Sons Of Anarchy has been building up to “Red Rose” all season long, and I’ve been calling it for about two seasons. You would think I would have been prepared for last night.
-Another opening in which there is no music as things have gotten more serious in Charming. Jax is still hiding out at the Mayan spot, and after Chibbs brings him a shirt, the day begins. Marcus gives his condolences about what happened to Tara, and if I were Jax, I’d be pissed that someone else told him all this shit. But Jax, who is limping for some reason, is working on a big superdeal between the Mayans, the Niners and the Irish, so he can’t be bothered right now. Gemma is also still off the grid, so Jax is a little busy right now. Oh yeah, he still has to meet with the other SAMCRO leaders regarding his shooting of Jury.
-Wendy and Brooke wonder where Gemma is, and Brooke asks Wendy if she ever feels weird being at Tara’s because of her history with Jax and Tara dying there and such. Wendy is like, nah, I OD’d there in the floor, this is home. I really don’t think Brooke knows what she is in for if she wants to join Rat in this life.
-Unser drops the spare key off at Gemma’s to signify that he is done with her, and you know shit is real when Unser says he is fed up. But he will never be truly done with her, and we all know that.
-Nero asks Jax if he has heard from Gemma, and tells him he is going to the farm for a bit to get shit ready for his son, yet he is still in on this gang shit and that makes me nervous. Nero will have one foot out the door and he’ll get shot. Shit is like getting fired on your day off. Then Jax asks him if he’ll take Wendy and the boys with him because Nero is their grandfather, apparently. This also means shit is about to get tres real if he is tryna get the boys outta there.
-Juice is in the infirmary at the prison and as we thought, he is greeted by the Asian contingent, who aren’t happy about what he did to Lin. The Asians want to know why Juice was allowed to get to Lin through Tully, but now the whites get to kill Juice. I figured they would kill him there to take someone of the fun away for the whites, but first, some more prison rape. Because why not?
-Jax lays out the whole plan to everyone, and it gets confusing; basically he is tryna get everyone to play nice, but all sides have some sort of reservation about their role in the food chain, especially Connor from the Irish, who says the Kings won’t go for it. Jax kinda looks on in wonder that people don’t think his plan will work. Right, Jax, because your plans are always foolproof.
-Meanwhile, Gemma tries to get some rest at a stop for the rigs, and she is asked to move by….Michael Chilkis, who is currently playing Dell on American Horror Story: Freak Show, which is also aired by FX. However, he is best known for The Shield (another FX joint), where he worked with Kurt Sutter, so that explains that. We also see a raggedy-looking lady, and I don’t know if y’all remember her, but this homeless lady would randomly pop up in episodes with no rhyme or reason, which she does here, but we haven’t seen her in a while. Gemma asks the trucker, named Milo, for a ride and he doesn’t question why she is willing to leave her car right there. You have to assume she has a gun on her, I would think if I were him.
-Jax meets with Unser in a parking lot, and SAMCRO is moving very freely for someone whose leader just led a wild police chase through these streets, but whatever. Jax tells Unser the truth about Tara and Gemma, and asks to get the APB removed so he can handle it. Unser agrees, then has a little crying session by himself after the boys leave. Probably a lot of “crying by yourself” going on around SAMCRO these days.
-Nero and Wendy hash out plans to go up to his place, and lowkey, their relationship has been one of the best things about this season. Neither were born into this, yet for one reason or another, they have to stick around (Nero for Gemma and work reasons, Wendy for Abel and her feelings for Jax). She makes jokes about him being Mexican and doing manual labor, he calls her a junkie who might have to ride in the backseat. Shit was good.
-Jax meets up with Jury’s ginger VP and other charter members, including Robert Patrick, who I know from as the Terminator from “T2: Judgment Day” and the later seasons of The X-Files, but you might know him from other shit because he has been in a lot of stuff. Jax admits to lying about a confession from Jury and that all this shit was his fault, and that a Mayhem vote has to go down. Jax says he’ll make sure SAMCRO votes the right way, but he wants a bylaw from the old days thrown out. No idea what it is. Maybe allowing black members so the Grim Bastards can join? No clue. Anyway, Jax smiles a couple times during this, then turns somber. You know he has an angle, now to figure out what it is.
-Gemma gets dropped off by Milo at what we find out is a senior citizens’ home, which is where her father is, but he is out with some church people. The lady at the desk tells Gemma that it is Tara’s name as the person of contact, which goes back to some older stuff that I can’t remember right now, but the lady is looking suspicious as shit at Gemma. She doesn’t even know her, but she is so right.
-Juice is sitting in his cell reading the Bronte love poems and he puts a shiv inside it. He looks fed up with all this. He isn’t making it out of this episode alive.
-The boys show up to meet the Irish, where they learn that Connor was out to do some under-the-table business and the Kings want him stopped. So now, SAMCRO is a hit squad, which isn’t a real stretch anyway, and they get Tyler to draw Connor out. Again, not a stretch. Tyler stay doin’ stuff for SAMCRO.
-Wendy calls Jax to tell him that Gemma is at the home as they called to confirm that Tara was dead (Gemma told them), so obviously Jax is like, y’all need to go handle this. Then she tells Nero, who goes to T-M and tells Unser that he needs to go and bring her back alive; basically, find her before Jax does. Of course, Unser does it and Chucky wants to go too because Gemma has a gang of simps ready to ride for her. Chucky even tells Unser to tell Gemma that he loves her and Unser is like, and fuck up MY game? Nah.
-Tyler agrees to set up the Connor meet, but SAMCRO needs to help him take out the rest of the Asians before the Mayans take all that turf. I think that is what happens. This plan is convoluted as shit. Good to see Tyler finally taking a stand, though. He still gon’ die.
-Gemma gets the green light to see her father, who doesn’t recognize her. She just wants to apologize for basically being awful over the last however long it has been, and that he was a good father. We also learn that her mother’s name was Rose, which is the name Gemma gave to Milo, so that explains the episode title (kinda). This is right up her alley as Gemma has spent all season talking to people that don’t talk back (Tara, Bobby, Thomas and now her pops). Then her father asks her name again as she is getting ready to leave, and says that Gemma was a sweet girl who always liked flowers. Keep that in your back pocket.
-Juice asks for a minute of Tully’s time and says that he was sent by the Asians to kill him, but he knows that if Tully kills Juice for the club, it helps the relationship with SAMCRO. So he gives Tully the shiv and asks him to wait until he finishes his pie. All I kept thinking was, this mufucka better die this time, b.
-Unser and Jax are racing to where they think Gemma will be, and she is outside of a house, which we learn to be her parents’ old house and I have a couple of questions. She can just walk in there after God knows how long? No one else bought this house? Everything is the way they left it? This really bothered me for some reason.
-Juice finishes his pie and one of Tully’s people starts a fight, which gives Tully a distraction and he proceeds to stab Juice in the neck multiple times. A roundabout way of committing suicide, which was always the path Juice tried to take anyway. It was for the club and shit, but still, good riddance.
-Gemma is on the floor in her parents’ house, looking at pictures when Unser walks in. He asks her if the truth is true and why she did it, and Gemma is like, does it even matter? She looks tired of running and whatever happens, happens. Which of course, is when Jax shows up and Unser is like, I am arresting her and we are doing this the right way. After all this time, Unser thinks Jax is gon’ do something the right way. Good grief. He should know how this HAS to go down, and gets shot in the chest for his trouble. I wasn’t shocked. Gemma wasn’t even shocked, just add it to the body count.
-This house hasn’t had people living in it for presumably a while, but now a taxi, a truck and a motorcycle appear and no one calls the cops? And now there are gunshots? These neighbours are shitty.
-So, here we go. Gemma shows Jax old pics of his grandfather from WWII, and says something about how much she loved Tara and didn’t mean for shit to go down the way it did, but he isn’t tryna hear it and to be honest, I don’t even think Gemma was tryna defend it, she just needed to tell him. Hell, she told Jax that Unser was lying when he said that he called it into the police, so even she knew how this had to go down. Listen, Gemma has been through three presidents, two of which were her husband and the other was her son, who she groomed for this shit. She knows how the game goes. This all started in the Season 4 finale (that was my favorite SOA season, by the way) when Jax took over as president and Tara walked up behind him, and they looked like an old picture of Gemma and JT. Gemma knew she was losing her power and that fueled her rage to kill Tara, and here we are now.
-Gemma knows she is taking her death march and she wants it to go down in the garden because she loved the flowers. This was eerily similar to “The Grove” in Season 4 of The Walking Dead….no spoilers for anyone that hasn’t watched it, but for those that have, all I will say is, “look at the flowers”. She stops to smell them, and then steels herself for a shot, but Jax is like, shit, can I do this? Gemma forces him to do it, saying it has to happen because again, she of all people knows how the game goes.
-We have been waiting for this all season, some of us, for longer. But I still wasn’t ready for the shot. I also wasn’t ready when I watched it a second time. Or a third time. Jax looks to the sky to Tara, I assume and then looks like, shit, I just shot my mom in the head, Jesus. Then he just drives off. This whole thing was emotional in the lack of emotion that was shown, outside of a few tears. It was just some shit that had to happen. Shit, I still don’t know how I feel about it. I definitely felt different than I thought I would. I ain’t even party like I expected to.
-Montage time, where we see SAMCRO and the Niners taking out the Asians on the street and at a card game, although Chibbs let one girl go and that can’t be good, she looked him all in the face and everything. Wendy checks on the boys, while Juice’s body gets covered up. Nero goes to Gemma’s and he has that look of, well shit, ain’t heard from Unser in a few hours, this can’t be good. Jax returns home with Gemma’s blood still on his shoes, and he finally gets it poppin’ with Wendy, which sucks for my theory that she lives because every woman that gets close to Jax dies. We say goodbye to Unser, then more Jax and Wendy, and finally, one last shot of Gemma’s body among the flowers.
-Shoutout to Ed Sheeran’s version of Foy Vance’s “Make It Rain”, it suited the moment perfectly. I only knew him as the ginger dude from the Virgin Radio commercial, and I’d seen his name in places before, but I might need to search out more of his shit. Dude can sing.
One more episode, which I assume will also be 75 minutes long like this was. We gotta see how they take out Connor and make everyone quasi-happy with the deal. How does Nero react to Jax? What about Chibbs and Jarry, how does that end up? And finally, who gets to kill Jax? He has to die somehow. And somehow, none of this will top the fall of Gemma, arguably the greatest character in the history of Sons Of Anarchy.