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WTF, Sutter? My Thoughts on the Final Ride of Sons of Anarchy
Series Finale of Sons of Anarchy was Beautifully Tragic
Over the last seven seasons, I found myself saying "WTF, Sutter" on many occasions. The first was when the beloved Opie was killed in prison. I'm not only a fan of the show and Sutter himself but a writer too. I'm always amazed by the way Sutter can surprise me with the twist and turns in the plot of this show.
Honestly, I see many plot lines and can predict shows with little to no interest in the plot, but I could never do that with Sons of Anarchy, not even when I tried. After last week's episode and the brutal death of the SAMCRO matriarch, Gemma Teller-Morrow, at her son's hand, I was worried that there were too many ends to tie up and that Sutter couldn't do it all in one episode, but he did...and it was beautifully tragic.
Don't Let Abel and Thomas Grow Up to Be Sons
As Jax went around town saying his goodbyes, it was evident that he doesn't want his sons to grow up to be "sons." I think part of the reason he HAD to kill Gemma was to ensure that she couldn't meddle in the lives of Abel and Thomas when he was gone. After all, it was Gemma who continually tried to talk Jax out of leaving Charming, and killed Tara when she thought she was going to lose Jax and the boys.
Jax knew with Gemma in the picture; his boys would never be safe from "the life of an outlaw." I also think this is why Jax burned JT's manuscript and notes. Jax was mesmerized by his father's writings and lost his way idealizing what life could be like. Ultimately, it was Jax's refusal to accept the type of life he was leading that lead to his demise. With Wendy and Nero in charge of Abel and Thomas, I hope those little boys can grow up and live normal childhoods, or at least as healthy as possible. Although, as Jax said, this cannot happen unless Wendy and Nero keep the Teller boys out of Charming.
Jax's Killing Spree
When Jax started dropping bodies all over town, I was once again like "WTF, Kutter?" It wasn't until, Tyne Daly smiled at the body of Barotsky that I realized what Sutter had done. Jax knew his actions had created the chaos in the street, and he was going to make sure it ended when he ended. By taking out Barotsky, Marx, and the Irish Kings, Jax was guaranteeing that the violence that had plagued the city was done. If this doesn't make sense to you, think back to what Jax said when asked what happens at the end of the day. He said "the bad guys lose" and that they did!
The Homeless Lady! WTF?
The homeless lady has made her appearance in Sons of Anarchy episodes for years. In fact, when I first noticed her wasn't the first time she had appeared in the series. Finally, I think I figured out that she only appeared right before the death of a major character. Until last night, I didn't think anyone else could see her, but the viewer, then Jax stopped to talk to her...and I was like "WTF" people can see her?
I'm still not sure if everyone can see her or just the person that is going to die, but she did hand Jax a tangible item and looked like she had been eating, so I'm pretty sure, she was real. In fact, if you look, at the final scene, it looks like the crows, which I imagine are JT and Gemma, are eating the same cake that the homeless lady was eating on the stairs of the courthouse. If that is true, the only conclusion I can come up with is that the homeless woman...is the Grim Reaper of SAMCRO. Seriously, I can't believe it took me seven seasons to figure that out.
When Jax told the truth about Jury's death, he sealed his own fate. I truly think he was tired of the lies that had plagued his life and finally needed to start telling the truth. He had come to this conclusion once before in his life, but his mother had different ideas. After Tara was murdered, Jax couldn't think of anything but revenge, and ultimately this was his unraveling. When SAMCRO voted for Jax to meet Mr. Mayhem, I was all choked up.
No matter what Jax had done in the last few months, the men setting at that table loved him, but ultimately, at Jax's urging the table voted for Jax to meet Mr. Mayhem. What I didn't know at the time was that the table had their own twist on what was going to happen. When it came time to collect, I was shaking, I couldn't believe Chibs was going to shoot Jax. Once again, I was cursing Sutter's name, and watching from behind a closed hand over my face.
When Chibs shot Happy instead of Jax, you know what I said? Yep, that's it! WTF, Sutter? When Jax walked away from the club, there were tears, and Jax being the formidable outlaw that he was said, "I got this," which was a nod to his dearly departed best friend, Opie. Right before Opie gave up his life, to save Jax's, he stated the same thing. To Mr. Sutter and Mr. Barclay, this nod to Opie was not lost on me, and I thought it was absolutely beautiful.
Jax Says Goodbye to JT and Prepares for His Final Ride
Earlier in the episode, Jax went to say good-bye to his best friend Opie and finally Tara. I was surprised that Jax didn't stop to talk to his dad, JT, but later understood why when Jax went to the site of JT's accident. I knew as soon as I saw the helmet and signature sunglasses on the ground that this was it...Jax was going to die during his final ride.
A Beautiful and Meaningful Ending to a Series
Jax's Final Ride was a Beautiful Tragedy
First, let me tell you I could go on for hours about the artistic perfection conveyed on screen during Jax's final ride. As I have said before, I feel like I have a relationship with these fictional characters and watching Jax prepare, during, and completing his final ride was emotional, and made more emotional by Kurt Sutter and his director's artistic creativity and perfection.
At first, when I saw the helmet and glasses on the ground at JT's crash site, I thought Jax was going to commit suicide or die by cop. To say the least, I wasn't happy about that, but when Jax shot at the cop, it was like he was saying, ride or die, and that is exactly what he did.
You could see the release on his face as he rode his dad's bike winding through the beautiful scenery and I was so grateful that he didn't wear his sunglasses so that you could see his beautiful, tortured eyes. When the semi came around the corner, I knew what was about to happen, and so did Jax. He didn't plan it, but this was his fate...to die the same way his father died. After all, his death was put into play the minute he picked up those manuscripts, so it made poetic sense that he would die the way his father did carrying the same burdens his father carried.
Anarchy Afterwords - The End of an Era, The Continuation of a Fandom
Like me, many of you are probably wondering what we are going to do now that Jax is not a part of our lives. Will Tuesdays always be known as Teller Tuesday? Will I ever be able to pick up a turkey carving fork again? Will white roses be ruined forever? None of us know for sure, but what I do know is Sons of Anarchy deserves to be remembered as one of the best shows on television, not just cable, but all of television.
While Kurt Sutter and Paris Barclay are poetic geniuses that brought us this rift raft crew of outlaws that we have grown to love, it was the actors that created such an epic fandom. With that in mind, we may not get to see anymore Jax, or his naked behind, but we will get to see more from Sutter, Charlie Hunnam, Theo Rossi, Tommy Flanagan, Katey Sagal, Kim Coates, Drea de Matteo, Dayton Callie and Jimmy Smits.