Tuesday night saw the Final Ride of one of my favorite shows ever. Sons of Anarchy finished off their seventh and final season on top. Kurt Sutter, the creator, writer, and resident evil genius wanted his baby to go out on top. And he did just that. This FX bad boy had repeatedly beaten its own numbers year after year (showing early seasons on Netflix didn’t hurt). I read somewhere that he felt that at the seven-season mark, a show gets too expensive to make and that he had a story arc for that number as well. I get that, but why does it hurt so much?
This season was marked with a shit-ton of violence and the end of the road for more than a few longtime characters. I honestly couldn’t figure out how it was going to finish off until the end of the penultimate episode. When Gemma (played so convincingly by Katey Sagal) basically told her son, Jax (the amazing Charlie Hunnam) to kill her because “that’s who we are and it’s what we do”, it made sense. Jax knew the only way to end the cycle of violence in his family was with his death. He knew he could save his own sons from his fate. It was pretty strong stuff. I know there will be some detractors, but if you’ve watched this juggernaut from the beginning, then you know that, as much as you may like Jax, he’s “a criminal and a killer”, and he realized that an outlaw motorcycle club cannot be legit and that he cannot lead one and be a sweet family man as well.
Those parallels don’t exist for a reason…they don’t work. The more Jax tried to go legit, the more bodies dropped. So he finished things the best way he could: by making sure his charter was in the best possible shape, managing a truce with the other clubs, and killing all the club’s enemies in one last murderous rampage, all the while taking steps to ensure that his sons and the only woman in his life left, Wendy (Drea de Matteo), was going to be able to take care of them.
Say what you want about the show’s violence, and its Shakespearean themes, it was an incredible and thrilling ride. The acting was always top notch. The writing was powerful, and the visual aspect was spot on. I, for one, will miss it. There will be a void on Tuesdays at 10pm where Sons of Anarchy used to be.