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

Oh god, I almost puked when I saw the frightened look on Tara's face in the park when Abel yelled, "Daddy!" and ran to him. Jax was there with Bobby, Juice, and Happy. That was scary. Jax took Thomas out of Tara's arms, and that was so beautifully acted: Struggling would have scared Thomas, but she didn't want to give him up. Jax told Tara to sit down and handed Thomas off to Juice. Jax sat down, and Tara asked him what he's going to do. He said he needed to talk to her. "I know you think you need to do this, but I can't let you. You know that," Jax said. "Please don't… hurt me in front of the kids," she said. Jax didn't want that. Tara said there was no other ending. God, this scene was good. Again, if Maggie Siff doesn't get an Emmy nomination, finally, I will throw my laptop through my TV.

With tears running down her face, but still speaking clearly, she said she's sacrificed everything for Jax and tried to see things the way Jax does but she can't. All she sees are the lies and violence and how they've changed him into a monster. "I'll go if I have to, at least I know I tried to save them from becoming what you are," she said. Again, she wasn't saying any of this out of spite; it was just the truth. He said he never forced his life on her and she came back to him, remember. She is a part of what he is. (True: Killing Agent Kohn in season 1 for her was when Jax started justifying kills, too. And he told her repeatedly she should leave, but she wanted to stay.) "That was my mistake," Tara said, "thinking our love, our bond, was stronger than the pull of your history, but it's not." That's also true: Jax promised he was going to pull the boys out of this and break the cycle. She feels the pain he wakes up with every day, she said, and now he's condemning his sons to the same torture. "They will suffer with this," she said, crying harder. "Can you let me say goodbye to them before you take me?" He grabbed her arm: "I'm not going to hurt you," he said. "I'm not going to hurt them… You don't have to run. Not anymore."  What is she supposed to do? "Just be a good mother," Jax said. "Save our boys." I believed Jax. If he was lying to her, I thought, I would never like him again. UPDATE: I'm sure I'll be thinking of things for the next week that I could add to this recap, but I do think it's worth noting that this scene makes you appreciate the Venus Van Dam episode this season: Hearing those things Tara said to Jax, like Alice had spoken to Venus, Jax could have killed her if that conversation had started earlier in the season. And by the way, that was probably the longest conversation Tara and Jax had all season. That's crazy when you think about it -- how slowly they opened back up to each other. How real it felt when they got there.

Over at Diosa, Gemma and Nero got into a fight because he didn't want to talk with her about his complicated day. Their communication, the best part of their relationship, is gone. He asked her if she'd leave with him right then and there. Leave Stockton and Charming, Jax, and the club behind. She couldn't make that choice. Nero said he had to. I gasped again. "What are you sayin'? Jesus Christ, are you dumping me?" she said, almost seeming to stumble. Then she recovered. "Son of a b---." Nero tried to stop her from opening the door but she snapped, "Get off of me, a--hole." She stormed out. (If Nero had been with her, he never would  have let her kill Tara.)

NEXT: 'I love you'

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