did an interview that posted immediately following the finale that goes into his very detailed thoughts for how things play out from here. I swear this guy could be a distant relative of mine because I was basically thinking the same way! Anyway, I salute Sutter, the cast and the entire crew of Sons of Anarchy on a job VERY well done this year. This is how TV should be done! Between this and season 4 of Breaking Bad, I just don't know how television gets any better (well, having LOST still be on the air might do the trick!). So, let's get into my quick thoughts about the episode and open the floor for discussion. Here we go!
As we have done for the past few episodes these are my bulleted thoughts on the episode. No full recap here!
- So, after last week's scene where Romeo told Jax that Otto didn't rat anyone out and the deal was still on, we started to speculate that something was fishy here. We speculated that either Romeo was either a Fed or maybe his #2 guy was involved. But we wondered how either could be Feds but still go along with putting a hit on Tara. All of our questions were answered within minutes. The RICO Sting operation was in full force and then shut down within minutes when Romeo, #2 and some CIA guy show up. Yep, the Galindo cartel is working with the CIA. It's a whole political thing where the feds are controlling the drug running and working to shut down other cartels or something. Vaguely reminded me of the movie TRAFFIC and how the government needs drugs to stay functional. I may remembering that movie incorrectly, but it's something like that!
- Anyway, apparently the deal between the SONS and the Irish needed to happen because Galindo needed the money from the drugs and guns. Potter suddenly because a sympathetic character as he associated the Sons of Anarchy with "The Good Guys" and the CIA/Galindo as the bad guys. He gave Roosevelt the file on Juice and dismissed all the charges against him (YAY!). And then he went up against Crazy Haired Mayor guy and shut down his "Charming Heights" project with some sex toy props. I loved his "I don't like you and the good guys need a win" speech. But I really wish he said "I don't like you OR your hair." Man that dude has had crazy hair for this show's entire run. Get that mop under control man! You're an insult to bald people everywhere!
- Meanwhile, Jax and SAMCRO went to make this deal with the Irish happen, but they would only see the deal through with Clay. Suddenly, that random Irish Baby Factory from last week didn't seem so random. It solidified their trust in Clay vs. the Jax and the rest of the club. We had speculated that last week, but I still thought it was quite random.
- So the deal was dead for now, JAX tried to tell Romeo that SAMCRO was out and then Jax found out all about the CIA deal with Galindo. There was no way out. The deal has to happen and the Mexican Connection (no relation to the Billy Joel song) between Galindo and the Sons has to stay relevant in order for SAMCRO to survive. And of course, Jax can't tell anyone about this revelation. And since he's the only one that knows and doesn't want the club to die, he must take the gavel and do what's best for the club. And yes, my friends, Clay has to live!
- Oh right, and we found out that the cartel was never going to harm Tara! They did admit that they were the ones Clay hired for the hit but they were going to brief her and put her in protective custody. That would explain the kidnap attempt instead of just offing her in the park.
- Even while I watched Jax stare at Clay with his blood thinner needle, and looked to lock the door and close the blinds, I knew this scene wasn't going to go the way many thought it would. It looked for a moment that Jax was still going to go through with his plan for all of the crap Clay has put him and the club through. But instead, we got an emotionally charged scene between the 2 when Clay woke up. Jax revealed his knowledge of the letters, of Piney's death, of JT's death, and the hit on Tara. You could tell Clay was trying to tell Jax something. His side of the story. The side where Gemma was somehow involved too, but Jax didn't want to hear anything. And at this point, it doesn't matter. Clay has done enough for anyone to be furious over. I mean, at least 50% of the show's fans wanted his head on a spike! For now, Jax wants Clay to stay alive ONLY to work the Irish deal. He doesn't want him to interact with Gemma, Tara or really be involved in any other of the club's business. In other words, he's the new Piney as far as the club would be concerned. (straight from Sutter's mouth) Clay would rather be dead, but Jax obviously isn't allowing that. I loved his "You're already dead." line that ended the scene. Powerful scene and I admit I did cringe a bit when Jax was digging that knife into Clay's neck.
- So the majority of the rest of the episode followed Jax as he set up the 8:00 meeting in the "chapel" and came half-way clean to Opie and all the way clean to Tara. I really thought Jax would confide in Opie, but it made sense that he didn't. He told him enough. He's staying in town, he's taking the gavel and wants Opie at his side as VP. It's their club. They've been dreaming about this day for years. They can finally put right what was wrong except for one minor detail. The Mexican Connection must stay so that the club isn't destroyed. And Clay has to live to make sure the deal happens. Opie wasn't happy about all of this and he didn't show up at "church" that night. But, per Sutter, it seemed too soon for him to be ready to return to the table. I'm thinking we'll see Opie as VP next year. Should be exciting!
- Jax's conversation with Tara was full of emotion as well. He came clean about the CIA and Tara was beyone shocked. She knew that Jax couldn't leave, but he still told her to go with the kids. He couldn't even look at her after he told her. But, there's even a piece of Tara that wanted to stay too and cement her place in this club. The final shot showing Gemma staring at Tara behind Jax in the club room and mirroring it to Gemma and JT all those years ago was very poignant. And my initial reaction was this symbolizing that Tara may go down the same path as Gemma. She is Gemma's protege afterall and she mentioned last week that she's just doing what Gemma taught her. Sutter explains again that there are differences between Tara and Gemma and we will continue to see that. Plus, I don't think she'd ever help put a hit on Jax or anything!
- Other things to note at Chapel. Chibs will be the new Sgt. at Arms, not Tig. Tig was Clay's man and he also just tried to take on the Niners all by himself killing a significant girl in the process. The man his demoted! The rest of the crew looked pretty elated that Jax was taking the gavel. Juice returned and said he is fully recovered. Will the group ever find out about his father and that he killed Miles to cover it up? Right now, I think that storyline is finished, but you never know. Secrets tend to be exposed in bold fashion on this show! I guess maybe there would be a vote to make the changes official, but it seemed like the group was cool with where this was going.
- Bobby is still in prison after Otto ratted him out. But, Romeo did say that if the Sons cooperate they will try to get him out.
- We should note that Gemma burned the letters that implicated her and Unser. (Was Unser smoking that joint in Gemma's house at the end too? Interesting.) But with Clay still alive, her side of the story may still get exposed.
- And a big thread left hanging for next year, apparently the girl that Tig accidentally killed was the daughter of some big Crime Boss. I could see that boiling up into a big conflict for Jax's administration in season 5.
Anyway, it was a great season and it really could have gone either way. But I do love the route Sutter decided to take. While it felt like season 4 was a final season, he managed to find a way to show how things will still stay meaty and interesting for seasons to come! That is a brilliant storyteller right there folks. And I'm on board for the ride! Can't wait for more. We'll see if I still find time to write about it next year. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you around here for our other show recaps!