Monday, December 16, 2013

Sons of Anarchy: Has it Jumped the Dove?

***SPOILERS**** If you haven't watched season 6 finale, or any of the seasons but plan to, don't read any further~

Sons of Anarchy is a bloody, ultra-violent crime soap opera of epic proportions. This has been its strength and its weakness through the last six seasons.

Kurt Sutter, the creator, has said from the beginning its Hamlet on motorcycles and that there will be no happy ending. This is a tragedy of Shakespearean magnitude.  A tragedy wrapped in angst and guilt and WTF moments that shock and amuse.

After reading some of the scathing reviews of the season six finale, I have to ask...what did you expect? The signs were all there that Tara was not long for this world. The way she went out was jaw-dropping you have to admit.

Lets rewind for a minute. This testosterone laden show was damned near perfect in seasons 1 and 2. A lot of critics and observers say SOA kinda lost its way with Jax on the dock wailing at the end of season 2- "they took my son!" I can see that. Season 3 had weak moments, but wasn't unwatchable. And Seasons 4 and 5 just amped up the shocking deaths and eye rolling scenes interspersed with moments of genius.

What kept this series going for me is that underneath all the biker swagger, Jax loved deep, had a sense of justice and honor that with each passing season dimmed with each heinous act, but the viewer believed there could be hope. That a spark of humanity remained in this prince. Also, the close brotherhood of the sons was the glue that kept the fraying threads of this story together. Most ensemble shows have a moral center (think Hershel in The Walking Dead) SOA doesn't even pretend to have one. Its balls out 'screw you' attitude leaves no room for compassion. Yet we care about these guys. And they love each other. Just don't cross them. Lets not deny this is a guys show about guys. (Even though some of the writers are women)

Which brings us to the end of season six. I teared up when Chibs cried embracing Jax. Jax's heartwretching wails at the end while embracing a bloody Tara got to me too, but also the sense that the last flicker of hope inside Jax has died along with Tara. Yeah—sad. I hate to say, I was never a fan of any of the women characters in this show.

I can almost envision Season 7 in my mind's eye. Biker gang war, corpses pile up like cords of wood. In Hamlet, just about everyone dies, including Hamlet himself. Doesn't bode well for Jax. Before Jax and Juice face off, Juicy will spill the goods about Gemma, the biker mom from hell. I see Jax strangling Gemma, angry tears streaming down his cheeks as she struggles for breath before the light goes out in her bloodshot eyes. The police break in and *bang*, the prince is dead. Who is left standing? Unser and Wendy. Why else were we given that excruciatingly long bonding scene in Gemma's kitchen between the two? So Cancer Man and Junkie Skank will walk off into the sunset with Jax's two boys. The end.  I am probably way off base, but it is fun to speculate.

How would I end the series? My romance writer self would want a slightly different ending. In my opinion, Jax should survive the carnage. Damaged, battered, but his 'sons' give him the will to move forward. Let him tear off the MC cuts, toss them to the ground, gather his boys and his stash of cash (all gangsters have them, Tony Soprano kept his in the bird feeder) Drive north to start a new life. He may be an empty shell with a shattered soul, but there should be still a flicker present. In spite of all the death, mayhem, treachery and hate, the love for his sons should survive. They are the true sons of anarchy. Curtain falls.

Yes, the drama is over the top as is the violence and a lot of the plots and motivations of the characters have no basis in reality. (Think Tara's crazy miscarriage scheme) I don't watch TV for reality, in fact, can't stand so-called reality TV. I can go with a show on whatever ride it wants to take to crazy-town as long as I am entertained. And SOA entertains me. I just kind of dread season 7 and the ultimate downer ending. I hope Sutter and company surprise me. I find myself invested in most of these characters. Yeah, I cried at Opie's funeral. Hell, I cried just before Clay got it even though it was way overdue and he deserved it. I love Ron Perlman anyway.

At the start of the season ender, Jax runs over a dove with his bike squishing it bloody. Gross. Nothing like slapping us all with a metaphor. There will be no peace in Charming, I get that. Jax will be the bringer of death. I get that, too. SOA jumped the dove (or shark) years ago according to some. Guess what? I don't care. This show is bat-shit crazy, some of the dialogue as funny as it is corny at times, but the emotion in it is as raw as the violence. A true tragedy. Epic.

*Girds my loins*

Bring on Season Seven. I'm ready.


  1. I'm with you all the way, Karyn, on every point!

  2. Wow, this was an excellent post and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you pointed out. It's like Game of Thrones in modern day. Definitely Hamlet. Bloody brilliant post Karyn.

    1. Good comparison, GoT can be over the top as well, (but very entertaining) thanks for commenting and reading!


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