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Sons of Anarchy – The more things change, the more they stay the same

While there was certainly a big shakeup on the 'Sons of Anarchy' season finale, it wasn't the one I expected. Did your predictions come true?

- Season 4, Episode 14 - "To Be, Part 2"

I’ve got to admit: even though the beginning of the episode was shocking, I was a little disappointed. I’ve been predicting all season that there was going to be a major shakeup in the framework of the show, and that season 5 would bring us something totally different than we had before. While a shakeup certainly did occur, it wasn’t quite as earth-shattering as I had hoped for.

Maybe I was overshooting when I predicted that Tara would do something crazy like steal money from the cartel. Maybe it doesn’t actually make sense for Jax to spend season 5 chasing her down. While I definitely appreciated the reveal that the Galindo cartel is working with the CIA (who on earth saw that coming?) I guess I was hoping that the shakeup came from within the club itself; that Juice, or Jax, or even Tara, who isn’t actually a member, would do something so stupid, so catastrophic, as to actually alter the very fabric of SAMCRO.

I was also ready to see Clay go. His hands are breaking down, he’s basically trying to kill everyone; it’s clearly time for him to die. However, he lives to see another season, albeit not as president. As I have utter faith in Kurt Sutter and the writers of this show, I know that watching a neutered Clay next season is going to be compelling, but truth be told, I’m kind of done with him. However, the fact that Gemma is also done with him is sure to make for an interesting dynamic next season, as well as multiple opportunities for Katey Sagal to shine.

I’m also interested in Tara’s continued metamorphosis into a proto-Gemma. It appeared that she was shying away from the role, but like Jax, it became more than clear by the end of the episode that she was going to fulfill her destiny, whether she likes it or not. By default, she’s going to become the alpha female next season, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how Gemma deals with that, on top of her disintegrating relationship with Clay, upon whom she’s based her identity for the past twenty years.

As much as I love a bag of sex toys being dropped on a city council meeting, I have to say it’s also sad how ADA Potter went out with a whimper instead of a bang. As much as I detested Agent Stahl, she was at least a force to be reckoned with. Potter turned out to be little more than a mosquito, buzzing around and bothering everyone until the climate change and he just flitted away. It’s probably because he was hanging out with Ronnie. He’s the worst.

Speaking of The Shield, how can you not love that Juice was watching it on the flat screen in his jail cell? The Charming jail has flat screens! and cable! It’s pretty much the best. It’s like a twenty-first century Mayberry! I also have no idea who they got to pose for the photo as Juice’s father, but whomever was in charge of that casting deserves a raise. He has the exact same smile as Theo Rossi. I love little details like that.

While I may be slightly disappointed in the season finale, I will fully admit it’s probably because I was expecting too much. Obviously they had to find a reason for Jax to stay in Charming and with the club, and it only makes sense that he takes his seat as president. Plus, working with the CIA is obviously going to bring about a slew of interesting storylines, as is Jax’s honesty with Tara and her involvement with the club.

What do you think of the finale? Was it what you were expecting, or did you want more?


Photo Credit: Prashat Gupta/FX

9 Responses to “Sons of Anarchy – The more things change, the more they stay the same”

December 6, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Hey it just seemed weird that Romeo told Jax that there was no threat that Otto rated. I got a strange feeling something was off when that happened, but I never expected that Jax would have to stay this way. I am just so happy that Tara stood by her man and said she wasn’t going anywhere. I can’t wait until next season. I hope it starts before September.

December 7, 2011 at 1:08 AM

am i the only one kinda disappointed that tara has turned into a “stand by your man” character? i mean, okay yes, fight for what you love, fight for what you want, but it’s been proven to her, a couple times, that being part of this club is dangerous to her and her children. it possibly cost her her career that she worked long and hard for. but because jax is staying, she is staying.
i’m as invested in the jax/tara thing as anyone else, but come on. i thought she had more sense than that

December 7, 2011 at 8:22 AM

She’s gotten to the point where she’s madly in love with Jax (what’s not to love with a nice butt like that?! ;-P) and he’s HERS. Plus, she understands that Jax is doing this for a time, and probably thinks he’s going to get out as soon as the IRA crap is done.

December 7, 2011 at 10:37 AM

This is why I love the hand injury as a story device. Had it not happened, there’s no chance Tara would have stuck around. However, the injury has really shaken her confidence and the sense of self that she had.

Tara has a history of running back to Charming and to Jax when things in her life are uncertain or frightening. We saw it in season 1 when she was being stalked, and we’re seeing it now that her career is in shambles.

On a related note, it’s nice that we got an explanation as to why the hitmen that Romeo hired were so damn incompetent.

December 8, 2011 at 7:35 PM

She’s not staying to stand by her man, she is staying to protect him from his mother.

December 7, 2011 at 8:18 AM

I correctly prodicted that Jax would tell Clay that he’s stepping down from pres seat, and Jax is taking his place, and that he is only being kept alive and in the club for the IRA. I thought for sure Opie was going to come busting through the doors at the last second- it really shocked me that he never came. I also didn’t predict that Linc would stand against Charming Heights.

Here’s the thing with SOA- it’s like a puzzle and Kurt Sutter is the puzzler. What good would it do the show, and him, if he did the predictable thing? No good. This is the new beginning. I really hope Kurt picks up next season right where he left off last night.

December 7, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I was a little disappointed with the CIA tie-in. Everything we had been invested in all season long just gets tied up with a neat bow and everything is reset. No consequences for anything. I understand that we won’t have a show for 3 more seasons if Jax leaves and most of the guys are locked up..etc. so on one level I get that somehow things have to go on if this show tells the story of a MC in Charming.

I hoped that Opie would show for Church too, but I certainly realize why he wouldn’t. I expect to see him back next season though.

I still want to say to Tara..”you’re a doctor for god’s sake, you can get a job!!!” I realize she was a specialized surgeon, but she is obviously very intelligent, she can move to a general practice I would think!!! Maybe that will be the ending..Tara is the GP in a small town and Jax stays home and takes care of the kids. The last scene you see the little boys getting their first bikes!! (Not a chance…lol)

December 7, 2011 at 10:09 AM

I enjoyed it but like everyone else I expected a bang bang shoot em up too. A liitle more excitement. Like other years. But that is ok a lot of things were set up for season 5. Also we have to remember that Kurt does not give us what we think will happen he always turns it around! Cant wait until September!

December 7, 2011 at 11:05 AM

SOA has become a night time soap opera. I am so gone from this show!! You know now that Gemma and Clay will be behind everything evil that comes. The Big bad (the girlfriends father of the 99ers) will not last more than 3 or 4 eps. The Cartel will not figure in as much as this season because of said aboves BS.. (old blood vs the younger ones) This reset has made a pretty great season now moot… Jax is a momma’s boy, always will be. Tara does not stand a chance. Gemma will be pulling crap forever and never have to answer for it. KS, you are afraid to really make a great series. You have just become what you hate the most, a normal safe showrunner….

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