TV Review: “Sons of Anarchy” Season 7 – One Final Ride

Written by Brian Wilcox December 10, 2014

sons of anarchy

Note: This article contains spoilers for the entire series of “Sons of Anarchy”. Read at your own risk.

After leaving their audience on a massive cliffhanger last year, the seventh and final season of “Sons of Anarchy” had a lot to live up to. Although it took a good amount of episodes to get there, “Sons of Anarchy” crafted a very solid ending that should satisfy its core fan base immensely. One look at this season and it is almost hard to believe how different “Sons of Anarchy” looks compared to how it was two or three seasons ago and it’s been for the better for the most part. The first half or so of this season felt a lot like filler, biding their time waiting for the bombshells to drop. By episode 10, it almost felt like a completely different season entirely.

When “Sons of Anarchy” finished up its sixth season around this time last year, it left a lot of questions and crazy theories about what would happen in the final season. The biggest question obviously was how Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) was going to find out that his own mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal) was in fact responsible for the death of his wife Tara (Maggie Siff). The creators obviously had to drag that out for as long as possible, but by episode 7 or 8 it felt like a lot of filler, watching Jax struggle time after time to avenge his wife. What made it even worse was when it was shown that Jax’s young son Abel (pulling a “Full House” move by being played by twins Evan & Ryder Londo) had eavesdropped on Gemma, hearing the terrible news straight from her so everyone knew it was coming, just not when. While this does create tension as to when that bomb is going to go off, it might have been a tad longer than it needed to be. When it does go off at the end of an episode called “Faith and Despondency” as a cliffhanger, it immediately ramped the rest of the season up considerably, setting the stage for bodies to drop, and drop they did.

“A good father and a good outlaw can’t settle inside the same man.”

Not surprisingly was the death of Juice, longtime club member and longtime rat. What was surprising was what they did to him before his end. “Sons of Anarchy” has always been known for its outlandish casting, from Walton Goggins being cast as a transsexual woman, Ashley Tisdale and even Courtney Love have all shown up as well, but this season showed something even more extreme when they cast Marilyn Manson as Tully, a character who ends up claiming Juice as his prison wife before ultimately killing him. Sure, it’s a bit out there, but it proved to be pretty funny watching a character so hated (or beloved depending on what side you’re on) get his just desserts from none other than one of the Gods of shock rock himself. Juice had his moments, though, like killing Lin and having what might be one of the best scenes of the series when Jax comes to talk with him in jail, and Juice reveals the truth about Gemma and Tara.

sons of anarchy

On the opposite end of things was the killing of retired cop Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie). It’s long been a joke that the poor cancer-ridden Unser would be one of the characters to survive the length of the show, so when Jax killed him on his way to Gemma, it certainly came as a bit of a surprise. Unser had become the voice of reason for the show, one of the few hero characters that did what was right instead of doing what they wanted, but in the second last episode he bit the dust.

The Final Season Has Some of the Best Acting of the Series

One of the major flaws of “Sons of Anarchy” has suffered from throughout it’s whole seven year span was the implausibility of the narrative and the way the story always plays out for its characters, almost taking the viewer out of the experience because of how obvious the writing had become. It always just seemed to happen to the main character, or someone just so happened to be in the right place at the right time to see something go down, and although it is not seen as much throughout the final season, it’s is definitely still there. As previously mentioned, the first part of the season feels a lot like filler, and although some loose ends are tied up nothing really happens until the latter half of the season. If that’s one of the flaws of the season that’s certainly not a bad thing at all. The violence is still present and in the forefront, which is what everyone wants, and the acting is probably the best of the series. Every single member of the cast goes out on a high note.

sons of anarchy

While much could be said about the future of the club and its surviving members, the most talked about and anticipated moment of the whole series is without a doubt the moment Jax kills Gemma and what ultimately becomes of Jax. After the sixth season aired last year, almost everyone most likely thought that Jax would end up killing Gemma, and while that proved to be right, the more important part should be how Charlie Hunnam and creator/writer Kurt Sutter created a sympathetic character that made you believe that maybe he wouldn’t go through with it. Gemma herself even says that it needs to be done, and Jax knows it to be true, but the scene is carried out so well that it really could have gone either way. Luckily “Sons of Anarchy” really succeeded with one of its key moments. On the other hand, it may have dropped the ball by ending the show with Jax dying the same way his father did; it felt a bit cheap, considering he had more than enough time to get away from Charming and start a new life for himself. It’s something “Sons of Anarchy” had been leading up too and hinting at for awhile, but once on the screen it felt like it was lacking a punch, or at least lacking something even though all of the plot-lines had been tied up in satisfying ways.

“It’s not too late for my boys. I promise, they will never know this life of chaos.”

“Sons of Anarchy” has long been a show full of drama, violence and badass action, something lacking in a lot of television shows. By that account, this final season didn’t disappoint in the slightest. It should always be commended when a show is able to end on its own terms, and “Sons of Anarchy” certainly did it their way right up until the end.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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About Brian Wilcox

Brian can usually be found watching movies, talking about his vinyl collection or eating Ring a Wing chicken wings. Sometimes all three at once. Follow him on twitter (@mcchub) for his ramblings and comedic genius.

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