Last episode, Jax finally learned the truth, that Gemma murdered Tara. And much like the episode after Bobby’s death, “Red Rose” has a melancholic air. The truth, which at first had devastated him, now seems to have unburdened him. He knows what he has to do. He has to clean up his mess with the other gangs, with the other charters, and with his family. Despite his new outlook on life, one thing is crystal clear: Jax is getting ready to die.
Nero knows, can see it on Jax’s face, when he suggests that Nero take Wendy, Thomas, and Abel to the fabled retirement farm. Seriously, who retires to a farm? That shit is nonstop work. Have you seen the ads for FarmersOnly.com? The reason farmers are lonely is because they farm all the goddamn time.
Anywho. Jax sits down with all the gangland reps and they hash out territory and guns. Naturally, things do not go smoothly. The Irish are not too thrilled with the Stockton shakeup, and it turns out that some of their members have forgotten the mission, Irish independence (does anyone actually think that is still a thing?!), and have been tempted by base greed. The Kings will let the Mayans have guns, but only if the Sons take care of their rogue agent. Similarly, the Niners lean on the Sons in order to wipe out the last of Lin’s crew.
After that, Jax sits down with the other SAMCRO Presidents. They talk about Jury, Jax admits the truth, everyone observes that shit rolls downhill, and that Jury’s death was no bueno. There will be consequences, although whether they will include Jax taking a dirt nap after he relinquishes his Prez patch remains to be seen (my vote is still on a Jax suicide).
Speaking of suicide, Juice, who has had a hard row to hoe, finally gets closure. And pie. May we all die so happy. After being on the receiving end of a grudge gang bang from the remainder of Lin’s crew, Juice is tasked with killing Marilyn Manson. Well, much like Jax, the truth has also set Juice free. He is tired of playing the game. Instead of killing Manson, Juice gives him the scalpel, eats his pie, and lets his prison husband finish him off. Poor Juice, too sweet to live. We will miss his naked buttocks.
As Juice is quietly getting shivved, Gemma is trekking up to Oregon to visit her father. Before long, Jax (and Nero) find out she’s up there. Nero begs Unser to go, not to save Gemma, but to arrest her and save Jax. Now that right there, that is a profound observation. Both Jax and Unser race up to Oregon, and find Gemma looking at old pictures in her parent’s otherwise empty house.
Then she and Jax have a quiet family reunion over Uncle Cancer’s cooling body. Because, at the end of the day, no one gets between the family. No matter how much you may think that you are part of that family. No matter how many years you spent protecting that family. No matter how much shit you’ve taken from said family. I’m just going to say it here, Jax killing Unser was, perhaps, the worst and most unforgivable thing he could have done. More so than matricide. What the fuck did Uncle Cancer do to you? But as Unser himself observed, Gemma was all he had left. Where was he supposed to go?
So Jax obliged him. And then he and Gemma went out into the garden. For a minute there, it looked like Jax wouldn’t be able to kill his mother; that he couldn’t do it. Until Gemma had to go and encourage him. Go ahead and shoot me baby, I love you and that’s how we roll.
Jesus Christ, Gemma is such a friggen heel. Just like her final send off for Abel, her wish for him to follow in the violence and mayhem of his father, she can’t see that enabling her son to kill her, is only going to fuck Jax up more. And no amount of Wendy fucking is going to erase that trauma. Jax is completely used up, and it shows on his face after he kills his mother. The tears and pain are gone. We can only wonder at what is left.
Still, insanity aside, the final scene between them was beautiful. It was quiet, it was intimate, and it was closure. Not satisfying closure, mind you. Making Gemma suffer, having her live to see Jax die miserable, would have been pretty awesome. Especially after seven seasons of her bullshit. Of course the worst part for fans is saying goodbye to Katey Sagal, who is a goddess. Let’s be honest here, she made the show. There may only be one episode left, but there is going to be a giant goddamn vacuum created by her absence on the cast; not unlike the hole Gemma’s absence will leave in the club.