(SONS OF ANARCHY FINALE SPOILERS COMING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN LAST NIGHT’S FINALE YET! TURN AROUND, LAST WARNING!)
Who narked on Tara?
Everything else is pretty cut and dry from Tuesday’s Sons of Anarchy season finale. Clay’s looking at the electric chair. The Sons are down a couple more members. Gemma and Jax are together again in the most blatant, hit-you-over-the-head Hamlet imagery the show has produced in its five years. Dogfighting karma is a bitch. Otto is probably never learning sign language.
We got it all wrapped up last night, expect for that one question: Who was pissed enough, in-the-know enough and connected enough to make up some kind of story that gets Tara thrown in the klink on murder charges?
The easy explanation is Gemma — and incidentally, that’s my pick, just because it’s so easy. It’s really easy to think, “Well, she said she was gonna do it, Tara called her bluff, and lost.” Which would be typical Gemma from the first four seasons of SOA. But we’ve been conditioned over the last three months of this fifth season to think that Gemma no longer is that daring, smart, or all around ballsy to take Tara down and idiotically think everything will just go back to normal with Jax. Well, their definition of normal at least.
But that’s not Gemma, not anymore. Let’s recap: In the last 15 episodes going back to last year, Gemma has been beaten half to death by her biker husband, seemingly took that husband back, did it with a roadside drifter, got robbed by said drifter in a hungover haze, did it with another guy she couldn’t remember, ended up shacking up with that guy, she nearly got led in to a puppy dog affair with one of the most disgusting-looking men on TV in Unser, was powerless in trying to keep her son from getting married in a whorehouse, she got high and nearly killed her grandkids in a car accident, she let Tara run roughshod over her, she was willing to be bait/a pawn in an elaborate scheme cooked up by her losing-his-grip son … let’s just say this hasn’t been Gemma’s finest hour.
If this had been the season finale last year, we would have bought it hook line and sinker that Gemma was willing and able to ruin her daughter-in-law’s life completely just so she could keep some misguided claim on her grandsons. Now, after everything that’s happened? Not so much. In a remarkable transformation, we now see her as weak. Last year, before Clay danced all over her face, we thought she was one of the toughest, strongest female leads on TV, capable of ruthless, vengeful, prideful things to make sure that her needs were first and foremost being met.
Here’s the evidence we know that points to Gemma. She TOLD Tara she’d roll over on her in a heartbeat if she ever decided to leave Charming with the boys. Tara decided to pretty much spit in her face and take off anyway, thinking the Gemma she’s been kicking in the tookas all season would curl up into a little ball and go crying to Jimmy Smits. Ahhhh, but the Gemma of the first four seasons would take Tara up on that little challenge every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And Gemma tattling would be the only way to explain why she would just show up at the house randomly when Tara was being taken away. And no one else really knew enough of the details to give Tara up. In one last little wrinkle, something like that had to be done by Gemma to keep the whole Hamlet motif going.
But then I think of Homer Simpson:
It’s just too easy. And when has Sons of Anarchy ever been easy? I’ve watched long enough to know creator/writer/director/actor who plays Otto Kurt Sutter, sans tongue and all, purposely leads you down direct pathways only to pull that path out from you in a logical manner. Like the whole Trigg assassination thing, which he telegraphed a mile away, actually. I’m really shocked more people didn’t see Jax’s true plan coming.
If it was someone other than Gemma to give up Tara, who? Who makes sense other than Gemma? It had to be someone who knew the intimate details of the murder — like Gemma spouted to Tara at the hospital — and someone who had some kind of motive to nail Tara/the Sons/Jax’s family, or to keep themselves out of jail.
I’m still making Gemma the 3-5 favorite for “Who narked on Tara?” but the alternate list actually is kinda long:
Clay: At every turn this year, and really, since the show started, every time Jax has made a move against Clay, Clay has had a counter. Why would anyone think Clay doesn’t have another dodge to Jax’s parry now? We don’t know what Gemma may have let slip in these last couple episodes when they were supposedly getting back together or what he knew already. He’s proven that even cut off from the club, he’s pretty resourceful and plugged in. Now that he knows not only has his (step)son and club turned on him, but also that his wife did the same thing, he’s got nothing to lose. NOTHING. Who says he doesn’t turn rat as one final middle finger to the Tellers? ODDS: 15-1
Bobby Elvis: Hates cops too much to cooperate, we found that out two years ago. But he was hurt enough by Jax’s actions to turn in his patch, so maybe he was hurt enough to hurt Jax back. ODDS: 1 million-1
Juice: At the last second, he decided to keep some allegiance to Clay. He’s already helped the cops, he has a trusted relationship with Sheriff Eli, and he’s obviously in the Clay camp. But I doubt he’d go against the club again. I’m surprised he hasn’t re-tried to off himself again yet, he seems like he’s living on the edge. ODDS: 1,000-1
Wendy: Geez, Jax and Tara really made the rounds for pissing people off this year, didn’t they? Wendy has been decidedly in the background this year, but in the last two weeks she’s been mistakenly kidnapped by the Irish mob because of Jax, drugged by Jax and torn away (again) from her son by Jax. Fun couple days! I don’t know he she would have been able to get the details of the Otto murder, but Sutter can figure it out someway, I’m sure. ODDS: 50-1
Brilliant and crazy federal marshal guy that we know barely anything about, other than he’s brilliant and crazy: Now here’s where things get really interesting. Why would Sutter introduce this character so late in the season, played by a respected, well-liked actor in Donal Logue, if he wasn’t going to do something special with him. So far, all he’s done is trip over his feet. But when Unser went through his background, you knew this guy was bound for bigger and better things. ODDS: 5-2. And I think that’s a little conservative. Here’s why:
Remember when Crazy Marshal Guy was alone in Tara’s hospital office two weeks ago? That’s when he planted a bug somewhere in the room on the pretense of the RICO investigation. But what investigators got out of it was Gemma’s little tirade to Tara. Using the whims of a crazy woman on tape aren’t the best court prosecution practices — but they’re enough to get someone arrested for murder. The charges get thrown out in the third or fourth episode, and everything goes back to Charming normal, expect for Oregon hospitals have this thing about hiring accused murderers and the like. So now we’re all back in Charming, waiting for Clay to go to the electric chair or something.
Either way, Sons of Anarchy has again left me wanting more, even though it wasn’t the best of seasons. That makes it the opposite of last year, great season, bad finale. Now it’s awesome finale (A-) and so-so season (B-) that helped me come up with the first rule of the SOA drinking game: Whenever anyone says “RICO,” drink a shot. If I actually did play just with that rule this year, I’d be an alcoholic by now. Or at least have been calling in sick on a ton of Wednesdays.