Wow. Congratulations, Kurt Sutter! You managed to condense all of Season Three’s disappointment into one underwhelming, anti-climactic massive failure of an episode. Nice job! I don’t have a dog you can kick, but I do have a kid you can take a swing at, if you’d like. You may as well after last night’s blowtastic season finale. That was some weak-*ss, cop-out holy-mother-of-God suck. You took an entire fast-paced, action-packed, intense and violent season and you blew it. It was the complete opposite of Season Three, where a slow season was almost redeemed by a brilliant (and a little-too easy) finale. This season, you shanked it: You pulled out and rolled over before you got to the good part.
Extended thoughts and spoilers, after the jump.
After teasing us all season with the possibility of either Tara being killed or Clay being executed at either the hands of Opie or Jax, last night’s season finale wound toward the ultimate letdown. Everyone lives, thanks to one of the laziest, weakest deus ex machina’s to come along since the “Lost” finale. Basically, just as Lincoln Potter and Eli Roosevelt were about to close in on the Irish, the cartel, and SAMCRO, we learn that Romero and the Galindo cartel were actually a division of the CIA. That actually wasn’t a huge surprise: I’d suspected as much about Romero. What was the bigger surprise was how it played out: Basically, it just stopped the entire investigation in its tracks. They pulled the plug. Why? Because the government needs the cartel to control the drugs and thus to control … Mexico? So, all the work that Potter and Roosevelt did this season was completely for naught. Wasted. (Though, the farewell between Roosevelt and Potter was nice).
Then the silliest twist: Because the CIA needed the deal to go through, and because the Irish wouldn’t pull off the deal with Jax, Jax had to postpone his plans to kill Clay and instead, strip him of his presidency and allow him back into SAMCRO as a regular voting member. Opie, meanwhile, was offered the VP position, although we’re left hanging as to whether he will accept (he will).
More painful is the fact that Tara not only lived, she didn’t even skip town. So, everything that Jax worked toward, to escape the club, to get Tara and his boys to safety, again was for naught. And now we have to live with yet another season of Tara’s insufferable, whining, although at least she’s come over to the dark side.
And the Charming Height’s piece? The subplot that mostly fell by the wayside after the third episode or so? How does Kurt Sutter decide to resolve that? He brings in Lincoln Potter — who really had nothing to do with that subplot — to drop a bag of sex toys off at a planning meeting and put the kibosh on it. Why? Because the good guys needed to win one. I won’t deny there was a small bit of satisfaction in that, but there would’ve been a lot more satisfaction if that subplot had been developed over the course of the season instead of pushed to the background and tied up nonsensically.
So, where do we go from here? Bobby’s in prison, but he’ll get out as soon as Clay makes a deal with the Irish. Juice is back, slate wiped clean. Opie is temporarily in limbo, and Jax is now the president of a club he doesn’t even want to be in anymore. It does set up an compelling dynamic for next season: Clay vs. Jax, Tara vs. Gemma, Opie vs. SAMCRO, but that dynamic is not much different from where this season began, only their respective positions have moved around.
So, essentially what Kurt Sutter did was to play one hell of a game of chess all season, set the King up for a check-mate kill, and then — in the final minutes — pick up the chess board and throw it in our face. And the image of Jax sitting satisfied at the front of the warroom table is supposed to satisfy us? P*ss off, Sutter.