TV Recap: Sons of Anarchy, ‘Papa’s Goods’

Written by David Oliver

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

Papa’s Goods Plot:

In the series finale, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) ties up loose ends as the world around him hangs in the balance.

Okay, so hopefully you all looked at my quick hits post from yesterday (and if you didn’t, that’s fine too, because here it is).

Beyond that though, we should take a deeper look into the Sons of Anarchy #FinalRide.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/FX
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/FX

Following their tryst, Jax wakes up next to Wendy (Drea de Matteo). A little later, he looks over old photos and his dad’s writing and burns it all (!) – but to what end? Is he truly ignoring what his father set out for him?

He goes to see both Opie (Ryan Hurst) and Tara’s (Maggie Siff) graves. Jax leaves his “SO” and “NS” rings on Opie’s grave and his wedding ring (*sheds tear*) on Tara’s. Again, what is Jax really up to? He even tells Lyla (Winter Ave Zoli) he loves her – which later prompts her to ask Tig (Kim Coates) if Jax is okay.

Meanwhile, SAMCRO votes T.O. (Michael Beach) into the club, and later Jax fulfills his father’s wish of having the IRA king dead. Jax opens up to Chibs (Tommy Flanagan). “Trust that what I want is the best thing for me and my family. For our club,” he says. He then admits to recommending the Mayhem Vote. Is Jax handing over the club presidency to Chibs? It certainly feels like it.

D.A. Patterson (CCH Pounder) is back and tells Jarry (Annabeth Gish) that she was the right person for the job (um, maybe not, considering she’s been screwing Chibs). It turns out Jax wants to meet with Patterson.

Jax tells Nero (Jimmy Smits) he is giving Wendy the garage and the houses and wants her to sell everything to set her and the kids up somewhere else. He says he is doing what he should’ve done when Tara was still alive. He wants Scoops to be the new club home base. Jax explains to Nero he is leaving, and apologizes re: Gemma (Katey Sagal). “I’m sorry. I did what I know how to do,” he says, adding that he can’t change and that he doesn’t want his boys to end up like him. Jax tells Nero to tell Wendy everything. “When the time comes, she needs to tell my sons who I really am. I’m not a good man. I’m a criminal. And a killer. I need my sons to grow up hating the thought of me.” GULP. TEARS.

Jarry calls it quits with Chibs, though he warns her about what happens to cops not cooperating with the club, saying “history doesn’t lie.” Smart callback to the show’s past.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/FX
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/FX

Now for the juiciest stuff. Jax goes to see Patterson and thanks her for trying to help Tara. “You might want to record this. I didn’t have time to write it down.” Jax gives her everything about Tara’s death and says that Gemma is in Oregon with Unser. He then has her turn the recording off, and later tells her that at the end of the day (as she asks what will happen) the bad guys will lose. Um, do you mean yourself there, Jax?

The club votes and Jax will meet Mr. Mayhem. Jax kills Barosky (Peter Weller) and Unser and Gemma are found. Jax took a homeless lady’s cloak (who some people on Twitter freaked out about) and hid before killing August Marks (Moses Cartwright).

Jax takes off his SAMCRO jacket and makes Chibs President, who then picks Tig as his VP. Jax puts down his gun and says, “I’m ready.” It looks like Chibs is about to kill him (!) but he just shoots Happy (David Labrava) in the arm. Jax says, “I love all of you” and proceeds to hug everyone. You have to know that this was Charlie Hunnam also saying goodbye to the cast. SO HEARTBREAKING.

Jax rides away. Jarry puts out an APB on him. In a bit of a ghostly fashion (a la Hamlet talking to no one), Jax explains his “war of the mind” and apologizes to his dad that it was too late for him, but not for his boys. “I know who you are now and what you did. I love you, Dad.”

Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX
Photo Credit: James Minchin/FX

A cop is after him, but Jax shoots at him and rides away. The final montage of the series sees Wendy and Nero getting away with the boys (though dammit Gemma, Abel (Ryder and Evan Londo) is clutching the ring Gemma gave him – arguably the series’ final nod to not total closure), among members of the club, Jax being chased by many police cars and more.

Milo (Michael Chiklis) the truck driver is seen on the road, approaching Jax and the fleet of cars behind him, when Jax moves into Milo’s lane and takes his hands off the bike! #FinalRide, no kidding. Cut to spilled blood and a bird eating a piece of bread with a blood – or wine? It’s unclear – stain.

Aaaand, then, a Shakespeare nod.

“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”

WHEW. OK. So, that was one epic finale, and truthfully, one of my favorite series finales of any show, ever. It was appropriately poetic and tied up 99 percent of its loose ends. I both love and hate that Gemma gave Abel that ring – will that lead him to explore his father’s past? Or will Nero and Wendy raise those boys to be good people? We’ll probably never know, but that’s OK. Rest easy, Sons of Anarchy, I’ll miss you.

Rating: 10/10 x infinity

=============================================================================================================

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.