Whatever you think about Sons Of Anarchy, you have to concede that they do know how to wrap up a season, which is something a lot of shows manage to screw up. One that sticks out is the finale to the incredible fourth season, which ends with Jax taking his place at the head of the table with Tara behind him, glaring at Gemma. They all take center stage in “A Mother’s Work” (you’ll get a couple of different takes on what this means throughout the episodes: mothers doing what they feel they have to do to protect their family, basically) and lays the groundwork for the seventh and final season. Let’s go…..
-You knew this episode was about to be on some shit when it opened with Jax chillin’ by Opie’s tombstone, writing in his journal and telling the kids that this was all for them. That was a long-ass montage. It was a little sad that only Unser showed up to Clay’s funeral, but then I remembered how much of a dirtbag he was, so fuck him. There were some good cuts in this, though. It cut to Clay’s grave when Jax was talking about becoming the thing he hated, and it also cut to Gemma when he was talking about hating himself. It was definitely a well-done montage, just long. Also, running over the bird? Yeah, you know it was on.
-Gemma sits down with Juice to see where his head is at after his attempted suicide, and he says he is alright, but that is horseshit. Try it once, okay, cool, but this is the second time he has tried to pull this off. Guy can’t even do that right. Juicy just ain’t ’bout that life anymore, and Gemma sees that, but she lets him think that she buys it. Back to them in a bit, though.
-I would have really been partyin’ if the DA had punched Gemma in the mouth for the “suck my white crack” comment as Gemma was leaving the clubhouse. I don’t really like either of ’em, but Gemma needs that ass beat.
-Jax and the DA sit down for a chat and it basically comes out that Tara was planning to make a deal. The DA seems to have a bit of a soft spot for Jax, even after all the shit he has done, and she tells him to man up, in a matter of speaking. She knows he is a tough spot and is trying to do the right thing, I think, but the life won’t allow him to do it. This was pretty solid. He explains everything to the club at the table in regards to Tara, but Jax wouldn’t go all the way to say they would kill her. There was an allusion to it, for sure, because that’s how you gotta deal with rats, but this is the mother of his children. He couldn’t let her die…..could he?
-Alvarez rolls up to the club and basically tells Jax that he isn’t happy with the way everything went down with the Irish and Blacks hooking up with the guns, and the killings of the Asians. Alvarez has been pushing this for a couple episodes now and you could just see the anger coming to the top. Pulling Nero into the mix definitely didn’t help, especially since he knew about the Mayans’ new chapter in Stockton and didn’t tell Jax. And how friggin’ far did Jax and Alvarez walk? Mufuckas doin’ laps around Charming? Why couldn’t they have just done this in the clubhouse? I suppose, mufuckas gotta exercise.
-Tara talks to the lawyer and tells him to meet her at this park Abel likes. Meanwhile, Juice and Bobby are following the lawyer, so they will know where she is soon enough. At this point, all I can say is, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, TARA?!?!?!?!”. This is really going down like that.
-Took them, like, three or four seasons, but the kids are finally talking. Abel is saying sentences and shit, and Thomas is at least making noise. That was kinda touching, too, when Tara told Abel that his little brother was going to be scared and Abel got right up on the bed with him. Those kids are so fucked. So very fucked. Never had a chance.
-Jax sets up a meeting with Alvarez and the Mayans, which now apparently includes Nero, and Marks and the Blacks, but Marks wasn’t there because he stays out of the street shit. Jax tries to get on Nero about knowing about the Mayans and Stockton, but Nero is like, NOAP, let’s talk about how you made Juice kill the mother of the school-shooting kid. Then he goes on about karma, and maybe that is why Tara is fuckin’ with Jax, which shut him up with the quickness. Nero is FINALLY coming around on the club and how fucked they are.
-The Mayans turn on the Blacks during the gun deal. You knew that was coming. This storyline will definitely play a major role next season. Right now, it’s on the backburner. We;ll probably see more of Robocop, as Jax goes to his bakery to find out stuff about Tara and let him know that the Mayans would be in his ‘hood a little more. He’ll need the heads up, because shit is about to get real next season.
-Jax gets word that Tara is at the park with her lawyer and the boys, and it looked like the same park where she was kidnapped, what was that, two seasons ago? But before he gets there, a few things happen. Cut to Gemma’s where Unser is getting ready to take Wendy to rehab, and she doesn’t want to go, but she has to get clean before she can be of use to the kids. Gemma leaves to go to the whorehouse to talk to Nero, who proceeds to break up with her because, well, fuck SAMCRO. Shit ain’t been nothing but trouble for him since he met Gemma and he has to get out, so he can help broker this deal with the Mayans, turn the gang over to his little homie (who I just learned was named Fiasco, I don’t think I knew that before, but anyway) and get out of the game. Gemma obviously doesn’t take that well, even though he told her to come with him. You’d think she’d understand a little more after both prior husbands have ended up dead and Nero ain’t tryna be the third. But it’s Gemma, and she’s fucking nuts. That sets the wheels in motion.
Then we have the scene of the episode: when Abel yells “DADDY!” at the park, I hit that GIF of Michael Jackson eating popcorn and was ready to go. Tara really thought that Jax was going to kill her right there, in the park, but he isn’t that stupid and he really does love her. But she knows he has to do what he has to do, but so does she and that means getting the boys out of all that fuckery. I didn’t expect Jax to agree to that at all, and finally, he makes a good, solid, wholesome decision. He makes, like, one per season and it usually ends up being later in the season. It also usually ends up backfiring.
-The DA, the lawyer and Roosevelt show up at the hotel to pick up Tara, and there are Jax and Tara with a one-time only deal: Jax takes the rap for the gun that killed the schoolkids, on the grounds that nothing happens to Tara and the boys, and they can go wherever they want freely, and nothing happens to SAMCRO. He couldn’t let the mother of his children take the hit for them, she has already done way more than enough, and that was a huge move by Jax. This is why mufuckas think he really is a good person, when he is far from it. That’s what makes Jax such a compelling character: flawed as shit, but you know there is some good under there somewhere.
-Jax tells the boys his plan and turns the club over to Bobby, with Chibs still as his right-hand man. But he also told the boys that Juice couldn’t be trusted and you know Chibs wanted to pull out his gun right there. I was so ready for Juice to die. That’s all I want from this show. Please.
-Unser goes over to Gemma’s place and finds her all buzzed up, and tells her that Tara’s lawyer called him for some archived information on the club, which pretty much meant that Jax was getting arrested. She wanted to leave, but Unser was like, “Nah, my truck is blocking you in”. Two things: one, what did Unser think was going to happen when he told Gemma that, especially in her state and two, did he really think the truck-blocking thing was going to stop Gemma’s crazy ass? Nah, she just took his shit and kept it moving. And that’s when we were like, “Oh noooooooooooooooooooooo”
-Unser tries to do right by going to the clubhouse to say bye to Jax, and tell him that his mother is raging and on the loose with his truck. Juice said he’d go find her, and Jax follows him out. Juice says, “I’ma miss you, brother” and Jax hit him with that, “You betrayed me”. I stood up ready for him to kill him right there on the street, and nothing. For fuck sakes. Still, I’ll thoroughly enjoy him dying next season.
-Tara gets to her house to grab a couple things with Roosevelt, and they see Unser’s truck outside, so they assume it’s him. Roosevelt leaves, and enter…..Gemma. I was shaking by this point. Tara was like, fuck this, I’m out, and Gemma hit her with an iron and tried to drown her in the sink. And then the big-ass fork…..holy shit. Motherfucker. The homie Pat and I had to look away. That shit was BRUTAL. Roosevelt hears some shit and goes in to find a dead Tara on the floor and Gemma mumbling stuff about having to do it, then Roosevelt sets her straight about Jax taking the fall on his own. Then Juice shows up to shoot him and help Gemma get out of there.
-My man Roosevelt, I hate it had to be him 😦
-Jax says his goodbyes to everyone at the clubhouse. Wendy is chillin’ gettin’ her rehab on. Gemma drives back to Unser and breaks down, although I’m pretty sure he still doesn’t know what she did. Juice cleans up all the evidence by throwing them in dumpsters. And that damn homeless woman pops up again, and she grabs a bag, but I was thinking about something else at the time, so I didn’t notice what was in it. I’m going to assume it was one of the bags Juice threw in the dumpster. Sons Of Anarchy loves its montages.
-Finally, Jax gets back to the house and finds Tara there. That shit was real, man. He said that Opie was his center, but really, it was Tara. Now they’re both gone, basically because of him, and he can’t handle it, for good reason. The DA walks in and finds Jax holding Tara and saying I’m sorry……..annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd scene.
This was an exhausting 90 minutes of television. The DA better not think Jax did that shit, and now it’s just a matter of what fuckery Jax will pull to avoid going to jail, because he clearly isn’t going to spend the entire final season behind bars, maybe the first two or three episodes. What’s up with the Mayans going ham on everyone? Will the boys go with Wendy now if she cleans herself up? Who gets to kill Juice? I bet mufuckas do some paper-rock-scissors to decide. Will Unser finally die of cancer? And how will Gemma die? Remember, Sons Of Anarchy is a modern retelling of Hamlet, and his mother, Gertrude, dies by drinking poison meant for Hamlet. Gemma will die, and my guess is Jax does it, especially when he learns the truth. And how long will she stay on the run?
Shoutout to Ron Perlman (Clay) and Maggie Siff (Tara). They were both terrific throughout their runs on the show.
That was a fun season. The final season of Sons Of Anarchy is going to be a wild one.