TV Recap: Sons of Anarchy, ‘Red Rose’

SONS OF ANARCHY -- Pictured: Key Art. CR: FX

Red Rose Plot Summary:

The bodies pile up in Sons of Anarchy’s penultimate episode as the truth starts spiraling out of control arguably more than the lies.

OK, so maybe the lies did more damage than good. But the truth certainly set a lot of events in motion this week. I’m going to give you the major highlights from the close to two-hour episode.

Wendy (Drea de Matteo) reflects on her past overdoses. “Let’s just say I’m living with more than one ghost,” she says. This reflection on her past comes back to haunt her by episode’s end, but not in a way that you might think.

Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX
Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX

Meanwhile, Gemma’s (Katey Sagal) on the road – but where to? She falls asleep in her car and later meets a man named Milo (Michael Chiklis) and tells him her name is Rose. She asks him to drive her to visit her dad, who’s in Oregon at a nursing home. I guess it’s smart for her to leave her car as to avoid being traced.

Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is trying to once and for all stop the violence between the different gangs, but there are other things in the way, like the Jury (Michael Shamus Wiles) situation. Jax comes clean about what happened and that he lied about Jury’s confession. What does this mean? A Mayhem vote. Gulp, cue series finale.

Juice (Theo Rossi) meets his maker this episode by Tully’s (Marilyn Manson) hand after Juice gives him a weapon to do so. His last request? He just wants to finish his pie first. I guess that’s one dying wish to have. Before all this, he was raped by some of the late Lin’s (Kenneth Choi) crew previously in the episode in a disturbing sequence. Basically, Juice saved Tully from looking bad in SAMCRO’s eyes.

Earlier, Jax suggests Nero (Jimmy Smits) take Wendy and the boys to the farm. Nero is worried Jax will kill Gemma, and warns Unser (Dayton Callie), who Jax told the truth to earlier in the episode and begs him not to say anything so this can be settled cleanly. Nero makes it clear he’s concerned about Jax in this case.

Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX
Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX

Wendy gets a call from the nursing home – it turns out Gemma isn’t on the visitors list. She tells Jax about it, giving away Gemma’s location. It’s heartbreaking seeing Gemma with her Alzheimer’s-stricken father. “God forgives everyone, sweetheart,” he says, unaware of her situation, after she apologizes to him. When she tells him her name, he remembers Gemma as “the one who loved flowers.” Red rose symbolism, anyone?

Unser finds Gemma at her parents’ house and is about to call the cops before Jax shows up. He wants to be alone with Gemma, gut Unser won’t let him. The two have guns on each other. Jax tells him to go home, but Unser tells him “this is all I’ve got left.” Then, Jax kills him. R.I.P., Unser. You tried to do right in the end.

In the most heart-wrenching part of the episode, Jax talks to Gemma (finally). She tells him she loved Tara (Maggie Siff). Jax asks if she still has a copy of his dad’s manuscript, which she does. She goes out into the garden and Jax struggles with what he’s about to do: he points a gun at her! She says she loves him and that he has to do it – “it’s who we are” – and that she’s ready. SO HE DOES IT. FINALLY. And yet, I can’t help but feel sad. Yes, Gemma did terrible things. Unforgivable things. But she’s his mother, and this will very much tear Jax up inside as Nero alluded to in the last episode and this one.

Following a montage of classic SAMCRO gang murders, Wendy and Jax end up sleeping together. There’s got to be some weird Freudian subtext here, but I don’t really want to delve into that.

It’s been one crazy ride, SOA. Can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.

Rating: 9.5/10

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