Sons of Anarchy Goes for a Clean Break

If you had no idea what was going to happen in the final 20 minutes of last night's Sons of Anarchy, you weren't alone. The Season 3 finale "NS" brought to a close another thrilling—albeit occasionally frustrating—chapter of the drama, with a flurry of events that were masterfully planned by our hero, Jackson Teller.

First, I'll say this: It was nice to see things go well for SAMCRO for a change. Aside from free beer and sloppy parties with porn stars, it seems like being a member of SAMCRO is little more than a constant rain cloud overhead, what with all the murder, kidnapping, car-bombing, and drive-bys. I'm guessing the happy ending had something to do with creator Kurt Sutter looking at feedback from the Season 2 finale, which ended with the bad guy getting away and Jax howling for his baby boy as he watched an Irish bloke boat away with him. It wasn't exactly an uplifting moment. Not so with last night's finale. Both bad guys got it, things ended with a clean break (or as much as going to jail for 14 months can be considered a clean break), and in the final scene we actually saw Jax smile. Imagine that!

The most stirring part of last night's episode was the split-second after Agent Stahl ratted out Jax to SAMCRO, leaving him to be torn apart by his brothers. In a series overflowing with way-high ups and plummet-to-the-bottom downs, I can easily single out that instant as the moment when my heart sunk the lowest. I was absolutely devastated, and that's a testament to my affection for the character of Jax Teller, a bad boy bound by loyalty but torn apart by honor. He's a man I'd follow into battle, and when he felt betrayed, I felt betrayed as well.

But the joke was on me, as that double-cross by Stahl was part of Jax's hidden plan. I don't think we'll ever know when Jax told the rest of SAMCRO about his idea to save the club and get rid of some pesky flies, and I don't think it matters. Jax did what he had to do to save the club and those he loved, and if that meant lying to his mother and girlfriend, getting in bed with Stahl, and riding too close to the edge, then that's what he was going to do.

Let's have a moment of silence for Agent Stahl, who gets my vote for this year's best villain. Was anyone else this year so evil? So self-motivated? So incredibly bitchy? It was Ally Walker's excellent performance that drew us in, but it was Stahl's unflinching determination and consistency as a character that made her character bring out our bloodlust. We wanted to see her head on the sharp end of a stick, but we also loved having her around. I can never get enough of Walker's crazy eyes.

Season 4 is a long ways away, but we can guess at what's in store for SAMCRO. With the Irish problem resolved (we think), the Russians might be the next opposing force. Slimy Jacob Hale and his weird hair are climbing Charming's political ladder, so he'll be a major obstacle next season as well.

But as was hinted at in the closing moments, Jax's biggest problems may lie a little closer to home. As Jax takes after his dad more and more, the possibility of a Jax-Clay showdown becomes greater, and that's something I've been dying to see since the series' pilot. Did John Teller's note hint that Clay and Gemma were behind his death? Given Sutter's past work, I wouldn't be surprised.

Looking back on Season 3 as a whole: Overall, I enjoyed this season almost as much as Season 2. I wasn't a huge fan of the hunt for baby Abel and the trek over to Ireland; like most fans, I like to see SAMCRO operating in Charming. The Stahl and Salazar storylines were the highlight for me, and kept my interest when the Irish storylines got too confusing—at one point I think there were (exaggeration alert!) 300 storylines to keep track of simultaneously, and in my opinion, that's a bit too much.

What did you think of the finale and of Season 3 as a whole?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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The show died after this. Thanks Sutter, you fucking cunt!
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I'll admit Season 3 wasn't as exciting as the previous 2 seasons, mostly because of what has already been said: the search for Abel consumed 90% of the season which was too much. But the finale was the series at its best, I'm rarely surprised when it comes to cliffhangers and TV season finales but this one blew me away. This show is one of the best on television because of great storytelling, powerful plot twists, and unique and complex characters. I'm bummed that SoA is one of those shows that don't have normal seasons - they only have had 39 total episodes!!! I eagerly await episode 40...
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LOVED THE WHOLE SEASON. BUT WHY ARENT WE GETTING IT IN AUST. AND HOW LONG AWAY IS "A LONG WAYS AWAY". WHY IS IT THAT EVERY OTHER SERIES ON TV HAS SEASON A

FTER SEASON, WHY NOT SONS? AND YOU KNOW WAT WOULD BE GOOD;, IF SOMEONE OCCASIONALLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS ON THESE SITES.............
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I LOVE! the show! Was not expecting, but hoping, Jax wasnt really a rat. Stahl and Jimmy got their just rewards and hope the coming season will bring Jax, his mom, Clay and Tera closer than ever before. The trouble they went thru to get Abel did drag on a little but stuck with it thru ALL the episodes. Cant wait to see Season 4........
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I think most of us figured Jimmy O was gonna get his by the end of the season. I had not figured that they would kill Agent Stahl and as one previous commenter already said, it was poetic justice. Opie had intended to kill her once before and he let her go after she started crying like a little schoolgirl. I thought I was experiencing deja vu but this time Opie let loose with the Mac 10 and ...no more Agent Stahl. Say what you will about her, but the Machiavelilan manner in which she behaved on the show, compared to the snivelling, cowardly manner in which she died, made her one of the most fascinating characters of this show. Jumped the shark? I don't think so.
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This is the MOST underappreciated show on TV, and the performances deserve SOME mention by someone!!!
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This is the MOST underappreciated show on TV, and the performances deserve SOME mention by someone!!!
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If you think this show jumped the shark go donate your TV to a needy family because you don't deserve it - find your Glee episodes on Hulu.
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Fantastic finale. Opie killing Stahl was beautifully done and I love the poetic justice of it all.
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i think jax told the club abt sthal when he said"i knw a way to get the money" or something when they required 250k to pad the counterfeit cash
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I loved this season but as everyone I think trip to belfast was way too long
I was dismayed by Jacks leaving his son to strangers ! After all he did to get him back !
For when Jacks told the club, I think it was a club choice from the begining as he told his ma on the letter that he is sorry that she suffer but it was a club vote.
I tough that Wayne was going to kill Jacob Hale when he left his badge
I agree wih sunnyfunny, english is not my native language and some accents are very thick
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What do you mean hint? The letter stated they would be behind his death. It even used the word "certain". Doesn't get more clear than that. Though I thought it was clear from the beginning of the series. Or from the premise even before the first episode aired and the most minimal knowledge of the plot of Hamlet. I will miss Stahl. Definitely my favorite character. To me, the surprising part here is that Stahl, who has consistently shown herself to be the smartest character on the show, got outsmarted; it may have broken my suspension of disbelief so badly that I'm not sure I even accept this episode as being consistent with the characters. As to the exact moment the series jumped the shark, that would be the first note played by a flute in the opening.
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this show has "jumped the shark". i actually hoped that agent stahl would kill the entire cast... can't we at least get rid of tara??? i don't think that i'll be watching next season...
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amazing ender, did not expect the club to be so in tune, great play, just awesome show, can't wait for next season, have to wait way too long. damn it.
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This season although somewhat of a downer at points, was the best so far. I mean that finale was one of the best I've seen! Seeing as TV shows seem to make a habit of creating crappy finale's these days this was a welcome change. It seems that a lot of people have a very short sighted outlook when it comes to taking a show and enjoying it for what it is trying to do. Sons of Anarchy has done an amazing job keeping both the interest of the audience, and refusing to pander to the typical viewer by creating "untouchable heroes." These guys operate in a dangerous environment and that being said this lucky break in Season 3 should be welcomed all the more! Bottom line its a great show that keeps getting better so just enjoy the happy ending and count the days til season 4.
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The show jumped shark for during the hunt for Abel. I'm done
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I loved the ending but I didn't love the season. The search for Abel made me nauseous. Plus subtitles would've helped with the thicker accents. I'm going to miss Agent Stahl.
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This was the weakest of the 3 seasons but I still enjoyed it. I think the Irish storyline dragged on too long and that's why the show suffered. I'm hoping for a Jax/Clay showdown next season since it's pretty obvious Clay and his mother were behind the death of Jax's father.
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Where you can go along with world trends on ~~( www.Mygoodbag.com )~~~.There are so many fashion items you need and all the big brand you love. Like: Louis Vuitton Chanel Gucci Burberry Chloe Hermes Prada Fendi etc.
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shear perfection ... the series in its entirety ... life is not all action or downtimes for that matter ... sutter finds the perfect balance ... and i look forward to what is ultimately act III of Hamlet and kurt's take on how it translates to the MC world ... SAMCRO!!!



BEST SHOW ON T.V. SINCE THE WIRE!!!



Note to the Unhappy: If you don't like it, don't watch it, and don't waste the space for or the time of the followers complaining about what you CANNOT change!!!
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loved the ending! it saved the season for me. Also didn't realize it was more than an hour long episode...I thought it was going to end with Jax going to jail with Stahl ratting him out. Great twist at the end, and glad to see most of the villians this season dead. next up time to get jacob hale on the chopping block. hope they time skip out of prison.
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I really didn't like most of Season 3. I thought the finale was excellent, but it doesn't really excuse all of the stalling of the episodes before. I said here at the beginning of the season that I didn't think that SOA belongs among the best dramas on television and I haven't really changed my opinion (I would probably place it near the bottom of a top 10). I watched Seasons 1 & 2 back to back and I almost decided not to watch Season 2 because I was really frustrated with the stalling of Season 1, but I'm glad I did because Season 2 was excellent. Season 3 had the same problem of the first Season. So like I said, terrific finale, but I just didn't like most of the main arc of this season.
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The season finale of Sons of Anarchy was probably the best I`ve ever seen.. OMFG!!!!!!!
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season 3 = kicked ass!
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love, Love, LOVED it! I finally got my husband hooked on the show after 2 seasons (he would always wonder why I would go for blood if anyone spoke to me during this show...now he knows why!) I will miss this show. Can't wait until season 4! I literally kept rewinding it because I couldn't believe what had happened. I was so relieved when we found out the entire thing was a set-up.
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Best episode of the season! But truthfully, the only good episodes were the season premier and finale. The opening number was beautiful, and when they showed Stahl, I really thought she was going to show remorse for what she did last week, but NO! She smiled! She truly is evil! I was thinking to myself how great a villain she is for SAMCRO, and as much as I'll miss her crazy/sexy eyes, it is time for her to go. It is great to see everything tie up and for SAMCRO to be able to rest for a bit. Even if it is in prison. Thank you Kurt Sutter for restoring my faith in SOA again.
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Well constructed, plot that intrigued me every Tuesday, can't wait for season 4.
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Luved how Kurt wrapped up everything for season 3! This was my favorite season yet & glad Stahl got what was coming to her as well as Jimmy. Cant wait until season 4!
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