Warning: full spoilers follow for the Sons of Anarchy series finale.
I don’t think the Sons of Anarchy series finale could have been any more symbolic than when we saw Jax switch out of his white trainers for the first time ever. The move was just one of many ways Jax readied himself to say goodbye to his club and family throughout the episode before meeting Mr. Mayhem in the very same fashion his father did, ultimately bringing the series completely full circle while cutting the Teller family from SAMCRO for good.
With the direction of the series and the way Kurt Sutter set everything up, Jax’s death seemed like the only inevitable direction the series could blow, as it did. There were still a few surprises along the way of course, but before we could get to the bittersweet ending, Jax had to really tie up those last loose ends before meeting Mr. Mayhem. First up was taking care of Connor per the Irish Kings request. With the initial plan to end Connor botched, Jax and the Sons instead decided to keep him alive and use his extensive gun connections both stateside and through the Belfast Sons charter. The Sons gun running has been a core issue of the club ever since the Pilot, so it was pretty fun to see Jax and Alvarez actually come together in the end for the very thing they were fighting over seven seasons earlier. It was also a nice touch to hear Jax tell Connor that cutting ties with the IRA was simply tying his father’s loose ends from so long ago.
JT’s presence was so heavy all night it was almost hard to remember that we’ve never actually met the guy. At first I couldn’t understand why Jax was burning all the memories of Tellers (and Morrows) from the past—wouldn’t he want to include JT’s manuscript along with his own thoughts and notes from the club to help paint a picture of the chaos Abel and Thomas was spared from? Unfortunately that probably would’ve contradicted everything Jax was trying to accomplish by giving up his own life in order to save his children, much in the very same manner JT tried to do for Jax (assuming he did kill himself). And clearly leaving a manuscript behind didn’t do the job of preventing history from repeating itself. It was almost like a reality check to hear Jax admit he knew he couldn’t change the person he was, something Tara always hoped could happen, and that the only option was to get his boys out of Charming. It’s always been easy to forget Jax Teller is a criminal and a killer, particularly with the likability and heart that Charlie Hunnam brings to the character. But seeing Jax come face-to-face with the reality of who he is ultimately helped with the idea of saying goodbye to Jax for the greater good.
After coming to terms with the idea of Jax’s death and seeing the heartbreaking mayhem vote go through, I was really ready to see the Sons as the ones to end Jax’s life, as per last week’s bylaw agreement with the other charters (which was to allow other races into the club). So to see Chibs suddenly shoot Happy in the arm was a bit of a plot twist in itself. Rethinking the situation, it made much more sense that the Sons wouldn’t be able to come to terms with killing the president they love and respect so much themselves in a few short hours, but thematically the change in direction provided a much better resolution to his character by incorporating JT’s own death into it. Knowing he didn’t’ have anything left to lose, it was Jax’s chance to right the final few problems, including giving a statement to Patterson on Tara’s murder and killing both Barosky and August Marks—all while looking much like a jedi underneath the homeless lady’s blanket–in the middle of daylight.
The emotional climax certainly came while watching Jax hop onto JT’s restored bike, giving his final fleeting “I’ve got this” to the club that mirrored the memorable words Opie said before his own self-sacrifice for the club. The only thing that hit me harder was the moment when I realized Milo, our friendly truck driver from last week, would be the one to help Jax repeat the history of his family past. It looked like he was at peace as he stretched his arms out wide and came to the same ending as his own father, a conclusion I can get behind.
Ideally I still do wish we could’ve seen Jax bring the club into legitimacy as he so wished to do after reading JT’s manuscript. And I do believe that a lot of stuff that happened over the past two seasons could’ve been edited down. Way down. But admitting he couldn’t change, choosing to put his family over himself and the club, and knowing that Abel and Thomas are now free from the crippling town of Charming is still an extremely satisfying ending to one hell of a series.
- I’m assuming that was JT’s voiceover during the “previously on Sons of Anarchy” opening, which adds to the idea that his presence took over the episode.
- I would’ve liked to think Jarry would become the Unser to Chibs’ Clay, but perhaps they’ll both be able to rise above their predecessors.
- I’m surprised Jax decided to keep his kutte on to commit the daylight murders, knowing the blowback that’ll create on the club from the community.
- Those damn crows at the end were such a full-circle moment.
- I’m not too upset that we never got a real answer about who the homeless lady was. Then again, I watch Pretty Little Liars on a weekly basis, so a lack of real answers is a norm in my life.
- For something so brutal, the phrase “meets Mr. Mayhem” is comically light.
- SO glad Kurt Sutter had Tig and the Sons chase Connor through the doll factory. Hearing Tig yelp gave me so much joy.
What did you think of how the series finale played out? Sound off in the comments section below.