Sons of Anarchy Series Finale Review: Papa’s Goods
The long, winding, and bloody road of Sons of Anarchy has come to an end. It's time to see where Jax ends up....
Here we are: the end of the road. Seven seasons leading up to this episode. The story of Jackson Teller fulfilling his destiny as the son of Gemma and the young King of the Sons of Anarchy.
It’s a difficult task, living up to your destiny. Especially when your inheritance includes running an outlaw gang. While the story has been about Jax following in his father’s footsteps—up to and including changing the course his club was set on—it could be argued that this was a story about a man breaking free from his mother. As long as John Teller’s shadow may have been, Gemma’s was hella longer. Following that logic, the series really led to last week’s episode and the inevitable matricide.
But where did that leave Jax? His mother’s son: committed to the mayhem dictated by an outlaw lifestyle? Or would he take control of his destiny, acknowledge the truth of what he has become, and make his own exit?
In the end, it’s Tara who wins. Although, I don’t think she would have been too stoked that Wendy ended up getting the rights to all Jax’s assets, and will use that money to move the kids out of Charming. To Nero’s farm. Still, isn’t that where you tell kids that animals go when they die?
Oh, mommy, what happened to Fluffy? We took him to the farm sweetie, where he can run and run.
Yeah. At least they get to escape, and poor, much abused Nero is left to look after them. If there’s one thing we learned from this show, it’s that not many people escape gangland. Nero, Wendy, Abel (maybe, Gemma’s Yoda-like influence is strong in that one), and Thomas make it out. Even more important is that Jax finally proves that he may have Gemma’s cunning, but he also inherited his father’s heart and his self-awareness. Jax burns his notebooks, the old pictures of Clay and Gemma, and John’s manuscript. He tasks Nero with telling his boys the truth; that their father was a criminal and that there was nothing cool about it. Better that they grow up hating his memory than idolizing it.
As Jax plans his descent, the last loose ends of club business start to wrap up. The Sons and the rest of the local predators decide to get out of bed with the IRA and into bed with Connor and his extracurricular gun sellers. As the dust settles, Jax himself puts down one of the Kings. An offense, Connor observes, that there is no coming back from. Jax just smiles; ain’t that the truth? You can never go home again.
They patch in TO, having convinced the other SoA presidents to overturn the charter’s race clause. Bringing him into the club, after his many years as leader of the Grim Bastards, kinda’ gives me hope. Like there will be someone level headed to help the Redwood Originals move forward.
Speaking of level headedness, Chibs and Sheriff Fussy Britches decide to call it quits. Well thank God for small favors. Jesus. A twelve-year-old girl would have known that relationship was a complete waste. To Chib’s credit, he tells girlfriend to blow it out her ass and watch her step. Lawmen who land on the wrong side of the club tend to disappear. Ain’t that also the truth?
Poor Chibs. More than anyone else (with the possible exception of Nero), the weight of all seven seasons lands on him. And he sacks up admirably. At Jax’s request, he leads the club’s mayhem vote against el Prez, and with man tears aplenty, the consensus is overwhelming.
Before he goes to meet his destiny, Jax kills August Marks and Robocop, and then tells the DA the truth about Tara’s murder. He even tells her where to find Gemma and Unser (although he may have neglected to tell her that they were dead). I mean he completely unloads on the DA, even going so far as to admit the escalating violence was a result of the lie Gemma and Juice told to wind him up.
After he finishes business, he goes to meet the club. He rips off his President patch and hands it to Chibs. Happy takes a bullet to the arm, so that the other charters will have an easier time swallowing the story that he escaped.
One, last, high-speed chase later on John Teller’s bike, Jax runs headlong into Michael Chiklis’ big rig. Death by Chiklis (and a terrible blue screen shot, which was so awful as to detract from what would have otherwise been a really poetic scene). Godfuckingdamnit. Well, ignoring the screwy special effects, it was still a damn sweet sentiment.
Sutter’s decision to have his young prince go out like his father, instead of like his mother, was fitting. A little ridiculous (let’s be honest here), but fitting. Sure, karma’s a bitch, but really, what are the odds that Jax would have ended up committing suicide? Before Gemma killed Tara, I would have said slim to hell no. Still, it was a definitive statement of just how much Gemma had lost the battle for Jax’s soul. How much Tara and John Teller had triumphed. No matter, we have to acknowledge Sutter for following through and not flinching from the inevitable (i.e. not dropping the hammer down on his fave wife).
Any fan of Sons of Anarchy could tell you that there was no way that Jax could come out with a happy ending. Too many lies, too many consequences. As he told the DA, the bad guys lose. And no matter how much we came to love him, Jax Teller was a bad man.