Ranked among FX’s very best drama series, Kurt Sutter’s testosterone-driven biker drama Sons of Anarchy was unlike any other crime show on television. A story about brotherhood, redemption, and the ghost of one man’s father coming back to haunt him, SoA was Hamlet on wheels, but behind the patches and shiny rides was a wicked web of crime that put the show’s lead character, Jax Teller, at odds with every known criminal to ever set foot in the town of Charming.
Over the course of seven years, one traumatic storyline after the next brought Jax closer to the same fate as his father. Driven by the egomaniacal personality of his stepfather Clay Morrow, the manipulative mindset of his mother Gemma, and the bond between his family and his club, he slowly lost his grip on reality as he sought a way to fix everything he held dear to him.
It was an emotionally gripping ride that ended with one last bang, but SoA wasn’t without its flaws. With its final season, fans were left with lingering questions that never got answered. From unexplained mystery characters to questionable writing decisions, not everything was neatly tied up.
Join us for one more look back as we investigate 15 Unresolved Mysteries and Plot Holes from Sons of Anarchy.
As the Chief of Police of Charming for many years, Wayne Unser negotiated with the Sons to strike a balance between the MC’s longstanding influence over the town and the necessary procedures to keep it safe. As one of the more polarizing figures of the series, he found himself in the middle of some of the show’s most complicated storylines, but his duties were jeopardized when he was diagnosed with cancer.
It was his diagnosis which eventually led to him stepping away from his job, but despite being given few years to live, little else was ever said about his cancer. A few times he was shown dealing with his sickness, but the important storyline soon became nothing more than a backstory.
Ultimately, a gunshot to the chest courtesy of Jax would end Unser’s story, leaving many to wonder what the point was to begin with.
Althea Jarry was introduced in the show’s seventh and final season as the head of the San Joaquin Sheriff's Department after the death of Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt in the season six finale. Upon her first meeting with the Sons, it becomes apparent that she has a strong attraction to Chibs, which Jax immediately uses to his advantage.
By the season’s end, Jarry begins working alongside the Sons to keep Charming safe while her relationship with Chibs grows more intense.
The final time we see Jarry, her time with Chibs is ruined by a cringe-worthy love scene in broad daylight on top of a police car. Ultimately, no further information is given about the direction of the couple. That nonsensical scene is the closest fans get to knowing what became of the unlikeliest pairing on the show.
In season seven, things come to a head between the Sons and August Marks when the crime syndicate leader seeks to take control over some land owned by a minister who was accidentally killed by the Sons.
A deal between Marks and the deceased minister would've allowed him to use the church property for a housing project, but the club intervenes when Marks threatens the minister’s wife and stepson, who they promised to protect.
After Marks kidnaps Bobby, Jax strikes a deal to get him back. When Bobby is taken out, the group uses leverage to have Marks arrested and later disposed of. With Marks deceased, the dispute over the church land is never mentioned again, though it’s unlikely that Marks’ crew would just give up on the property.
It’s a glaring plot hole on Sutter’s end that is ultimately left behind without any further mention.
In the show's later seasons, Jax is given an opportunity to steer the Sons into more legitimate business practices when he goes into business with Nero, who operates an escort service named Diosa.
Under California law, an escort service may operate under the condition that none of the escorts are paid for their adult services. While everything seems to be on the up and up, the truth is Diosa was actually a pleasure house disguised in a more upscale package.
Compared to the Sons' services, it should come as no surprise that they would show interest in a brothel. The only problem is Jax consistently referred to Diosa as a legitimate source of income that could steer the Sons away from more troublesome businesses. As legitimate businesses go, Diosa was far from what Jax had originally envisioned and it would have done little to help the club shed its bad reputation.
In season four, Juice Ortiz is approached by Lieutenant Roosevelt to build a case against the IRA and the Mexican Cartel, who have been working with SAMCRO to traffic cocaine.
As Juice is believed to be a weak link in the Sons, Roosevelt uses his recently discovered ethnicity as leverage, revealing that he is half black, a fact that violates a club rule written years earlier.
The shocking revelation leads to Ortiz ratting on the Sons and even taking out a member when he’s almost caught. The storyline ultimately proves to be remarkably pointless as Jax and the rest of the members had shown many times that they had no problem working with people of various races.
Jax even mentions that many of the old rules are outdated and in need of revision, so Ortiz’s worries end up leading him on a costly journey that could have been avoided in the first place.
In the series finale titled “Papa’s End”, Jax meets an appropriately gory end when he knowingly drives in front of an eighteen-wheel truck in a sacrificial manner. The ending mirrored the way that Jax’s father had passed years before and left fans reeling over the character’s last ride, but it was the driver behind the wheel that left many viewers stumped.
In the penultimate episode, Gemma ran into a traveler named Milo who gave her a lift to go visit her father. Later, when Jax drives in front of the truck, it’s none other than Milo driving the vehicle. He even gets the final line of the series: "Jesus!"
Apart from the character being played by Michael Chiklis, who appeared on The Shield (another show Kurt Sutter worked on), there is no connection between Milo and the rest of the characters. In the end, fans were left wondering exactly who he was and why he was so important.
With large stakes in both gun and substance trafficking, the Sons have attracted their fair share of attention over the years. Bringing in a slew of talented individuals from the ATF, ICE, the FBI and Charming’s own local law enforcement has been a hindrance on the club.
Even with all the new guests visiting town, Charming still manages to stay largely off everyone’s radar.
Over the course of the show’s seven seasons, which span over a few years time, there were hundreds of deaths in Charming, yet the area is never depicted as a particularly violent place to live. With so many violent acts and with local gangs in control of the town, the media should be covering Charming as one of America’s most criminalcities, but somehow, everyone is able to maintain the facade that the town is a wonderful place to raise a family.
Throughout the show’s seven seasons, the Sons saw their fair share of unnecessary deaths, all the results of critical mistakes.
In season one, Tig accidentally assassinates Opie’s wife at the request of Clay, which leads Opie on a downward spiral that results in his own death. Later on, Tig is forced to watch his daughter being burned alive by the kingpin Damon Pope.
With so many downsides, it's a mystery why any of the members would choose to stick around, regardless of any threats of reprisal against those who'd try to leave. Survival odds are definitely better if the members leave.
As the show progresses, Jax slowly begins to look for a way to save the club and turn its source of income to more legitimate business practices, but he ultimately turns back to his crooked ways when all other options fail. Still, there’s little explanation as to why the rest of the Sons would blindly follow Jax when all signs point to more ensuing chaos down the line.
There’s no denying that SoA was always Kurt Sutter’s show. The series creator, writer and occasional guest star often frustrated viewers with plot holes, but he stayed true to his vision, even if it didn't always make sense.
A good example is the mysterious homeless woman who regularly appeared throughout the series, always around the time Jax or Gemma were contemplating doing something crazier than usual.
A longstanding character of the show, her identity was never revealed, though some fans have suggested she may have been Emily Putner, the woman who perished in the car crash that also ended John Teller. Others have suggested she was merely an angel that haunted Charming, overseeing those who would soon meet Mr. Mayhem.
Neither theory was ever fully confirmed, though the mystery has left room for fans to debate the topic for years to come.
The most galvanizing mystery of the show's first season is one that haunted Jax for the remainder of the series. His father's death, first thought to be a motorcycle accident, would later be implied to be a crime when Jax discovered John Teller’s letters about trying to lead the club away from potentially dangerous business deals. This eventually led to the revelation that Clay and Gemma had tampered with John’s bike, resulting in his fatal crash.
In the show’s later seasons, Jury White, President of the Indian Hills charter, reveals that John knew about Clay and Gemma’s plans to take him out. Having become disenchanted with the club, John saw his only way out as a sacrifice, which he hoped would show the club the errors of its ways. Ultimately, Jury’s words are never proven and fans are left with the lingering question about just how much John knew.
For a show that oozes machismo, a lot of the series' most influential characters are women. As the club matriarch, Gemma Teller holds significant power and gains the trust of the Sons as Jax’s mother. Meanwhile, Tara is depicted as equally respectable because of her romantic involvement with Jax and her medical skills.
Together they form the leading lady duo of the series, but the other ladies of Sutter’s series aren't always painted so lovingly.
With a supporting cast of female characters that includes dancers, nightworkers, and adult film stars, the majority of the women of SoA don’t hold as much sway as the two leads. For all of the club’s emphasis on old ladies, there are few to look up to.
It also begs the question of why a woman is never shown on a motorcycle.
For a series so infatuated with bikes, shouldn’t at least one woman know how to ride?
As Jax’s world came crashing all around him after Tara’s death in season six, the cold reality of the club’s effects on his children became more apparent. For years, his eldest son Abel had to wonder what happened to many of the people that were disappearing from his life, but it wasn’t until the final season that he became aware of his surroundings.
After witnessing Gemma confess to taking out Tara, Abel's actions become more worrisome.
He begins hurting himself and blaming the injuries on Gemma. Later, he’s shown wielding a hammer when he feels his younger brother is being threatened.
In the final episode, as he leaves to begin his new life with Nero and his mother Wendy, he can be seen holding a Sons ring given to him by Gemma, indicating that he and his brother could follow in their father’s footsteps as future members of the club.
After multiple attempts to leave Charming, season five of SoA ended with a cliffhanger when Tara was arrested. At odds with the club, she agrees to rat out the Sons in exchange for witness protection. Knowing she’ll soon leave with Thomas and Abel, Gemma brutally takes out Tara.
In search of answers, Jax is misled when Gemma tells him that the Chinese are responsible. A closer inspection, however, would indicate that the deed was most likely done by someone less professional.
The end of Eli Roosevelt, who was also taken out at the same location, would also suggest that the attacker had no idea the police were at the house. All signs, from the display to Gemma’s motives, seem to indicate she was responsible, yet everyone seems to overlook her in the final season.
As the first leader depicted in the series, Clay Morrow was a manipulative, sinister criminal who would do anything if it served his best interests. Alongside Gemma, he feuded with his stepson Jax over the direction of the club. After learning that he was partly responsible for the loss of his father, Jax worked to have him voted out of the President's chair.
Driven by his family and his passion to turn the Sons to more legitimate sources of income, Jax steered the MC away from the drug and gun trade, but ultimately his inability to juggle his familial values alongside the responsibilities of the club made him a less capable leader.
Although Clay was an unlikable choice to rule over the members, his hardened personality made him a good fit when it came to making tough decisions, which is something Jax ultimately struggled with.
With a name like the Sons of Anarchy, it’s hard to take a member’s word without a grain of salt, but that didn’t stop Jax from trying to convince every criminal that they were a trustworthy bunch.
From season-to-season beefs to inner-club disputes, the Sons were never the kind to play nice, so it brings up the question, “Why did anyone ever trust them?”
From the Mayans to the One-Niners to the True IRA, the deals struck between the Sons and the other groups of the show often turned sour. With no evidence to suggest that they can be trusted, rival gangs often found themselves climbing back into bed with them anyway.
When it all came down to brass tacks, the Sons were terrible businessmen yet somehow things always turned back in their favor, showing just how lucky they were for the majority of the series.
What else doesn't add up about Sons of Anarchy? Let us know in the comments!