The finale aired in 2014, but four years later, we still can’t stop talking about Sons of Anarchy. The hit FX show took us into the life of SAMCRO, an outlaw motorcycle gang who made their living through illegal means. Through the highs and the many, many lows, Sons of Anarchy was an emotional roller coaster, and one of the best shows of the 21st century.
That's was primarily down to Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam. He was the heart of SAMCRO, and for a while he seemed like the one person who’d lead them to a better way of life. As the show progressed, however, he led them down a path of destruction as his own world started to crash around him. It was exhilarating, to say the least. Jax ranks highly among television’s best ever antiheroes, but was he even an antihero? Sure, he had his own code of ethics and we understood most of his motivations, but his journey, while tragic, saw him do some really bad things-- sometimes to good people.
Fortunately, he was such an interesting character that we stuck it out with him until the end, hoping that he’d find his happily ever after. That, of course, did not happen, as we saw in the heartbreaking final episode. Needless to say, this man had flaws, and we overlooked them because we wanted him to be the person we thought he could be.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Jax Teller We All Chose To Ignore.
20 His Relationship with His Sister
Trinity Ashby never had a big part to play in the show, but you’d think Jax would have paid more attention to his half-sister given that family was really important to him. However, the only time he seemed interested in her was when they nearly hooked up. Fortunately, Gemma was on hand to tell the pair they were related before they did something regrettable.
Apart from sharing the same father, their relationship was more or less non-existent. When Jax and the Sons left Northern Ireland, Trinity is never seen or spoken of again. He could have called her once in a while, but he was too busy riding motorcycles and getting caught up in drama.
19 His Plans to Go Legit Were Futile
All through Sons of Anarchy, Jax stated that he wanted SAMCRO to leave the life of crime behind and go legit. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the transition over to a law-obeying venture needed time and planning. That’s fair enough in theory. Really, though, it was never going to happen. Breaking the law took up too much time it seemed.
Just look at Diosa, a business venture involving our dude that had good intentions. However, at the end of the day he was running an illegal entertainment house. While there are strong arguments to be made for legalizing such places, those arguments wouldn’t get anyone far in a court of law. A t least everyone got paid.
18 He’s a Hothead
If there’s one thing Jax wasn’t good at, it was keeping his temper in order. He often scowled at people and raised his voice. When you could see the tension rising in him, and there was never any doubt that he could snap.
At his worst, he didn’t hesitate to put people in the ground. He eliminated a total of 44 people overall, which isn’t how calm people behave. Throw in all the arguments he had and his deep-seated daddy issues, and what you have is one mad son of a deceased motorcyclist. Jax did show great qualities as a leader from time to time, but he made life difficult for the club, too.
17 His Random Limp
Remember that time Jax had a limp in the penultimate episode? There was no real storyline explanation for this and he didn’t say how it happened. He simply appeared with a limp one day and we were forced to accept it and move on with our lives.
If you haven’t been able to move on because you spend your days wondering how Jax got his limp, the answer is quite simple. Charlie Hunnam broke his foot one day, thus causing him to walk with a limp. Maybe this nugget of information should have been kept a secret. The one good thing about Jax’s limp was that it was mysterious. It allowed us to speculate and have deep conversations with others who cared.
16 The Unser Situation
Unser was the ideal police officer for Charming as he turned a blind eye to SAMCRO’s numerous crimes. He was a good friend to Gemma mainly, but he had a good relationship with the club for the most part. Unfortunately, that relationship came to end eventually when Jax popped a cap in his his old pal and took him out.
It is worth bearing in mind that Unser had retired from the force at this point. He was an elderly man living with cancer, trying to make the most of his numbered days. In all fairness, the old cop inserted himself into a situation that he didn’t belong in, so maybe Jax was justified in this case. It's still a harsh thing to do.
15 He’s Untrustworthy
Jax had his own code of conduct throughout the series. Therefore, he always had reasons for his actions, no matter how dark they might have been sometimes. The show did a great job of presenting him as a white knight of sorts, Plus, most of the crimes he committed were so for the greater good in his mind.
However, most organizations that Jax dealt with experienced casualties because of him. It makes you wonder why any of them would have wanted to work with him. Then there are all the lies he told to his friends and family as well. He wasn’t a good person by any means, yet we rooted for him until the end.
14 He Chose the Club Over Tara
Early on, we’re led to believe that Jax wants to leave SAMCRO and live life free from crime and corruption. Tara, his old lady, could -- and should -- have been his way out in the end. Every time he had an opportunity to ride off into the sunset with her and their kids, he didn’t.
When Jax became the leader of SAMCRO, his priorities changed. This didn't stop Tara from trying to persuade him to leave, though. Jax kept making false promises to her while simultaneously getting himself deeper involved with work stuff. When you see how both of their fates turned out, maybe he should have upped and left while he had the opportunity.
13 He Offed Jury
Despite being a small supporting character in a handful of episodes, Jury still came across as a loyal ally. However, this came to end when Jax offed Jury’s son, which set off a chain of problems between the once close pair.
Tensions reached fever pitch when Jax incorrectly believed that Jury played a part in his father’s passing. This eventually leads to Jax eliminating Jury in front of his chapter, as well as SAMCRO. Once again, it proves what a bad temper Jax had. These situations require delicacy, but Jax didn’t care and effectively sealed his own fate by acting the way he did.
12 He was a Bad Friend to Opie
You could argue that Opie was the most beloved character in the show. If you talk to fans, chances are they’ll say his fate was the most upsetting. He was a good man despite his criminal ways, and he lost everything because of a mistake on the club’s part. He and Jax were close -- almost like brothers -- and Opie’s passing clearly had detrimental effects on Jax.
When you look at their friendship, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. They were regularly on the opposite side of the issues at hand. Opie also suspected that Jax was involved in his wife’s demise. Near the end, there was some bad blood between them.
11 His Infidelity
Jax loved Tara more than anything, even though he wasn’t up to the task of giving her the life she deserved. He would have given his life for her without a second thought, but he was far from loyal to his appointed old lady.
That’s right -- Jax was unfaithful. In season three, he hooks up with an adult actress in a bid to drive Tara away. In season six, he got it on with another woman because he couldn’t help himself. Cheating was commonplace among the other characters, but for a while we thought Jax was better than them. As it turned out, though, he was just as disloyal as the miscreants he rode around with.
10 Too Much of a Mama’s Boy
Gemma was one of the most wicked characters in the show. She was always meddling, manipulating, and lying. However, you can tell that she really loved Jax, despite leaving his children without a mother.
The worst part is that Jax always trusted her-- until it was too late and the damage had been done. When you consider that Gemma was responsible for Tara’s passing, it was plain to see that she was possessive of her son and scared to lose her beautiful, blond prince. Needless to say, her hold over Jax was too strong and it cost him in the end, and the fact he rarely questioned her proved that.
9 His Treatment of Wendy
In the season five episode “Darthy”, Jax’s ex-wife -- and recovering addict -- returns to his life with the intention of gettingtheir son, Abel, back. Unhappy about this, Jax injects her and threatens to call the police and have them test her. Maybe he did it to protect his family, but it was a lousy move.
During moments like this, we struggled to view Jax as an antihero. Jax's cruelty toward his former lover was one of the grimmest moments in the show’s history and showed just how rotten to the core he could be. Considering what happened to Jax and Tara, maybe it would have been wiser to let her have custody.
8 His parenting skills
Potentially exposing your kids to a life of crime isn’t the best parenting strategy, but Jax was worse than that. Not only did he refuse to leave Charming and raise his family on the straight and narrow, he also got Wendy back into some bad habits when she was ready to give Abel a better life.
On top of that, while Tara's passing wasn’t his fault, but it could have been avoided if they got out of the life, and their boys would have had an excellent mother growing up. The last time we see Abel, the kid is holding his dad’s memorabilia, meaning that he’ll like discover the life Jax didn’t want for him someday.
7 He’s an Idealist
Jax led SAMCRO based on his own ideals as opposed to what was practical and less likely to cause a body count. An example of this was when he put down Jury in front of their crews, spurred on by a personal vendetta.
For a while, Jax ideals were to make SAMCRO go straight, which was admirable. But as we’ve already discussed, the only ideals they made a reality were based his darker ones -- like revenge. Somewhere along the line of trying to follow his father’s advice, Jax became a monster and everyone suffered as a result. At least it made for some fascinating character development.
6 He Betrayed Nero (and Lied About It)
This one still stings, because Nero was awesome and one of the best characters in Sons of Anarchy. He was legitimately nice to Jax. For a start, he was a supportive father figure to Jax; he didn’t have to be, but when he dated Gemma he accepted her Jax baggage without a fuss .
He was always on board to advise the kid and even let him on his profitable business. He was everything a father should be. What did that get him? Betrayal. For example, Jax ordered Juice to carry out a hit after promising he wouldn’t, then lied about it when confronted later. Taking out Gemma was understandable, but Nero still loved that woman.
5 His Father’s Advice Meant Nothing in the End
John Teller’s letters was written to steer his son clear of the life of crime. Unfortunately, despite Jax’s obsession with honoring his dad’s legacy in a way that would keep him safe from harm, he ended up facing the same fate -- intentionally.
The final episode of Sons of Anarchy was nihilistic poetry, as we witnessed Jax accept that his fate was to be the same as his old man’s. This is what inspired his over-dramatic final fate on the highway. It was good television, sure, but a resolution? Forget about it. There are lessons to be learned from Jax’s downfall. The biggest one is don’t join the same criminal motorcycle gang that cost your dad his life..
4 How he dealt with Tara's stalker
Josh Kohn was Tara's ex who became obsessed with her. He stalked her to Charming and began to hassle both her and Jax, but he really took things too far when he broke into her house and attacked her. Tara shooting him in self-defense is understandable. Jax arriving to finish the job when Tara didn't have the stomach makes sense too. What's wrong with this picture is what happens after.
For some reason, this awful event put Jax and Tara in a romantic mood and they express their love while Kohn lies lifeless nearby. This seemed hardcore for the sake of being hardcore.
3 He Was a Bad Leader
For all Clay’s faults, the reality is that he was a much better leader for SAMCRO. Regardless of his misdemeanors that made us hate him at times, he was able to keep them things in order. Let’s give praise where it’s due.
Jax, on the other hand, took them on a rampage of destruction and gets them caught up in some drama with serious repercussions. When Jax took over, their list of enemies grew, with tensions even forming between the club and their oldest allies. If this was beneficial to SAMCRO then fair enough, but what did they gain from Jax’s leadership? Not a lot. They were in constant danger because of his poor decisions.
2 His body count
Over the course of Sons of Anarchy's sevens seasons, Jax Teller has claimed upwards of 40 lives, which puts him above some of the most infamous serial criminals in history. While Jax’s motivations are perhaps more understandable than your common serial slasher, he did show that he was willing to go extreme lengths with ease.
Jax was a monster presented as a doomed antihero, and while he was easy to root for, that doesn’t excuse the fact that he was a sinister maniac in his own right. When you look at it from this perspective, do you think he was worth rooting for in the end?
1 His Personal Issues
If anyone was entitled to feel bad about the way things turned out in his life, it was Jax Teller. He lost his father at a young age and it clearly affected him. He even decided to take his own life in the same location his father’s was taken, through the same method.
Jax’s grief is the driving force that informs his outlook on life, as well as his decisions -- many of which were poor and cost lives. Then, when he lost Tara, he went on the rampage out of his desire for bloodshed and the club followed him into battle. Not only was he fueled by his own inner demons to act out, but he risked the lives of his brothers.
What are some of Jax Teller's other flaws that Sons of Anarchy fans ignore? Let us know in the comments!