Well, after a bunch of ups and downs, countless unnecessary murders, some terrible song choices and a nice little run to close things out, Sons Of Anarchy wrapped up seven seasons of fuckery with “Papa’s Goods”, which has a couple different meanings to it. Let’s go…
-Jax is waking up after his romp wth Wendy, and as he moves around the house, going to see the kids and such, you just get the feeling that he won’t make it through the day alive. That was cemented for me as he left the crib in boots, not the white Nikes, which were covered in Gemma’s blood anyway. He goes to the storage locker where Gemma said his father’s manuscripts were, and he burns them, along with some pictures and birth/death certificates. Yeah, there is no way he makes it outta this day alive and he shouldn’t, even he knows it.
-Apparently, the opening song is a Springsteen joint. I’m not a fan of this song or dude in general.
-Next, Jax heads to T-M to look at his father’s bike, which has been shown here and there throughout the season, and a friend of mine (shoutout to Brian) said this would play into the end, but we’ll get to that. Then he heads to visit Opie, where he lays his SONS rings on his tombstone, then he kisses Tara’s tombstone, which will now watch over his wedding ring. The next stop is Red Woody, where the boys are watching the next cinematic classic, “Fat Ass In My Face”, and we see a white girl with a big ass shaking it in some dude’s face. I kinda want Red Woody to be a spinoff, if only for the film titles. Jax kisses Lyla on the forehead and tells her he loves her, and she returns it, but even she has a look like, “fuck is up with Jax, he gon’ die or what?”.
-Jax goes through the plan to get Tyler to draw Connor out since the IRA kings want him gone, and they’re going to show up early to talk to Tyler about some shit. But the real fun is that the bylaw saying no blacks in SAMCRO has been thrown in the bushes, which means TO gets to join the club, not even as a prospect because he led the GBs for a decade and has done a lot for the club. See? If SAMCRO can see past that ‘cism, we can all….I don’t even know what I was gon’ write next, but I’m laughing.
-Nero gets to Jax’s where Wendy is there, and Nero wants to speak to Jax, but he obviously isn’t there. The two sort out some plans for their trip to Nero’s farm and he leaves, but Wendy knows something is up.
-The boys arrive at a baseball field to meet Tyler, and here we arrive at my first major gripe with this episode. I rewatched it and you see a woman walk behind the group, like, real close, close enough that it looks like a crew member walking out of the shot and that is just sloppy editing. I don’t know, man, that pissed me off. Even more the second time. Anyway, Tyler tells Jax that Marks will be out of jail by the end of the day, and even though Jax says it’ll be okay, Tyler is like, yeah, you live 75 miles away. He isn’t wrong. Marks gon’ be PISSED when he gets home. That being said, he also has a dead army.
-Connor shows up to the meet early and busts some shots at the boys as they’re on their bikes, so you know what that means. Obviously there was gon’ be a chase scene in the SOA finale and I understand that some people didn’t like it because it was cheesy; I liked it because it WAS cheesy, from the shitty Elvis cover that was completely out of place to going through a doll warehouse. It’s SOA, man, it is what it is. Connor gets away thanks to a dump truck that gets in the way, and we have no idea what happens to the driver.
-Nero shows up at T-M looking for Unser and finds Chucky, who says Unser isn’t back yet, so you know Nero knows what is going on. Chucky still wants to know what’s up and Nero won’t tell him, and I get the feeling that Chucky is the only one out of Gemma’s simp gang that didn’t want to fuck her. Nero then goes into Unser’s trailer to find all his information about Tara’s murder and that is when he is like, shit, I sent Unser to his death.
-Jax and Chibs are chillin’ on the Red Woody roof, and Jax is like, you need to sit down because I’ma lay out everything for you from the start, for real and Chibs is like, it’s about fucking time. I bet by the end of it, he wanted to change his mind. Basically, Jax is like, y’all gotta vote to kill me and this is what is best for everyone and even though Chibs holds on, you gotta remember, Chibs calls Jax “Jackie Boy” because he has known this dude since he was a child and has watched him groomed to get to this position. Fuckin’ right you would be emotional too. Lowkey, Tommy Flanagan might be the MVP of this season. Downstairs, Tig brings up Connor’s boy Hugh and a couple of his goons, and Lyla asks if Jax is alright. Tig says they’re all good, but I don’t think he believes it as he tells her to wrap the film up for the day.
-Jax and Chibs wrap up their moment and Jax tells him that this is how you become a leader, by doing shit you don’t wanna do, but you have to do. These last like, four episodes, Charlie Hunnam has surprised the shit outta me. He’s probably a better actor than I thought he was. Anyway, Hugh comes up and Jax asks him to set up a meet with Connor, and Hugh is like, how do I do that? Tig and Chibbs shoot his goons and says that should be persuasive enough, especially after he sees pictures. Jax’s best plans are usually the most simple ones.
-DA Patterson (I had no idea that was her last name, she has been on the show for what, three seasons?) pops by Jarry’s office and we ain’t seen her for a hot minute. The two brief each other on what’s up, and they decide to put an APB out on Gemma, and the DA says that Jax asked to see her. The DA then says something about the numbers by reflecting the work Jarry has done and she is in a tough spot by trying to figure out how close to get to the streets and I’m like, does she know Jarry is gettin’ this SAMCRO D on the low?
-Connor meets Hugh, and then SAMCRO shows up with the Mayans in tow, and everyone learns that Connor has been selling guns to friggin’ everyone from Northern Cali to Nevada. Then a couple of Irish show up and I figure that is that for Connor, but SAMCRO kills the kings and comes up with the new plan: Connor sells to the Mayans, who will distribute, and he’ll hang around because he can’t go back to Belfast, so he better grow into this relationship.
-A couple things about this: man, Happy’s face was good as shit when they shot the Irish. That might have been his biggest smile of the series. Chibs then taps on Connor’s shoulder with the gun and is like, you’re supposed to say something, bruh, promoting him to say thank you to Jax. Jax smiles like, damn, I’ma miss that type of shit. Finally, Connor says something to Jax about not coming back from killing an IRA King and Jax ain’t shook like, man, this is the least of the shit I won’t be coming back from.
-Jax meets Nero at T-M and he tells him that he is selling his part of Diosa and Red Woody to the club through some dummy corporation, the house and T-M is going to Wendy and he wants her to take the boys wherever she wants with the money after she sells that shit. He tells Nero that he is leaving and Nero only needs one guess to figure out that he killed Gemma. He holds it together surprisingly well, because he knew deep down that it had to happen like that. Jax then says the realest shit he has said in seven seasons of SOA: he did the only thing he knew how to do, he is a criminal and that is why he wants the kids far, far away from him because he is not a good person. He wants his sons to grow up hating
him and the life, and I think this is why he burned the manuscripts; he doesn’t want them to know anything about the past and be intrigued by it as he was. Personally, I think Abel is too far gone, but more on that later. Three cheers for Jax finally being a good parent. Well, a decent parent. Shit, I’ll settle on not-an-awful parent.
-Then, shit gets even realer as Wendy and the boys show up, and Jax says goodbye to his sons, telling Abel to listen to Nero because he was Daddy’s best friend. We also see the beginnings of a sweet mullet from Thomas, who cries a little for the first time since Abel was guarding him with a hammer. Then he kisses Wendy and says she is a good mother, and she asks what is going on, but she has to know, right? One look at Nero in the sunglasses has to tip her off, and he tells her he will tell her later. Jax sets off on his mission, but says goodbye to Chucky, who says it back, so he knows what’s up.
-Jarry tracks down Chibs because she wants to know where Gemma is, but she also thinks that their thing should end, but we have gone down this road before. For the briefest of seconds, I thought they would bang up against the side of Red Woody, but Chibs basically tells her that cops that fuck with SAMCRO usually go away. She is like, you threatening me, and he replies with, history doesn’t lie; stay safe, sheriff and walks the fuck away. DAMN. She is like, did that JUST happen?
-Chibs goes inside, where the mayhem vote will take place and tells Tig about Jax’s plan, and they’re both near tears, but they suck it up. I don’t care how loyal Tig is, fuck him, but I already ranted about that a couple weeks ago.
-Jax goes to the DA’s office and thanks her for tryin to help Tara, and to tell her about everything, including Gemma’s role in it and that Gemma and Unser are at her dad’s place in Oregon. However, he doesn’t tell her that they’re dead and he doesn’t cope to any retaliation that went down as to not incriminate the club. Jax is smart when he wants to be. It was also good when the DA turns on the recorder and introduces Jax as a member of SAMCRO, and Jax throws in that “Redwood Original” with a smile. Dammit, you smiled as well. He tells her that everyone who should know the truth already know and by the end of the day, the violence will be over because the bad guys lose. I think it may be a little egotistical to think the violence stops at him, but hey, he’s the protagonist.
-The mayhem vote goes down and Chibs barely gets through it, and everyone votes to send Jax to the reaper, because that is what he wants. I like the way Chibs barely banged the gavel, and the shot that panned over the reaper table. I wonder whose house that is sitting in right now.
-Jax’s chair is empty because he is paying a visit to Baroski and this scene feels like they forgot about it until the last minute. Baroski is like, what can I do for ya, and gets shot the fuck up. There are witnesses, but Jax doesn’t care. So yeah, he is dying before this all ends.
-While the cops are in Oregon discovering Gemma and Unser’s dead bodies, Jax goes to the courthouse, but to the back of it and we see the homeless lady that has popped up at random times through SOA’s run. Jax asks her who she is, and she hands him her blanket, saying simply, “it’s time”. She leaves a bottle of wine and a half-eaten sandwich there; remember that.
-Marks walks out of the courtroom, right past Jax under the blanket, and he proceeds to shoot Marks’ associates. Marks looks at him like, motherfucker….and catches a bunch of bullets. So that is sorted.
-Then he goes to a warehouse where the boys are waiting, and he cuts off his president patch to give to Chibs, who gives his VP patch to Tig. He gets a promotion? Fuck that, but I’m petty. He tells Chibs he is ready and stands between Tig and Happy, who gets shot in the forearm and Jax says he wouldn’t put that burden on the club, so he is going out on his own terms. I can see why some people might have a problem with it, but I don’t. I have more of a problem with the fact that the other charters are just supposed to buy this story, but again, it is what it is. He hugs everyone, and Happy is the only one that cries, which ALMOST got me. He walks out and gets on his dad’s bike, and tells the boys, “I got this”, which is what Opie said to him before he walked into his death, and I think Juice might have said it to Jax when they came up with the plan to kill Lin in jail.
-Jarry tells her people to put out an APB on Jax for multiple homicides, but he is at the site where his dad died, talking to him. Basically, what boils down to is him saying, “I realized, as I think you did, a good father and a good outlaw can’t settle inside the same man.”. When you realize that SOA is derived from Hamlet, this poetic type of soliloquy shouldn’t shock you, but dammit, I’ve been trying to tell y’all. You’re lucky I don’t write 700 words of “I told you so”, but I’m a humble dude.
-A cop rolls by and he has gotten the APB, and as he asks Jax (who had the time to light a smoke) to get off the bike, Jax busts a couple shots and takes off, so of course SOA will end on a chase. The montage begins and we are with Nero, Wendy and the kids, and the way that Nero grabs Wendy’s hand makes me guess that he tells her what is happening. But what also tells me that is Abel sitting in the back and he is coloring, but he also plays with the Sons ring Gemma gave him at the school when she says goodbye to him. Yeah, he’s gon’ grow up to be fucked up and you can’t blame him.
-Tig is with Venus, buckling under everything that just happened. The boys are at Red Woody, drinking away what just happened. The DA and Jarry are at Baroski’s, looking at his body and the DA seems to get what Jax meant. Chibs takes his place at the head of the table, looking uneasy, while Gemma’s body is finally carried out of her father’s garden. Actually, I think it is this part that Abel is playing with the ring, but it all means the same thing. Oh yeah, he shoots Wendy a vicious look like, bitch, I’ma kill you, because that is what Tellers do: kill their mothers.
-We see a truck that says “Papa’s Goods” on the side, and it is driven by the trucker that have Gemma a ride (Michael Chilkis, Dell from American Horror Story). So now, you have to get ready for it because we know JT died by hitting a truck, something that Jury said was on purpose just before Jax killed him. There is like, 20 cops following him art his point, but he sees the truck and hits this smile. He heads into the other lane and stretches out his arms while the driver tries to hit the breaks, but it was inevitable.
-Please, go to Twitter and search for memes of Jax with his outstretched arms. I was in tears from laughing at some of them.
-We don’t see Jax’s body, but we do see some blood running towards a sandwich, the same damn sandwich that the homeless lady was eating. It leads to deduce that she was his angel, maybe his father in human form, but it’s one of those things where Kurt Sutter was like, it can be whatever you think it is. I’m going with angel.
-The episode ends with the familiar reaper and a Shakespeare quote: “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.”. If I have to tell you what Shakespeare play it is from, I don’t know what to tell you.
And this ends the story we set out on seven seasons ago, and while I had some issues with it, I was very happy with the way Sons Of Anarchy ended. The last half of the final season (well, let’s say the final four episodes, maybe five) was some of the best storytelling we have gotten, and it allowed the actors to step up their game. I didn’t name this “Sons Of Fuckery” for no reason: there is a bunch of shit that didn’t work over seven seasons, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. I have said this before, that SOA might not be as technically good as shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire (I still need to watch the final season of that), but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t more entertaining than all of those shows and sometimes, entertainment (and a solid story) all you need.
Thank you, Kurt Sutter, thank you, cast and crew. That was a fun seven seasons. Sons Of Anarchy sits just outside my top five, but that could change. Thanks for rockin’ with me, y’all. I’ma miss following SAMCRO and their wacky shenanigans, and I appreciate y’all following me and watching me ramble through the last couple seasons.