'Sons of Anarchy' Review: 'A Mother's Work'

By Amanda Jo Scott,
Hell hath no fury like Gemma scorned

Did you catch the season finale of Sons of Anarchy? It was intense, to say the least.

Jax’s monologue at the beginning of the episode was expertly crafted and delivered equally as well. He spills his heart on the page for his sons to read in the future just as his father did for him. His journal entries bare his soul and venture into the complex terrain of history that has led him to this point. He’s honest, “The pen and paper has no judgment, no vote.” He admits that he lost what centered him when he lost his best friend Opie. He’s become the thing he once hated. The rush of terror he gets from this life is what gets him out of his bed each day, but it’s also what tears his life apart.

On the business/club side of things, a bit more blood was spilled by the Mayans in order to display their disapproval of August Marks taking over the gun trade. This is sure to spill further out of control next season as Nero finds himself siding with the Mayans and the Chinese over Jax and the Sons. The club is finding its way into legitimate business. Unfortunately, this path to legitimacy is covered in blood. You know what they say about where the road paved with good intentions leads you. The delicate balance of the gangs is teetering on the edge of destruction.

On an even more personal note, this episode focused on the crumbling Teller family. As the white dove was obliterated by Jax’s motorcycle, it was hard not to pick up on how it was foreshadowing how Jax’s life was bound to take out an innocent or two. After finding Tara, Jax decided to give himself up to save his family, including Tara, the boys, and his brothers in the club. His selfless decision to show Tara that their love and family was more important to him than himself was commendable. His willingness to put himself into the unsafe prison walls in order to ensure his boys could grow up without living in the shadow of their father’s past showed just how honorable and altruistic Jax is.

Fate had a different outcome in mind. Between her fight with Nero and thinking Tara had ratted out the club, Gemma went on an unexpected downward spiral. She lives and breathes for her family, for her boys. With everything slipping from her grasp, she just didn’t know what to do next. Unfortunately for Tara, this meant Gemma wasn’t going down without a fight. There was this moment where Gemma and Tara locked eyes that had me wishing Tara would just quickly explain the whole situation. Gemma didn’t give her a chance. She beat Tara with the iron, shoved her face in the dishwater, and then repeatedly stabbed her in the head with a carving fork. Once again, the lack of communication got the best of them and Tara paid the price. If I wasn’t already over the edge, Juice shooting Roosevelt sent me over. For me, I was mostly intrigued by the choice in location of Tara’s demise. The sink. The episode started with Gemma cleaning the mess left behind at Jax’s and ended on a similar note, albeit much bloodier, as she rid Tara from their lives once and for all. Although, I think Tara’s presence will be felt now even more than when she was alive. As Gemma brutally murdered Tara, I couldn’t help but think of Lady Macbeth and her constant hand washing. Such an ironic and lovely twist on washing your hands of guilt and misdeed.

That final scene was difficult, to say the very least. Jax and Tara had finally found their way back to one another. Just when they’d finally seen the light at the end of a long and bloody tunnel, the reaper came knocking. It was heartbreaking to watch Jax hold Tara’s body. This life is ripping Jax apart piece by bloody piece.

With next season set to be its last, I’m anticipating, and equally worried, that their violent lives will indeed have the most violent of ends. This was an outstanding season of an extremely noteworthy series full of suspense, dark humor, and outstanding craftsmanship.

image: FX/FOX


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