Dec 1 2014 12:55pm

SAMCRO Forever: Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Retrospective

Jax in Sons of Anarchy**Note: This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Sons of Anarchy, especially looking back on Season 7, before the series finale on December 9**

After seven years of murder, mayhem and motorcycles, Sons of Anarchy is taking its final ride on the 9th of December. Before that happens, let’s look back at the darkness of season seven.

The quest for revenge

Unsurprisingly, after last season ended with Jax cradling the murdered body of his wife Tara, this year has seen Jax on a brutal quest for vengeance.

Before Tara died, she told Jax, “I sacrificed everything for you. I have tried to see what you see, how you see it but I can’t. All I see is the lies and the violence and how it’s changed you. Turned you into a monster.” Watching Jax respond to Tara’s murder with such reckless violence, torture and retaliation, we truly see the monster that Tara feared. There is a disturbing logic behind Jax’s behavior but it has been a difficult season to watch.

The Body Count

Jax’s quest for revenge has sent ripples throughout Charming. It has also directly or indirectly led to a number of deaths:

Bobby was murdered in front of Jax by August Marks, but not before having an eye and several fingers removed. West was shot dead during a Chinese ambush of the Son’s gun warehouse.

Jax and Jury in Sons of Anarchy• Indian Hills:
Jax killed two associates of SOA Indian Hills president Jury White (and pinned an interception of Chinese heroin on them). Unfortunately, one of the guys was Jury’s son. In a spectacular moment of brutality, Jax then shot Jury, after Jury suggested that Jax’s Dad, John Teller might have actually committed suicide - although Jax claimed he killed Jury for ratting on the gun location.

• Chinese Triad:
Jax violently tortured and murdered Chris Dun, after Gemma led him to think Dun was Tara’s murderer. The Sons ambushed a heroine deal the Chinese were at and murdered a number of them. In prison, Juice finally slit Chinese leader Henry Lin’s throat.

• August Marks’ Men:
The Sons set up a trap for August Marks’ men at a safe house, detonating a bomb and unleashing a torrent of gun fire, killing them all. In an excruciating moment, Jax gouged out the eye of Moses Cartwright before killing him too.

• Aryan Brotherhood:
SAMCRO finished up Scoot for making fun of Tig’s relationship with Venus. Unser shot Leland at the hospital, protecting the witness Candy Eglee.

• Civilians:
The Sons took out a preacher Jonathan Haddem and his lady companion; a cop from the Sheriff’s department was killed while following the Aryans into a drug deal; the Chinese slaughtered the prostitutes (including Colette) at Sons’ business Diosa; some other civilians got shot as raids were launched on the massage businesses of the Chinese; and Jax took out Winsome’s pimp, Adam Greenblatt.

Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy

Sons in Love

On the romance front this season, VP Chibs has been having a little interlude with Sheriff Althea, they even banged on the hood of a car in full view of another MC buddy (so naughty!). Tig and transgender prostitute Venus have had a sweet fan favorite relationship. Rat Boy has been sleeping with Jax’s nanny who looks about 13, although he’s not exactly faithful to her. And it’s been a lonely season for Wendy, who has pined after Jax (who could blame her?).

Gemma and Nero’s relationship appears to have come to an abrupt halt after he found out about Tara’s death. Going out on a limb here, but it’s seems safe to assume that Nero has retracted Gemma’s invitation to live on the farm.

Jax and Winsome in Sons of AnarchyBetween bouts of revenge and leading SAMCRO into darkness, Jax managed to grab a little action with Winsome, the hooker he rescued. We got to see a shade of Jax’s vulnerability and loneliness as he asked her to stay in bed with him so that he could hold her. More importantly, their love scene gave us another chance to swoon over Jax’s ass.

Gemma’s Bloody Secret is Out

The highlight of this season was the tearful, chilling confrontation between Juice and Jax last week. Jax finally heard the full story behind Gemma killing Tara and covering it up.

When Jax’s son, Abel, overheard Gemma telling baby Thomas that she had killed Tara, it was obvious that it wouldn’t be long before the truth reached Jax but nothing could have prepared us for that moment with Juice. As shivers ran down your back, you had to hold your breath through the entire scene. It was an amazing tortured performance by Charlie Hannam.

Gemma in Sons of AnarchyWith a timely warning from Juice, Gemma learned that Jax knew her secret and that her reign as Queen was officially over. Taking a quick moment to farewell Nero in front of her childhood home, Gemma set off on the run for Mexico.

The Juice is No Longer Loose

Completely disgraced and on the run from the club, Juice managed to hide with the help of Gemma and a clueless Wendy. After Gemma finally lost her patience and almost killed him, Juice escaped with her car and attempted to trade his way to Mexico with the Mayans. The plan backfired when the Mayans handed Juice back to SAMCRO. Jax then had Juice get himself arrested so that he can take out Lin. Before killing Lin, Juice is able to find out that Charles Barosky (the crooked cop Jax does business with) ratted out the gun location to the Chinese.

It appears that Juice’s days are about to come to an end. Once Juice told Jax the truth about Gemma, Jax made the chilling pronouncement: “Thank you for telling me the truth. I’ll make sure it’s quick.”

Lea Michele in Sons of AnarchyShout Out to the Guest Stars

Who hasn’t enjoyed watching Juice in prison as he cuddled up with Marilyn Manson with a book of Bronte sister love poems and a jar of petroleum jelly? We also got to see Courtney Love playing schoolteacher and Lea Michelle as a burnt out waitress. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to see all those musicians in a special musical episode.

The Loyalty of the Brothers and the Shattering Consequences

This season we have seen the brothers loyally support Jax through his quest for vengeance, they’ve followed orders without question. It’s something that Jax has acknowledged, (“Your loyalty and faith in me over the last few weeks, I can’t express my gratitude”) but who could have imagined the devastating result?

The consequences for the club have been shattering, Jax has an APB against him for assaulting Unser, has potentially started a charter war with the other chapters of the SOA by killing Jury, has stirred up any number of disputes between the various power brokers of Charming and been responsible for a number of deaths, most notably Bobby’s.

In the last episode, it was interesting to see Jax take responsibility for everything, once he revealed to the crew that it was Gemma who murdered Tara, and that it had been his mistake to think the murder was gang retaliation:

“That mistake is mine and mine alone. Everything that happened as a result of that mistake, every body that dropped, every relationship that was torched.. West, Jury, Bobby. Everything that jeopardized this club was my fault.”

* * *

So those were the highlights of Sons of Anarchy’s seventh season. It certainly has been quite a ride. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our SoA special where we take a look into our crystal balls and try to predict the ending for Jax and SAMCRO.

In the meantime, if you’re feeling a bit sad about your favorite MC show coming to an end, this Conan O’Brien tribute to Charlie Hannam’s naked back should cheer you up:

Jane Kriel, lover of chocolate and all things Sweet Valley High.

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Lege Artis
1. LegeArtis
Oh, I pretty much hatewatched this season up until last episode.. I was so frustrated by clusterfuck Gemma's lies caused and in last episode I was reminded why I stuck to this show. Great acting from Charlie and Theo in that prison scene...
6 seasons we watched Jax torn between being bad and trying to be better and despite it being to optimistic, I actually cheered for him,I wanted him to make it. But when Tara died and his revenge quest after it.. it just seemed less and less possible. -__-
In that line of hopeful thinking my possible ending:

Indian Hills and rest of charters vote and Jax is voted out. He loses his cuts, his back tat is tattooed over or burned or whatever they do (ugly crying) and he ends up as regular working joe, but he's with his kids.
He makes deal with DA about Gemma.
Juice dies...
It's bleak, but not TKO to my emotional state....

Here is to you, SAMCRO, it was a crazy ride....

Thank you for this, great post, Jane!

p.s. there will never be a man on TV who looks more beautiful than Charlie in crying scene. Seriously, the prettiest manly crying ever.
2. PhoebeChase
I'm with LegeArtis in that I hate-watched this season up until this episode. And even then it took the scene with Jax and Nero for me to feel any empathy toward Jax again. The high body count did a number on me. All I want is for Gemma to get what's coming to her.
3. Nic919
I also felt that this season was a big waste up until the last episode. All that killing happening with the rest of the guys blindly following Jax and his quest for revenge. Chibs and Bobby didn't question anything and really should have when Jax just takes out Jury for no real reason.

Most of of the Juice plot didn't make sense except to have him in jail to tell Jax the truth and not immediately get killed for it. (Although that was a great scene between the two of them)

And while I normally love Chibs, Althea is the worst sheriff ever and why the FBI hasn't come in to investigate all these gangs getting taken out is beyond reality. Chibs deserves a smarter girlfriend.

Tig didn't have much to do this year but the scenes with Venus are great and it shows the amazing ability of Kim Coates and Walton Goggins to pull this off with such sincerity. (Kudos to Sutter for writing this relationship too).

Gemma has been her usual crazy and confessing in front of a kid is just dumb but the scene with Nero and Gemma was really worth the nonsense of the earlier episodes. Jimmy Smits should submit that scene for Emmy consideration.

I expect there will be even more showcases for Katey Sagal's talent in the final two episodes and hopefully she can get nominated. The last few seasons haven't been that great but her work in the early seasons was spectacular.

I don't see how Jax or Gemma survive this. The show started off as Hamlet and both Jax and Gemma have exhibited too much hubris for the inevitable tragedy not to occur. And Abel will probably become a killer himself. He is already messed up and Wendy needs to take him out of that dangerous environment for him to have a chance. I don't see her having the strength to do that.
Betty Hogan
7. BellaKitty
I cried thru the whole episode, when Jax started killing people, I knew what was Coming I was just hoping I was wrong. The final 5 minutes of the episode I was a blubbering mess. I am going to miss my Tuesdays with the Sons.
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