Sons of Anarchy: A Series-End Prediction

UPDATE: November 20, 2014  (Originally published December 16, 2013)

Two episodes left!

There have been a ton of GREAT comments here, and I much appreciate each and every one of you that has shared your view of how the finale will go.

It seems that most of you expect Jax to commit suicide.  I don’t agree, because I don’t think that’s in him.  The most depressing suggestion thus far, I think, is that the cycle will simply repeat, with Abel stepping in Jax’s shoes, Wendy into Gemma’s, etc.  While that makes great sense, actually, the optimist in me hopes that we see something else come of this.

I have trouble seeing Jax as a man that commits suicide.  Yes, he’s broken–badly broken in this past episode, particularly.  He’s also a man to take on responsibility for his actions, though, and I’m not sure that sense of responsibility will allow him to die by his own hand; while he might believe the club better without him, it would also absolve his responsibility to fix what he has broken.

I think this last episode has also been an interesting look at Gemma.  There was really no telling what direction she would go once she had lost everything.  We’ve seen her broken before (just before/how she met Nero is a good example), but she’s always had Jax and the boys.  Now she truly has nothing.  I wondered if that wouldn’t lead her to kill herself, like Lady MacBeth, and that felt all but confirmed when she sat at her kitchen table talking to Tara.  Now, I’m not so sure.  Above all, Gemma is a consummate survivor and master manipulator; still, I don’t feel like even the loss of everything else in her life has been sufficient punishment for what she’s done.  I must say, though, that I don’t think it will be Abel pulling a trigger.  He may have been the one to get the ball rolling, but he ultimately loves her, and doesn’t seem to have the ability to hate her for taking Tara’s life.  At this point, I honestly wonder if it won’t be Uncer pulling the trigger…

One last note:  Charlie Hunnam and Theo Rossi were SUPERB in this past episode.  Wow.

 

UPDATE: November 14, 2014

We’re now nearing the end of the season, and I can’t help but look back at what we’ve seen.  There have been some great comments on the original post, bringing in some fabulous ideas, such as Gemma surviving to choke on her own guilt (potentially after watching Jax kill himself), or having a direct confrontation between her and Abel.  Let me share what I’ve seen.

First, I think it’s worth noting that another Shakespeare play has quite firmly put its foot in the SoA door: Macbeth.  Gemma’s scenes of talking to Tara’s ghost echo Lady Macbeth’s troubled visions and sleepwalking after the  killing of King Duncan, as she attempts to rationalize and lay to rest her part in the murder.  This role works well for Gemma, who has an enormous body count stemming from her actions, and has goaded both Clay and Jax into committing any number of atrocities.  It may be worth noting, then, that Lady Macbeth dies by her own hand when she is finally overcome with the guilt of what she’s done.  It may be that Kurt Sutter is setting Gemma up for a confrontation with Jax that she will escape from, but lose everything she holds dear; at that point, she may feel she has no other option than suicide.
If we stick with Hamlet, however, it’s interesting to note that Bobby died as a direct result of Jax’s actions, placing him in that key Polonius role.  As for poor Nero, he seems so close to finally getting his farm and getting the hell out of charming–kind of like that old cop cliche where they’re killed only days before retirement.  Things don’t look good for Nero, in my opinion, which is a damned shame because he’s probably the most honorable character on the show at the moment.

Certainly, I have had to revise my opinion of who will play Fortinbras, coming in at the end to find the ruins of SAMCRO.  I had thought August Marks the likely candidate, but that seems somehow unlikely given the events of the last few episodes.  Perhaps Lodi or even Alvarez will have to step into those shoes.

One thing is very clear, though:  shit is about to hit the fan.

 

UPDATE: September 12, 2014 

So I’ve watched the season premiere now, and had a little bit of time to reflect on it.  While it would be a reversal of sexes, it may just be possible that Gemma is actually the Claudius figure.  She was effectively behind the murder of JT, whose “ghost ” haunted Jax.  She also played a part in the death of Clay.  Far from an antagonist, Nero seems to have taken on the role of placator and diplomat, while Gemma has grown only more ruthless, throwing people under the bus at every turn.

The finale, then, would be Jax killing GEMMA, after she accidentally gets Nero killed during a plot to kill Jax.  Frankly, given her single-minded focus on her grandchildren, it’s not particularly far fetched to see Gemma going after Jax, nor would it be remotely surprising to see her ruthlessness result in the inadvertent death of Nero.

Little else would really change in this scenario, oddly enough.  Juice, I think, is still the prime choice for Laertes, though I’m starting to wonder if maybe Chibs isn’t too dedicated to Jax to serve as Polonius.  You know who isn’t, though?  Tig.

Hmmm….

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I’ve loved Sons of Anarchy from the first season.  The writing is excellent, the acting is well done, and the characters are engaging.  I suppose it helps that I used to ride motorcycle when I was younger, and perhaps that Kim Coates, the exceptionally talented actor who plays Tig, lives only a couple of hours north of the city I live in, but it’s the story that’s held me for six seasons.  Now, with only one season left in the series, I’d like to offer my (somewhat) educated opinion on how I see this marvelous story concluding.

 

SPOILER ALERT:  IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SOA SEASON 6 FINALE, STOP HERE.

 

It’s not a big secret that SoA resembles Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  In fact, I might argue that any story written about a son whose father is killed and supplanted will be seen that way, solely because Hamlet is so well remembered among Shakespeare’s plays, and is still often taught in high school.  However, as the seasons have played out, it has become clear that Kurt Sutter is using Hamlet as inspiration for his own masterpiece, though with his own artistic interpretations bridging the gap between the life of the privileged Prince of Denmark and the son of a biker gang king.

Being a literary nerd, I can’t help but make the connections between Hamlet and SoA, and I thought it might be worth sharing my thoughts on it, for those who may not remember Hamlet as well, or may not have bothered to make the connections themselves.

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On Raising Hobbits

“For all hobbits share a love of things that grow.”

 

This summer, every venture into the backyard started with the excited cry “let’s go check on the garden.”  My 3.5yo sprinted ahead of me through the grass toward the back of our lot, already intent on the raised beds I put in in the spring.  “Look!  The tomato is getting bigger!  And here’s our first pea!” (every pea is the first pea, just as every bean is the first bean and every carrot is the first carrot).

I’m pretty sure that I’ve killed every house plant that I’ve ever owned—including cacti.  Hell, if I’m being completely honest, my first year as a gardener wasn’t that much more successful: I gave the cucumbers some sort of fungus by watering their leaves; the broccoli was ravaged by cabbage moths; the tomatoes were put into the ground too late to produce much of anything; and both the potatoes and carrots had far more above the soil than below thanks to over-fertilizing.  The difference now that I’m older, though, is that I’m starting to learn from my mistakes; next year will be better.

None of this matters to my son, though.  In his eyes, our garden is the pinnacle of success, each tiny carrot a delight, and each pea a source of excitement.  I expect that next year will be no different—the joy for him isn’t about a large harvest, it’s about cultivating life, nurturing it from humble, tiny beginnings and watching it flourish, becoming ever stronger and more amazing.

 

Watching my son, his touch careful and gentle on tiny tomatoes and pea blossoms alike, his tiny face joyful and delighted, I guess that’s what matters most to me, too.

OMG

That Old Familiar Stink

I walk in through those doors I’ve walked through so many times before.  You’d expect the place to smell of sweat, like an old wrestling mat, but it doesn’t; it smells of cleaners and dust—dust that lays caked on the industrial beams and support wires that snake high into the building.  The clanging assaults my ears for a moment before fading into a familiar jingling melody.  I’m home.  For the first time in almost four years, I’m back in the gym, with the intent to destroy and rebuild myself anew, like a phoenix arising from the ashes (or perhaps Prometheus regenerating his liver for the final time, after Hercules frees him); naturally, I have my wife to thank.

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A Sad Day for a Great Man

I caught myself ignoring the best part of my day this weekend.  I was pushing my 3 year old son on a swing in our backyard, lamenting the time that I could be spending on other projects–projects that never seem to get done unless I consciously put everything else aside and focus on them.

I was irritable about my son needing me to push CONSTANTLY.  There’s no giving him pushes and then going to do something else these days; it has to be non-stop pushes.

 

Suddenly, I realized that I was missing out on the best part of my day because I was too blind to see how great it really is.  So let’s try it again.

 

On a beautiful, sunny, Saturday afternoon, I was giving my 3 year old son pushes on his swing in our wonderful, green backyard.  I could smell the musky scent of the cedar playstructure, the gentle green of the trees, and grass, and that sweet, damp, post-rain smell that seems to come from everywhere at once.  My son was laughing, having fun, and being silly.  Life was perfect in that moment, and I was reminded this week of just how important it is to live in those perfect moments, while we still have them.

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goatcoffee

On Coffee, Daydreaming, and…Goats

There are certain moments in life that make you wonder if there may be something irreparably wrong with you.

My most recent moment occurred while looking out my dining room window, imagining goats in my back yard.

You read that right: goats.  Something that looks a little bit like this:

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I couldn’t get the image of cute little goats traipsing around in my back yard out of my head.  So I sat there, quietly sipping my coffee with the sounds of my boys playing and in the living room, and thought about goats.  Hell, maybe they’d even have some chickens to play with.

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politicssmall

On Admitting I’m Wrong

As I’ve grown up, I’ve often become less and less sure about where I stand on…well…most issues, really.  I look at this as a good thing; that lack of surety often arises directly from learning more about the issue and realizing that I haven’t fully understood things—but that doesn’t make it any easier to admit that I may have had my head up my ass.

 headupass

 There have been a number of big-ticket items in the last decade:

-coming from a firmly NDP (left-wing) family, I’ve been forced to understand that not everything private enterprise necessarily possesses goat hooves and horns.

-Once upon a time I would have declared myself a proud atheist and flagrantly denounced organized religion of all kinds;

-Clearly, any time I have disagreed with my wife (I kid); and

-Where I once thought fairly blatantly that aboriginals in Canada should suck it up, deal with what IS, and not what WAS, I now understand that the effects of colonialism didn’t end in the “long ago” and that there is significant attention and effort required on all sides to move things forward.

None of these questions are brain surgery to deal with, but they’re all deeply rooted in values, beliefs, and prejudices; that makes them incredibly difficult to deconstruct and examine on a personal level, let alone in a broader platform.

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