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Published on December 5th, 2012 | by Bags Hooper


Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale: The failings of Jax Teller

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Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Episode 13

“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.

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  • Payetteforward

    Well it all looks so horrible for Jax doesn’t it?But……..look at things from a difference perspective if Clay had not been so bent on keeping the gavel and all that came with it, at the expense of everyone and everything that got in his way things would have been so different. So how has everyone forgotten about all the things Clay has done and said to get what he wanted selfishly for himself and for his benefit only? All of Clay’s lies led to the sequence of events that wove the web of betrayal,murder and contempt. All he did was move all the puppets around to get the desired outcome he wanted and so many times when things didn’t go as planned he improvised and put the blame on someone else and so on and so forth. It was Clay that put the idea’s into peoples mind because he is a mass manipulator and sorry to say but so many of the players were of simple mind and easily manipulated. It was Clay that set the seed about Pope and that led Tig (a very emotional Tig) to take matters into his own hands and kill Pope’s daughter. If there had been more focus on accountability as to why that happened and who created that kettle of fish perhaps there could have been forgiveness on Pope’s behalf to see who regardless of who was actually driving the car but who set him up to it in the first place? So yes Jax seems to for now be on a quest that none of us can understand and yes many bodies have fallen but what did you expect this is of course a fight in a war that no one wants to be at the head of because ultimately there is no winner lives are lost and people are hurt and no one is ever happy. There is always those that say they can do better but given the chance can they walk the talk or do they just talk the talk? I think Jax has done a great job and sometimes people appear to go off the beaten track. Keep in mind his journals and all his writting do you think he really wants this kind of life for his children? At the end of the day Jax will find some middle ground and bring some peace to Charming and start a new life with his family in another town. Much more drama to come in that journey lies ahead I’m sure and Clay once his purpose has been served on the show will meet his final performance.
    Life isn’t always coming up Roses ya know you gotta have some Tulips and Daisy’s and lets not forget we all have a choice so deal and live with the consequences buttercup.

    Officer Payetteforward

  • Budz

    Nah, none of this is Jax’s fault as you seem to assume, MOST OF THIS is from Clay’s and his right hand man’s (Tig) doing. Jax is cleaning up what he was LEFT WITH. Very easy to say Jax is the new Clay when he isn’t. This is Jax cleaning up Clay’s mess, and even at that, Jax doesn’t murder brothers, look at Tig, he saved him he could’ve easily killed him but he didn’t, same with Juice, Clay would’ve killed Juice if he was Prez, Jax DIDN’T. It’s the simple facts of what Clay would’ve done as he has done in the past, compared to what Jax has done. There is no comparison between Jax, and Clay, NONE AT ALL. Yes his family is being torn apart but that’s due to Tara’s fault. She should’ve just been honest about Otto in the first place, but she wasn’t instead she forced it to make Jax proud, and in the end she regretted it, and now Jax is stuck with her mess, WAS NOT JAX’S FAULT. Pope, Irish, and the Cartel was all Clay’s fault not Jax’s. Secondly, he wouldn’t have killed the Grim Bastard’s cousin, that’s Tig’s fault that was Clay’s fault for lying. You tend to forget what has happened before Jax took over, you spit words like this is all Jax’s fault when it isn’t. Tara’s arresting was only her fault for being so hard headed, and allow Otto to do as he pleased with her power. Most importantly, it seems as it’s ok for Clay to kill brothers left, and right, it’s ok for him to completely wipe out the First 9, it’s ok for him to kill SAMCRO WOMEN, but yet Jax who DOESN’T, wants to off the very same man who killed HALF THE CLUB, and it’s all wrong? NO I’m sorry it’s not, I’m glad Jax did what he did with Clay’s gun, Clay deserves to be killed for everything he has done, any fool would feel sorry for Clay, and resentment toward Jax, Jax is the one keeping this club together, not pulling it apart like Clay was doing when he was using his patch to push his brothers around, killing them, just to get his OWN BENEFITS. He didn’t respect the club nor did he respect anyone he was leading. Jax did RIGHT by everything he has done, its not his fault some people take it into their own hands n cause more trouble for him, (Tara). So in the end, your article is WRONG, and not very well researched nor do you have the knowledge of this show to the full extent, as well as you only see the surface of the show, not what HAS HAPPENED. Poor review on your end, you should be ashamed, n for any new fans, I suggest finding a new website who knows what they are talking about. Obviously this writer has ZERO CLUES, muchless its history.

    • Ted

      That’s true, he tried to have Opie killed without proof he was rat, and in the end it happens he never ratted, but Clay wanted him dead anyways without proof of it, so you’re right Budz about Clay killing Juice if Clay was still Prez. I 100% completely agree with you, and definitely will not be coming back to this site.

      • officerpayetteforward

        Yes I agree this website licks petunias Go to official SOA website

  • Gregg Rich

    Yes, jax, was a bit over zealous in regards to obvious anger that needed to be better subdued from time to time, indicating a lack of good judgement. However, his hand was forced and he had to clean up messes and that can get messy (alluding to Nero’s statement in Finale).
    this story line has to keep Jax as center role. Otherwise, the show would become fractured and out of context. Being that this is similar to Shakespeares Hamlet story line, It looks like a happy ending is not slated. Although in this viewers opinion, a season of “Happier Bikers”, enjoying life with some Robin Hood activities would be welcome.

  • You’re Wrong

    Bags you are WRONG. Jax IS NOT THE REASON. Jax is just trying to clean up everyone’s mess that he seems to ALWAYS get left with. Tara could have stopped going to Otto, and told Jax the truth, but she lied to him. You feel bad for Clay? Why? He has betrayed damn near EVERYBODY. Actually he has betrayed EVERYBODY. Your site sucks, and Jax Teller is NOT the reason SAMCRO is in the state it is in. Everybody’s at fault. Every single decision that has made by damn near everyone in the show has led us to this point, not just Jax’s decisions and the shit he has done. You need to open your eyes and re-watch Seasons 1-5 because I believe your take on things is a little off.

  • lala

    All clays falt yes it is

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