A Sashurai’s Review: Sons of Anarchy – Season 7×13 (At the end of the day…)

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There’s a history recorded in mayhem, etched in anarchy, and boiled in the sun. Sometimes when we cycle through that history, we do so with arms free and our minds clear. Seven more years came, and seven more years went. When she whispers to you It’s time, you go with the freedom to choose your fate. But destiny always brings you full circle. Sons of Anarchy draws it’s final curtain on the road, under the blue sky, riding alone. Jackson Teller brought us closure the only way he knew how. Though Abel and Thomas were the sons, Jax will always be of anarchy.

Where the blazes do I begin? I’ve seen parallels from another finale I’ll touch on, but speaking strictly of what I’ve witnessed tonight, this was a unique and bloody trail leading to one conclusion after another. Bodies we knew fell in expected and unexpected ways. Barosky and August met their makers while the rest were all a part of the plan to set Samcro back on top. Patterson has the promise that the bad guys lost and everyone answered for their crimes. I want to speak about the end first, but there’s a small journey to be made before we fully understand what happened on tonight’s finale “Papa’s Goods.”

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Firstly, Tio entering the charter was a move easily predicted. No longer a Grim Bastard, he joins the ranks as a new prospect and the Sons embrace him. He was a solid minor character who never wavered on any loyalty. I’m certain in all our minds the crew will be in good hands. Chibs and Tig are now the President and VP, respectively. Chibs sold every scene he was in once he knew of Jax’s plan. I can honestly say, those weren’t tears that were brought on by a person who acts. Those were real. I believe everyone’s was real. I suppose I should slap myself for ever believing that Chibs and the crew would carry out the Mayhem vote themselves. I thought maybe, Jax wanted it to be his family, and not a group of strangers casting eternal judgment. Yet, Jax had a different plan, one that set Samcro free from any of the murders that wiped away a season of horrific blood shed. Happy took the bullet and we held our breath as planned. Good one Sutter, I’m sure you got everyone on that.

A short moment to say that I don’t think Jarry and Chibs becoming practically enemies was a very believable segment. I watched those two making whoopie in the middle of a garage so they could prove to each other that they cared. Sure, I could believe that Chibs is doing this for Jarry’s good, but I don’t really believe that. I think Chibs needed to be cold and wasn’t holding any sentiments to heart. Jarry was left with a figurative punch to the gut which she didn’t really deserve and a practical promise that she would end up the same as sheriff’s of the past if she pursued the Sons. Sad tale, done and done.

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Skipping ahead, we come to a rather existential moment that many watchers have been waiting for, some conclusion with the homeless woman, often referred to as Brooke’s mother, but now something much more majestic and simple. For once, Jax looked back and point blank asked the woman who she was. She gives him her blanket and says “It’s time,” with a soft and serene smile. Jax uses it to his advantage to kill August, but we also get a very significant shot of wine in a bottle and a chunk of bread. As far as symbols go I shouldn’t have to dive into detail what wine and bread mean in the religious realm. What’s more fascinating is what the woman and those objects truly represent. There’s angels, and then there’s angel’s of death. When you tattoo the grim reaper on your back, I don’t think an angel is the one watching over. What I love about shows like these is the nature of what governs one’s existence. This homeless-looking woman was there for the Teller’s all the way through. At the cusp of major death’s she was there. I’m glad Jax finally had the ability to speak to her. Main characters can sometimes get that sort of privilege and step out of their zone of existence. True, he could have pursued her, but understanding is a far better result, and Jax understood what was to be done. The woman leaves behind her flesh and blood, much as Jax is prepared to do by day’s end. I’m glad they didn’t make it any more confusing, my brain probably would have bent in half had they tried.

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I also applaud Wendy and Nero, two characters I always thought had darker endings, but here they are having their own happy ending of sorts. Nero let Gemma go and that’s something I didn’t think he’d do. But he understood the brutal nature of what Jax felt he had to do. And Wendy gets both children, someone who would have done what Tara wanted. Wendy has become the spiritual successor and for once, I think the kids are in good hands. The only sad truth is that Jax knows and wants his kids to hate him when they grow up so they never try and become part of the club. It’s strange circular logic when he cares so much for those in it and wants nothing of his kids to be a part of. To us it makes sense, to Jax it makes sense. There’s nothing more to be said on it. They’ll grow up and what will be will be.

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What I speak of now are the closing moments, when all the dust had settled and the Sons hugged their former president goodbye. He fittingly rides off on his father’s bike and finds the old spot where JT was killed. Words are spoken from son to father, of understanding, and love, and then Jax rides off, allowing the police to chase him. We’re treated by another track from “The White Buffalo and The Forest Rangers” “Come Join The Murder” and the rest comes from a defining tribute and sets the wheels in motion and Jax to an end of his own machination, and a truck driven by Vic Mackey.

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Before I try and wrap my head around that last impossible statement, I do want to say the closing segment was hauntingly perfect. From the long shots, to the flying crow overhead, every second was a model of what made Sons it’s own unique brand of sophisticated outlaws and warring freedom. Jax doesn’t narrate, doesn’t flinch, and doesn’t cry. We cry instead, because the show is done, and the world continues behind our eyes somewhere in the deep. I’m impressed. I’ve dealt with other finales where all the onions are chopped in front of me, but this one made me proud to see the world through Jax’s eyes. What he gave for his sons, and his Sons, will forever be remembered.

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FAVORITE MOMENT

If Jax and the homeless woman had any longer of a scene, my jaw would have probably dropped, but it was short and extremely simple. What I choose as my favorite moment is the end. In seven years you build of a final moment like that and give us a return of fate for anyone who tries to leave the club on that bike. It was visually gripping because it lasted so long. They gave us an off screen death, but the sound was very real. All we are given is blood leaking toward that same segment of bread with soaked wine and two crows feasting on it. It’s eerie and it calls to the final quote by Shakespeare, one saying that anything can be doubted, but the man/woman’s love, and that is the crux of Jax’s spirit. The cut ends before Jax’s blood reaches the blood. There’s symbolism there. One can say he’s reaching for heaven, others might say the blood and bread are harmonious and to join is to become one with the world. Whatever the case may be, Sutter chose to end the life of his beloved character. And that was my favorite moment, not that it had to be done, but because it was done.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Jax is the solid foundation of what this series is based on. He deserves not just the character MVP, but the entire show’s worth. From the moment he put on those old boots (His father’s?) to placing those rings on Opie and Tara’s gravestones, to the last moments with his arms raised high. He married those moments and gave everything he had with sincerity and brevity. Every hug he gave and every word he said was its own echo and he made that character who he lived by and who he died by. Jax was a complicated but just character. Every law of the road he followed he followed till the end, riding through this world…

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ENDING THOUGHTS

In referencing Vic Mackey I just want to say that I will always firmly believe that Milo is Vic. Not just because of the theories or the speculations, but because if someone is going to take out Jax Teller, it’s going to be Vic. Elements of The Shield came with every season with actors and actresses filling spots and voids of the long ended cop show. For those who haven’t seen The Shield I recommend it. Vic will never be remembered as a “good” character but he was a well liked character and even loved. If this was Sutter’s plan all along I applaud him, although I think they only came up with it this season, my thoughts on it anyway. “Milo” chatted with Gemma and then killed her son. Michael Chiklis has real respect to get those scenes crafted for him. Can’t imagine a spin off taking flight after this though. One can dream.

Do I consider this the best season? I think I do. Two and everything after Three were suburb and it is tough to choose one, but considering the anticipation this season made for us, the seventh wins for me. Maybe that will change when I watch this show again, but we’ll see.

Seeing Gemma and Wayne’s bodies coldly reminded me that those two never shared anything beyond unrequited love. I still feel bad for Wayne and I’m sure in some way Jax did too. Yet, in the end, all he received was validation from Jarry that he was a good cop. And Nero had to say goodbye to Gemma by taking her grandkids away from Charming. Sad reflective moments, but necessary to give them a sense of closure.

I wonder if Chibs and Tig will make the smart decisions to keep the club running on top. Tyler and Alveraz seem like they’ll keep their sides in flowing order. I wish there was something that could be said to their future, some exert by Sutter telling us that things will be okay for them. I’d like to know.

Jax explaining to Patterson on tape with what happened to Tara and the bloodbath that followed was very similar to Vic’s confession to ICE at the end of The Shield. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who noticed that.

Venus De Milo…Shane and Vic…strange.

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OVERALL SCORE

The onions got to me. 10 out of 10. Solid performances all around, closure and closure met with mayhem. One last chase followed by one very last beautiful chase. Some dialogue with the homeless woman and Jax, and an end that Jax sought and claimed for himself. He went out his own way and not gunned down by friend or foe. Should he have died as his father did? I can’t answer that, but I don’t think it was the wrong choice. I prepared myself for this inevitable end, but it still hurt. And it was meant to. We’ll see Charlie again. To the sons, to the writers, to Sutter and the whole crew, I thank you for once more bringing the fans and I a remarkable trek through seven years of bikes, bullets, babes, and breedom, er, I mean freedom. I think I’ll go watch the pilot again, when everyone first started, and everything was new. Tara had longer hair, Opie is Opie, and Jax is…well, THE Son of Anarchy. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this run as I did.

 

 

No more words

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