Sons of Anarchy: Papa's Goods
December 10, 2014 2:43 AM - Season 7, Episode 13 - Subscribe

• If you were looking for closure, the series finale of Sons of Anarchy certainly delivered.•

While the final did not deliver the shocks that the lead up episode did - namely the deaths of two of the key characters, Katy Sagal's Gemma and loyal Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie) - writer and director Kurt Sutter did not disappointed when it came to twists and turns.
posted by unliteral (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What a rubbish finale. There was so much hugging and back slapping I thought I'd happened on a weird 60's experiment where they'd clothed chimpanzees in SOA leather and put them on a Hollywood set, then administered huge doses of MDMA to see what happened. "I love you bro [slap] [slap] [slap]".
Crows appearing in the sky and then flying away to nothingness - what does that means? Deeps.
The entourage of cop cars and bikes following him on the highway - ridiculous.
Jax was written out as a totally worthless person. None of his final acts were honourable, murder and suicide at the hands of another. Unredeemed.
I did find one character to have some sympathy for in this episode - the truck driver.
One thing I was puzzled about was the road cake. Can anyone elucidate?

posted by unliteral at 3:11 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I completely agree, I loved this show but the ending was terrible... Absolutely disgusting, let's all vote to kill him.... But make somebody else actually responsible...
I think the cake thing was a throw back to the random women and the cake and the wine left behind, no idea what it was meant to mean though.... Something religious I assume.....
posted by Lesium at 3:39 AM on December 10, 2014

Oh! and Abel wearing the ring and it fits and he's turning it on his finger and looking all demonically into stare into the distance with his scary say nothing shit. Come on.
posted by unliteral at 3:43 AM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

One thing I was puzzled about was the road cake. Can anyone elucidate?

It was one of the many (I lost count after six) uses of symbolism to equate Jax with Jesus. The cake represented bread & Jax's blood was the wine. They kept doing it & doing it, like an overly affectionate dog who keeps bringing you a slobbery tennis ball for you to throw. "Hi! Jax is like Jesus. Hey did you know that Jax is like Jesus? You know who Jax is like? Jesus!"
posted by scalefree at 5:58 AM on December 10, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm just going to pretend that SOA ended at episode 12. La la la, I can't hear you.
posted by scalefree at 6:07 AM on December 10, 2014

I will give the episode one positive note, so to speak. The finale song "Come Join the Murder" is really quite good & almost (but not quite) makes up for the bludgeoning "Jax is Jesus" imagery.
posted by scalefree at 7:45 AM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Holy LOL at the effects in the final scene.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:00 AM on December 10, 2014

I had to google around, but the woman at the end had appeared a number of times throughout the show; she's the ghost of the woman who died when Jax's father drove into an oncoming truck. And the mother of that cute girl that Rat was dating.

I wish my other prediction had been true, and Abel would have killed Jax. You know, found a gun laying around, just bang and then it's "your daddy dead!" But no, we had to have one more murder spree. (And he's the HERO!)

I was actually more pissed off that Jax got to sort out his paperwork and burned his journals. How dare they let him get his affairs in order before his murder spree and suicide! How dare they!
posted by Catblack at 11:46 AM on December 10, 2014

Gotta agree with the sentiment here. That finale was simply horrible. Jax going out on his own terms in the golden light of beatification. Spare me. And, in the end, nothing really changes. SAMCRO continues, only now with its enemies out of the way. Crime wins, and it has a new martyr.

So, that was cake the crows were eating? I couldn't tell wtf it was. Where the hell did cake come from?
posted by Thorzdad at 12:05 PM on December 10, 2014

Cake, bread, I dunno. It looked the same as the loaf they zoomed in on that the homeless lady/Death left behind, with the bottle of booze replaced by Jax's blood. In both cases it was very (very) clearly meant to symbolize the bread & wine of the Last Supper. Jax died for your sins!
posted by scalefree at 1:41 PM on December 10, 2014

I will give the episode one positive note, so to speak. The finale song "Come Join the Murder" is really quite good
I think we can all agree that the music has been outstanding, so to that end:
My favourite track of the whole series - Damned by The White Buffalo [previously]

Season 7 music [source]
Episode 1
Never My Love (feat. Billy Valentine) by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers
Bohemian Rhapsody by The Forrest Rangers
Capital T by Walking Papers
Bullet the Blue Sky by U2
Turn Around by Soul P
First Cuckoo of Spring by Danni Nicholls
Evil Ways by Blues Saraceno

Episode 2
Right to Left by The Chimpz
Till It's Gone by Yelawolf
Buried Plans by Minor Alps
Darlene (Girl Of My Dreams) by The Earls (5 Thrills)
Baby, Please Don't Go by Franky Perez & The Forest Rangers

Episode 3
Take Me Higher by Old Man Canyon
Reality Show by Hans Inglish
Paper Prince by Foy Vance
Nothing's Something by Ab-Soul
Till It's Gone by Yelawolf

Episode 4
Shambles by Handsome as Sin
Baby, Please Don't Go by Franky Perez & The Forest Rangers
Things We Lost in the Fire by John Murry
Skin on 42nd Street by Savoir Faire

Episode 6
Ladron by Pistolera
How Many Women by Lydia Loveless
Gotta Love by Justin Warfield & The Forest Rangers
Coricidin Bottle by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Coco y Ron by Daniel Indart
The Countdown by Sum Kid
California by John Murry

Episode 7
Crash Dummy (feat. Killa Kyleon) by Kidz In the Hall
I Just Came to Get It (feat. Prophit) by Asiah Dio
It's Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty

Episode 8
The Wicked by Blues Saraceno

Episode 10
Hard Way To Make An Easy Livin by Sean Patrick McGraw
Trying to Believe You're Mine ft. Alison Mosshart by The Forest Rangers

Episode 11
Run On by Blues Saraceno [Dexter!!]
Jacknife by Jackie McLean
Blessed Assurance by The Forest Rangers Chorale
I'm Smelling Blood by Max Boogie Overdrive [Undisputed III: Redemption!!]

Episode 12
Make It Rain by Ed Sheeran

Episode 13
Adam Raised a Cain by Bruce Springsteen
I Can't Help Falling In Love With You by Leatherface
Come Join the Murder by The White Buffalo & The Forest Rangers
posted by unliteral at 3:26 PM on December 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, fuck you Sutter.

Ride your unrepentant matri and (step)patricidal serial killing organized criminal protagonist off into the sunset with a killing spree and forcing an innocent truck driver to have a death on his hands all during a song that mixes the word "angel" and "murder" every other line.

posted by Drinky Die at 6:44 PM on December 10, 2014

Catblack - "I was actually more pissed off that Jax got to sort out his paperwork"

This. This was what pissed me off about the ending of a different (very popular) show; how they were able to end it thinking and feeling that they did the right thing in the end.

What a damned terrible thing to do to the truck driver, but I think that it fits with the character. Even in the end he really doesn't care about anyone else at all, and his "putting things in order" for those who survived was merely a salve for himself.

The Christ/body/blood thing was waaay too heavy handed. That's highschool dramatic composition dreck. Unless the "feeling that they did the right thing in the end" thing ties into the Catholic thing where deathbed recantations are perfectly copacetic and they're actually making a conscious point about equating religion and crime. I'm not convincing myself, though.

But as an ending to this show - thumbs up, actually.
posted by porpoise at 8:54 PM on December 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Really disappointing. The symbolism was SO stupidly heavy-handed. I laughed out loud when the CGI crow disappeared into the sky, which surely is not how they wanted their audience to react.

That aside, the writing seemed shoddy to me, too. What was the point of SAMCRO going through with the whole fake failed assassination attempt? They clearly knew Jax's intention was suicide and they had already gone through the rigmarole of voting him off the island, so their butts were covered with the other charters. If I were the dude who had to get shot in the arm as a part of that deal I don't think I would have given Jax a hug. And why did they bother with that whole dramatic scene to let the black guy in and then have him be completely absent from the rest of the episode? Was that just intended to make us have nice feelings about the charter not being racist? I also still have no idea what was going on with the Irish at all.

I really really wanted Chibs to be like "fuck this shit," and put on a Hawaiian shirt and drive off into the sunset. The club is dead. In real life those guys would be smart enough to move the fuck on already.
posted by something something at 6:56 AM on December 11, 2014

The christ on a bike routine ending was utterly and somewhat wonderfully ridiculous. That's SoA for you though. I heartily enjoyed the rest of the show, cheesy bro-hugs and all. It left me wanting more. I want to see the show about Chibs as leader. I want to see the show about Abel of the dead eyes growing up to be a biker thanks to grandma's ring and doing so without any kind of moral guidance at all thanks to Jax burning the notebooks. And I really want to see the Venus and Tig show.

And why did they bother with that whole dramatic scene to let the black guy in and then have him be completely absent from the rest of the episode?

I think T.O. was patched in to complete the Juice story line. Jax made a deal with the other presidents to get his club to vote a unanimous yes on the mayhem vote if they ditched the bylaw forbidding black members. They mumbled something about him not needing to be around for the Jax stuff as he had just patched in. So yes essentially to make us all have nice feelings about them not being racist.
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:12 PM on December 11, 2014

Jax Teller was just like Jesus. You see Jesus was a mass murdering organized criminal psychopath who had to sacrifice himself to save the rest of the world from his own sins by forcing guilt upon an innocent bystander.

posted by Drinky Die at 1:33 AM on December 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also, Jesus murdered Mary and Joseph.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:35 AM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nonono, Virgin Mary's big-nostrilled boyfriend offed Joseph and raised Jesus as his son and groomed Him to be a Prince of Crime. Virgin Mary then killed Mary Magdalene because Virgin Mary thought that Mary Magdalene gave Jesus up to Judas, whereas Jesus signed up for it himself to become a matyr. Virgin Mary then blames the Taoists for murdering Mary Magdalene and Yesua ben Yusef goes on a murder spree rivaling Charles- and Alexander- the greats, such that these future leaders are considered small fry compared to Yesua and never recorded in history. Yeshua sacrifices himself at the expense of a Single innocent. The club then recruits Anansi or heh Raven a corvid, a crow as a member who is never seen again, presumably serving a butler position at the clubhouse.

Heh, like I've said, it's like seeing a loved pet pass on with a modicum of dignity. I liked it the show, but would likely never see/watch it again.
posted by porpoise at 9:54 PM on December 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

Shameful confession: despite rolling my eyes at the heavy-handed symbolism with the crows and ALL THE POLICE chasing Jax and that homeless woman/angel who leaves Jax the bread and wine and the ridiculous bro hugs and OOOOH SAMCRO enters the 1950's by voting in a single black dude, and that stilted-as-fuck conversation Jax had with a boulder, despite all of that...

I got the teensiest bit weepy when I realized Jax was going to go headfirst into a semi.

But then he raised his arms LIKE THE JESUS HE IS and I thought, "Wow. That's SUCH a douchey thing to do to that poor bastard truck driver, and Jax ain't no Son of God," and rolled my eyes again.

Abel should have accidentally killed Jax, then his brother and Wendy and maybe Nero for kicks and then himself. That would have been AWESOME. That ending would have had me jumping up and down and going, "WHOOOOOOAAAH."

This ending was meh.
posted by kinetic at 6:16 AM on December 13, 2014

[Flagged as "Other" for MAJOR ploy spoilers in the Description section. The FanFare New Post page says "Please do not reveal major plot points from the episode or season in this section."]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:20 AM on December 13, 2014

I'm not sure why the ending surprises anyone; the show has been romanticizing Jax and the whole band of murdering thugs and their "outlaw life" from Episode 1 on, setting him up as a Byronic hero and surrounding him with hamhanded poetry and symbolism. What's new? The only unsympathetic character (in the SAMCRO circle) at all was Clay. And of course, since Sutter apparently shares the same gross values of his characters, Gemma's the "real" villain of the piece, but at least he made her interesting.

I always thought of the show as the world's most violent and sleazy soap opera because it had that kind of plot and scene structure and everybody kept hanging around the (general) hospital for no apparent reason.

Btw, I got bored/fed-up somewhere in Season 5 and stopped watching up until the last couple of episodes, so did Jax ever find out that Gemma was involved in the murder of J.T.?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:15 PM on December 13, 2014

He did, FelliniBlank, but after that Jax heard rumors that JT had actually committed suicide. That's what the whole scene at the end with Jax talking to the rock was about; he decided to believe his dad had in fact killed himself, and therefore chose to go out the same way.
posted by something something at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2014

Thanks! And actually, I guess Clay and Gemma's onscreen conversations about it were oblique enough (regretting what they had done, not wanting Jax to find out) etc. that they could be explained as thinking their banging had driven JT to kill himself. Or did they ever discuss sabotaging the bike, etc.? I've spaced it out.

I will miss Katey Sagal; she really gave a beautiful performance throughout the whole mess.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:11 AM on December 14, 2014

Flagged as "Other" for MAJOR ploy spoilers in the Description section.
Oops! Sorry about that. Thanks for the fix mods.
posted by unliteral at 3:41 PM on December 14, 2014

I think we can all agree that the music has been outstanding,

Definite agreement! My fave tracks were Coal War (Joshua James) and Los Tiempos Van Cambiando, possibly the best Dylan cover of all time.

Also, now that I've digested it some, despite the bad CGI and tired Jesus crap of the ending, I can dig the sadness -- like the sadness of Hamlet and The Godfather, of the waste of a person who had the potential to have a constructive, decent life getting mired down in revenge and brutality instead and of all the other lives ruined along the way. It makes a lot of sense that Jax would drag in the poor truck driver (Chiklis!); SAMCRO were always champs at hideous collateral damage. Remember Donna? At least unlike Michael Corleone, Jax died instead of his kid. As Sutter's nutty take on Shakespearean tragedy, it was never going to be about redemption, but Jax's end could have at least been more ignominious.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:19 AM on December 15, 2014

Went to watch your tracks FelliniBlank. I cannot believe how often Flash is updated. It seems like every day. That's not possible is it? It's just because I work on a multitude of machines, isn't it?
posted by unliteral at 5:01 AM on December 15, 2014

I think there was just an update yesterday or so, but I haven't had one recently before that. Of course, I almost never shut down or reboot, and they only seem to come up then, so I'm probably 50 behind everybody else.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:23 AM on December 15, 2014

Download the Installer
Click the installer
Quit Safari so that installer can continue [lose all open tabs in process or cancel and start whole process again]
Installation Complete
Click finish!!! [Thanks for that, I thought it would happen in the background because I asked you to do it and there was no reason for me to click finish just to dismiss your dumb installer window with a tick in it. If this step was missed, what would happen? Give me a failure message or just piss off, I’m not interested in any other notifications, thank you very much.]
Relaunch Safari
Return to the link
NO!! arrive at another screen
Thank you and enjoy Adobe Flash Player. Here is another product that may interest you…
Well, they got that right
finally play sublime tracks.
Certainly nice . I prefer the Los Tiempos Van Cambiando.
But overall, I prefer the track I suggested because it is separated on YouTube from SOA. Also, how golden does that evening look at that ranch?
posted by unliteral at 5:39 AM on December 15, 2014

The reasons that I think this is the track of the series:
01. Separated from the series it's still outstanding. It doesn't need SOA to contextualise it (admittedly many others don't too)
02. It has halo hair
03. It has growly voice
04. It has falsetto voice
05. It has fireflies
06. It has hay bales
07. It has a sunset
08. It has an appreciative audience that applaud politely
09. It has good in close and far away microphone technique clearly shown
10. It has an attractive lead guitar and drum presentation (I know there is a second guitar, but they are sitting down and it's more of a support/background role IMO)
posted by unliteral at 6:37 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

So I've finally figured out who the homeless woman is that Jax keeps on seeing. She's (the ghost of) the woman who died in the crash that killed JT & the mother of the girl who hooks up with Rat Boy. When Jax visits the girl's home we see a framed photo of the mom; it's definitely the same person.
posted by scalefree at 5:00 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

So what was with Jax's gimpy leg a few episodes back? Was that a non-pursued thread? Like they were going to make him have some disease? Or was it just a fluke, like Jax stood up and his leg was asleep and the actors just incorporated it into the scene?
posted by Beti at 10:32 PM on April 18, 2015

So what was with Jax's gimpy leg a few episodes back?

I noticed that too. No idea on the intention - maybe another Jesus reference? You can never have too many of those. Whatever it was, it was never followed up on.
posted by scalefree at 6:14 PM on April 23, 2015

Finally got around to finishing the last two seasons. And in agreement with what's been said here about the ending.

I could have almost accepted the Passion of Jax if the show had used that moment to make Jax confront his crimes at the very end. As he goes under the truck, his last vision is filled with a sea of people. All of whom are those he killed. Staring at him with blank faces. His beautific face changes to a look of utter horror. Roll credits.
posted by honestcoyote at 3:24 AM on June 2, 2015

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