Sons of Anarchy season finale recap: A Mother's Work

A violent, epic conclusion comes when karma bites back
Ep. 13 | Aired Dec 10, 2013

REMEMBER THIS This shot, of Jax (Charlie Hunnam) handing the gavel over to Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) so he and Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) could keep SAMCRO alive after Jax turned himself in, will now be remembered as "happier times." 

Prashant Gupta/FX

After Eli confirmed to the DA and ATF agent that Tara never came home, the DA assumed she was too smart to run. Would Jax really kill her if he found out she was considering a deal? The DA wanted to find out. At the clubhouse, we saw Happy playing with the white pitbull Tig have saved at the dogfights last season. (Was that supposed to give us hope again?) Brooke Putner, the daughter of the woman killed in the pile-up that resulted after Jax's dad's death, was at the clubhouse working off the damage to the facade. Gemma sent her with Chucky to get food (and to meet Brooke's friend with the unfortunate nickname Kneepads Nina) so she could speak to Juice alone.

The idea of Jax allowing someone to "work off the damage" is sweet in Brooke's case, and bad in Juice's, which Gemma knew. He told her he didn't want to die, he just doesn't know how to live in the situation he's in. She said she wouldn't tell Jax about the overdose because he had enough on his plate. Juice told her he might have overshared on a few things with Nero, but Gemma assured Juice he hadn't. (Of course, she wasn't there when Juice told Nero about Jax ordering him to kill Darvany, and Nero hadn't mentioned it yet because he'd seen Jax destroyed after learning Tara took the boys.) Gemma told Juice he had to decide what he wants: "Vulnerability is a liability. No place for it in this life. Trust me. I know."

Jax showed up at the clubhouse just before the DA and Eli did. Jax asked Gemma to tell Nero that he'd meet him at Diosa, and she gave the DA a lovely greeting on her way out: "Suck my white crack." The DA wanted to speak with Jax alone, and the conversation that followed became CCH Pounder's new best scene on the show. She asked Jax if he knew where Tara was. He said she took the boys on a little retreat. The DA said Tara missed their meeting, and she was hoping to find out if they'd be rescheduling. The DA sat down and asked Jax if he ever struggled with his need to be a good man. She guessed he struggles with it every day: What he is crashing with who he is. She said she knows how much Jax loves Tara and how much Tara loves him. Betrayal is a feeling that can only be matched by the maternal instinct of a mother to protect her young, she said. Jax wanted her to cut to the chase: "Whatever decisions happen here today, the outcome lands on you," she told Jax. "Are you willing to let your family pay the price for your mistakes? Is that what a good man would do? Because if that happens, I promise you, son, it's gonna destroy you and everything else you love. That's not the law in me talking, that's a flawed mother who made a lot of mistakes. You're a husband and a father and a man before all of this," she continued, motioning to his cut. "Own your place." Charlie Hunnam is so great when it comes to those misty eyes -- the moisture lets you know he hears what's she saying but not what he's going to do with it.

Jax went upstairs and reported to the club that the DA didn't know where Tara was either. She hadn't ratted but she was supposed to have a meet. They had to find her first… to convince her not to rat. (You can say it, Tiggy.) Juice asked what happens if they can't convince her. "Then we do what we have to do," Jax said. I gasped, thinking he meant they'd kill her. But in retrospect, I think he'd known from the opening graveyard scene that his Plan B was turning himself in. Perhaps inspired by Nero making that call earlier in the season. For now, they just had to find her. Jax knew she wouldn't run with the boys and would stay close for Abel's doctors. Juice suggested they look into the hospital administrator (guess they don't know she's on vacation). Jax wanted them to sit on Tara's new lawyer to see if she contacted him. And Tig thought Barosky could ask the cops in his pocket to keep an eye out. Because Jax hadn't been feeling enough terror that day, Marcus Alvarez showed up to see him…

NEXT: 'Problems in Taco Nation?'

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