Series finales are a tricky business. Fans expect so much from a show and more often than not, fans are let down by what the writers perceive to be the best ending for the characters and the show. Most of the time, fans still want to have a sense of what the show was but also have everything wrapped up and all of their questions explained (cough:: Lost ::cough). Not everyone will be satisfied with the product the producers and writers put out there but in my opinion, Sons of Anarchy did an amazing job wrapping up the entire show. We had violence, chase scenes, emotional moments and all of the fans lingering questions were answered.
The best part about the whole episode is that they didn’t try to fool the audience into thinking that Jax wasn’t going to die. From the first montage you know that Jax is going to die. Many shows try to leave all of their deaths a surprise but in this finale, we knew Jax was preparing to die which made watching the entire episode all the more emotional. Any scene with Jax (which was most of the scenes) you start thinking to yourself…”This is the last time he’s going to see ::fill-in-the-blank::, this is how he says goodbye”. I was teary-eyed for the entire episode. Jax went out doing what was right and also finally admitting that he is a bad guy and someone that deserves to die. I really loved Jax in this episode and I haven’t felt that about his character in a long time.
Jax spent this entire episode getting things in order. He met with Patterson and told her the truth about what happened with Tara and where to find Unser and Gemma. He did however leave out the fact that Unser and Gemma were dead but eh, she’ll figure that out. The great moment is when he said by the end of today all of the violence will be out of Charming. Throughout the episode, we see him deal with the Irish, kill Barosky and take down August Marks. There’s not much fear about getting caught killing a whole mess of people when you don’t plan to be alive the next day.
I also loved the little moments and goodbyes that Kurt Sutter added into the episode. The minor characters that we didn’t think would get much screen time in the finale all get a proper goodbye with Jax. We saw him say goodbye to Chucky and to me, Chucky knew what was about to happen. I think Chucky’s smarter than all of us think. Jax said his farewells to the beautiful Lyla and told her that he loved her. We also got a great moment where we found out what unwritten bylaw Jax wanted to throw out. He wanted blacks to be able to become SAMCRO members. Without hesitation, everyone voted yes when asked if T.O. could patch in. It was such an amazing and surprisingly emotional moment to watch. After everything that they’ve all been through together, it started to seem weird that T.O. wasn’t already a member of SAMCRO. We also saw a beautiful moment at the beginning of the episode where Jax visited Opie and Tara’s graves that were conveniently located very close to each other. He leaves his SONS rings on Opie’s tombstone and his wedding ring on Tara’s. This being the moment where the audience should realize he is preparing to die.
I could talk on and on about many emotional moments of this episode and one of them was when Jax and Nero finally met face to face to discuss what has happened. Jax basically admits that he killed Gemma and though Nero was visibly upset, he understood. Jax told Nero that he is going to need to handle things for him. Jax put Nero in charge of taking care of his family and making sure the boys never come back to Charming. One of the more heartbreaking moments of the scene is when Jax admitted he was a bad guy and that he wants his sons to know that. Jax really idolized his father his whole life leading him straight into this mess. He wants his boys to be disgusted with who their father really is so they can live a long and happy life themselves. Nero and Wendy take the boys up to the farm but not before Jax gets to say his goodbyes to his children. It’s a difficult scene to watch given that we know all that he’s done for his two boys. If you think about it, everything he is doing is for his sons. He’s dying for them and his legacy will be tarnished for them to become the men he could never have become. It’s a brutal scene and when he tells them to listen to Nero because he’s “daddy’s best friend” was even more heartwrenching.
But the worst and most emotional parts of this episode were anything that had to do with SAMCRO dealing with Jax’s decision. I was fighting back tears the whole time he was talking to Chibs. We all knew that Chibs was going to be the one person that would fight the hardest to keep Jax around. That his “Jackie Boy” and he will never vote to kill him. Everything is explained to Chibs and seemingly Jax tells him he will be the next President of SAMCRO. Good. Who else would it be? We see that Chibs tells Tig ahead of time and then eventually they both sit down with the entire club to tell them what Jax’s wishes are. They all hold a mayhem vote where the audience watches on as they struggle to find the courage to vote yes.
The scene where it all becomes clear about what Jax really wants was my favorite scene probably of this whole final season. Jax takes off his cut and cuts off the President badge and cuts off Chibs V. President badge. Chibs (rightfully so) hands over his V.P badge to Tig and accepts the President badge from Jax. In an overly emotional moment they line him up and Chibs points his gun at Jax but in a twist, actually shoots Happy in the arm. It soon becomes clear that they are letting Jax go and they will cover for him saying he fought back and fired on them. On a lighter note, I would just like to talk about how badass Happy really is…..he gets shot in the arm and it doesn’t even phase him. He’s just standing there like nothing happened. The all say they’re very emotional goodbyes (with both Tig and Chibs whispering something into Jax’s ear) and send Jax off to do what many fans have predicted he would do.
It has come out this season that John Teller probably committed suicide on his bike. When Jax first hears this, he is completely outraged but just like many things on this show come full circle…..he understands now why his dad did what he did. Jax fixed everything he needed to fix and said his goodbyes and then took to the road. In a final car/motorcycle chase, he sees a truck coming, lets go of the handles and is prepared to die. It’s such a beautiful scene to watch Jax finally be at peace with everything that he has done and the whole way it was shot was outstanding. We saw him finally speak to the homeless woman and we really do see that she is a guardian angel for him. She tells him it’s time and the camera pans on the bread she was eating at the end of the episode with Jax blood slowly creeping towards it after his death.
All in all, this was a beautiful episode and though most fans went in knowing what was going to happen, it was so great seeing a show wrap the way it was meant to and not try to put in some shocking new twist. It was emotional through and through and even if you weren’t the biggest fan of Jax in the end (me being included in that group), it was so wonderful to see him finally get clarity and do whatever it takes to make sure the people he loved were taken care of after he left. Sons of Anarchy was a wonderful story of a man trying to understand his father’s past and leave the right legacy for his sons and they accomplished that. It was a funny, violent and heart-wrenching show that we are all definitely going to miss.