Published on December 5th, 2012 | by Bags Hooper7
Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale: The failings of Jax Teller
“It wasn’t about being smart enough to hurt him. It was about being smart enough not to hurt him. You had a chance to be different.” – Bobby
Throughout five seasons of Anarchy, Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) has tried to become the man his father wasn’t. As the wedge began to form between Jax and his stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), Jax decided it was time to leave the club and go nomad in Sons of Anarchy Season 2. He removed his patch and bid his brothers farewell. Then, he learned that Zobelle (Adam Arkin) had his mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal), raped. The reprehensible news drove Jax deeper into the club. He temporarily squashed his beef with Clay and sewed his patch back on. Then, over the course of the next three seasons, he tragically trod down the path of his fathers’ sins (JT and Clay).
At the end of the SOA Season 5 Finale, Jax was framed with Gemma standing over him. It was a familiar shot. We first saw it in Gemma’s picture of her standing over JT at the table. Then, we saw the photo echoed at the close of Season 4, when Tara (Maggie Siff) stood over Jax at the table – while Gemma watched her crown be taken from the periphery. This time, however, was different. This time, Jax and Gemma stood alone – apart from the club they loved. Eli had arrested Tara under suspicion of conspiracy to kill.
EDITOR’S PICK: Fate of the monarchy in the Sons of Anarchy Finale
Was Gemma the cause of Tara’s arrest as part of some twisted Oedipus complex? We can’t be sure – yet.
The happy home Jax always wanted for his family had been destroyed, and he was to blame.
Where did Jax go wrong? Let’s backtrack a moment.
In Season 4, Jax learned that Clay was behind JT and Piney’s deaths. Thanks to RICO, he didn’t kill Clay nor did he allow Opie to get revenge for Piney’s murder. In “Laying Pipe,” Jax said to Opie, “I miss your old man.” The shades of grey were getting broader. Opie was killed and Jax lost track of his moral compass.
Jax negotiated a deal with Pope (Harold Perrineau), which involved delivering Tig (Kim Coates) into Pope’s custody at the right time.
He tried to get the RICO case crushed by sending Tara into Otto’s (Kurt Sutter) prison so that she could negotiate a deal with SAMCRO’s prison rat. Tara, taking on the role of the loyal old lady, did just that. But things went south when she gave Otto a cross, he later used to kill a nurse. The nurse just happened to be the sister of Toric (Donal Logue), an ousted US Marshall.
EDITOR’S PICK: Kurt Sutter waves a bloody goodbye to Otto
When Gemma crashed her SUV with her grandchildren inside, Abel was sent to the hospital. Jax then made his mother sleep with Clay – the enemy who had at one time beat her – so that she could earn the right to be back in his family.
Jax kept Juice away from the Reaper and the judgment of the table, by having Juice turn on Clay. Juice gave Jax Clay’s gun. It would later be used to frame Clay.
We all knew that Jax wouldn’t simply turn Tig over to Pope. Jax may have fallen from grace, but Pope was the man who gave the order that would inevitably lead to Opie’s death. Pope had to die. But first, Jax had to make it look as though he was turning Tig over to the enemy. Surprisingly, Jax pulled it off. While Pope went into the warehouse with Tig, Jax shot Pope’s man on the outside. Then he shot Pope’s other men with Clay’s gun, before turning over the gun to Tig to finish off Pope.
And thus ended Perrineau stint on Sons of Anarchy. His character may have been a driving force throughout the season, but his scenes were somewhat bland. He hardly had the lasting impact of Zobelle.
As for Jax, his conspiracy is known throughout the club. Bobby cut off his VP patch. Sound familiar? It should. At one point, Jax cut off his VP patch; he couldn’t get down with Clay’s actions that spiraled out of Donna’s death and the president’s plot to kill Opie. As much as Jax has tried to steer the club away from Clay’s direction, the new president has actually pushed the club further into a grotto of decay.
Sons of Anarchy Season 6 is just over the horizon. Clay is finally in jail, purportedly for good. The new leader of Pope’s team, August (Billy Brown), has put a hit out on the former SAMCRO lead. So Clay may not make it prison. A part of me feels sorry for Clay. Despite all of his sins, his final judgment came through a cascade of betrayal by those he trusted most – Gemma, Tig and Juice. Gemma lied to Clay’s arresting officer, Eli, right in front of her estranged husband. He was so shocked, he didn’t even offer up a fight. Perhaps Clay’s fate is justly deserved. But that judgment came out of a Jax gone rogue. What does the table mean if there is no honor?
The fractured club now faces opposition from all sides – and it’s all thanks to Jax Teller.
– Jax killed off a cousin of one of the Grim Bastards – destroying a 20-year alliance.
– Jax killed Pope by proxy of Tig.
– Jax has signed the death warrant for Clay.
– Jax’s deal with Romeo and the Irish earned him an enemy in the Irish.
– Jax’s old lady is facing a long prison sentence because she wanted to help Jax.
Jax is the new Clay Morrow and that doesn’t bode well for SAMCRO.