‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 6 Finale Review

Published 1 year ago by

Mark Boone Jr Charlie Hunnam and Tommy Flanagan in Sons of Anarchy season 6 episode 13 Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Finale Review

[This is a review of Sons of Anarchy season 6, episode 13. There will be SPOILERS.]


Because of certain storylines in the past, Sons of Anarchy has developed something of a reputation for building up to a big inevitable moment, only to turn away from it, as if delaying the action would somehow enhance the drama of it all. But season 6 has been different, largely because, over the course of several gratuitously overlong episodes, the trend in the series seems to have shifted toward a desire to hit as many big moments as possible, without really developing a deep sense of why they were inevitable. The result of that has been a season padded with great deal of filler, without enough of it connecting to the climactic character moments for them to carry much weight or purpose beyond the initial rush of shocking violence being perpetrated on a familiar character.

Unlike the sudden death of Clay in ‘Aon Rud Persanata,’ there was a hint that something unpleasant was going to happen to Tara for much of the season. And while the event was handled in a way that was indeed shocking, and brought Tara’s lengthy, quarrelsome, and frequently-aggressive relationship with Gemma to a bloody and gruesome end, it was accompanied by the overwhelming feeling that any sense of tragedy stemming from the event was entirely superficial. That’s not to say Tara’s murder wasn’t tragic; it was, but it was tragic for all the wrong reasons. Rather than have her death really mean something powerful beyond adding to the misery and suffering Jax and the other characters of Sons of Anarchy must seemingly endure, it just wound up being a bit of dramatic irony that highlighted Gemma’s too frequent bouts of violence and jumping to conclusions that simply weren’t true. Carrying out the death sentence of a major character on the foundation of something as flimsy as that makes the whole thing reek of insincerity, which was only compounded by the feeling that most of the characters had to suddenly drop a few precious IQ points to allow the complicated series of events to play out as they did.

Maggie Siff in Sons of Anarchy season 6 episode 13 Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Finale Review

It’s difficult to understand why, after treating Juice like Fredo and proclaiming, “You betrayed me,” Jax would then let him go out in search of Gemma, who, according to a rather placid Unser, was behaving erratically and had stolen his truck – which was discovered parked outside Jax and Tara’s house. But things get even murkier when Roosevelt conveniently leaves Tara in her home, and only reenters after she’d already been murdered, because it didn’t occur to her to, you know, scream for help from the local sheriff standing just outside her front door. On the plus side, there was a brief moment when it appeared that, having been given the correct information, Gemma was going to accept responsibility for what she’d done, but all of that was wiped away when Juice decided to kill one of the few remaining likable characters the show had left.

For the most part, much of ‘A Mother’s Work’ hinged on the question of whether or not Tara was going to turn herself in to Tyne Patterson, and rat out her husband and the rest of the MC, in exchange for immunity from a crime she didn’t commit. There was some tension in this storyline, but for a series that lives and breathes on twists and explicit acts of violence, there was no way things would go down in such a manner. Tara’s death certainly checked the Explicit Acts of Violence box, but the abrupt twist of having Jax suddenly surrender himself – after a season of killing and bartering his way out of trouble with things like the school shooting that started this whole chain of events – lacked the kind of context that would have made his decision feel reasonable or even heroic. Instead, after spending much of his time this season cheating on Tara, having member of SAMCRO follow her around town, or otherwise ignoring her plight, it felt as though Jax suddenly flipped a switch and decided it would be better for everyone that he play the martyr. The trouble is, aside from a few lectures about responsibility from Tyne and Nero, there was nothing in his arc this season that would suggest the transition from killer to willing sacrifice was even remotely in the cards.  And considering how much time was spent on introducing plotlines, incidents, and characters that ultimately went nowhere, or had no great meaning, it makes the lack of work done on behalf of Jax’s conversion all the more noticeable.

CCH Pounder and Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy season 6 episode 13 Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Finale Review

The question at the beginning of the season was: how is Sons of Anarchy going to use the school shooting to make it relevant not only to the season’s overall narrative, but also to the welfare of the characters involved? The answer, apparently, is: it isn’t. All season long, the show pulled surface-deep discussions out of the school shooting, and that’s better than no discussion at all, the incident wound up being a simple plot point designed to get the Sons into a suddenly exigent move away from guns. From a purely plot-driven perspective, the club’s desire to pull away from guns made sense, but season 6 never showed much interest in the way of earnestly engaging in a discussion about gun violence outside the rather limited perspective of Jax and the rest of SAMCRO.

Ultimately, the same can be said for a number of plot points and storylines this season. Lee Toric proved to be not only an irritating character, but also one that was quickly abandoned and used primarily to open the door to Otto’s exit. Meanwhile, how many are still scratching their heads over what exactly Kim Dickens and Peter Weller’s characters were intended to bring to the table? Aside from helping move a few pieces around the board, they ostensibly did nothing. And then there’s was the dramatically inert execution of Clay Morrow that only briefly showed a glimmer of meaning something beyond simply saying goodbye to Ron Perlman.

In the end, season 6 wound up being a frustratingly indistinct season that seemed to invite a discussion into the morality of the show’s themes and its characters, only to demonstrate a greater preference for heaping sorrow on its protagonist in a search for something profound. Perhaps in its seventh, and potentially final season, all of this death and pain will amount to something carrying great weight, but right now it just feels like despair for the sake of despair.


Sons of Anarchy will continue with season 7 in 2014 on FX.

Photos: Prashant Gupta/FX

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  1. I agree that this show has lost its way. It gotten too self insistent, and the obligatory song and montage, sometimes 2 per episode, is just too much. Bad songs, too. This version of You Are My Sunshine is the worst I’ve ever heard. I see this show pulling a Dexter.

    • Yes,yes,yes!The songs/montages were excruciating!I found my self yelling “Bollocks!”(English for B/S)at the screen regularly at the ridiculous plot.

    • I agree-those musical interludes are annoying as hell-thank god I binge watch on VUDU
      and fast forward thru that bs. And yes there many distracting lulls-which felt complacent
      –I did scream my head off when Tara was getting eviscerarted by Gemma though-God I had trouble getting that image out of my head–some people have said they are abandoning the show out of disgust-but I for one will not miss the final season-and I wouldnt be surprised if gemma ended up a victor-to the dismay od many-because its a fact-bad people
      prosper and get away with s*** all the time

  2. I agree with you mack that the show lost its way. but a few seasons back this same type of thing happened and it came back around. the music however…. you are incorrect. the music good and you are my sunshine was a great rendition.I have faith that Kurt Sutter knows what hes doing. This is after all the penultimate season.


    • So because things didn`t go exactly like you wanted them to, you won`t watch any further?
      I loved this ending because, as always, things didn`t go like expected. This isn`t a show that you can easily predict whats going to happen in and that is what makes it so great.

      • If you actually thought that whatever was going to happen did not involve Gemma somehow coming out unscathed and on top, we don’t obviously watch the same show. This show has become a joke, because it IS so predictable. What would surprise me is if they actually killed Gemma off, because with the way this show unfolds, Gemma dying seems like the most far fetched idea possible, it would be shocking, because no one thinks it will happen. I think Sutter overestimates how much people actually think her character is important to the show.

      • You are just dead wrong. This was just unnecessary to the show. Killing off one of the few main characters that i love (total voiced opinion) is just idiotic, and as i said, unnecessary. Do you really think that everyone didnt see this coming? We all knew it was coming but no one wanted it to. It is that exact reason why this show will indefinitely loose some if not more of its viewers because of this pathetic attempt at a finale. Gemma was who we wanted to see dead, but instead the creator thinks up this half’(well i cant say a**), but still, this doesn’t suit to benefit most viewers. We already hated Gemma(btw love the actor). It is completely and utterly, i reiterate, unnecessary to kill off Tara.

        Personal side bar: I still love the show and shall continue to support and or watch, i just wished things turned out differently. And honestly i can only say this to finish off my rant/tantrum. If Gemma isn’t killed on the very first episode –By Jax himself–
        of the next season (i cant wait to come… Phrazing!) than i will be rather pissd. I apologize for my insults as well as thanx for reading this far. Much Obliged.

      • I’d have to say this show is very predictable. Everything I call out ends up happening. Nothing surprises me on this show.

        • Agreed. I have been binge watching for the past two weeks and I am just a few episodes into season 6. I feel the same, everything that I predict will happen, does. There is no element of surprise, except for Op’s death. That was hard and I would have much rather watched that happen to Tig.

    • Hey Besty great idea hope they use it. great show all around.

    • The part where Jax started cheating on her is where I turned the show off for good on my end. Looked up all these spoilers out of curiosity and am not in the slightest disappointed that I refused to go further. Killing Tara was, indeed, the worst thing they could do to the show. Jax would have been a better sacrifice. Taking out the entire emotional heart of the show with yet another season in mind is downright lunacy. Seasons 5 and 6 are hereafter expunged from my memory and replaced by one where the protagonists continue to be lovable and live happily ever after.

      • I just finished Season 3 on Netflix and read the other Season’s spoilers. I so agree that killing Tara off spoils this whole show for me. Jax betraying her with that gal spoiled the show for me, also. Very disappointing. Despite all the twists & turns, I was looking forward to Jax & Tara living happily together in the end. I doubt I will watch the other seasons.

    • Season 7 start: Someone is in the shower and asks for a bar of soap. Turns out to be Clay. He dreamnt seasons 5 and 6 and is still the SamCro president.

    • So agree-I was so upset over the death of Tara that I am not sure if I will be able to watch the final season.

  4. I agree with that. Also i would love to know everyones predictions for season 7 on how all this will play out?

    • Jax is somehow linked to both murders by the writers ignoring that actual investigators would use many crime solving methods to clear him of the murders, and he will be put in prison. Gemma, and her constant need for self-preservation, now has two new sons (her grandsons), that she can mold into the next effective momma’s boys to eventually take over the MC. Since it will be awhile before the new chosen ones will be able to head the MC, she has Chibs, who is now the acting President with Jax in prison, murdered to clear the way for her new trusted confidante, (insert random MC member here), to hold onto the Presidency until she can make another power play and have him removed to make way for the easiest manipulated grandson to take the reigns of the MC when they are ready. Screen fades to black as someone gravely sings an acoustic version of The Who’s We Won’t Get Fooled Again.

  5. No one else really talked about Juice’s issues! We are supposed to believe that for most of S6, he has been conflicted over his wrongdoings and tried to OFF himself because of his guilt over killing an innocent women and then all of the sudden flips a switch and not only kills innocent Eli but aids Gemma in covering up innocent Tara’s death, as well? What bs! I was so pissed when that happened! Can’t believe Jax didn’t just send Chibbs to kill him right after they had the meeting and it was made clear that Juice couldn’t be trusted.

    REALLY hoping that Jax kills Gemma at the end of the next season (because, as many people pointed out, there’s no way she’ll go before it’s all over since she’s Sutter’s wife) but my guess is it’s more likely that once Jax finally founds out what she did, he will try to kill her and at the last minute, spare her life, choosing instead to leave her and Charming and never allowing her to see him or her grandsons again. He knows that would be the ultimate punishment for her-alone with no family, no club, and most importantly, no power. Here’s to hoping he just shoots her though :P

  6. There are very few good characters left to root for on this show. Tara’s now gone by her evil stepmother. Jax and crew have done so much killing of innocents that any future redemption realized will be a day late and dollar short. Its like watching a series about the real lives of a*&holes. I could care less if Jax, Gemma and crew clean their lives up. Thus, If they all get run over by a slow moving steam roller it will be a favor to the world.

    • In my opinion the writers overall goal is to get the audience to cheer for bad guys (MC) whom in the real world would be scum bags for running guns, killing cops/innocents, drugs, pimping prostitutes etc. He then brings a story full circle so the audience wakes up and wants to see the MC killed off.

  7. Anyone else find the Juice storyline a little overcooked? I mean damn, I know its great when you have an actor who can cry on command but that doesn’t mean he has to every scene he’s in right?

    Here is a string of sentences that sum up my feeling of season 6:

    TOTALLY agree with the OP on a lot of this. Jax’s goal to get the club out of guns coupled with the school shooting was all the motivation they needed to convince everyone that guns weren’t the answer. I kind of suspected that in the end Pope’s crew would end up as the new distributer, but I was hoping that Samcro would find a way to do it without shooting everyone. Or at least get the Chinese and the Irish to kill each other without Samcro involved at all. Instead, it turned into the same-old senseless violent scenes in which 1000 bullets are fired and only one main character is shot in the shoulder. Bobby would make a good president, although I sometimes worry that he’s going to fall asleep in mid-scene. Get that guy a soda or something! And what about Tigs? Is he going to be a new villain or are we supposed to assume he has just gone completely nuts. I am still mad they killed Opie. Lee Toric was a total waste of a character arc. Remember when he killed that hooker? What the hell was that?? Sutter likes ending his seasons with someone going to jail. Clays death was sad, messed up, but had to be done. The moment he couldn’t ride anymore was when he stopped being useful in the show. Jax walks funny. Tara became a much more interesting person this season. Her motivations finally turned into actions. When she threw herself against the table I couldn’t believe it. Still, this show is about Samcro, which made her the Skylar of the show. The thorn in our side. Her death was a long time coming, and for it to happen by means of iron to the stomach/sink drowning/medulla fork stabbing was pretty insane. And by Gemma no less. Nice twist that her anger was misplaced. I love Gemma, she’s great, but what would have made this finale simply mind blowing would have been if Juice shot Gemma, threw down his Samcro vest, and skipped town. Jax being caught as a cop killer? He. Is. Screwed. At least the club has experience with busting people out of prison. Really sorry for the rant. If you don’t like it, keep scrollin.

    Favorite line of the season:

    Tyne: “Hello Gemma.”
    Gemma: “Lick my white crack.”

  8. I don’t think Patterson & the feds will end up framing Jax on the death of Eli, like some of you have said. She knows Jax was cooperating so the death of Eli and Tara would make no sense. Also, now Jax doesn’t need to surrender himself because Patterson has no leverage over him. She can’t threaten to bury Tara in court cause…well Tara’s dead. She has no physical proof on Jax. I hope that this does happen so Jax can be there for Abel and Thomas. I really don’t want to see the boys with Gemma. Gemma is the queen of stirring up unwanted sh*t. This show needs to end with her gone.

  9. I agree that was some gross s*** that Gemma did to Tara. Tara belongs on the show. Without her Jax is just another Clay Jr.

  10. This season did disappoint me; I thought I was the only 1… Although I’m confident that it was made with season 7 in mind, I take it as a foundation for the series grande finale. The high standard also comes from the series “the Shield”: 7 seasons with each one more intense than the previous. I can only wait to the next seasons to judge S.O.A. as a whole…

  11. Season 5 is where the show certainly plummeted in quality, but it was at least still relatively entertaining with strong characters that you love, even if they did start to give you uneasy feelings about their direction. Season 6′s main issue was what many shows do nowadays and you said it exactly right; that they don’t make decisions rationally anymore and it all has to lead to despair for the sake of despair. Take a cue Sutter: When you stop giving us reasons to like the characters, you stop giving us a reason to watch the show.

  12. I don’t understand why everyone is so shocked by Gemma acting on a rumor. From season 1 Gemma has been the interfering, selfish, childish b**** who lies and gossips. The fact that she thought she was never getting to see her grankids again, Jax was going to jail, Clays funeral and Nero dumping her kinda sets it up for an emotional breakdown. Even though she is already bat s*** crazy.
    Jax turning himself in isn’t a shock for me either. Throughout the seasons Jax has been the tortured good guy trying to deal with all the horrible things he was doing, Tara and the boys were the only thing that could make him see that. When he spoke to Tara at the park and realized just how much he loved her and everything he has done, why wouldn’t he turn himself in?
    I think that there are still some characters left to love in the show. We can’t all take the moral high ground now the show is about a motorbike gang, you’ve got to expect some violence. I think if the other club members got a bit more air time, it would make viewers feel connected with the club again, like Chibs, Tigs, Bobby, Happy..
    I do think that Gemma gets FAR too much screen time. I understand she is a main character but I think being married to the writer is why the show is focusing on her so much.
    I hate how brutally and disgustingly Tara was killed off though. It was worse that Opie’s death. I feel like for two such important, main characters they deserved to go out better than that?
    I understand that some characters have expiry dates, and so far I think everyone that has been killed off was kind of necessary for the story but Gemma has had an expiry date for a while now and its about time that all her secrets caught up with her…

  13. Also, anyone else not get why Wendy is getting a story line? I know she is Abel’s mother but her character is so irrelevant and I think if this is a way of working her back into Jax’s life so they can end up a happy family then that is such a bad move…
    Cannot think of a worse ending!

  14. Well worst final and maybe the worst episode of the great show of SoA

    The final scene was shocking but expectable especially after Unser telling Gemma that Tara ratted.

    The thing make the final episode bad that the characters acted like they were idiots. Tara did not shout out to call help or tell Gemma she is here for good. Well Gemma maybe too high to consider that why would a “rat” come to home but Unser?

    After telling Gemma that Tara ratted he has to expect actually know that Gemma would do anything to kill her. He left her unattended and after losing her, he has gone to the shop but did not tell Jax that your mother thinks Tara is a rat and now she is gone with my truck. He did not call Eli about Gemma going for Tara or the situation of Tara is a rat or not etc…

    So until now Unser acted like a smart one but even a guy with 80 iq wont make those mistakes. So Sutter should had to make an another move to make that unexpected scene, i dont want to see people acting like morons to make things unexpectable.

    Same thing goes about keeping secrets too. People are keeping secrets from other members but in the end they all see that keeping things make things worse but they still did not learn anything about it. Jax was acting like trusting none (even Bobby and Chibs) and pulling strings alone. He should have seen that people would support him on anything (he has leverage on Tig and Juice too. and Happy being Sgt. at Arms will support anything) but he does not want to bring things to the table where nearly everyone will accept anything he brings.

    And back to the final again why Juice helped Gemma? If he wants to save the club and dont want to be a traitor. Why the hell he helped Tara’s killer and if he wants to be a real traitor why the hell he did not kill Gemma. Helping Gemma about it is really silly esp. for someone who is on depression about killing innocent people. And if it is about love, Juice loves Tara more than Gemma at least he should.

  15. I find it funny how many people are abandoning the show because they kill off the likeable charavters or have storylines that don’t seem to matter. If season six showed anything, it’s that Kurt Sutter and the rest of the writers are looking at the big picture. This season brought elements from the past back into play and while some stories may not be tied up neatly, there is still another season left. The show has always been a long overarching story of a man at ends woth the actions of his club and trying to make it better for his family. Tyne gave him a reminder of that in this season finale and he made the decision to turn himself in.

    As for the people who are upset that the tragedies (and bodycounts) are piling up, I don’t think you grasped the concept of the show being loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. SPOILER ALERT That play ends with everybody dying. I wouldn’t hold your breath for a happy ending.

  16. Sons of Anarchy, seasons 1 through 5, is an amazing show. It’s entertaining and violent but has the plot to back it up. Season 6 made me sad and grossed out. There was no loyalty anywhere and I thought that was the whole point of the brotherhood. What happened? Forget 6 and 7, I am going back to season 1.

  17. The show no longer has me rooting for Jax. He has lost his way, and I don’t know if their is a means for him to redeem himself. How could this gang ever go legit? Their life skills aren’t exactly customer friendly. The only reason I watch now is due to having invested so much in the series 1-5 that I feel obligated to ride out this storm. But if every guy in Samcro gets killed, I’m not sure it will be a bad thing. Doesn’t each one deserve it?

  18. I don’t remember feeling so depressed and dissapointed from a tv show after watching 6 whole seasons. I agree with the “dispair for the sake of dispair”.
    The first thing that hit me and started to dislike Jax was the fact that although Tara was supposed to be the love of his life he didn’t miss a chance to cheat on her. It just didn’t fit.
    After that, I started to build bad feelings about Jax and when Tara decided to go with the kids it all seemed right,just and balanced. She would be gone away and Jax would have somewhere to go for his exit plan. It could also be a good idea if Tara had some relatives in Europe, grabbed the kids and vanish without Jax knowing anything.
    Anyway, now I’m watching the show just from curiocity, I don’t enjoy that anymore.
    Since this is so screwed up, I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw Jema in an asyloum type nuthouse, Jax in prison for life like Otto, the older kid dead from his heart problem neglection, the younger kid growing up into some orphanege and the rest of the crew either dead or drunk homeless.
    I have a feeling that I wasted my time with this show.

  19. I agree that why didn’t Tara scream when she was being attacked.

    • I thought this actually made sense. When she first saw Gemma, she didn’t know what was going on. They’ve had a long history of tension with each other, and a few fights. Further, she’s been trained at this point to not involve the cops in “family matters”. I don’t think Tara thought Gemma was going to kill her until it was too late and her head was dunked in the sink.

  20. I know I’m late to the party on this discussion and most people are finishing season 7 up at this point but. What I found so disappointing about the finale was not that they killed off a character that I liked or that the good guy didn’t win but that by killing Tara I don’t really have a desire to see what happens to Jax. So what he is just going to be a bitter, murderous biker and end up like Clay? I thought the whole point of the show was how Jax was going to fulfill his fathers dream of getting him and his family out of the lifestyle of guns and violence. Hell Sutter you might as well kill Able as well at this point and really give him nothing to fight for.

  21. Just finished season 6, and disagree with almost everything in this article. I think the writer has a problem with putting how they would handle the situation, with how the characters would handle the situation. I’ve been binge watching, and the character behaviors are very believable.

    Jax has been trying to get out of guns. Yes, he’s been violent, but always for that reason. Why has he wanted out? Because he wants his family safe. He had plenty of time to think about his real reason for doing everything again. He’s been putting his life at risk to get out of guns. You don’t think he wouldn’t consider going to jail?

    Tara’s death is also pure Shakespeare tradgedy. That was the point. It doesn’t have to mean more than that. Finally, the author’s gripes with the supporting guest cast members this season is silly. Not every new character has to be a game changer. Some actors probably wanted to just be on the show. Sometimes people overanalyze WAY too much and forget to enjoy the well written story and adventure unfolded for us.