Sons of Anarchy Review: It All Comes Around

at . Comments

On a tongue-biting, nail-facing, dog-fighting season finale of Sons of Anarchy, the main reaction from this viewer was not one of loud disgust... but rather stunned silence.

Clay is headed to jail. Tara is headed to jail. And Gemma has returned to where she thinks she belongs: alongside the man at the head of the SAMCRO table.

Indeed, "J'ai Obtenu Cette" (French translation: I got this.) concluded with an altered image from the one that ended Sons of Anarchy Season 4, as Gemma stood in the same spot Tara had occupied just one year earlier. A whole lot has gone down since - and with the exception of one rescued pit bull, is anyone in a better place now than they were then?

Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale Scene

Jax has gone against every word he writes in those journal entries.

He isn't the bigger man, he isn't taking the club in any new direction, he's no different than the traitor he replaced. Even Jax admitted as much to Bobby this week, just prior to Bobby resigning as VP.

It's been a fascinating, gradual decline of this character, who lost the moral high ground a long time ago. He tried to regain it to an extent here, setting up Clay to take the fall for killing Pope, but that was for purely selfish purposes - and it also required a few leaps in logic.

What if Pope had immediately killed Tig? What if Pope's men had actually searched Jax? What if Clay had never given Juice his gun? And, come on, I'm just a mechanic looking out for his family? Laying it on a bit thick there.

Many pieces, most of which were beyond Jax's control, had to fall exactly right for this plan to work. I don't exactly buy it, but I'll try to ignore those questionable storyline details. Focusing too much on plot can drive a fan crazy for any show, especially one where - for all its chases and bullets and gross-out scenes - really comes down to the characters and how they react to the craziness around them.

So, where do these characters stand heading into Season 6?

As previously mentioned, Clay has been arrested for murder. I don't feel an ounce of sympathy for him, but I do believe that he's a regret-filled, sorrowful shell of his former self. Note his reaction upon hearing the charges, upon learning that both Juice and Gemma turned on him: simple hurt and begrudging acceptance.

He didn't rage, he didn't scream or yell. He seemed resigned to his fate. Of course someone like him wouldn't have a loyal best friend or actually get the girl. He knows that can't be how his story ends.

Tara is in handcuffs. And she was oh so close to getting away! This was a tough one to take. With the babies crying in the background, with Tara having just delivered a winning speech about her role of being strong in Jax's weaker areas, with her quick turn from sullen to stoic... just great stuff all around, from the acting to the unexpected cliffhanger itself.

Gemma is back in charge. This is a woman who has always done what she can to survive, but has she lost any and all sympathy? Turning in the mother of her grandchildren is downright evil. Forget Jax or Nero getting out of the life... what about Gemma? She had her chance here. Her rotten husband was gone, she had a good man by her side, song birds in a cage. And yet that still wasn't enough. She still had the need to be in such control that she took the drastic step of sending Tara to the slammer.

Don't chirp for her, Carl or Carla. She doesn't deserve it.

Juice is off the hook. When it comes to Jax, at least. But it seems impossible to believe that guilt won't continue to eat away at this SAMCRO member, the most innocent and wide-eyed of the bunch. From Roosevelt playing him to Clay jerking him around, poor Juice never knows who to trust or what to do.

Tig has revenge. And a new furry friends! Who would have guessed that the biker whose daughter was recently burned alive would actually find the most salvation by season's end? Tig is a nut job, but what a great character.

Bobby has given himself a demotion. Still the most calm and collected of the group, it's hard to blame him for his reaction to Jax's underhanded machinations. But is a demotion really the right move? You can't affect change from the bottom.

And finally there's Jax, of course. Will Tara's arrest be a wake-up call? Opie's death sent this President spiraling down a dark path, erasing his mission to exit Charming, live a clean life and make his father proud. What even remains of his club? Of his actual family? Both are more divided than ever.

That's where we leave things heading into Season 6. I hope we see more of Nero next year. I'm intrigued by Donal Logue's U.S. Marshal. And, grrrr, I really hate Gemma right about now.

What did everyone else think? Sound off below and give Sons of Anarchy Season 5 a grade:


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (163 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


I'm to the point where I hope this revenge driven US Marshall unleashes holy hell on the club. Jax's turn is disgusting, what he did to Wendy is unforgivable. I doubt Tara will be locked up for long, I cant really think the supposed reliable testimony of Gemma will hold up. I wouldnt mind seeing Wendy and Tara teaming up and taking out Gemma. Decent season, not as good as last year. Lets hope the last 2 really ramp it up and give a satisfying conclusion to the series.


Guess it is lonely on this side, but I want to see Clay exonerated....well, at least to the point where the club can see that it was Jemma who put much of this drama into motion. First, in the beginning, by having Clay kill JT, then, in the present, by telling Clay about the documents. I recall him promising that her involvement would never be revealed, right before he killed Piney. So, bottom line, even big tough guys can be suckers for a woman that they love. Jemma has betrayed both Clay & Tara, and now seems to want Tara's place behind Jax (loved the final scene). Kind of a sick family dynasty, Jemma, Jax and his kids. Everyone else is just a means to an end. (Am I still seeing some of Peg Bundy in her?)


I hope when the show ends it has a good ending not so much sadness..
Great year but I believe ever show should have one strong stead fast person.
That should have been Tara and Jax the love they had for each other..
Something everyone can hang on to.. Its old Tara keeps going back to I am leaving.!!!. You know now Tara will tell Jax Gemma turned her in and about the letters that Jax mother also help kill jax father..Not to many soa's left who will sit at the table? I really wished for a better ending..Or different...


Loved the bit about the dogs! It gave the last episode at least a little bit of humanity. Otto biting his tongue out was one of the grossest things I've ever seen on television. Blergh. It's weird that I only realize this now after five seasons but... this show ain't for the tender-hearted...! Well, I don't know what to say. I never thought we'd see Tara in the back of a police car. But I kinda like the idea. That should add to an interesting dynamic in season 6. Geesh. This show is so thought-through. It's like you can't watch single seasons, you have to watch them all together in order to even understand what the series is about. It'll be a long nine months until season six.


First - I agree with Senorav. The dog scene - too, too much. Second - fantastic acting and all kudos to Tigg this episode. Really nailed it in every single scene.


To answer the reviewer's questions: If Pope had immediately killed Tig, it would've changed nothing (Tig would be dead and everything would still fall on Clay); if Pope's men searched Jax, I don't think it would've been an issue becuz the gun was in his bike; and if he didn't have Clay's gun, it wouldn't have been an issue becuz it was the fingerprints on the gun that led to Clay's arrest. I don't quite understand why Tara didn't immediately tell Jax that Gemma was the one who called the cops. It would be unrealistic for Jax to not find out by the 1st episode of next season, so what happens then? Will Gemma run away with Nero and the kids? That seems unrealistic. Will Gemma blackmail Jax into withdrawing her testimony? Jax will learn the truth quickly, so I don't understand how Gemma expects to remain in her position for more than a few days.


Loved the finale.....Otto chopping off his tongue for the sons, really, what a diehard for SAMCRO. Clay is getting half of what he deserves and I hope that next season will be the other half of his payback! Jax finally getting revenge on Pope for having Opie killed was brilliant, I really thought Tigg was a goner! Gemma should have gone on to Belfast and stayed out of Jax/Tara''s know next season she'll be tearing apart Jax's house for the journals he's written to his sons. Love that they have left Nero in, he's a great addition to SOA. Only 8 months til next season....damnit! Okay Mr. Sutter, I know you've increased the episodes but you should add more next season....just can't get enough!




I said in a post after Opie's last episode that the Pope arc need to end with him on his knees as his empire crumbled. Well, I got half of it. I figured that Jax was playing a long con with Pope and tonight that played out. I think that I may be in the minority here, but framing Clay for Pope's murder is more satisfying then just killing him. Especially considering that Pope's mercs will be after him. I am a big fan of happy endings so I hope that Tara's arrest will wake Jax up to what he is becoming, but I get the feeling that it's not going to happen. Her headed to jail will make for some serious drama next year and I'm looking forward to it. On an unrelated note, there was not enough of Emilio Rivera this season. There is a sinister honesty to Marcus �lvarez that I have missed this season.


Jemme will get hers...She must have forgotten about the missing pages from JT's diary.The ones saying she played a part in his death too.The ones Tara took out...Hmmm I wonder what part that will play next season...Jemma just keeps digging a deeper hole.Clay is history...Season 6 is has a great setup.

Tags: ,