frightened: (metallicar supernatural)
[personal profile] frightened
Part one; part two; part two and a bit. Spoilers for the whole thing (and The Godfather); trigger warnings for rape and domestic violence.


Wow. That all went a bit Godfather, didn't it?

I know it's Hamlet on motorbikes. I know it. And it's still taken me four seasons to figure out that Sons of Anarchy is a tragedy. The season four finale could work perfectly well as a series finale, though it remains to be seen if the showrunners are prepared to play that out to its logical conclusion. It broke my heart, but this series isn't really setting us up for happy endings. (Also, I get nervous when series have had perfectly good finales and then carry on. Never leads to good things.) That closing scene, with Jax in Clay's place, and Tara standing behind him, fading to John Teller in that place, with Gemma behind him. Jax and Tara have long been set up - not least in Gemma's mind - as John and Gemma, round two. Now, that could be hopeful. Through John's letters and memoirs, it's been established that John wanted a better way for the club. If that were possible, and if Jax and Tara were the chance to do it right this time, that could be hopeful.

But it's not possible. That's why they used House of the Rising Sun for the last musical montage. Jax is the rising son, and he's trapped in his house. Like the last verse of the song - the singer knows she's screwed, but it's too late: she's going back with her eyes open, and all she can do is warn others not to do the same. Jax can't take the club out of gun-running, because the CIA need them to keep dealing with the cartel they're backing to take out the others. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether Jax can manage to be honest with the rest of the club, to get Opie back on his side and to solidfy his new power base through honesty and good sense. Because he's gonna need it. I can't help thinking that leaving Clay alive and Tig demoted is going to come back to bite him in the ass. That said, I think giving Chibbs Tig's job was a good sign - it seems in recognition of Chibbs' work to help Juice after the latter's suicide attempt, and therefore a sign that maybe he wants someone with some kind of heart as his heavy, rather than the club sociopath. (Though Tig did have his moments, like when his daughter showed up.)

Realistically, Jax wasn't getting out of the club. Out-of-universe, because then the show would be over. In universe, because, well, I loved that scene in season one of Lost, when a guy tells Kate that, unlike her, "I don't have murder in my heart." Jax has murder in his heart. His whole plan for getting out of the club was killing Clay, in a Klingon-promotion-then-abdication sort of way. Not exactly being the change you want to see, there, Jax. And realistically, what would he do? Presumably he's a decent mechanic, albeit one with a criminal record as long as your arm. Disposing of bodies is not a skill that transfers to legitimate employment. And he's already said he doesn't want to be kept by his surgeon wife. So there he is, at the head of that table.

Ultimately, John and Gemma didn't last, and Jax isn't free to make the kind of sweeping change he'd like. So what does that mean for that last tableau? Is Jax John, ultimately betrayed and killed? Or is Jax Clay, telling more and more lies until he jumps right off that slippery slope?

Speaking of. Clay wasn't just doing things for the evulz this season: he was doing them for the stupids. Remember the guy who seemed genuinely upset to have caused Donna's death, even while he was scrambling to cover it up and reel her husband back in? Yeah, he went away, and we're not sure why. The pacing and transformation seemed a little off. Maybe if they'd focussed more on his anxieties about his arthritic hands ending his riding - it got crammed into the last few episodes as kind of a "HEY, REMEMBER THIS? IT MEANS STUFF!" - and his growing estrangement from Gemma. To go from the guy who comforted her after her rape in season two to the guy who absolutely beat the shit out of her in season four - well, it seemed jarring. Clay could get there. He's a predator that's getting meaner as it gets older and weaker. I'd like to see him get there in a way that made sense, rather than AND THEN CLAY WAS TOTALLY EVIL. But Clay having gone totally evil, and his meanness coming out of age and insecurity, I can't see him not stabbing Jax in the back. You really think booting him out of the captain's chair will keep him down? He never started in that chair in the first place. He got it by killing Jax's father, and he's killed Piney, his only contemporary, which Bobby's been put on a bus. No reason not to repeat himself.

Next up: enough of this. Let's talk about the women!
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August 2012

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