When Kurt Sutter killed Opie off of Sons of Anarchy several seasons ago, the show lost its heart, a lot of its sense of humor, and all of its sweetness. There was a kind of camaraderie between Opie and Jax that brought out the best in Jax; when Jax would say, “I love you, brother” to Opie, like he has so many times to the other members of SAMCRO over the course of the series, it felt genuine.
It doesn’t feel like that, anymore. It doesn’t feel like Jax is doing anything for the club, for his family, or for “the greater good.” He’s not even motivated by self interests anymore, and he certainly doesn’t give a damn about his father’s vision for the club, which was the very thing that kept him in SAMCRO as long as it did.
Jax Teller cares about one thing, revenge, and at this point he doesn’t even know who he’s trying to get revenge against. The guy he thinks killed Tara is already dead. The guy he thinks ordered the murder, Lin, is in prison, and his entire crew is either dead or has been dismantled. Why is Jax even fighting with August Marks? Because of a promise he made to two people who are practically strangers to keep August Marks from following through on a land deal that would take over their church? Bobby lost his life over a parcel of land.
It’s fitting, however, that Bobby would die in the service of a MacGuffin; he was the moral center of SAMCRO, and there’s no morality left in this series. In a season motivated by reckless, irrational bloodthirst, there was no need for Bobby anymore. He’s barely said anything all year long, relegated most of the season to head nods and contemplative beard scratching. The role of the one-time fan favorite had been so reduced that his death, while briefly shocking, didn’t register nearly the emotional wallop that it could have if he’d had a larger role this season, or if he’d even tried to act as moral arbiter. In fact, after having had his eyeball removed, his hand chopped off, and his jaw broken, Bobby’s death actually felt like something of a relief, sparing him from a life barely worth living for a guy whose passion was motorcycles.
Ultimately, Bobby’s death felt pointless, and in service of very little, and the justice that Jax procured — framing August Marks for the murder of the pastor — felt empty and disproportionate. It also felt beside the point. The betrayals exchanged between August and Jax had very little to do with anything that anyone cared about, and everything to do with a perverted pastor’s son, Grant, and his junkie mom, Loutreesha. They both seemed like nice enough people, but hardly worth going to war over. Misguided loyalty to strangers doesn’t make Jax a “good man.”
Marks was right about one thing: The death of Bobby is on Jax.
That said, I will grant Jax this much: The frame-up job — using the pastor’s head and parts of other people’s bodies — was a gruesomely clever way to put Marks in jail, where presumably he’ll be another target for poor Juice, who has once again been put in isolation.
The reason why is because of another deus ex Sutter; the man that Gemma (and Juice) fingered for the murder of Tara was conveniently in jail the night of the murder, which means that Unser and Jarry know the truth, or at least, they know enough to know that Gemma and Juice are lying about who killed Tara. And so Juice rides the pine for yet another episode, his eventual death pushed into a future episode (and from the looks of things, he may choose to kill himself and save Jax the trouble). Unser and Jarry, meanwhile, are keeping that information close, but don’t expect Unser to keep his mouth shut for long. He’ll tell someone and it’ll get out; he always does.
With the death of Bobby, Gemma is starting to reel, feeling more and more of the weight of her guilt. She once again blabbers on about her role in it over the corpse of Bobby while Abel looks on. Given just how much Abel knows from eavesdropping this season, who is to say that he’s not the rat? Did you see the way he snuck off with that cookie? There’s something off about that kid.
I’m still convinced Jury is not the rat, but as though the show needed more moving elements, now Jax is facing a kind of inquiry over his role in the death of Jury. To spare Jax’s life a little longer, they’re probably going to have to use Tully in prison to get Lin to admit that Jury was the rat. On the bright side, it should mean more Marilyn Manson.
It’s been a messy season, and while the character motivations have been out of whack since the death of Tara, things at least are beginning to come into focus. There are four episodes left. Can Sutter bring all these pieces together to at least pull off a satisfying final act? Or will Jax end up another lumberjack in a series finale gone awry?
— What the hell was that sex scene between Jarry and Chibs all about? That couldn’t have possibly felt more out of place. What does it prove, other than Chibs has no problem banging a woman on a car in a parking garage while a fellow chapter member looks on?
— Nero has also been sidelined for much of the season, relegated to an exasperated looker-on who offers a sympathetic ear to Gemma on occasion. I feel bad for him; I wish he’d get that Diosa transaction through so he can skip town before the rest of the mayhem. The man barely has a dog left in this fight.
— What happened to the Mayans and the Grim Bastards? They just kind of faded into the background.
— The Ratboy and Brooke romance is cute, I guess. It doesn’t really push the narrative forward, but what show doesn’t need a blossoming romance between the member of a murdering motorcycle gang and a 16-year-old schizophrenic? If these two can’t find love, what chance do the rest of us have?