We’d been warned that Tuesday’s Sons of Anarchy finale would leave us “breathless,” but nothing — not even sage advice from Jimmy Smits — could prepare us for the gruesome, heart-pounding, jaw-dropping events that comprised the two-hour season ender.
While a majority of the installment was actually rather tame — by Sons‘ standards, anyway — the final 10 minutes featured one of the gritty biker drama’s most horrific sequences to date: Gemma, in a drunken rage after (falsely) learning that Tara has ratted and Jax is going to prison, murders her daughter-in-law in cold blood. Not unbearable enough for you? How about the fact that after the fallen queen unsuccessfully attempts to drown Tara in the kitchen sink, she resorts to stabbing her repeatedly in the back of the head with a nearby meat carving fork?
While that upsetting twist sets in, allow me to recap the 10 biggest moments from the Sons episode that will no doubt change the series forever.
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1. Jax Visits Opie
Sons has gone a long time without referencing its beloved fallen friend, so what a nice surprise it was to see Jax paying Opie’s graveside a visit. What’s more, the struggling SAMCRO king, still attempting to wrap his head around Tara’s departure, admits — possibly for the first time — that “since my best friend was killed, I lost my center.”
2. Patterson Successfully Plays to Jax’s Emotions
In a last-ditch effort to secure some sort of deal, Patterson approaches Jax and presents him with some (desperate) food for thought: Be the man worthy of your family’s love, not your club’s. “Are you willing to let your family pay the price for your mistakes? Is that what a good man would do?” she ponders. “You’re a husband and a father and a man before all of this. Own your place.” The wise words, thankfully, seem to resonate with him, which leads to…
3. …Jax Saves Tara’s Life
After some successful sleuthing, Jax & Co. locate Tara and the boys. Terrified, the ex-doctor pleads with her husband not to hurt her in front of their kids. Taken aback — and clearly motivated by the D.A.’s unsolicited advice — Jax takes Tara’s hand and consoles her, saying: “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m not going to hurt them. You don’t have to run, not anymore. Just be a good mother. Save our boys.”
4. Jax Agrees to Take the Fall for the School Shooting
“This is me, owning my place,” Jax says to Patterson as he secures a deal that will exonerate Tara for the murder of Pamela Toric and gets the club off the hook for any gun-running charges.
5. Jax and Tara Make Up
Fans of the doomed duo are gifted with a final tender moment, as Jax and Tara declare their love to one another and share a passionate kiss — and maybe more.
6. Nero Dumps Gemma… Kind Of
Nero is sucked back into a life of crime after aligning himself with the Mayans, among others, as the result of Jax’s latest betrayal. But before making such a life-altering choice, the OG pleads with Gemma to leave this life with him. She refuses, and he reluctantly reverts back to his old ways.
7. Unser Makes a Horrible Decision
Unser shares the bare bones (if that) of Jax’s deal with Gemma — pointing the finger squarely at Tara. With that, the drunk and distressed old lady ditches her friend and winds up at her son’s house, where…
8. …Gemma Murders Tara
Tara, relieved that she’s finally free of criminal charges and safe at home, encounters Gemma hiding out in the kitchen, and a brutal fight ensues. In the aftermath of the aforementioned tragedy, Eli — who has just dropped off Tara — enters the home with Juice (who was out looking for Gemma) — and encounters the scene. “It had to be done,” Gemma cries. “I have work to do. She did this.” And when Eli reveals that Tara has not in fact ratted, as Gemma assumed…
9. …Juice Kills Eli
Once his only ally in the world, Juice shoots the sheriff twice and removes Gemma from the bloody scene. Perhaps motivated by Jax’s recent revelation that the tormented Son had “betrayed” him to Nero, Juice disposes of anything that could implicate Gemma in the murder.
10. Jax Finds Tara’s Lifeless Body — and the Cops Find Him
After a tearful farewell with his brothers and his children, an uncharacteristically at-peace Jax returns home to visit Tara and turn himself over to the police. What he finds, however, are the lifeless bodies of both Eli and his wife — the latter of which the Son quickly cradles in his arms. As he sobs over Tara’s corpse, Patterson and her team arrive, taking in the horrific scene — which includes one of their own — and staring on in horror.
Are you still reeling from Tara’s devastating death? Does anyone actually feel sorry for Gemma? (And are we supposed to?!) Vote in the poll below and then elaborate in the comments.Follow @MegMasters