Sons of Anarchy Series Finale Review: Farewell to the King

Sons of Anarchy S07E13: "Papa's Goods"


It's over, friends. Kurt Sutter's tribute to brotherhood, two-wheeled vehicles, porno, random acts of violence, crooked cops, Lea Michele, ice cream parlors, transvestites, barbecued daughters, school shootings, vacations to Ireland, RICO, whichever cheap domestic beer is willing to pay the most for product placement, prison sodomy, crucifix stabbings, Oedipal Complexes, and family gave its all over seven sometimes-brilliant and sometimes-ridiculous seasons. Yes, Sons of Anarchy has come to a bloody end; Tim and Kaitlin, what did you think of the series finale?


TIM: In case that melodramatic sledgehammer of a metaphor wasn't apparent enough when Jax grilled himself on Vic Mackey's semi while riding his father's bike, I believe the message of "Papa's Goods" was, "Like father, like son." I realize that it's tough as balls to put together a satisfying series finale, especially after grinding out seven long seasons of drama, but if that final scene was what Kurt Sutter had in mind all along—because you know showrunners always envision their final scene way in advance—he should have announced it years ago so that we wouldn't've had to sit through Sons of Anarchy's final seasons. Having JUST seen the series finale, I'm feeling quite emotional right now, and I may say things I will come to regret. But come on, emotionally charged and knee-jerk TV reviews are the best kinds of TV reviews, and I don't feel like pulling any punches. Those digitally inserted crows were silly. Michael Chiklis's "oh shit" face was silly. That ending was silly. 

KAITLIN: You don't need to convince me, dude. Silly is the perfect word to describe the way Jax drove head-on into an oncoming semi, welcoming death with his arms spread wide. That's not to say that I think Jax dying was the wrong way for Sons of Anarchy to end—as much as I wanted him to win, I'd resigned myself to Jax's sad fate last week, after he murdered Gemma—but I think it could've been executed better. Perhaps in a way that wasn't so on-the-nose? I know it wouldn't've been as poetic, but we spent seven seasons watching Jax slowly lose himself, and I think he deserved better than bad special effects. There were definitely some great moments in "Papa's Goods," but I think Sutter really Britta'd the ending.

TIM: I'll run with your Community reference and say this was the AT&T of possible Sons of Anarchy endings. And I agree, Jax dying wasn't the problem, even though I previously said that I hoped he would live. My main complaint is that Jax's actions were portrayed as heroic, and all I saw was a coward. "I can't change," he declared, and then he abandoned both his club, and, more depressingly, his family. But Jax never tried to live life outside of SAMCRO. The way he gave up on his kids wasn't heroic in any way. Yeah, they'll have a better shot at not repeating Jax's stupid aggro mistakes, but they're going to have a hell of a time making it without a father (and in Thomas's case, without either parent). Abel was already screwed-up; now his inevitable psychopathy will be accelerated and he'll probably shoot up the school in third grade. And I can't get over the way Jax was smiling throughout the entire episode, especially in those last moments. It's as if he said, "Well, I can't be an outlaw and a dad, so I'm going to be neither. HELLO, TRUCK! TAKE ME TO OUTLAW HEAVEN WHERE THE ANGELS SHOOT MILLER LITE OUT OF THEIR NIPPLES!" Jax's actions were framed to suggest that he was making a great and noble sacrifice, but all I saw was a guy who'd given up. 

KAITLIN: Miller Lite nipples aside, you took the words right out my mouth. As I watched Jax tearfully say goodbye to Wendy and his sons, kill Barosky and Marks, finally sever ties with the Irish, and generally wrap up every single loose end that probably should've been dealt with prior to the series finale, I just kept thinking about what a coward Jax was. I mean, if that's the kind of man Jax really is, then SAMCRO is better off with Chibs at the head of the table (!!!!!!) and Tig wearing the VP patch. And that's where the real problem lies, because I've never thought of Jax as a coward, so my brain is struggling to reconcile the Jax I spent seven seasons with and the Jax of the series finale. 

Sutter probably thought Jax going out on his own terms was a bold choice—technically, he escaped the result of the mayhem vote, and he wasn't gunned down by his enemies, yet he still paid for his crimes. However, in reality, he was just weak, which is a word I've never used to describe Jackson Teller before now. Just as I had wanted Gemma to live so she could bear the true weight of all of her sins, I wanted Jax to live so he could try to start over. That would have been the ballsier choice for a man whose entire, insular world revolved around Charming. He told Nero that he was doing what he should have done while Tara was still alive, but I think Tara would've wanted him to actively work toward being a better man. I guess if the main objective was to illustrate that Jax couldn't escape his father's fate, why do I feel like he merely followed in Gemma's craven footsteps?

TIM: Personally, I would have preferred to see the club shoot him, as 90 percent of "Papa's Goods" not-so-subtly insinuated would happen. And I would have really preferred the outcome I predicted about 15 minutes into the episode: Jax fakes his death to appease the other charters and goes MIA with his family and Wendy, starting over on Nero's farm! He grows kale and uses farm-fresh eggs to make breakfast! Only Chibs and Tig know he's alive, and he's never heard from again! There you go! Happy ending! But the lesson that Sutter wanted to teach is, "Once an outlaw, always an outlaw, and life will only get worse."

"Good outlaw and good father can't settle in the same man," Jax said during a conversation with a rock. Now, I don't know Kurt Sutter personally, but he clearly fancies himself an outlaw, and I don't believe for one second that good outlaw and good father can't coexist. I think what's really bugging me is that bummer of a final message. For many seasons, Jax was the smartest, most noble person in the room (which was always full of lunkheads and deviants). He believed in JT's manuscript. But the life apparently changed him. I guess I figured he was ready to bounce back, that he'd learn from others' mistakes. And I can't even say he repeated his father's mistakes, because if the journals are to be believed, JT wasn't anywhere near as big a jerk as Jax ended up being. So why all the comparisons to his father, right down to the splattery ending? 

KAITLIN: That's like the No. 1 rule of storytelling. Sons have been repeating their fathers' mistakes since forever, basically. But the reason why those stories remain so visible in popular culture is that after a customary period of fucking up, the son generally learns a valuable lesson and chooses to become a better man. To be clear, I think it was incredibly important that Jax accepted the fact that, despite his best efforts, he still fell victim to the same troubles that took down both Clay and JT. But he also had a new father figure in Nero, proving that there was another option. Nero was the real father Jax never had, and he was living proof that you CAN change, that you CAN escape the life. It might be true that you can't be a good father and a good outlaw, but you can definitely choose to be one or the other. Ultimately, being a father apparently wasn't enough for Jax, which is a real pity. But his scenes with Nero were arguably the best ones of the entire finale, and I feel sad that Jax's sons will never have a father again because he wasn't willing to fight to be a unicorn like Nero.

TIM: Amen, sister! As for the rest of "Papa's Goods," well, once Jax realized he was going to die, he basically had a license to kill and to tie up loose ends. Barosky, the Irish Kings, and Marks went out rather unceremoniously, don't you think? I suppose Jax thought he was doing the club a favor by getting rid of them all. They were, to some extent, his problems to clean up (or the result of Gemma's lies), and offing them them was an easy way for Sons of Anarchy's writers to cross items off their to-do list. But it's silly to think that Marks only had the one hit squad, that the Irish didn't have anybody else to chip in with some retaliation, or that some old lady who bought artisan olives from Barosky wouldn't be pissed. Do you think they'll say that since Jax is dead, the beef is squashed? Or will it blow back on SAMCRO? It doesn't matter now, because there are no more episodes. 

Don't get me wrong, I loved that Jax went on a killing spree; as I've said many times before, I wanted most of these people to die. But several elements of this finale didn't quite feel earned. It was basically, "Jax is going to die, so he can do anything he wants now." 

However, I'm glad we had once last encounter with the mysterious homeless woman who's been popping up throughout the series. I don't even want to know what she symbolized for Jax, or how she fit into Sons of Anarchy's bigger picture; I like to think of her as just a homeless woman who gave Jax her coat for no reason at all and said, "It's time." I'm actually afraid to learn whatever "deep" meaning Sutter assigned to her.

KAITLIN: Ah, too bad. Although I very much like the idea that she's just a crazy lady who distributes blankets to outlaws, she tended to appear whenever Jax or Gemma were struggling. She was sort of a harbinger of doom—not that she specifically brought death or destruction—but that when you saw her, you knew some shit was going to go down anyway. She was mostly seen by Jax and Gemma during hard times, but I think there've been mentions of others seeing her, too. She resembles Brooke's mom, who died in J.T.'s accident, but I'm not clear on whether she's actually a ghost or just a ghostly symbol meant to underscore the Hamlet of it all. Which is probably the point.

TIM: If you ask me, she's just another unnecessary detail the show didn't need. Which kind of summarizes a lot of Sons of Anarchy's flaws. I think Sutter got caught up in trying to make the series more important and more involved than it actually was, which made it feel convoluted at times and self-righteous at others. I'm not going to knock the guy for the choices he made or the messages he wanted to send because in the end, it's his art. And I'll give the man credit for going "full Sutter" (one of the benefits of working for artist-friendly FX) and crafting a no-doubt ending that provided closure. However, while I've seen plenty of series finales that were a lot worse than "Papa's Goods," that final scene—the last taste of Sons of Anarchy that will linger forever—was disappointing. Maybe I wanted Jax to change so badly that when he didn't, I got angry. That feeling of passion with regard to a fictional character has to count for something, doesn't it? 

KAITLIN: I kept wondering why I wasn't feeling any emotion in the lead-up to the finale. Normally, when a show that I've been so heavily invested in comes to an end, I'm hugging a bottle of whiskey and complaining to anyone who will listen, and even to those who won't. But that didn't happen with Sons of Anarchy. I'll probably shed a few tears eventually (like I did when I realized that Ryan Hurst tweeted after the finale ended and called the cast his brothers and said he loved them), and when there's no new episode next Tuesday, I'll probably feel a tug on my heart and remember the good times, like when Juice was the comedic relief or basically anything involving Opie outside of his death. But right now, I still feel mostly numb. I'm ambivalent on the finale itself, but I do feel a sadness creeping in even as I write this. Only it's not because the show has ended, but because it stumbled across the finish line. 

Sons of Anarchy never returned to the heights it reached in Season 2—even if it had several moments of excellence throughout the rest of the series—but I enjoyed this ride far more than I ever expected to. Even when it wasn't at its best, I still looked forward to watching it every week. I've forced many a friend to tune in, and maybe they'll begrudge me for that in its wake, but it gave a voice to a very specific group of people who aren't often heard, and SAMCRO often felt like a weird and totally messed-up extended family. But I also think the show's final two seasons could have been better. If FX had imposed runtime limits on Sutter, the writing might've been tighter, and the convoluted plots that tended to drag things down might've been better executed because they didn't have time to fall apart. I think I'm walking away from Sons of Anarchy mostly content, and I hope I don't come across as hateful, because this show will always have a place in my heart, even if it really did fall victim to its own success. And that's probably sadder than Jax's end at the hands of Michael Chiklis (insert all my resurfacing feelings about The Shield finale here). Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch that video of Ryan Hurst cutting his beard again.



SKIDMARKS

– Regardless of what you thought of the finale, can we all agree that Jimmy Smits killed it on this show? 

– At least Jax broke the SAMCRO color barrier on his way out. That's huge for the club! But again, any blowback falls on those who are still alive, not on Jax. And now that I remember that Juice's downward spiral started because he was trying to hide the fact that he was half black, MY HEART ACHES! Oh, this is Tim by the way. I bet you thought it was Kaitlin, given all the Juice love.

– A rock version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" is an odd song choice for a car chase. 

– Of course Sutter squeezed in one last car-chase scene—and it involved driving through a doll factory, which yielded one final moment in which Tig freaked out about dolls. It doesn't even matter that it was totally unnecessary; Tig's fear of dolls will never not be awesome.

– Jax told Patterson the truth about Tara's and Eli's murders, and even directed her toward Unser and Gemma's bodies without mentioning he was the one responsible for their deaths. 

– It seems odd that nobody from SAMCRO asked about Gemma. It's not like they didn't realize she was probably dead after Jax told Chibs about his plans, but no one even bothered to inquire whether Jax was okay after he MURDERED HIS MOTHER? For all of Sons of Anarchy's extra running time season, Sutter couldn't find time to fit that in?

– It was nice that Lyla returned for the finale. How about a spin-off that centers on her as a porno producer?

– The idea of Chibs leading SAMCRO is great, but the idea that he threatened Jarry is even better. Cops on the wrong side tend to go away. Unfortunately, that kind of suggests that even without Jax, the club is doomed to repeat its mistakes (especially in the face of a "sheriff in love with a club member" kind of thing, because that feels awfully Unser/Gemma like). 


Comments (285)
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Sep 08, 2018
Superb T.V series I really like all season of it. I really impressed Jax Teller character he played very well in this series.
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Aug 30, 2018
Thanks for this interesting piece of writing. Keep up the good work and all the best for your future! Grey Denim Jacket
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Jun 12, 2016
If I was to write SOA I would have changed the Irish to muslims or Israelis and replace the Jimmy O'Phelan character with a muslim version of him played by Shaun Toub. The SOA would travel to Israel instead in season 3.

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Jun 12, 2016
If I wrote Sons of Anarchy there would be somethings I would change about it granted it's one of the coolest tv shows of all time but there was somethings about it that I didn't like or disturbed me about it. For example I didn't like seeing some of my favorite characters getting killed and the Irish were the enemies in a couple of seasons of this show because I feel like that's a insult to my family because I'm Irish.

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Jun 12, 2016
I'm a huge fan of the show Sons of Anarchy I only saw the first four seasons of this show.
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Oct 20, 2015
I have watched the complete package of Sons of Anarchy. All Jax ever did was to make the club a better organization among all other clubs. He was made president in the last season. The outfit he was in meant a great deal to every fan. For more features visit Sky-Seller Online Store. Click here.
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Jul 23, 2015
i think jax thought that if he was alive any blowback from someone finding out he was alive would of been putting his family in danger and his club and maybe he knew after killing an ira king and being the vigilante at the end that to many people would come after him i thought it was a fitting ending considering not enough shows know what to do or have that many great endings lets enjoy this as a great series and tell others that dont know about it
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Jun 24, 2015
It's probably pointless for me to post this (as the series finale aired a few months ago) but I for one thought SOA couldn't have ended in any better way. Not that I'm happy about Jackson dying, but when I saw the acceptance and almost relieved look on his face before he met his demise, it made me feel at peace for him. He was no coward, he was broken. He made the only choice he could. Everything and almost everyone he had ever loved was taken away from him. Of course the worst loss of all being Tara. Then for him to find out that his greatest love was taken away from him by his mother; That was just the devastating blow that pushed him off the edge that he was trying so desperately to stay on. Can you not feel for the guy? And some people are saying he abandoned his boys, but he really didn't. He caused the boys to abandon the lifestyle.. his lifestyle.. the outlaw's lifestyle. He had to keep the boys away from him so they wouldn't endure the pain that him and his father had. And they were destined to if they grew up with the club. Jax could see this vicious cycle, and tried to save his boys from it. As far as that goes Thomas might be okay, but we can all see that Abel is already a Son to the Reaper. And I'm sure Sutter will release the aftermath of the boys in a series sometime in the distant future. At least I hope so. Oh and Jax didn't die because he had given up. He died because there was no way out of the Mayhem vote unless he wanted to destroy the club his old man had created. He fulfilled his father's legacy and did what John couldn't. Jackson got SAMCRO out of gun selling, steered them torwards a clean way to make money, and killed the evil and corruption within the club (Gemma). In reality, I think we all knew in the beginning that Jax would die before it was all said and done. It was more just the question of how it would happen. And in the end his fate was sealed in a beautiful way, you just have to look at the whole picture.
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May 19, 2015
I'm surprised no one has brought up the "subtle" tones of Jax being compared to some sort of Messiah. The final episode showed a few scenes that focused on bread and wine, which I'm assuming was suppose to represent Jax giving his own body and blood, sacrificing himself for the greater good of others. Also, he splayed out his hands in the last moments before hitting the truck in a Christ like fashion... All of this very cheesy.
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May 19, 2015
oh, and also… the homeless woman being omen of death, some sort of grim reaper? uggghhhh. I just want to watch the long camera pauses on Jax's butt while he's banging some broad, and forget the finale ever happened… ughhh
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May 13, 2015
Great series. I love it Jax performed as well. He will get name of big actors.
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Mar 27, 2015
Just watched season 7(sons of anarchy). Loved it. How could anyone call jax a coward? His crew would die for him. He did what he did for the love he had those close to him. Think it though,honour,dignity and respect. Anybody who has lived a normal life would never understand. Its only a show but how would any person react in real life. I think you would want to hurt anyone involved in killing your loved ones,conciqences or not. Loved every minute of every show. Hope there is a spin off down the line,it would be good to see how the rest have faired without jax.
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Feb 09, 2015
I think the way Jax went out, reminiscent of the way his father went out, was fitting. However I don't agree with the use of his father's pan-head Harley, that was a crying shame, it should have been on his own bike. The homeless woman, consider her to be Jax's last minute conscience, Brooke's mom's ghost, J.T.'s ghost, whatever, she served a purpose and kept you guessing all the way to the end. The scene where she hands him her blanket/coat and says "it's time' and walks away leaving the bottle of wine and a partially eaten bread loaf (can we say sacrament any one? -- this is my body break it and eat of it, this is my blood, drink it?) and then to see the crows in the end eating that same loaf as the blood of Jax flows towards it. The whole series had undertones of man's fall from the garden of Eden, culminated in the end of everyone that has sat in the President's chair and had the gavel, in the words of an early 20th century British nobleman, Lord Acton, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts, ABSOLUTELY! You live by the sword, you die by the sword, although Jax should have gone out that way, the end was him realizing he had to go and he had to face consequences far greater than the law of man, you see, even standing before the judgment seat of God he could have asked for forgiveness of his sins, but suicide is unforgivable in God's eyes.
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Jan 28, 2015

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Jan 12, 2015
What were the crows pecking on at the end? I couldn't tell whether it was bread, a brick of coke, or what?
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Jan 03, 2015
I think Sutter did a great job with this ending. I always believed Gemma was going to bring down Jax at some point. Tara believed in him for so long until she couldn't. She had to have a back up plan. Too bad Gemma didn't have a set of balls. She could have run the club.
There was no way Jax was ever going to overcome the devastion resulting from Gemma's lies. He was going to have to pay for it.
The fantasy of running away was just that. Could never happen.
I like that he took it upon himself to clean up all loose ends. I don't feel at all like this was rushed to tie up all stories. Jax had a mission and he chose to do it himself so no one else could get blamed.
Even he sees the irony of fulfilling Tara's wish of Wendy raising the boys.
Sutter, you did a great job! Thanks for the ride!
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Dec 30, 2014
Just watched all 7 seasons of SOA in two weeks...
I don't agree with all smug criticism (T & K) - it's really hard to try to keep a show alive for 7 years without failing to please everybody.
In my book - it was the best TV series I ever watched (and it means something, being TV addict for last 40+ years). But - life would be boring if we all liked the same stuff, right?
Ending of the show - it was just right - Jax has done too much damage to expect any different. Why was he smiling through the episode? Let's think that it was the feeling of relief - knowing that the torment is coming to pass.
Well done, Kurt Sutter - I hope that the prequel series will happen, as rumoured. Music, montages - really enjoyed it, waiting for more.
Just one kill too many, I think - was Unser's death really necessary?
As for "Skidmarks" - porno spin-off, really? Somebody had contracted compulsory masturbation complex from the funny guy, obviously.

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Dec 29, 2014
So sad to see it end but, there is no other way to see it end!
Absolutely brilliant, a ten star series from beginning to end!
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Jun 14, 2016
Read my comments
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Dec 29, 2014
I think the shopping cart woman is what passes for a Charming Valkyrie.
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Dec 23, 2014
I always thought the homeless lady was the spirit of John Teller
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Dec 20, 2014
I wrote a longer post, but my browser ate it! SHort recap. Jax (who was a good person at the core) sacrificing himself absolves society of any blame for what he became. That's a cop out by the writers. Jax deserved a more complex ending that forced all of us to wrestle with the really important issue of how we all influence each other's actions and all bear responsibility for all of humanity. I'm very disappointed with the writers taking the easy way out rather than inviting us to take a real hard look at ourselves.
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Dec 16, 2014
I know I'm way late to the comments and I haven't read them all but the homeless woman was explained last year. (sort of) When Jax went and visited the man who had a wife that was killed in the same accident as Jax's dad he saw a picture of his wife and said something like "she looks familiar." If you go back and watch the episode the picture is the homeless woman. So she is a "ghost."
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Dec 14, 2014
I think the finale was the right one, so I'm in the minority ...
Jax had to die, unfortunately, for the sake of his boys. And he died trying to make things right. He freed his boys from having the same fate as him and he freed himself from this sad life.
The end squared with the whole series.

In any case, Thank you to Kurt Sutter and to all the actors and teams, it was a real pleasure following Sons of Anarchy all these years.

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Dec 14, 2014
I reckon I am one of the few that found the ending okay ( although the final scenes could have been executed better). Jax death was bound to happen, since season 5 Jax has been going downhill and as Tara put it in season 6, the turmoil Jax wakes up with every morning was to much to handle in the end. With Tara gone and all that came with it, he gave up on himself and him dying was him finding some kind of peace. Might not be brave or heroic but I did not get the feeling that was the feeling Kurt Sutter was going for, just Jax ending his struggles the only way he saw he could. So to me the ending was pretty fitting i relation to the lasts seasons.
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Dec 14, 2014
Jax did a Thelma and Louise end. Yet there it goes another show that I have religiously followed for seven seasons into a bad season finale. The same as Dexter, and others. I don´t think shows should go for so many seasons. 5 should be enough, like Breaking Bad or Fringe. Seven are two too many. Dexter is another good example of that. The season never recovered from Tara´s dead. The last episode tied all the lose ends to easily and to fast. Jax dying in a Jesus poetic motive was not what I expected, to vulgar, poor done. I was looking forward to the very end, and I am surprised that at the very end, I didn´t have any strong emotions as I did like when watching the end of Spartacus, or the last season og Games of Thrones. In this episode, nr 13 I felt disappointed, because the end was weak, empty of tension. Not even an emotional goodbye. I think Kurt Sutter should have killed Gemma at the beginning of the season, and based the Shakespeare story line on that. Not on stupid sensless revenges just to kill characters. The first three seasons were the best. After that it was more I hope it does gets better watching. It never did. So goodbye, because it was time to go.
Ah, yes, the homeless woman was death.
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Dec 13, 2014
Just wanna throw it out there because the author mentioned it, but did anyone else notice that by putting in "Can't help falling in Love" in the final episode, the series both started and ended with that song?
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Dec 14, 2014
I didn´t noticed it. Good on you. The show also pull out a LOST: start and finished images are the same, the two crows.
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Dec 13, 2014
SOA had some great music which I thought would tell the tale. In particular 'John the Revelator'...whose that riding, John the Revelator wrote the book of the 7 seals. It's a reference to John Teller who wrote the journal Jax read as a bible for Samcro. John of Saul supposedly wrote the book of Revelations in the Bible. That book speaks of the seven seals that open the destruction of the world. The opening of one of the seals leads to an earthquake. I think it would have been a much better ending if Sutter had drawn on the stories of the 7 seven seals first revealed in that song to end the series. A great earthquake to swallow up Gemma in a crevasse and draws all the MCs together would have been no less silly and and a better conclusion to a terrific story.
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Dec 13, 2014
Was stupid the eldest boy spinning that Samcro ring! Omg, shock, horror, it's too late for him! Kill him Nero I need another good laugh!!!

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Jan 28, 2015
I think what you need is a shrink. And a grammar tutor.
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Dec 13, 2014
I laughed so hard I fell off my chair!
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Dec 12, 2014
The most upsetting scene in the finale was that they actually trashed a Pontiac GTO. Hope to god it was fake even though that rear fender looked genuinly messed up.

It wasn´t the ending I thought it would be. I actually thought that Jax was going to rat on barosky and Marks and then go into witness protection with Wendy and the kids. Jax burning everything in the beginning led me on and the visit to Patterson had me convinced. How wrong I was. Jax splattering himself against a Semi seemed very...un-Jax. Going out in a hail of bullets in a suicide-by-cop seemed more fitting but maybe that was too close to reality. Hey, at least he got to ride J.T´s Harley into wherever bad guys go.
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Dec 16, 2014
They have said all along that the show is an Outlaw biker retelling of Hamlet. I don't understand how anyone could have expected any ending for Jax other than death. The mystery was never whether he would die, but how, and what events would lead to it.
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Dec 13, 2014
Maybe Battleme was the song that best predicted the end.
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Dec 12, 2014
I liked it!
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Dec 12, 2014
Can not help but think that Mr Sutter had watched the Dexter Finale while writing this finale ep :(

At least he did not have Jax kill/poison his kids and Wendy just like he had Shane Vendrell(The Shield finale)

Fair enough tv moral, of Bad guys can not be seen to 'get away with it' BUT 'come on son' having him committing suicide ? BOO Mr Sutter

Fitting ending would have been Jax ran off the road into the truck, like his dad (by any number of people he pissed off(The irish,somebody else from August Marks crew,Barosky's people.....list goes on) while on his way to 'retire to the family life away from Charming on nero's new farm..

Or even factoring in the leg twitch(that was randomly and needlessly mentioned) to cause a crash

Was it all a life flash before his eyes kinda thing....first(i think) scene in the pilot was him riding over a couple of crows dressed in same outfit(not crash helmet) ?
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Jun 14, 2016
Read my comment
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Dec 12, 2014
Agreed with every single note in Skidmarks.
Nero reacting to the knowledge that Gemma killed Tara. Nero crying, putting on his glasses so Wendy wouldn't see it. Smits is always great and has never been better than in his SoA role.
I was waiting for the freeway to end and the fly over into the ocean or a canyon. Too Thelma & Louise? He could have also learned he had Ebola or some other fast acting deadly disease. He could have OD'ed in a way that left us wondering if someone didn't OD him. The crows... when did Alan Ball get into this show? Jax could have decided to start a new life and joined the cast on The Newsroom, equally fatal. Speaking aof Alan Ball, they could have done an ending like Six Feet Under, where they showed how everyone died. Wait, no, that wouldn't work because we've already seen it about 200 times. By the way, nice job on the courthouse security, shooting two guys in the middle of the day, and there's no one there, Jax just walks away like it was nothing and no one sees?
Finally am I the only one who noticed that Charlie's accent was creeping in little by little in the last 2 or more episodes?
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Dec 13, 2014
I noticed the accent creeping in too. Burn Notice had a good series ending that coulda worked for Jax an Sancro.
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Dec 12, 2014
The more I think about it, the more I think they should have had a way he died where we were left not being sure if he did it or if someone else did it. Maybe one of the disgruntled actors they turned down for Cox and Bagels, for example? Ok, maybe not that.
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Dec 12, 2014
Father Ashby was right - Jax's son should have never grown up in his world
Galen was right. Jax was arrogant, selfish and explosive.
Tara was right. Jax had become a monster.

Jax realised all these truths when he learned his mother killed Tara. That he tortured a man for nothing, West, Diosa girls and Bobby suffered and died for nothing. He was not the hero seeking justice. He was no longer the guy who had learned to not be reactive and figure things out (as he told Stahl). He was no longer the 'smart one'. He was just a murderer and a criminal.

Killing Jury sealed his fate; he had to meet Mr. Mayhem. Choosing 'death by cop' or 'death by semi' or death ala Thelma & Louise was his way of taking one for the team like Opie did. When Opie went into the room he was also committing suicide, Sons way.

Jax has never been afraid to die for the club and never really behaved like a man who was a husband and father (remember when he told Alvarez that his cut only came off if he was dead"). None of the other members have wives or children who are in their lives. Just Jax and Opie who grew up in the club life and knew no other way. That's why Jax could not change. Bobby told him that he would always solve problems using the club way.

For all our desires for Jax to put the club aside and fight for his family (as Tara always hoped she might come first), Jax loved the club more. In the end, Jax checking out was the only choice. He could not give up his club for his family and could not give up his family for his club. So he gave up both.

Sidenote - I loved that the homeless lady have Jax the same blanket she gave him at the end of Season 1. That Jax ended on a bike without a helmet just as the opening scene. That scene was expectant father Jax VP without a care in the world. Closing was widower Jax knowing that his was going out on his terms "We decide out fate". And so he did.
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Dec 13, 2014
You got it and put it all down so well! Remember when Jax told Tara all he ever wanted was a cut an a Harley? And he also told her whenever he was inside another woman he only saw her face? He did love Tara an saw in her the possibility of being who he imagined himself. When she died he lost all hope, no escape. Geez you put it all so well! Nicely done.
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Dec 12, 2014
I liked to have seen Unser kill Jax instead of vice versa. Then leave open whether Unser takes Gemma to jail or they escape together to live miserably ever after.
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Dec 12, 2014
My final thoughts on the Final Ride:

I liked it.

I am well aware that I might be in the minority here but I thought the final season did a reasonable job ending the series. It was not the best but it was not the worst either. When it comes down to it I think Sons of Anarchy is squarely in the upper center of series finales. The final bunch of episodes (and final season as a whole) did everything it should and said it would do.
Now again, I am well aware that plenty of people were not happy with Gemma's fate. I was. If Gemma was to die....this is how I wanted her to die. This is not a made for tv special where we all learn a valuable lesson about life and how to be better people. This is a gritty brutal show about bad people doing bad things. If Jax had done anything other then what he did it would have gone completely against his character. If Gemma had done anything other then what she did it would have gone completely against her character. So unless the show suddenly became a Disney after school special there was really no other way to end Gemma then how they ended Gemma.

As for Jax......I think his fate was set in motion the moment Tara died and Gemma lied. Honestly if I really want to be gloomy I'd say his fate was set the moment he was born but I still hold out hope for Abel and Tommy so with people like Nero (who as always a good man unlike Jax, Gemma, and Glay who where were never really good people) and Wendy (Who became a good person by each good decision she made despite herself or for her son) they can be set on a better path without violence and death. I think by the end Jax realized his path had been decided. He was near its end and like Juice and Gemma all he had left was to chose the place and moment to end it.

I know people are nitpicking things like the Cabin but I don't see the point. The Cabin was there. Does it really matter why? Maybe Gemma paid for it. It was a good moment and a good visual which is what the story was going for. I liked the visual . I thought it worked and I thought the moment worked...just liked I thought the moment worked with Juice and the Nazi (again I forget his name.) Juice is a guy who never really got any positive reinforcement. Gemma told that to Tara once. It is the irony of ironies that the man who raped him and murdered him was the last voice in his head was the one who finally told him he did good. And Jax. Whether the show was going for Hamlet or Jesus or something in between....does it really matter? Both kind of work. A man dying for his sins and dying for the sins of others. I really did like the final song at the end and it made me cry. I even bought it on iTunes I liked it so much. Hell if any song fit with the theme of Sons of Anarchy it is "Come Join The Murder."

This may have never been the best show ever but I still maintain it is better then most give it credit for and it has always been highly underrated. I will miss it and I plan to watch the whole thing when the final season gets put on netflix streaming.

So there is my final review of Sons of Anarchy.
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Dec 13, 2014
I liked your sum of SOA. I particularly liked your thoughts about Juice. I also sorta felt his losses in life. Of all the SOA music I always thought Lost Boy was about him. When he died at the hand of (Marilyn Manson in real life) he asked to finish his pie first. That was nice. And it was a sad statement about what happens to kids abandoned by their parents.


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Dec 11, 2014
Random thoughts in random order (I just skimmed the review and comments so I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes):

Lots of crows at the end. I never really got the whole SAMCRO = crows thing.

But since crows it is - shoulda driven over a cliff at full speed (The crow flies straight, a perfect line?)

Crappy song. shoulda been Knockin' On Heaven's Door. With the 2nd knock on impact. Or maybe Serves Me Right To Suffer, though POI already made great use of that one.

Jax killing Gemma was problematic. Killing Unser for no reason whatsoever fundamentally changed who Jax was. (And yet Gemma hardly blinked?)

Anarchy Afterword - why the pretense that Clay Morrow never existed? And get Sutter a teleprompter - they could do all the slobbery self-congratulatory pablum in half the time. I have this vision of Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston tuning in for about 30 seconds before vomiting their guts out.

And speaking of BrBa how lame is Jax's little folder compared to Walter White's final arrangements for his kids? (Does Jax really think any of that property will still be his to give after the lawyers get done with it?)

So Jax rides off to his fate while the other Sons just sit around on their butts looking gloomy. Wouldn't Tig at least have wanted to share his fate?

Anyway, what exactly was it about Jax that inspired such fierce loyalty and devotion? He never did a damn thing to earn it. One heartfelt promise after another and Nero seemed to be the only one who noticed that all those promises ever got you was dead. Now it's over and we still don't know whether Jax was a manipulative lying creep or genuinely too stupid to realize - or ever learn - that his promises were worthless.

So will things in Charming get back to normal now? Maybe Snow White could live happily ever after there if her marriage falls apart...
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Dec 11, 2014
I honestly have to say, I was never ready for this show to end, partially because of my giant crush on Charlie Hunnam, but..ok, I'm not that shallow.
What I feel about this finale is that it was by far the perfect way to end the series. I wouldn't change a damn thing. I felt exactly how I felt while I was watching Breaking Bad's finale, going like "Yep. This is the shit!".
It was a biblical episode, that's for sure. And if I may stretch it out a bit, I think the finale was better than the entire series. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of it, even the stalling (which kinda happened at some point in season 5). It made the show a perfect circle. Everything made sense in the end. All those deaths that we thought were pointless and gut-wrenching, are now justified.
I am congratulating all the actors for portraying such powerful roles and last but not least, Kurt Sutter for creating this masterpiece.
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Dec 11, 2014
Another show that overstayed its welcome just like Dexter and so many before.

Lets hope Justified goes on a high note and cleans the bad taste on my mouth.

At least for random violence and sex in small towns we still got Banshee!!!
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Dec 11, 2014
First REMEMBER FANS - If the CRITICS hate it YOU MOST LIKELY WILL LOVE IT.
Second - Silly? Coward? Maybe you should look up the definition of coward and silly. The ending was everything I could hope for in a series finale. I've read 'your' dribble on this show long enough. I started reading this review but only got through 3 paragraphs because your comments read like Charlie Browns teacher's WAH WAH WAH. This cast gave their all and Mr. Sutter gave us 7 years of great writing so I now see the silver lining in the series ending and that is you, The Twins of Dribble, move on face first to your own semi.
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Dec 28, 2014
The word is "DRIVEL", not dribble.
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Dec 15, 2014
You sound like a child, unable to grasp that someone has another opinion than yours.
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Dec 16, 2014
Oh stop, you'll hurt my feelings.
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Dec 11, 2014
Couldn't disagree with the "cowardly" comments more. So basically agreeing to the Mayhem vote with the other charters, then running away is "brave"...???

Uh-uh.

Jax couldn't "start over" or make a choice between being a good father and a good outlaw. That was the whole point behind this episode and the previous one; the whole season, in fact: Jax (and Gemma) were who they were. They weren't going to run off to a farm and milk cows and bake apple pies.

Jax was an outlaw, plain and simple, who couldn't bear the thought of his children becoming what he had become ("this is who I am. I can't change.") He didn't want his children anywhere near him ("I need my sons to grow up hating the thought of me") because of what he was - "not a good man," "a criminal and a killer."
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Dec 12, 2014
It seemed to me that Jax had decided to off himself from the moment he realised his mother had slaughtered his missus.
So Teller manipulated the mayhem vote in the penultimate episode. the other prez's -aside from the replacement for the one Teller shot - were practically begging him to blow enough smoke up their asses to avoid a mayhem vote. There is where he was cowardly - sometimes 'ending it all' and running away from the mess you've created is the coward's option. Being a bloke can mean confronting the awful shit you've had a hand in and working hard over time to fix the mess, & right the wrongs.
The prez Teller shot was a murderer too, we know he had participated in armed robberies where others had died, but he had also turned his back on his child and tried to find redemption the easy way, by inviting his son into a spot of murder and robbery, so I don't see his death as being a huge wrong.
We all know what the worst thing Jax did was - we all saw his son - the kid he claimed to love, turning into a pre-sociopath. Only one person really had a chance of preventing that from happening, Jax Teller. It would take a mob of work and require the sort of dedication Teller had previously only given to his 'club'.

So Teller went out the easy way playing the role of club martyr to his 'brothers' while his children were being driven away by a relative stranger and Abel's mother a junkie who has a predilection for relapse whenever the going gets tough. Does anyone imagine there will never be tough times parenting Abel?
Statisically the most likely outcome for the odd couple of Nero (another former junkie) and Wendy is for frustration and boredom to set in down on the farm and both of em to go back to using. Not good odds for young Abel or his kid brother.
Bad enough that Abel had to deal with his grandmother murdering the one person he was bonded to, his mom Tara, now he will also have to deal with the feeling that his dad decided he would rather kill himself than spend time with him. The fact Dad told him about his 'tummy mommy' right before offing himself may only suceed in him feeling resentment towards Wendy.
Young kids need simple straightforward unconditional love - that is how they develop in healthy self-respecting humans.
Unfortunately the egocentric consciousness which is an essential part of kids surviving childhood and learning, also means that when things go bad, kids will put themselves at the center of events blaming themselves for what bad stuff happens.

I also reckon the whole outlaw thing is a furphy, surviving in a mob such as a bike gang over a long time, is dependant on people knowing, and observing some strict rules of behaviour.
Jax could have forced himself into a square hole - his inter-gang politicking showed us he knew exactly how to play the game.
The fact he chose not to do so tells us he rated being considered as some sort of holy martyr by the other Sons a long way ahead of ensuring his real sons had a chance at a decent life.
That is cowardly and stupid in my book.
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Dec 16, 2014
They were ALL murderers. But the Mayhem vote was because Jax killed a member, Jury didn't do that. Jax accepting the mayhem vote was about accepting responsibility for who he was and what he had done rather than trying to weasel out of it one more time.
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Dec 11, 2014
Based on 7 years of the series watching outlaws with no socially normed rules that did have a code amongst them that they saw as honorable they would all term suicide as "cowardly" (see season 4 episode 7 and Chiba reaction to juice). I was disappointed that Jax did not allow the club to carry out the mayhem vote, to me it would have been a better ending.
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Dec 12, 2014
Good call on the Juice thing.
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Dec 11, 2014
I don't think he was a coward. It was painful enough to ask the club to vote Mayhem on him, but to actually let them kill him? My opinion is, he did it for club. He couldn't put his brothers up to that, so he did it himself.
He is not less of a man for doing so, it was just how he was raised to be.
All the people who wronged him had to die, and eventually saw that he, himself, was doing disgusting and unforgivable things. Jax ended his own life because that's how he finished a business. (sorry for the pronoun abuse)
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Dec 11, 2014
it was the easy way out. not too excited.
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Dec 11, 2014
Was he Jesus? Jesus had bread and wine. He was Jesus. He was even self crucified or flying home. It was interesting.
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Dec 11, 2014
Sutter in his way tied up the loose ends! That is what you want in a show, not a Soprano BS job!!!!
And like it or not, there is closure.
Clink the beers boys, one of the best dramas that got no recognition or awards! But weren't the guest stars great????
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Dec 11, 2014
What a fitting end for Jax albeit due to circumstances I wouldn't have ever guessed would befall him. I suppose I had picture of how this show would play out, in my own mind, from the onset or at least since the first season finale. Can you be satisfied if somewhat disappointed? That's how I feel; very mixed feelings.

I understand the sacrifice. It's from the purist place of his being and I think he understood his own fate, clearly, when he got the truth about Tara's murder. He burned every bridge he had in the pursuit of the truth and the one that ultimately warranted his death was killing Jury. He betrayed his own club in the larger sense and knew what would be called for and that's why he decided to burn it all f*cking down.

We could argue for a host of reasons why he should have survived/made a different choice in the end but I think it's definitive to say at least in his death there's a hope he did what JT couldn't.
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Dec 11, 2014
The coward thing is completely out of left field for me. To Jax running from the Mayhem Vote would have been the most cowardly thing he could have done. I think the show would have been better if he had let Unser arrest Gemma and the last episode was one of the fun ones where everything fell into place at the last second to tie-up all the loose ends, but it was a good ending for him killing them both. I liked how it was clear he'd die throughout the whole episode with no real surprises or serious attempts to leave the audience guessing. It was more "easy going " this way and made the finale less stressful to watch.
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Dec 11, 2014
Well it seems like most people wanted Jax to live... I didnt. I honestly thought most would feel the way I felt, but all season I hoped it would end with him dying. Jax was a bad person. Much worse than most of the people who were "bad" on the show. Sure we loved him because he was the person we followed through seven season, but the guy was just bad.

The way he went out didnt satisfy me though. I liked him as a character, and most of the club.. but I had hoped that once most plot holes were tied up, the gang would go to finish something big and get in a massive gunfight and have everyone wiped out. Its harsh and seems like I dont care for the guys, but they were a bad group. With the series ending I just hoped to see most of them get what we all hope the "bad" guys get in the end.

Anyway, overall a good season finale. Ending could have been a bit better (even if it didnt go the way I wanted it to), but still not a bad ending.
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Dec 11, 2014
I personally think it was a great finale to a show, i have watched it for the last 6-7 years now and to be perfectly honest i am totally gutted that it has ended, this series could run for many more years with new characters and a few good storylines. Kurt sutter though deserves the best award going for creating a tv show like this, it has been truly amazing as tv quality goes in my eyes. He has been brilliant throughout the 7 seasons as most episodes have kept you waiting on the edge of your seat and waiting for the next one. And as for the finale jax did what he had to do he didnt want his kids going the same way as he did clay and gemma bought him up that way and he found his dads diary his dad almost found a way to run it smoothly but clay killed him!! i think people forget that. So jax took control over the seasons and got rid of clay and he had a plan. He got rid of all the bad and kept the good and it eventually became his downfall he had 2 choices save what he had left, or destroy his dads dream its as simple as that. So he did both and went out on a high knowing that his kids were safe and would be told there dad was a bad man and wouldnt follow in his footsteps. Jax went out holding his arms out high as he knew there was no more harm or happening in charming or to his kids he left the club in good hands and he had completed his dads legacy and would sooner die than get the ELECTRIC CHAIR after his final shinnannagans lol a bit of irish there for ya all...lol...great show...great ending..and will be sadly missed x...GO ON THE SONS!!!
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Dec 11, 2014
I was really hoping Sutter was going to do a montage at the end with all the characters that we lost along the way like he did with the finale of "The Shield". I had my hopes up for seeing them all one last time smiling, especially Opie. I was really disappointed that he didn't do it. On the other hand, I cried through most of the episode, so that might have put me over the edge...lol
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Dec 11, 2014
How could you have a montage without Clay? And we all know that wasn't gonna happen...
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Dec 11, 2014
A montage would have been icing on the cake!
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Dec 11, 2014
Icing smeared with my tears.
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Dec 11, 2014
i was just glad to see the horrible white sneakers go :( too bad it took Gemmas blood to do it.
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Dec 11, 2014
great finale simple as that!! and to you Tim you are not a truck driver how do you know what kind a face a trucker makes in that situation SON'S OF ANARCHY is many things but SILLY is not one of them !!! SOA with out a doubt is one of the best shows ever of all time, and the series finale definitely one of the best as well!!! SILLY I'M LMFAO to that comment!!
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