Sons of Anarchy fans on Tuesday night were not-so-cordially invited to the impromptu wedding of Mr. Jackson “Jax” Teller and Ms. Tara Knowles — a ceremony that, while unconventional even by SAMCRO standards, amazingly went off without a hitch.
To quickly recap: Once again facing incarceration, the Sons’ new king threw caution to the wind and asked his ladylove to swap I Dos that very afternoon. In a brothel. Surrounded by madams and johns. Though initially left off the guest list, Gemma dropped in
to wish the couple well and, after giving Tara a pretty major guilt trip, made nice by offering up the wedding bands from her marriage to Jax’s dad, John. After vows were swapped, Jax and several of his brothers were carted off to jail, leaving behind the newlywed and her mother-in-law.
Here, star Maggie Siff reveals to TVLine her reaction to the sudden but sweet nuptials, and discusses what’s next for her character, who she says is most certainly “sliding toward a Gemma-like way of being.”
TVLINE | What was your reaction when you found out Jax and Tara would finally tie the knot?
My reaction was a little bit like the character’s reaction: ‘Really?! Here? Now? This way?’ [Laughs] It certainly wasn’t a Luke-and-Laura, come to Jesus wedding moment. But I also thought it was strangely appropriate and kind of funny. What ended up making the scene so enjoyable was that a wedding is a wedding is a wedding, and no matter where it happens, it’s kind of momentous. It actually felt that way when we were shooting it, which made it fun.
TVLINE | And, ultimately, a large chunk of the club was there for the ceremony, which was nice.
Yes, and in true SOA fashion, that impromptu speech that Tommy [Flanagan] made as Chibs was so beautiful and soulful. He’s such a great actor. It really did feel like a blessing; it was sweet.
TVLINE | From the proposal of sorts to the wedding itself, what was your favorite moment?
I actually think it was Chibs’ speech, that moment of surprise, of somebody getting up and saying something and — whatever he was saying — the benediction of that. Also, just saying those words [“I do”] felt really momentous — even though it was to a bumbling judge. I loved the bumbling judge, though. He was great.
TVLINE | It is funny how fitting such an off-kilter ceremony felt for such a beloved couple.
Right. I sort of liken it in my mind to being in a long distance relationship. When you’ve been apart from somebody for a really long time and you’re about to see them, for whatever reason you cannot anticipate what you’re going to feel. And then all of sudden you see them and it’s a flood of feelings. That’s sort of what the wedding felt like; it was so tossed off and last minute and haphazard, and then it happens and all of the feelings are there, right in place where they’re supposed to be.
TVLINE | How did you interpret the ring gesture made by Gemma?
That’s a complicated and interesting moment. At the end of the day, Gemma is the closest thing that Tara has to a mother, and in an unconscious sense, she always longs for her approval and for her love; she’s really hungry for gestures like that, for somebody reaching into their heart and their history and telling Tara that she’s a part of it and connected. She’s somewhat moved by it. But Tara is no dummy… The [rings] symbolize being locked into the family, and the fact that those rings belonged to Gemma and Jax’s father, in a weird way it’s Gemma claiming ownership of Tara and of Tara inside of this life. So, I don’t think that’s lost on Tara either… Although, she accepts the rings because she accepts the life.
TVLINE | And now Tara is once again left raising her sons while Jax is in jail.
No, there’s no honeymoon, is there? [Laughs] Tara’s lived through that moment once before, and this time she knows she’ll survive it and she thinks he will survive. So, there’s a kind of acceptance that this is the life and that they will make it through. Even if she has fear about it, she doesn’t give herself as much permission to feel that as she used to. She’s figured out some strategies for coping with or being numb to it. It’s not a very healthy strategy, but it’s part of what she’s doing this season.
TVLINE | When Tara quickly apologized to Jax for voicing her fears about his going to jail, it almost seemed as though we were witnessing her losing a bit of herself — or at the very least turning more into Gemma. Is that a fair assessment?
There are certain ways that she is sliding toward a Gemma-like way of being. That moment, which I really enjoyed thinking about, was part of her stepping into the role of what it means to be the queen of the club, or the matriarch, or Jax’s partner. Part of what she begins to really understand about that role in that moment is that she needs to treat all of those guys as if they were her family, so that her children have as much importance as Tig’s children, and that Tig carries as much importance as Jax. The shift is toward thinking of them as blood. I don’t think she’s losing herself in that; she’s trying to wrap her mind around a different way of being, and trying to not just think of her family as Jax and her children.
Sons of Anarchy fans — including all you Jax/Tara believers — what did you think of the insta-wedding?