What A Twist! A “Sons of Anarchy” Finale Review

Written by Mitchell B January 04, 2012

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: SPOILERS AHEAD! Please don’t continue to read this if you haven’t seen the finale. Now, getting down to business, I have been a fan of “Sons of Anarchy” for about a year now. I came late to the game, but binged through the first three seasons rather quickly. It’s always been an enjoyable show, but never quite reached the point of greatness that so many have before (The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, etc.). Then the fourth season happened.

This season was as close to perfect as I think “Sons of Anarchy” could possibly be. All the interweaving storylines: Juice(Theo Rossi)’s paranoia, Otto’s decision to flip on the club, the cartel-cocaine factor, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) wanting out, etc. As the season progressed we delved deeper and deeper and the hatred for Clay (Ron Perlman) grew stronger and stronger (in both the viewers and characters). Heading into the finale there were so many questions to answer and loose ends to tie. And that’s where Kurt Sutter (series creator) failed us, the viewer. As soon as the Galindo members revealed themselves as CIA operatives, I just about turned the TV off. The problem Sutter has is that he treats the audience as if he’s much smarter than they are. Build up an entire season with the characters as one thing, and then BAM! The twist comes in and negates just about everything we, as an audience, had come to believe over the course of the season. The Galindo/CIA twist gave Sutter an easy way of throwing away Lincoln Potter’s RICO case, and ending that storyline. And with that over and done with, I guess there’s no need to keep Juice locked up or pursue his storyline any further. So Juice gets out of jail, the evidence of his past torn up, and it’s like the whole thing never happened.

Now, if that were the only thing wrong with this episode, I might have been OK with it, heck, maybe even enjoyed it. But it just gets worse from there. The Irish Kings show up to make the deal with Galindo, but because Clay isn’t around, they refuse to sell Galindo any guns. As a result, Romero threatens Jax with RICO popping up again if he doesn’t get them their guns. If you’re still with me, that means that Jax has to keep Clay alive in order to make this deal happen. This also means that Jax has to remain in SAMCRO! Oh my, Mr. Sutter, how clever you are. If there’s one thing you don’t do when backed into a corner, it’s come up with a ridiculous twist to get you out of it.

The war between Jax and Clay escalated throughout the season and was building towards the death of Clay. Instead, we get this cop-out twist that negates all of that and puts the club in an almost identical situation as it was last season. Jax is still going to want out, but he can’t leave. Clay wants Jax dead, but can’t be too obvious about it. Tara wants to leave Charming, but can’t leave Jax. There is a reason that they are called character arcs and plot arcs. The characters/story start in one place, and through the events that transpire, they change, and end up somewhere new. You have to advance the plot, let the characters grow, change things. What Kurt Sutter has done here is created plot and character circles. The characters start in one place, but after all of the events that have occurred throughout the season, they end up right back where they started, which makes for a pretty lousy finale and an incredibly frustrated audience.

My Rating: 5/10

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