she can go anywhere she wants with the boys. Jax offers to turn himself in at Casa Teller at 6 pm after he has a chance to spend some time with the boys, who are currently having fun at Ye Olde Ice Cream Shoppe with the rest of the MC. Tara’s going to run by her lawyer’s office to draw up the legally binding paperwork for the D.A. to sign, and Thyne says Tara will get Eli as an escort for the rest of the day. After she leaves, Tara offers Jax a heartfelt “thank you”. They both say “I love you” and then have some mindblowing “we are waaaaay past makeup sex” sex.
At church, Jax is meeting with Chibs and Bobby and filling them in on the deal he just made. Neither of them like it, but Jax sees no other way without hurting the club or Tara. Bobby points out that he’ll serve serious time because of his criminal history, but Jax is hoping to be out in seven years on good behavior. He tells the guys the club’s in a good place, too, so he’s comfortable leaving them despite the current disagreements with the Mayans. He asks Bobby if they heard how the gun sale went down between the Niners and the Mayans and with a quick look at Chibs, Bobby lies to him and tells him everything’s quiet.
Bobby tells him he needs to tell the rest of the club, and Jax uses that as a segue to hand Bobby the gavel and ask him to tell them, as the new club president.
Bobby tells Jax he doesn’t want it, and Jax says Bobby has to be President, since he always only wants what’s best for the club. Chibs looks a little hurt but also resigned to the new order. After Bobby officially accepts, Jax tells them one more thing … Juice can’t be trusted. Chibs already knows the backstory, but Bobby’s in the dark. Jax asks Chibs to fill Bobby in later and tells them both that he loves them before he goes downstairs to spend time with Abel and Thomas.
At Gemma’s, Unser walks in on her drowning her broken heart in a very healthy, positive way — her second fifth of whiskey for the day and a joint. Unser asks her if she’s heard any updates on Tara and Gemma doesn’t have any. Unser lets her know that Mitch called him for police archives from back when he was sheriff on Jax. He tells Gemma that they’re arresting Jax, so Tara must have made a deal. Gemma gets up and wants to “go to work”. Unser convinces her not to drive anywhere in her condition, and offers to drive her himself, since his truck is blocking her Caddy in the driveway anyway. Gemma sits down heavily and says it doesn’t matter, since she’ll never see her grandsons again.
Gemma asks Unser to fetch her heart pills for her and as soon as he leaves the room, she steals his keys and leaves the house.
Unser walks into the ice cream shop and tells Jax he knows some of what’s going on, but Gemma’s MIA with his truck and someone should find her and fill her in. Jax agrees, and Juice volunteers to go on a Gemma hunt.
Jax walks him out and offers Juice a hug good-bye and a “You betrayed me” whisper in his ear. Really, Jax? Don’t you have some other shit to worry about right now?
Eli brings Tara home to Casa Teller.
They see Unser’s truck in the driveway and are a little confused. After bringing Tara’s bags in (no tip for Eli!), he listens as she calls for Wayne but gets no answer. They assume Unser’s helping Jax and Eli tells her he’s going to wait outside in his police vehicle for Thyne to show up. Tara hears a noise from the kitchen area and walks in on Gemma. Gemma gives her crazy eyes and Tara tries to run away … too late. Gemma had been ironing in the kitchen and picks up the iron and hits her in the midsection.
That blow would have killed a fetus.
They stumble around the kitchen as Gemma hits Tara a few more times in the face, slams her head on the edge of the sink, and then holds her head under water. Finally, she stabs her over and over in the head with one of those giant meat forks. It’s fuckin’ awful, folks. And I hate you supremely, Kurt. Gemma has a gun … she should have used it in this one. I can’t believe this happened, and that it happened so gruesomely.
Outside, Juice pulls up on his bike and tells Eli he’s looking for Gemma, and that she was driving Unser’s truck. They hear a noise and run inside, Eli in the lead. Eli sees the scene and is horrified. He checks Tara for a nonexistent pulse and asks Gemma “What did you do?” She’s mumbling crazily, sitting on the floor, but tells Eli that it had to be done because she ratted and betrayed Jax. Eli, giving us his best Butterfly McQueen face,
tells Gemma that Jax turned himself in to protect Tara from any possible retribution and keep her safe. Tara never ratted. Before this can fully sink in, and Eli can call it in, Juice shoots him twice in the heart from behind. Good-bye Eli, you were a good bellhop/butler/gofer, and an okay sheriff. Juice takes in the scene, the evidence, and offers a sobbing Gemma a hand up.
Jax says good-bye to Melon Head and Defib and the MC at the ice cream place.
It’s a really sad scene, with a cool song playing in the background (Day is Gone by Noah Gunderson & The Rangers if you liked it), and for the eleventy-eleventh (Holla, Tolkien fans!) time this series, I wish that Chibs was Jax’s real dad. As the song plays, we see Wendy sitting somberly on her rehab bunk, a cleaned-up Gemma returning Unser’s truck and sob-hugging him, and Fiasco AND Nero both showing up at Lin’s restaurant for the meet between the Chinese and the Mayans. Juice throws away Gemma’s clothes and weapons in a few commercial Dumpsters. He rides through the alley past the homeless lady/angel who’s pushing a stroller this time.
Jax finally gets home and spies Eli’s bloody feet before he enters the kitchen. He pulls out his gun from his waistband, which unfortunately is the same kind that Juice used to shoot him, and then drops the gun by Juice’s feet to hold and rock his dead wife’s body. Thyne, with her impeccable timing, comes in and takes in the scene and Jax does the ugly, silent cry over Tara’s body. Fuck you, Kurt Sutter. I will only forgive you in time for the Season 7 (final season!) premiere. Thoughts?