Warning: Spoilers ahead for last night’s Sons of Anarchy episode.
Oh my word; I haven’t been this frustrated with a series’ final season since…well, you know that other one.
Yes, we all saw Gemma’s death coming a mile off, but what kind of senseless hot, mess was that? Pointless killing after pointless killing; so much killing that in the end it became utterly meaningless. For Jax to go from the man he so desperately wanted to be (last season), to the heavy-handed, emotionless death machine he has become — Tara’s death just isn’t motivation enough. It’s not enough for Jax, and it’s not enough for the rest of the club. Similar to when The Walking Dead’s Rick went off the rails, why would the guys just keep on following Jax’s nonsensical plans and orders? Chibs says he can’t keep on keeping on, and yet in one of the final scenes, there he is mowing down a room beside his bruthas. But back to Gemma; I know Sagal wants and has to support her man, but her comments to Vulture are still a bit hard for me to swallow:
On shooting the final scenes with Charlie Hunnam:
“Extremely emotional. The scene where we’re in the living room, before we go out to the garden, was written to be very conversational. Gemma’s not surprised by her son being there. She’s in a very reminiscent and relieved place, that the secret is out. It was written not to have a lot of histrionics, which made it even more intimate. It almost makes me cry talking about it. It was very sweet—those last moments before Charlie and I walked out to the garden, we were just crying and hugging each other, and then we’d roll. And I’d walk and he’d follow me. Then we’d do it again. It wasn’t only Jax and Gemma’s farewell, it was Katey and Charlie’s farewell after working together for seven years.”
She’s talking about Charlie — not Jax — but no matter how relieved Gemma is that her secret is out, I don’t see Gemma ever just giving up like that. She had too much to live for. Likewise, Sutter writing Gemma’s line “This is who we are,” (as if we need to be told) doesn’t make it true. Clearly Jax would have a huge problem killing his mother; that moment rang true for the character, and that made sense. But Gemma talking him into raising the gun again, and shooting her? To what end? Only the one in Sutter’s head. At one time, it may have been plausible for Jax, in a moment of pure rage, to go after Gemma. The way it played out was ill-conceived and hollow, made even more so by the final moments when Jax went home, plopped on the couch and sought solace with Wendy. Oh and by the by, Mr. Sutter, that final scene may have been your most vulgar moment yet. Focusing not on anything a son who just killed his mother might be feeling, rather on Hunnam’s gyrating ass (in yet another gratuitous porny moment) was beyond tasteless.
There are some good points in Sagal’s Q & A; the actress notes that Gemma thought she could get away with killing Tara because she needed to “stick around for her grandkids,” and that’s the Gemma we know would have fought for her life — begged Jax to let her go away with Nero … something. The complete loss of Gemma’s motivation, especially when she’s clearly in love, is incomprehensible. And angry Jax is one thing, but Jax the father and Jax the son, that Jax would at some point have seen past his nose for a second to see what he needs for his sons, for his family. That guy wouldn’t have killed Wayne, for no fucking reason at all. There’s nowhere for Jax to go now, no one for him to be. In that garden, I was waiting for him to put the gun to his own head, which might have been the one thing to make this tragedy ring true. Instead, Sons of Anarchy will be back next week for another bloated episode. Presumably, Sutter will try to make us feel something for Jax after what he “had to do,” but like Jax, I’m not sure we can feel anything at all.