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Sons of Anarchy Review: Karma Kicks Back

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I'm still trying to process everything that occurred on the Sons of Anarchy Season 6 finale. But I can honestly say that the show did something tonight that it's never done before:

It made me cry. 

Tara on Her Own

It also made me cover my eyes, yell and beg but all of those responses the series has managed to elicit in earlier episodes. But the tears were new.

If Jax teller lived in a world of self hate going into Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Episode 13, I can only imagine the depths of despair and self loathing he'll reach heading into season 7. Because after he'd sworn never to abandon his sons, he may be about to leave them very much alone.

All along Jax's struggle to do what's right has led him to some dark places and here he received advice on Karma from both Nero and Patterson.

Nero was furious that Jax had lied to him but also pointed out that when Karma comes around It makes you pay. Nero was reminded of the decisions he's made every time he watches his boy suffer. And that mythical farm he's been dreaming of was calling him now louder than ever.

Patterson took the time to encourage Jax to be the husband, father and man he truly wants to be. And Jax actually listened.

My heart was racing when SAMCRO found Tara and the boys in that park. She didn't even try to run or fight. She knew it could only make things worse. Her conversation with Jax at that park bench was one of the best of the series. 

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.

Tara

Tara was certain her life was over but her first concern was still for her boys as she begged Jax in this Sons of Anarchy quote

Tara: Please don't hurt me in front of the kids.
Jax: That not what I want.
Tara: But that's all there is.

She was wrong. Jax had another plan: To be a man. He turned himself in for supplying the guns that were used in the school shooting. He protected Tara, his boys and his club. 

At great personal sacrifice Jax Teller did the right thing. And then it all went wrong. 

As I watched it play out I found myself begging that the story wouldn't go there but the moment Unser told Gemma that Jax was getting arrested and he thought Tara had made a deal... I knew it was over. Still, I begged the TV gods to show me something different.

The TV gods are cruel.

Juice was the other wild card. Just as Gemma didn't know the whole story concerning Tara, Jax never knew that Juice's confession to Nero only happened because he OD'd. Would that information have made a difference? We may never know. 

When Gemma and Tara finally came face to face, Gemma looked shocked to see her…and then she snapped. Tara saw it. There was a moment there where Gemma slipped into a blind rage. Gemma believed that Tara had destroyed everything she'd ever cared about and she was literally out of her mind. 

That Gemma would try to kill Tara wasn't a surprise but bludgeoning her to death with a carving fork in her own sink full of dirty dish water that Gemma had left just hours before…the viciousness of it made me nauseous. 

Then Juice shot Sheriff Roosevelt to save Gemma. Watching Juice destroy the evidence of the crime made my head spin. 

For most of the last minutes of the show, I found myself worrying about Thomas and Abel. Tara was the one person who could have saved them from this life. I'd always related to her fierce need to protect her children at all costs. As she lie in a bloody heap on her kitchen floor all I could think about was how it was all for nothing. 

Jax and Tara both made difficult decisions with the ultimate goal of making sure their boys would have a life without mayhem. With Tara dead and Jax possibly off to prison, those kids are stuck with crazy Gemma and junkie Wendy. Needless to say their future looks bleak.

As Jax took that final ride to his home you could tell he was at peace…and then he stepped into hell. 

I couldn't help the tears as he cradled Tara in his arms. It was heartbreaking to watch his agony. She was his one true love. She and the boys were the best of him. If losing Opie sent Jax to a dark place, I don't want to know where he's headed after this. 

And that's just it. I have no idea where season 7 will pick up. Is Jax off to prison or can he walk away from this deal? How will he raise those boys without their mother? Does Patterson think Jax killed Tara? And what is up with the strange woman in the alley?  It's going to be a really long year waiting for Sons of Anarchy Season 7 to find out what comes next.

Check out this interview with Kurt Sutter, Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff for insight into the finale and where things could pick up in Season 7.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (153 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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This whole season has been a disappointment. Sutter has spent far too much time on Gemma and not enough time on club dealings. I mean I know he wrote the series for her but come on, when all is said and done she's just an old lady...And she wasn't even that once Clay was deposed. And if you weren't sure then, certainly when Clay was killed. There are many times when her character could have (should have) been killed off but fine, if you're not going to do that, can you at least keep her character in...well, character! The star of the show is Jax and the club not annoying Gemma. If I hear her say one more time, "protect" and "family" in the same sentence five times an episode, I'm gonna shoot myself. Somebody should have told me that this season I'd actually be watching a some family melodrama.

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This was a terrible episode... I had guessed what was going to happen but I was horrified all the same. What disturbs me the most is that it's not club business that ruins Jax's (and his sons) life but the crazy controlling bitch he has as a mother... I find it incredible how easy Jax forgets all the sorrow she has put him through. She is responsible for a lot and I mean a lot of shit... Anyway, what I hope is that Jax finds out the truth and that Gemma is not going to get away with it... but this is definitely not a perfect world...

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Gemma should have died along time ago, the minute jax found out that his father was actually murdered, Bam next episode Gemma should have been shot in the face, but i guess it helps when you are married to the creator of the show, next!!!!

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It is a good show but I dont think it is great he always writes the same and ends it with Death Hate always I kind of expected this and it wasnt a shock more predictable - its just death this time doesnt make Jaxs character better in this underworld it doesnt play quite like this I never expected a happy ending but I always knew Jax would never kill his wife and that his wife would never rat especially after she pulled the hooker from jax she loved him but loved the boys more made the best decision she could with her resources and thinking it doesnt make sense that Gemma got to kill her its just going to come to unser last man standing as he was the first man standing at the beginning even the real gangs dont perpetuate this much death in this way life dont play that easy for the evil kind she was smarter than Gemma and she was a survivor I'm sorry but I hate bad writing in this show it will death killing and blood that prevails in the end this is no award winning emmy show

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@ Bex

Agreed, how can anyone call this good writing when all he is doing is putting a modern twist on Hamlet. Not original, not creative. And it's apparent when he has to make a turn that isn't in Hamlet. It becomes sloppy and unimaginative. Emmys aren't handed out to shows that are just recreations. It was fun for the first 4-5 seasons. Now it has become ego masturbation for Sutter and Sagal. Although I think Katie has been brilliant in her acting, as well as Smits, most everyone else is average at best, with the majority of supporting short term actors being awful. They may get a Peoples Choice award if they're lucky as they have quite a legion of rabid fans. But, awards from the industry, never. It's just not that good or creative. SHOCK, does NOT make a show creative. Lots of people watched Jackass for the shock, it certainly wasn't an award winning show.

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@ Bex

"I'm sorry but I hate bad writing in this show it will death killing and blood that prevails in the end this is no award winning emmy show" I'm sorry, but a violent character death - even one that the audience sees coming - isn't necessarily an indication of bad writing. The utter absence of punctuation or proper grammar, however ...

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@ blueringedcephalopodofchaos

I'm sorry but "Bex" has a point here this didn't end well and I think looking over these pages a lot of folks seem uneasy with the turn of events. I think its properly best to say the characters start to evolve then they kind of don't and it just gets really messy.....I mean are we going to see Jax kill his own mother now is that what you want? Everyone else is dead so why not

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@ blueringedcephalopodofchaos

it is when everyone is dead

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Good season finale, it will mark a turning point in jax.
I do not know why everyone is so surprised with the death of tara
is something that was expected since she decided to stay with jax, at the end of season 4 As for gemma, after this I only see three possible endings for her character
1) commits suicide
3) ends up in jail for the murder of tara
2) left alive but totally alone, banished from SAMCRO without nero and unser. I think this would be his worst punishment great performance of charlie hunnam , really goood at the end very heartbreaking :(

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I had to take a moment after watching this episode... The minute I realized that Tara was not coming back ( Yes I thought she wasn't dead, up until Roosevelt asked Gemma what the she had done), I cried. When Jax walked into the room, I started crying again. WHY did they have to kill Tara ! The children, she was finally going to save them ! Now they have nobody ! This doesn't make sense ! And then Juice kills Roosevelt AND gets rid of the evidence ( I don't understand why he is still alive though. I definitely thought he was going to die ) ! So what now, Gemma is going to go free and Jax is going to take the blame ! He finally made peace with Tara, the love of his life ! That is just plain wrong ! Unser gotta go ! Why did he have to talk ! Patterson giving advice to Jax was very interesting. Same goes for Nero and Karma. Jax got to be a husband, a father and a man. Just to have it all taken away from him.
Nero breaking up with Gemma wasn't such a bad idea. But I wanted him to get out. Though it looks like he chose his side... Also, again, Jax managed to get the gun business sorted, and wait for it, the Mayans showed up and screwed EVERYTHING ! WTF !!!
Honestly, at this point it makes sense that season 7 is the last. Jax will be destroyed, there is no coming back from that. I wonder where the season's premiere is going to pick up...

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Aye, The Troubles in Charming.
Tuesday Bloody Tuesday The prosecutor's case has fallen apart - with Tara gone there's nothing to hold over Jax's head, plus he will be out for blood - his momma's. This will only lead to the prosecutor going after the whole club in an 'I don't lose this game' one-upmanship rage. Especially since her local right hand yes-man, er, sheriff is gone? Nero is lost to the club as well; definitely once he finds out about Tara's death (unless Gemma hangs it on him and Jax kills him first). Finally, Juice thinks he's proven his loyalty and bought back his life by killing Roosevelt, but he's only made things worse - he pulled the trigger on the wrong person. I almost feel sorry for him.

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I am really surprised that people actually thought they were all about to live happily ever after. This wasn't the series finale, that happily ever after would have left no where for the show to go past this season. It was no shock to me that Tara died because I never expected her to make it to the end of the show. Yes she was Jax's last moral compass but at this point Jax needs to be his own moral compass if he wants him and the boys to be free from the vicious side of this life. Also did no one notice the build up of the Mayan/Chinese vs Marks vs SOA storyline? How else would that story line have been allowed to play out if Jax went to jail, for at least 7 years. A time jump would have made every story line from this season pointless. And to those who are upset that Jemma got away with it, really guys? Come on do you really think Jemma is ever going to get away with it. Yes for the time being she will, but Jax will find out and Jemma will probably be his final kill. I am just curious about how Jax is going to get out of that deal he made and how long they are going to hold him for Roosevealt's and Tara's deaths before they realize there was no way that he could have been the one to do it. I am worried that Uncer is going to end up getting it pinned on him because it was his truck, with his company's name on the side, and one of the neighbors may have seen it leaving the house. I have no doubt that Uncer would definitely take the fall for Jemma, at least with the cops, and I don't even know if he would go to jail for it because of the fact that he is terminal but I really don't want his reputation tarnished like that. BTW did anyone know what Uncer and Jemma were talking about in the beginning of the episode when he came to get Wendy. Jemma said "Did she go?" or something like that and he said yeah and she asked if anyone else was there and he said something about just him and the con's burying her? I may have been hearing wrong but I was just confused.

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@ kandi1212

She was talking about Clay's burial. They showed a quick clip of it at the very beginning and Unser was the only one there.

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@ DianaB

Thank you! I missed that part and I couldn't really hear the scene between them that good so I got so confused.

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I REALLY LIKE this show hell,....ILOVE IT the drama and the intensity of it just makes it so Great! The way Tara died was a shock yes. This how shakesphere operates it ENDS IN TRAGEDY! I like the comments all of you are putting we all have our opinions and thougths about the FINALE. But for the people who say ''they're done watching''. You WOULD watch cuz you want to see Jax KILL Gemma getting JUSTICE for both JT and Tara. Plus i also agree w/ @Jan about Juice killing Roosevelt. It is ALL Roosevelt's FAULT that Juice is in a real bad situtaion w/The MC being the ''RAT''. But it's also Juice's fault for NOT telling Chibs the WHOLE TRUTH besides his father's identiy clearly lying to his face and also NOT coming clean to Jax about the RICO CASE reagarding the Irish cartel. Overall I thought the fianle was Awesome, Intense and Heartbreaking. Everybody's perfomorence was BRILLIANT!! Bring on Season 7 Kurt Sutter you Mad Genius!

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@ Jax&Juice's Girl

The reason I MIGHT stop watching is because this is the first time that I really felt that Sutter made a decision solely based on shocking his audience. I don't think it was good writing and I don't think it made sense. There is something said for doing the unthinkable and unpredicatable, but I really feel like this was just to be different, and to get people to drop their jaw...and I think that is a huge, huge mistake that in my opinion is going to ruin the rest of the show.

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@ Jeff

Agreed

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@ Jeff

How could you not see this coming down the pipe? It was the utter inevitability of Tara's fate - her increasingly desperate actions and behavior throughout this season, all the foreshadowing - that made it so painful to watch as the wheels of tragedy were set in motion. Kurt Sutter certainly does go for shock at times - think of Tig's daughter, heck even Opie's death was a little sudden when it actually happened (though that character's drive toward self-preservation has long since eroded) ... but this? This was not shock. This was a very ugly and terrible chicken coming home to roost. Kurt Sutter did good.

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@ Jeff

I agree I dont think it was good writing either Im all for shocks and the unknown but it seems he always goes with death and that doesnt always work jaxs character died when opie died but even the worst life doesnt go down quite this way it goes down but not like this

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I am still processing what took place last nite...and probably will be thru the beginning of the year. WOW! I have watched this show from the very first Tuesday all the way thru to now and understood that at the core of this show was the violence, the dirty underbelly of this life, but I also knew underneath it all was the bond between Jax & Tara. That bond held them together thru everything, good or bad, and I just knew going into this show that she would not run and the love they had would bring them back together.