‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 5 Finale Review – Not So Different After All

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Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy Jai Obtenu Cette Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale Review – Not So Different After All

It can’t be said that Jax (Charlie Hunnam), Clay (Ron Perlman), and every other guy who’s spent time around Gemma (Katey Sagal), didn’t know precisely what her reaction to the threat of losing her family would be. To their credit, Jax and Clay even took a brief timeout from glaring at and lying to one another to discuss the fact that nobody wants an untethered Gemma running around, drinking up all the banana vodka in Charming and getting her SUV stolen by Joel McHale. It’d just be better for everyone on Sons of Anarchy – the citizens of Charming included – if Gemma always has her family to hold on to.

Of course, Jax’s master plan was to use his mother’s need of family as leverage in acquiring enough evidence on Clay that a handshake with Mr. Mayhem could be arranged. But when Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) jumped the gun on the introduction, Gemma’s little intelligence gathering endeavor went by the wayside, and Jax seemed to slacken a bit in regards to the no contact rule Tara (Maggie Siff) had put into place for her mother-in-law. Ultimately, though, Gemma did what’d been asked of her, so, naturally, it would be more of a forget than forgive situation, and the definitive old lady would soon be back in the Teller house, creepily referring to her grandkids as “My babies,” and intercepting special deliveries so that her plot this season could continue to progress without too much extraneous dialogue.

In ‘J’ai Obtenu Cette,’ Gemma’s tasked with doing the same thing that’s been asked of the character these last few seasons – which is to stir the pot, keep secrets and make everything exponentially more difficult for everyone than it has to be. This time, however, she may have crossed a line (at least that’s what we’re led to believe) after Tara is arrested for her role in the Otto (Kurt Sutter) nurse-killing fiasco. The conflict between the two women leaves the season on a cliffhanger many saw coming, and asks the audience to sit through yet another Gemma vs. Tara scuffle that has become such a repetitive part of the series.

Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff in Sons of Anarchy Jai Obtenu Cette Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale Review – Not So Different After All

And so, season 5 of Sons of Anarchy ends in familiar fashion: With familial manipulation and moral strife effectively upsetting the scales many had labored so hard to balance this season. On one hand, it’s a predictable ending to a season that had its fair share of ups and downs (the plot sink that was Gemma’s brief circling of the drain; the fact that Wendy and several other plot threads are still around; and the whole Carla (Wanda De Jesus) subplot come to mind as negatives). On the other hand, though, those elements are countered by how well the season told Jax’s transformation from hopeful leader to a brutal, angry and vicious man consumed by his need for revenge.

Oh, and it accomplished this without resorting to a series of out-of-left-field plot twists. Sure, there was the double-crossing and execution of Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau), but that was already a potential outcome from the deal Jax had brokered with the crime lord while in prison – which is a far cry from the Galindo boys suddenly revealing themselves to be CIA operatives. ‘J’ai Obtenu Cette’ – which, if the translation is correct, means, ‘I got this’ – works primarily because much of the plot revolves around characters (well, not Tig) that are given the opportunity to act, instead of being forced into a role by external manipulators like Galindo, the Irish, or whatever.

To be fair, ‘J’ai Obtenu Cette’ was really just cleaning up after the more significant, but perhaps less viscerally exciting events of ‘To Thine Own Self‘ and ‘Darthy.’ Ultimately, its role in the season was to deal with the lingering question of Jax’s loyalty to Pope and to provide hints at where things would be headed come next season. And in that regard, it’s good entertainment.

Charlie Hunnam and Dayton Callie in Sons of Anarchy Jai Obtenu Cette Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale Review – Not So Different After All

In the end, Jax’s success was also the success of the show. He has largely rid SAMCRO of the threats stemming from the club’s involvement with guns, drugs, Pope, the RICO case, and now Clay – and he became a frightening, obsessive individual as a result. It’s a compelling direction for the character, but one wonders which of his accomplishments will come back to haunt him. As much as Jax seems to have changed, the story around him hasn’t much. In that regard, the recycling of plot threads still continues. This may be a concern for some, but like the show’s penchant for ending episodes with a montage of the Sons set to sad music, perhaps that’s just another familiar part of the series that makes Sons of Anarchy attractive to so many people.

Despite the cyclical nature of the series, season 5 was largely successful because it didn’t press at an outcome it was unwilling to deliver. Instead, it delivered a strong story about a man all but consumed by thoughts of revenge, who wound up resembling the person he hates the most. There seems to be a gripping storyline waiting to stem from this development that may very well lead into the series’ endgame. It’s a good bet that Clay’s narrative won’t end in prison (if it even gets to that point). If that’s the case, then more familiar faces will likely be back in the picture as well.

Donal Logue in Sons of Anarchy Jai Obtenu Cette Sons of Anarchy Season 5 Finale Review – Not So Different After All

Various other items:

  • “Way to commit, Otto.”
  • While August Marks (Billy Brown) doesn’t seem entirely convinced by Jax’s account of the events leading up to Pope’s murder, the question of why he apparently doesn’t care that Tig is still alive seems more troublesome.
  • The subplot of the fighting dog’s rescue from execution being a metaphor for Tig’s arc was perhaps a little too on the nose.
  • The episode went out of its way to describe what a loose cannon and badass Lee Toric (Donal Logue) is, so it looks like we’ll be seeing more of him next season.
  • Speaking of season 6, it looks like Nero (Jimmy Smits) and Diosa International will be around as well.

Sons of Anarchy will return for season 6 in the fall of 2013 on FX.

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  1. does everyone seem to forget that oppies death is NOT Tigs fault? Clay started it all with his lies! He told tig that it was blacks who shot him when really it was oppie

  2. I’m sorry but this season sucked. It was like they kept just throwing random crap in with no rhyme or reason. And I know that he’s the show’s main character but I can’t stand Jax. I like Clay much better.

  3. I liked that they didn’t end up with just another rival gang/ enemy to face on this finale, I feel that would’ve been one to many times, I for one can’t wait till next season

  4. Ah… what about a written testimony? Is Otto going to bite off his hands? Plus didn’t he kill the nurse to get at Tara and Jax to begin with?

    • I want to see him gnaw off his own hands now. Thanks.

      He’d do it too..

  5. @Boris It could be viewed that way, however i believe the tongue was more so to show his mental instability, not so much his inability to given verbal testimony.

    @JetWolf I’m not sure what you mean by “throwing random crap” because as far as i saw it everything we saw went in line with the season, which i immensely enjoyed, i think this season was a huge set up for the final 2 seasons, and really makes it seem definitive that Jax will be indeed leaving at some point.

    Great Finale, great season, season 6 here we go!.

    • Go to Google maps and type in Alexandria Hotel and go down to street view and you will see the same billboard and phone number from over Jax’s shoulder…too funny…

      • So that’s the problem with the show, location? I live in queens and 60% of sopranos was shot fown the block from me. Not south jersey. Its TV not real life. And most of is on the east coast think L.A. Oakland San Fran and charming are the same place anyway.

        • Location shooting is fine… Hell, CSI NY is filmed in LA, but if say Sopranos tried shooting and episode on the Golden Gate bridge and calling in the Brooklyn, well that’s lazy location shooting…
          The early scene with Jax on his bike was filmed in one of the most known areas of Los Angeles, especially the Alexandria hotel right there in the shot…and most episodes have the San Fernando mountains in the background when they are trying to play it as Oakland…
          I love the show, but I can’t excuse sloppy location shots, it pulls me out of the moment when I can recognize where they really are…

          • The locations in SOA has always been a problem to me. I remember when the show first started, on their website they actually gave a latitude/longitude location of where Charming supposedly is. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere. They do seem to get around pretty frequently between Charming, Stockton, and Oakland. They must rack up the gas money given how expensive fuel is in California. Motorcycles are more efficient but still. Obviously, the show is filmed mostly in and around LA.

            Justified is the same. They’ll scout out locations that resemble Kentucky and shoot there. They might occasionally go on location to shoot a lot of outdoor shots that are going to be included in a variety of episodes to save money. NYPD Blue used to do that. If they knew they needed exterior shots in New York for say six episodes that couldn’t be faked in LA, they’d pack the whole crew up, go to New York and shoot all those scenes in a few days, which then gets edited back into those six episodes. For 24 episodes a season, they might do that 4 times.

            But back to SOA. Yes, there has been less and less of an understanding of geography in the show as the seasons go on. They do mention real highways and roads, for example the location for Diosa North. But there’s almost no sense of how big or small Charming is. You see shots in Charming that just don’t jibe with the esatablished notion that it’s a small town that has been intentionally kept small and mom-and-pop by the MC. It feels bigger and in more like a typical suburban town.

            Jax also mentions after the Galindos seized the weapons that he wanted Tacoma down there. Boy, that’s a long ride for them. They don’t have a chapter in Oregon? What about Reno? They’re closer.

  6. I agree that this season was terrible, but I think the show started going down hill last season. There’s too much off Jemma’s crap. (Big suprise there since she’s the creator’s wife). And the whole Jimmy Smits character and plotline just seemed out of place.

    Yeah, and Jax & Tara are hard to put up with up with.

    And why has Chibs become such an butt monkey suck-up to Jax?

    • I dunno about a suck-up, but i guess without clay around all that epic loyalty had to go somewhere and it went pretty much directly to Jax.

      I want more of chibs, but my favorite, absolutely favorite characters, are Juice and Tig. Juice is adorable and, in his own way.. so is Tig.

    • So that’s the problem with the show, location? I live in queens and 60% of sopranos was s*** down the block from me. Not south jersey. Its TV not real life.

    • Jesus you have a very messed up perspective of the show, the show is character driven, not plot driven, maybe you should look elsewhere for a show, just saying, the show has done nothing but get progressively better with every season, i enjoyed the slower burn pace to this season immensely, i expect next season to have another pace to it as well, it’s what i love about Sutter he loves experimenting and doing everything, as long as it’s in line with how he thinks the characters would react, which is what i love, too many shows rather than having plot holes or inconsistencies like other shows, they instead have character inconsistencies, b/c the things the characters do simply for the plot, and essentially become plot devices themselves, is so unbelievably out of character.

      Sutter would never do that with this show.

      • +1 Thanks.

  7. Kurt has redeemed Tara’s character and made her coming adventure a major plot line for season six. I think this sets up a test to see if Jax really will come to his senses and go with Tara as he should or spiral off into complete evil. Sutter is a genius.

  8. Tara and Jax should stop fighting that over .. Way to much.. No one is left to sit at the table.. I hope the show ends with Jax anbd tara and the boys sitting at the table.

  9. I personally checked out halfway through this season because of Gemma. I hate her character with a passion. She is always the baddest,meanest character on the show. There is simply no way that a person could screw so many people over and live, especially given the group she keeps screwing over. This is why I have the last five episodes on my DVR collecting dust. I hope the show goes off with Gemma getting her karma dealt back to her, but knowing Sutter, it will probably end with her at the head of the table.

  10. Even though we saw a lot of the events of this episode coming a mile away I think this episode was the best of the season and entirely better than last seasons finale. No tricks, no unearned character turns or surprise reveals.
    I guess the biggest question lingering is did Gemma play a role in Tara’s arrest? Even though it seems entirely possible I think Toric probably had a whole lot to do with it.
    Speaking of Toric I’m really excited that it seems like he’ll be back next season. Even though he’s only been in a handful of scenes he seems like a great character. I also hope Jimmy Smitts will be back. From the start he’s been a highlight of the season for me…
    My one small complaint…
    Katey Sagal singing the song in the opening montage. I know some people like her voice but for me it just sounds like Peg Bundy singing karaoke…

  11. The characters and the writing have gone down hill. What happened to the realism? They don’t drink anymore. No parties. They are so kissy, kissy it makes me sick! They are always stroking each other and giving each other kisses. What club would do that? Poor Juice has been reduced to a characture of the negro butler of the 1930’s. What happened to his Juice? I expected him to say, “Yes masser Clay” at any time. Bobby has turned into Grandpa from the Waltons. Just wanting to keep the peace John-Boy. He used to be a bad-ass. Notice how the director’s character(Otto) and his wife’s character(Gemma) and still pretty good. Losing focus.

  12. I was completely turned off the season of Ireland and the kidnapping of Jax’s baby. Came back and gave the show the benefit of the doubt. Watched until midway this season and Gemma’s drama llama character has utterly lost my viewing of this show from here out. I thought I would catch the last episode to see if she got killed off. No joy. Now the setup for next season is like a god damned high school drama. NO THANK YOU! I have other things I could be doing with the time I watched this show. Hell, the only reason I watched ANY of this season is because there is no NHL on.

  13. Best ending, feel as good about this final as I did about season 3 . Jax as the Prez steps up and protects his brother Tig, and burns Clay in the smart plan that I couldn’t see coming. That is a great show unpredictable story! Jax proves a far better head of the MC then Clay, got cartel off their back, put the Irish back in their place, has Neros crew & Mayan backup plus West on his side( he knew he would take control after Jax had the quick chat) but best wacked Pope. Jax saves Tig, and Juice, so his crew with Chibs is tight. Remember he said Bobby might not be down for where he was leading SAMCRO. As for Tara I found her damaged arm , let’s go to Oragon story line annoying . Jax really didn’t seem to protest the arrest , and her interaction with Otto was alittle strange, so was kinda happy to see her go, Jax talk with Nero was about their boys not the woman.
    All hail the king! SAMCO forever! Happy endings are for chick flicks!

    • It’s tv. It’s drama. U will watch it cuz like everyone else u want to see what happens next. For everyone one here this show has great ratings for a reason. It’s violent funny creative and character depth. Stop with the nonsense already

  14. @Telebob I’m with you, i wasn’t that annoyed with the Oregon storyline, i honestly kept thinking how are they gonna keep Tara here, because Jax & Tara are clearly endgame for the show, i think inevitably they will leave when the series is over, but there’s 2 more seasons to go, i liked the ending, and despite me thinking Gemma had everything to do with her arrest, they did make it seem like maybe she didn’t, maybe Donal Logue’s character got her arrested, who knows at this point. Kurt Sutter has said he wants Logue back, as well as the guy who played Pope’s right hand man, i definitely want to see them both back. Jimmy Smits as well, Nero was a great character.

    • Once in a great while they’ll have a party at the club house or at an affiliates club, but you’re right…All work and no play

  15. I liked this season. I thought it started out good and had a decent pace throughout. Wasn’t sure about how Pope would end up because of the $5 million bounty, but liked the twist. I agree that Gemma causing problems is getting old. I wish Tara would give her a beat down then boot her off the show. Although Tara seems way out of place sometimes. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s a doctor. This is my first post to this site and was just wondering, how does everyone know there’s only 2 more seasons?

    • I read some articles on this site years ago saying that Sutter signed on for two more seasons. I think he said that season 7 will be the final season.

  16. I really enjoyed this season as well. Sure ill admit that the Oregon story didn’t grab my attention very much, but that’s only because I really don’t care much about Tara I feel she can leave the show. But now with her possibly going to jail and clay possibly going to jail I wonder if clay will pull some strings to have Tara beaten or killed. Sure they wouldn’t be in the same block but it can happen. This shows known for craziness. Favorite part of the finaly was Otto biting his tounge off INSANE!

    • Clay has no reason to go after Tara, he will go after Jemma and Jax if he has his way. Clay will be with us to the very end of the series. Jax will find a way to get Tarra free of the charges, we know that the nurse’s brother is on a one way trip to deathville.

  17. @talanx
    Sutter said from the start he imagined a 7 year plan to tell the story, he is now saying that he may go beyond that if interest holds from the network and veiwers

    • Bobby already knows that Clay killed JT. Chibs willl be VP, Happy SOA. Gemma did not turn on Tarra, it was the nurse’s brother.

    • Interesting thought 2 see Lee Toric and Clay teaming up in some way. really is. However, to Loose Juicy to Clays hands seems odd to me. He has himself squeezed like always in frontiers. More so, wonder if he ever gonna pick one side for good next season!
      Im both sure and unsure Gemma was the one sending Tara to prison. Maybe Lee Toric got it done faster? He maybe got the Info from Gemma?

      • Pretty sure it was Gemma. Earlier in the episode, Tara sat down with the lawyer who told Tara that she was out of the woods regarding conspiracy to commit murder.

        • On the other hand she already admitted that she brought the cross, but figured he was just going to pray. Maybe the DA or whoever was doing the questions didn’t realize the connection at the time. I’m guessing the brother used whatever juice he still has (I mean he was able to go into prison to beat the hell out of him…That takes some serious juice). I think Gemma’s comments were just a bluff from the get go….I think there’s too many reasons why she’d never follow through…Primary is because she’d either be killed or totally outcast from everyone

  18. I think the talk with the irish is not over, far from it, and there is a lot more to be told. I’ve watched part of this season thinking, why the hell the story is becoming just a repeat of ongoing nonsense, but clearly, Jax has come a long way and became a very good pres since Opie died.
    Wasn’t waiting on the Tig scene, it made me think, what? he’s attacking Pope? and them after some seconds thought… of course no one stays alive connected to Opie death.
    Some may think of happy endings but, clearly it will not be easy for jax to get rid of the club mess, since now he’ll have to deal with the irish, Clay if he doesn’t get killed before, Tara’s arrest, Gema, and so on.
    I also agree with Chibs being VP.

    The ones who were softer became harder, the ones who were harder became softer, except for Gema of course…

  19. It must have been Gemma who got Tara arrested. Earlier in the episode, Tara met with the lawyer, who assured Tara that the threat of a conspiracy to commit murder charge had gone away.

    Jax is going to find out it was Gemma, but Gemma will save her own skin by threatening to be Clay’s alibi for the time of Pope’s murder. Jax can’t let that happen, because if he does then the bounty for Pope’s murder will fall on Jax. Although, technically Jax didn’t kill Pope. Tig did.

    Not sure how Clay survives. Does the CIA reach out to him? Does the IRA find a way to bail him out and help Clay escape to Ireland?

  20. It just wouldn’t of been a season, without the homeless woman making a random appearance.

  21. Difficult to put into words how I feel about the end of the season. Certainly they left a lot of threads unanswered, deliberately, it seems. The Galindo/Irish/RICO thing is out there. Jax thinks he and the club are free of it, but there’s no way that’s possible. I can’t see them killing off too many more members without bringing more in. I suspect that somehow Clay will get out of the murder rap by either Galindo/CIA saving him, or the Irish. How, I don’t know. It does seem that the evidence against him is flimsy despite the prints on the gun and Gemma’s word. But Roosevelt obviously wants to see Clay go down, so he’s motivated to make sure the book gets thrown at Clay. He may even illegally work to ensure Clay is convicted, either by working with Jax, or on his own. The Lee Toric thing was definitely left out there. Who knows how he figures into next season, and it seems he definitely will. I get the suspicion that it was Gemma who ratted Tara out. It had to be. She already threatened Tara with it. Besides, Gemma would have the most to gain with Tara gone. How Tara gets out of this, who knows. In some ways, I wish she wouldn’t. Her being in jail means that Jax doesn’t leave SoA and Charming. Obviously he’s not going to leave or else there is no season 6 and 7. The whole theme to the whole series has been how does Jax get out with his family and his sould intact. I don’t think he ever will. The key is how does Sutter tell that story over two more seasons, 26 more episodes approximately without rehashing the same kinds of stories and getting boring.

    Also, without it feeling inevitable that Jax will be doomed to either end up like his father, dead and betrayed, or corrupt and evil like Clay.

    That’s the problem with these types of shows, like SoA, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire. You end up basically going through the same cycle. A new threat appears each season, puts the main protagonist’s business in jeopardy, a war starts, blood is shed, then there is a resolution at the finale. Meanwhile we get a lot of subplots that may or may not be interesting. With these shows that have large casts, some characters get shown more than others. I felt the same thing happening to Sopranos where they’d introduce an adversary to Tony every season, first it was Jackie Aprile, then it was the Steve Buscemi character, then it was the Frank Vincent character.

    But in the end, the protagonists are all bad men. Sure they’re not as bad as their enemies, but they’re not good guys. There’s the opportunity to show a lot of depth and subtlety to their character, which is why these shows are so popular. But, in the end, they can never be happy. There’s no “happily ever after.”

    • May have no “happily ever after”, but..
      I really wonder how Jax character is heading given the turn he had this season.
      Where is it all leading him?

  22. Something will happen to make Nero off Gemma(season 7 finale). She’ll screw him someway. I wish he’d hurry up and do it. Can’t stand that b**ch.
    Tara won’t go to Oregon. They’ll rescind their offer of a job after her arrest. Something will happen to her(maybe Toric), which sets up Gemma vs Wendy(via the legal papers). Juice visits Clay in prison, and tells him about the setup that put him there. Clay goes after Jax from inside. Maybe uses the Galindos.
    New members?
    Jax finally puts on a pair of boots.

  23. I guess overall this season was good. But the finale was a huge disapointment. It was very predictable and just simply got really stupid. The stuff with Gemma and especially the end with her standing with Jax, come on her storyline is really just filler as far as I am concerned. Her character now…. I don’t care what happens to her. She was a good old lady but now that her and Clay are done she needs to be written out of the show too. Like tell me Tara wouldn’t of yelled right away to Jax how Gemma was behind her getting arrested. And no in real life, that arrest wouldn’t of happened that fast. This use to be a great fairly real biker show and how it is really hoakey. The worst is this thing with Jax getting Clay arresed etc… Just cause the gun is registered to Clay doesn’t mean he killed the guys. What they are going on the word of Gemma? get real…. And to top it all off…. Jax could time it that close to when they would arrest Clay etc…. Towards the end…. the series has just become silly now… thats not even mentioning that tongue biting off incident… Come on Sutter… please go back to the style of the original thought and feel of the series… Nero, his crew… who cares, lets concentrate more on the biker aspect….