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Sons of Anarchy's Season 5 Finale: Problems Solved, Problems Created

Sons of Anarchy S05E13: "J'ai Obtenu Cette"

Let's face it: Sons of Anarchy hasn't exactly been consistent when it comes to season finales in the last few seasons. The ender for Season 3 was brilliant, salvaging what it could from an otherwise lackluster season when Jax concocted a risky plan that saved the day and landed several club members in jail. The opposite was true for Season 4. After a dozen great episodes, Season 4 was sunk by a blindside of a deus ex machina when the Golindo cartel revealed that they had been working with the Feds all along. Ugh. That finale still nags me.

The door was wide open for "J'ai Obtenu Cette," tonight's Season 5 finale, to fall anywhere in between the previous finales in terms of quality, and thankfully it leaned way closer to Season 3's "NS" than Season 4's "To Be, Act 2." But the episode had so much to settle that it couldn't focus the proper energy or time into any single dangling story, creating a finale that hit most of its marks early but didn't stand there long enough for us to savor them. Creator Kurt Sutter structured this finale like it was a horny guy hiring his first escort. It climaxed quickly and spent the rest of the time trying to keep the audience enticed for a later date since it paid for the whole 90 minutes.

Don't let the details overshadow what was great about the finale though, which was the continuing dark cloud hanging over Jax and what it meant for other characters (more on that later). The club Prez continued to engage in risky behavior as he had another secret plan to make things right, killing several birds with one giant-sized boulder of a scheme that was as complicated as this season's over-intricately spun web of alliances and information. In one fell swoop, Jax took out Pope, saved Tig, and had Clay hauled off to jail where he was framed for Pope's murder. Any one of these core parts of Season 5 would be fine on their own as the cherry on top of the season, but the speed at which they had to be resolved and the way they were chained together (and shared time with less important plots) diminished some of their value, particularly Pope's murder.

It's hard to say how long Jax had been playing Pope (or maybe I missed a telling detail). Who knows, maybe he woke up that morning and thought up the plan while he was shampooing in the shower. Maybe the moment Pope told an incarcerated Jax in Episode 2 that he had to hand over a member of the club Jax thought, "I'm going to pretend to be this guy's friend and promise to hand over Tig while I wait for Gemma to owe me big time after nearly killing my kid in a stoned car crash and then hopefully I can hold something over Juice's head like that time he ratted us out to Roosevelt so that he becomes super close with Clay so that Clay will give him his gun so I can use it in a shooting to frame Clay for the murder of Pope and have him sent away to jail where Pope's men will kill him behind bars." Jax's plan smacked less of careful planning and more of a complicated plan that went without a hitch because it's television, but credit where credit's due: he exploited them to his advantage. But lord almighty Jax, if you're going to gamble with Tig's life couldn't you have taken some of the unknown variables out of the equation? Like Tig said, Pope could have killed him on the spot, and your reply of, "But he didn't" isn't exactly comforting. Sons of Anarchy thrives on dangerous situations, but handing Tig over to Pope in hopes he could save him in time was just plain reckless.

At least Pope is dead, something that HAD to happen or I would have been so mad I might have shouted a curse word... OUT LOUD! But was everything we had to endure to get there worth it? We spent so much time mad at Jax for having smiley afternoon business meetings with Pope–the man responsible for Opie's death–and threatening to hand over Tig to be murdered for revenge. When we look back on earlier episodes, all we see is manipulation on Sutter's part. In great dramas, looking back on previous episodes should be enlightening and help explain a character's actions, but here I'm wondering what the whole purpose was other than to purposefully throw us off the scent. Despite the end result of ooze flowing out of Pope's head, I'm not sure all the hand-shaking and limo meetups served Opie well. Jax's rescue of Tig was a "JK I'm actually going to do the opposite!" moment that didn't fully pay off. Am I happy Pope is dead and Tig is alive? Absolutely. It's just that looking at how we got to this point left me awfully confused and question its importance. I'll be honest though, it could just be my extreme hatred for Pope and anger towards Jax for even shaking that creep's hand. Even the argument that Jax went through all this just to earn the Charming Heights contract, the apartment for Lyla, and set up the frame job of Clay doesn't seem to justify how chummy he was with Pope. I wanted Jax to make Pope's life a nightmare, and by the time he did, it felt too late and not enough because Pope needed to suffer.

After Tig took care of Pope, Jax called Roosevelt to let him know where the murder weapon was, and thus began Clay's really bad day. He was so close to getting hammered on Bushmill's and boiled cabbage in Belfast, but Roosevelt hauled him off to the police station after Gemma would not provide an alibi. Now he'll be covering his butt while Pope's men try to take him out behind bars, or as August ordered, before he even faces a judge. It's karma for Clay, who tried to use Pope against Jax with the break-ins. We all knew Clay wasn't going to get killed in the episode because he needs to stick around for at least one more season, and putting him in jail keeps him in a holding pattern until the writers can figure out something to do with him. But once again, it's another season of CLAY MUST DIE and another finale when Clay doesn't die.

What ended up being the big finish was the arrest of Tara for conspiracy to commit murder, which to me was less interesting than the rest of what happened but does set up big problems for Season 6. After going back and forth all season long with the rocky relationship between Gemma and Tara, it was most decidedly back ON in a big way (and rather suddenly). And it all started with Tara's new job sending her a flower basket to the Teller-Morrow shop. Wait, what? Tara isn't using her own address when applying for jobs and instead using the address of a criminal front? Oooooookay. The welcome basket conveniently ended up in Gemma's hands, which gave her the ammunition to threaten Tara with going to the authorities if she left town with the kids, taking Gemma's family away from her.

It's never stated, but we're all under the impression that Gemma DID go the cops and had Tara busted, right? And it's almost confirmed when Gemma approached Jax at the end and assumed the pose that ended last season, except this time it was Gemma standing strong behind Jax and not Tara.

Season 5

Season 4

This is a perfect example of how Sutter gets crunched in his finales, packing so much in that the vital parts aren't allowed to breathe. Let's say the trouble with Nero's gang (which so far seems pointless in the long run unless Tig's new dog ends up president of SAMCRO) is never even introduced. The time spent developing that plot could have been used to make others feel more natural and less rushed. And if more time is spent on Gemma and Tara's rekindled hatred for each other, the inciting incident that gives Gemma leverage over Tara–the flowers puzzlingly sent to the shop instead of Tara's house [edit: the flowers were picked up by Chuckie from Tara's house, which makes more sense but is still odd because why would Chuckie be bringing over floor mats to Tara's house and why would he bring back packages from her doorstep to give to Gemma?]–could have played out in a different believable way. Or more time could have been spent giving us more satisfaction with Pope's murder. Or more tension could have been added to Clay's arrest. More stories are not always better, but Sons of Anarchy doesn't believe that, especially in its finales.

Where "J'ai Obtenu Cette" excelled was, as said before, the collateral damage from Jax's choices. The best parts of the episode (aside from Otto's tongue flying across the room and that vato's face full of nails) were watching Juice and Gemma faced with lying about Clay's alibi, Bobby tearing off his Vice President patch and walking away, Tig staring in disbelief at Jax as he put Tig's life on the line, and Jax fully admitting that maybe he isn't like his father. These are brutal human experiences that this stellar cast brought to life in just a few seconds. Imagine what could have been if there was more time to see these play out. When you cut away the complicated bullshit, there's a chilling portrait of a family–a family both by blood and oath–torn apart by the extreme actions of one man struggling with fresh power. This was Jax's first season on the throne, and he was way more Joffrey Baratheon than Robert, letting power corrupt him and damage those he loved. It's this core principle, so very well illustrated, that was key to the season and made it one of the most important of the series. Sutter plays every episode as though its a finale and may have gotten away from himself by pouring too much into the season, but at its core, the stuff that mattered the most was excellent.


NOTES

– Otto! You sick bastard. I love you. Keep being a complete nut job. I'm just worried you won't have any body parts left by Season 7.

– Nero's crisis was solved fairly easily when the gang went to the dogfights and roughed up some guys in fun, exciting ways. Jax shoved a guys face into a bucket of nails, and Nero's nemesis Dante got a big dose of karma when he carjacked some lady only to get trapped in her SUV with an attack dog. It was a great sequence to start off the episode, but I'm still having a hard time figuring out what the point of adding this whole conflict with this gang did other than give Nero something to do. Did this belong in the finale? Or could this have been wrapped up an episode earlier?

– You know what would be a good way to get your illegal dogfighting ring broken up? Putting dead dog bodies in the trashcans behind the building you hold the illegal dogfights in. And pardon me, but what was with that weird woman talking to the stuffed horse in the trash and why did Jax give her a long look? [Edit: as many of you have pointed out, this is the woman that has interacted with Jax on several occasions before. I totally forgot about her! Still no idea what her symbolism/purpose is though.]

– I really like what Sutter did with Chuckie in the past episodes. He's essentially the guy who is told to leave the room so people can talk. They're clearly having fun with it, and I had fun watching it. The same came also be said of Lyla, who is just the pretty blonde who tells Nero when someone has shown up at the whorehouse.

– What happened to the Wendy storyline? After telling Tara she should leave Charming, she just disappeared. This woman, an ex-junkie, just had HEROIN shot into her arm by Jax. Was she really just used to help Tara realize she had to leave?

– Same for Lee Toric (Donal Logue), who stormed in on this season late but never got any closure in the finale. Again, Sutter's preferred style is to bleed the seasons together and leave things open, but this is a wide open window that is gonna stay open for nine months.

– Tara needed one more solid scene somewhere late in the season where it was obvious that she was trying to get out of town or at least struggled with telling Jax about the job she was offered.

– Jax, use a glass for a change! Don't just pull stuff out of the fridge and drink out of the carton, dude.

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Jax did somethings this season that I really didn't agree with, such as: killing the prison guard and the prison guard's wife, betraying the Grim Bastards, and shooting up Wendy (that was seriously not cool). But I'm gonna chalk those up to his grief and frustration over Opie's death. As a leader, I think, Jax is going the best he can with what he's got. Clay left a huge mess for the club, and Jax spent most of this season trying to right those wrongs. He's gotten the club some legit business ventures (escorts & Charming Heights), and I think he's gained the trust and respect of the club, as well as the local cop. I am kinda sick of this whole thing with Wendy. Why can they just let her spend some time with Abel? She is (well was thanks to Jax) clean and put together. Why not let the lady be apart of her sons life? I think, Tara had the right idea about leaving the boys in Wendy's custody should the worse happen to her and Jax. I do wish, Tara would stop trying to leave Charming with the boys. In the season 4 finale, she looked Jax in the eye and told him she understood why he had to stay and respected him for it, and the she would stay and be by his side through it. And yet she spends the whole season whining about the club and trying to get away again. I also don't understand why she put so much trust in Otto. The whole time she was visiting him, I was sitting there thinking, please don't trust this guy. Even Jax told her that he didn't think she should go back there, but no she was bound and determined to be helpful on the RICO front. WEll, great, Tara now you're in jail and Jax just has another thing to worry about.
I'm looking forward to season 6, I hope Gemma doesn't turn Jax against Tara while she's in jail. I love Gemma, but I don't trust her.
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Did this belong in the finale? Or could this have been wrapped up an episode earlier?

It gave Tig a dog!!!!
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Edit. Gemma sent chuckie to drop the car matts off at taras bc im assuming she wanted to be alone with clay so she made some excuse to send him over there. And when he randomly returned with the basket he said "perishables" lol yeah weird
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mr surette i don't think you should be so critical of this show i have been watching from episode 1 and i feel the show has gotten better each season and to try to guess what is going to happen next is ludicrous not knowing is one of the best parts i just hope the show doesn't end like hamlet - doesn't everyone die?
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Does anyone think that it could be Clay getting revenge on Jax for setting him up for Pope's murder? We cant forget that Gemma let it slip to Clay that she brought Tara the cross and that Tara had been volunteering at the hospital in order to speak to Auto about the RICO case. Even though the last couple of episodes tried to get us to feel bad for Clay, he is still the same guy who will always look out for himself! He could have used that knowledge as his opportunity to make Jax pay for what he did. He had the perfect opportunity to tell Eli or another cop when they came to pick him up for Pope's murder.
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I just don't get Jax anymore. Why doesn't he want Tara and his boys to leave town? Same question with Gemma. I mean, would you want your kids/grandkids to stay in the line of fire? With Gemma I might understand it because she's been in the life forever but Jax tells Nero he still wants out at some point but condemns his wife five minutes later when she wants to leave? Doesn't make any sense to me. It's not like she was leaving him and keeping him from his kids. She told him to follow them up there.

This show has become more and more stressful to watch. I waited weeks to watch the finale because every episode this season left me exhausted and disappointed in Jax. I don't know how much longer I'm going to watch this show if he continues to self-destruct and destroy everyone he loves around him.
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The first season first episode...
"It ain't easy being King." -Jax

"You remember That"- Clay

Jax and Walter White(Breaking bad) are really alike, both masterminds.
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Sorry everyone..
The comment I left below this one isn't necessarily to the other folks making comments unless the shoe fits.
The comment was really for the person who wrote this review.
Before you write a piece on, or a review of someone else's work, you should check your facts.
Just sayin'..
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Why in the world do people hold Pope responsible for Opie's death ? What did you people miss ??

Look..Pope didn't even enter this story UNTIL TIG KILLED POPE'S DAUGHTER !!! Helloooo...do you remember that ??

Now..let me take you deeper into the story. Try to follow along.

Opie WAS NOT killed in retaliation for the death of Pope's daughter !
Opie was killed in retaliation for the killing of the cop who was in Pope's pocket. Tig killed both him and the Cleaner to keep himself from being killed.

Ultimately, if you want to hold anyone responsible for Opie's death, just take a look at who orchestrated the murder of Opie's father Piney AND the accidental murder of Opie's wife..who was killed when they planned to kill Opie, BTW..

CLAY MORROW !!!!!!!

OMG..don't you guys remember ? Opie found out from Unser that Clay killed Piney. Opie confronted Clay at the clubhouse. Jax tried to talk Opie out of killing Clay. Opie shot Clay anyway, then Jax shot Opie. It was decided then and their by Clay to make his shooting look like the Blacks did it. That's what Tig was told..and that's when he drove his truck through the shop window and killed Pope's daughter.
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Real men always drink from the jug DUDE lol. I love this series at every twist and turn. Sure some of it is a little over the top, but it is tv and it is good entertainment. Gotta use your imagination sometimes to read between the lines. Leaving things open or undone is that opportunity.
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Overall, I liked the finale. I just don't think Pope suffered enough. I dearly wished he'd had a very slow and painful death, but it wouldn't have suited Jax's plan, so OK, then. I'm relieved to see Tig alive, I just thought he was a goner - I like this character, he's just plain crazy and brings some humor to the picture from time to time (his sexual preferences, saving the dog, etc). I kind of felt sorry for Tara, although I've always thought it was too late for her, anyway. She's become more and more of a criminal just like Gemma in the past seasons, so I never believed she would have made it. She should've left after the events in Season 4. Now there's no way back. I'm glad Nero made it to the end too and is sticking around.
All in all, I liked this season, although there were moments when I thought it was out of focus somehow, it didn't have the cohesion of previous ones. But there were classic moments, such as Walton Goggins as the tranny. Good job, guys!
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Just a reflexion for people who eventually gives a shit about french language , I am french and J'ai obtenu cette is not correct , apparently it is meant to be I got this in french , but it is a really bad translation , the dumb translation you have using a computer :-)
j'ai obtenu cette doesn't mean anything , if you want to say I got this , like if you took care of everything , you must say stuff like Je m'occupe de tout , or Je m'occupe de ça.

Anyway it's a weird title -:)

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My guess is the lazy american way. And I thought they were using french cause chuckie was going around speaking french
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It was the same thing with the italian title of episode 9 "Andare Pescare", if it's the 2nd time only this season i'm starting to think they did it on purpose, nobody can make that kind of mistake at that level, tho i have no idea why they did it.
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I just tried on the google translate app , and if you ask the french for I got This , the app gives you j'ai obtenu cette ...
so there are two possibilities , one they are extremely lazy and just don't care , or it's on purpose , but why ? the only people who will see the mistakes are french speaker , or in your case italian speaker ( I don't speak italian so I didn't react to andare pescare ).
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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Jax was not Joffrey Baratheon. Joffrey's a piece of shit that's evil for no explicable reason. Jax is not. Jax is more like Robb Stark. Power was thrust upon him even though he didn't really want it and he's doing everything he can to minimize losses. Sure, it didn't work out that way and a lot of people got killed. But like Robb, he's doing his best. He's not purposely trying to get people killed like Joffrey is. Huge fucking difference.
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I really hated the tongue scene. It was stupid and ridiculous and made no sense. One of the worst scenes on any show this season.
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Otto is most likely dead, biting your tongue is a way to commit suicide.
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There are two major flaws in your argument. 1. He didn't have to bite his tongue off to not talk. 2. He can still write.

What has Otto done before that's *this* level of crazy? If someone wants to hurt you, I don't think the best way to insult him is to hurt yourself. That's just doing his job for him.
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It made total sense. The marshall told Otto that he was going to make his life hell for the last few months of his life. The only fight Otto could put up against the Marshall was not to talk, and he made a fairly dramatic statement of his intent. Otto has don't some crazy stuff before, so its not even out of character. It was a f*ch you to the Marshall.
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Yeah i think you're right. It wasn't just about not talking, it was a clear message if giving the marshal the finger, a way of saying the intimidation doesn't work.
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i think u contradicted yourself, Tim. you said that the season 5 finale was on par with season 3's finale rather than the 'lackluster' season4 finale(your opinion i thought it was brilliant and it changed the dynamics of certain characters for the better) but when i read your review i saw about 98% negativity towards s05e13, and 2% positivity.
u say ur disappointed with the jax/tig/pope outcome but i thought it was nailbiting, it was obvious that jax was going to have a power play in the pope situation, but the performances between charlie hunnam and kim coates made me believe that there was a possibility that tig will in fact be killed off. it was gripping.
i loved it as well as the amazing performance from maggie siff when she was arrested.

i think kurt sutter was right when he called u a douche on twitter earlier in the year, because your reviews tend to be very annoying, you constantly praise a show like 'person of interest' (which IMO was the some old crap every episode with reese channeling jack bauer, same old cbs procedural) and some of the earlier episodes of TWD, (which IMO S01 & S02 SUCKED BALLS, SEASON 3 BEEN BRILLIANT SO FAR) and always crap on S0A when it doesnt go the way you hoped, especially SOA season finales.i hate whenn people moan about the way an episode it unfolds because it doesnt go the way they wanted it too. jurt sutter is a genius, he has the ability to write brilliant drama - tim, you review peoples work by shitting all over it, id love to see you do better.
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The basket was sent to the home. Remember he was delivering the car mats, found the basket and brought it toTM, saying to Gemma, "Perishable".Also, I don" analize the program, its fiction, I just sit back and enjoy. Love Jax. whatever he does is AOK in my book.
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One thing pointed out to me, which you didn't write about, a different scenario.
The developer papers that Pope gave Jax at the meeting, isn't August going to figure out that Jax was actually there because of those papers? i hope that doesn't remain unfinished and they say something about it next season.

About Jax's plan with Pope, i think he planned to kill him right from the beginning, how he was going to do it became clear when he realized that Bobby was right (in a way) and serving justice to Clay was better than to kill him in plain revenge because this way he was going to get what he wanted but also get away with Pope's murder.
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As far as the paper Pope gave to Jax: He also faxed a copy to Mayor whats-his-face, so Jax can still prove that the deal was made without ever having to produce the copy that he (Jax) was given.
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Jax planed to kill Pope the very first time he met him, Pope put in motion the death of any son, which happened to be Opie. Jax could not kill Clay because it had to be UNANIMOUS and Bobby voted against MEETING MR. MAYHEM. Bobby made a deal with Clay, behind Jax back to save his life. Jax had no recourse but to get revenge another way. Go Jax...
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I dont know if this has been said already, but did anybody else think that one or both of the two black guys in the police wagon with Clay were going to shiv him or something, knowing that there is a bounty on his head.
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I've finally tipped over the point where if I see any scene with Otto, I'm just going to fast-forward and then read about whatever happened later.
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Enjoyed the review, but I was really hoping you were going to.gif "The Tongue Incident." LOL

Crazy stuff going on and it did feel sort of stuffed with things that had to happen. Hopefully next season they open it up and let it breathe a bit.

As for the VP spot, I think they need to vote Chibs into that and then have Happy be the Sgt. at Arms. We need more Happy and he normally gets one line of dialog, or less, an episode. He & Chuckie both need to start getting some more worthwhile screen time.
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People thinking it could have been Jax who had something to do with Taras arrest is a bit absurd. Club business and the way he handles some situations are one thing but Tara is a whole other thing. She's the love of his life. And clearly Jax was just finding out about her leaving. There would have been no time for him to have anything to do with it.

I understand the confusion a bit, in that Jaxs' reaction was hard to read. But that was due to Jaxs' hard convo with Tara and that leading to some feelings of betrayal, then the shock and awe of her getting arrested was just to much to deal with, leading to Jax having a paralyzed, numb reaction or non-reaction. In a review I read Sutter explains this. He also explains that the finale was a lot about how on one hand Jaxs' plan to help the club went without a hitch while on the other hand his family and his promises to Tara fall apart. His feelings about this also contribute to his reaction in the scene.

The article is on tvline but for some reason I cant post a link. Its a good article and Sutter answers many questions about whats coming in the next season.

In the article Sutter thoroughly explains how Jax was feeling as well as the fact that there are two possible people who could have been involved in setting Tara up. One obviously being Gemma, the other being Toric.
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I think it was the dead nurse's brother who fingered Tara. He could not get satisfaction from Otto so the next best thing is Tara. How about Otto and his tong, did not see that at all. Also, if Bobby had some stones he would have told Otto about delaying the killing of Tom Arnold, (forgot name in show). Otto would not have been vindictive.
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The thing with this show which seems to become more apparent this season is that, contrarily to what most of us thought, the whole series was not so much about "Jax the Savior" but about "How the gavel corrupts" ...

I still quiver remembering Opie's words to Jax: "I'm not afraid to become like him (Clay), I'm afraid to become like you!"...
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I hated the dog fight.
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I have lost all respect for this show. I loved it but now that they left Gemma in and Tara in this mess, the VP stepped down and Jax falling further into this self destructive behaviour... disgusting. Don't care when the next season is out, flounced.
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Just want to point out how bad the title is... ''j'ai obtenu cette'' doesn't mean anything. I'm tired of tv shows messing up with pathetic, stupid and irrelevant so-called ''french'' titles.
For godsake, just don't.

But at least, Chuckie spoke a good french... with a thick accent.
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Google translate says it means "I've Got This"
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Well idk French so I can't confirm the truth in this but in a different article I read about the finale it said that it means what Opies last words were which was "I got this". Which sort of goes along with some things Sutter said when interviewed about the finale. He talked about a major theme of the episode being how on one hand Jaxs' plan for the club goes without a hitch while on the other hand things with his family and his promises to Tara fall apart.
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I agree with everything you said but the french is still wrong. If you translate the title it just says "I got..." If they really meant to say "i got this" they could have said " Je l'ai" because "j'ai obtenu cette" really doesn't mean anything it's an incomplete sentence
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lol it's a typical case of "google translate". If you run it through there it translates to "I got this" :)
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The whole last scene with Tara being arrested and Gemma coming in seemed weird to the point I was thinking it wasn't Gemma who turned Tara in but Jax. He was just a little too calm. If he somehow found out Tara was trying to leave, we've seen how far Jax will go, and he is Gemma's son. Nero is an interesting add to SOA...he always keeps me wondering is he really that good or is there something we don't know about. Look forward to seeing Nero next season. I still can't get over how Tig, Clay and Juice are among the living and Opie is dead. Things are just not fair.
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You are forgetting the dead nurse"s brother. Also, I think Jax was a little pissed off at Tara making decision about leaving. She can"t go anywhere now.
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I also thought that Gemma was the one who ratted on Tara, but started to doubt it later on. It is serious business to mess with Jax’s family, which makes me think that she would have only done it if Jax had told her to. That would be a very interesting twist that shows that Jax’s primary commitment is to the gang, and that he will use underhanded tactics to keep his family together like his mother. I was talking to a coworker at DISH about the show, and he thinks that this has been the best season yet. I have to agree because I have the entire season saved on my DISH Hopper’s 2TB hard drive and I have watched every episode multiple times, which I never wanted to do with the previous seasons. I actually think that we could see some big changes next season like Clay and Tara leaving us, and not just going to prison this time.
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Testing a theory that my first comment about this being a Dish ad department person was intentionally deleted.
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Gemma singing the song in the intro.
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1. Read Hamlet, please! Gertrude plays a major role in Hamlet's rise and fall. So must Gemma. That is why she is still around. But I cringed when Gemma put her hand on Jax's shoulder at the end of the finale - ewwwww!!!!!
2. Jax was very careful in how he dealt with Pope because he was rightfully afraid of him. BUT he listened to everything Pope taught him, and used Pope's advice against him. He also set up the Charming Heights deal so that Samcro would have benefits from the development. (And, he pulls the Mayor in to the deal to tie him to Samcro too).
3. I knew Clay's gun and the bounty were both significant and would play a role in bringing Pope down. I wasn't too sure that Jax would save Tig, especially after all the other dark things he has done this season.
4. I really don't care what happens to Tara, but I do think he character is a classic example of smart woman who makes stupid choices. Unfortunately for Tara, she is an amateur in this world and will continue to pay for it until she gets out.
5. Back to point #1, since this series based loosely on Hamlet, if you read the inspiration, you will know how SOA will end. Sutter has said in interview that he sees the story ending with Jax and Gemma (and maybe Clay), but he doesn't say they are alive in the series finale.
6. Sutter likes to write circular stories, so I predict that Abel or Thomas will be reading Jax's journals when they are young men and Jax's journals will predict his own death at the hand of his mother.
7. Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam were fabulous this season!
8. Can't wait for Season 6.
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Sorry, #6, I meant to add Jax will predict his death at the hands of his mother OR HIS WIFE.
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why isn't Tig dead? he started us down this long dark road by killing Opie's wife by mistake. talk about karma, he deserves to be dead like no other. he's a hothead with absolutely no control. i was extremely disappointed he survived...
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I disagree. Tig is a pitbull. He can't really be responsible for his actions. He does need to be controlled. So in my eyes, Donna's murder is mainly on Clay, for sending him out to kill Opie. In the same way, Jax is to blame for telling the Club the hit on Clay come from Black, prompting Tig to kill Pope's daughter.
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A step further: Clay told Jax to tell the club his shooting was from the Blacks. To me, all roads lead right back to Clay Morrow. Tig's biggest crime in this situation was placing too much trust in Clay's word, and in being to loyal to Clay without question. I love Tig. No warm, fuzzy feelings for Clay at all whatsoever.
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I'm with you. Just can't get past him killing Donna. And everytime I think Opie is dead, that should've been Tig.
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love it, even love that tara will be locked up. who wants to watch the happily ever after for more then a minute. in need of a new love story for jax. even though he has no time to play the part i still think they should free otto. i really can't take it anymore. let him go or set him free. it's too painfull...
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As for the other aspects of the episode, I'm fine with them. Pope's death WAS a bit too sudden -- and not in the good way where the suddenness makes it surprising -- but I also don't have too big a problem with it. For a minute or two, I did think Jax was really giving Tig up to Pope -- which would have been so much more surprising -- but it was almost too sudden and quick to make it even remotely surprising when he did kill Pope. I like that Tig is alive though. He may have been too kill-happy and loyal to Clay at times (and he really was an ass for trying to kill Opie and killing his wife instead) but he's still a likable character, which I think is pretty damn important considering how I'm starting to dislike more and more characters after every season. I think Tig, Chibbs, Happy, and the big dude are the only ones I still really like, with Tara, Bobby and Juice a notch lower.

I don't think Jax set up the thing with Tara -- the implication that it was Gemma is WAY too strong -- but I think his lack of reaction when she was arrested tells me he was sort of relieved. As much as he loves her, I think he was pretty pissed when she told him she decided to leave with the kids, giving him an ultimatum between her and the club. We saw earlier during his convo with Nero that Jax now doesn't want to leave the club -- he's felt the power being number one... he's loving it.

While I'm disappointed in the lack of Donal Logue's character in this one, I do feel an anticipation of sorts of how they'll use him next season. Will he be the biggest threat to SAMCRO? While there be another big bad guy? Hopefully the writers have a good plan about how to use him.
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The biggest thing I can think of that would have made this season finale better is if at the end, during the scene where we see Clay in the transport truck, he gets killed. I'm not sure how it'd be done realistically, but in that situation, I think I'd have been okay with it being over-the-top. Something crazy, like someone blowing it up with an explosive... or one of the other prisoners slipping out of his shackles and killing him... or the guards doing it... or the truck being stopped by a group of dudes that take out Clay (and probably the guards)... *shrugs*.

I've gotten to a point where even though I actually felt bad for the guy in recent episodes -- especially when he realized Juice and Gemma sold him out -- I do really want to see him die. Maaaaybe not as strongly as Mate, hehe, but I do want Clay dead. It's not just because he's a bad guy -- almost every drama needs a bad guy -- but more-so because I'm not a big fan of show writers getting to a point where a character basically needs to die but keeps holding off on it. It feels like a cheap move or tactic of sorts. Then again, after every passing season, I realize that the show is being written more and more with "cheap" tactics or tricks or whatever.
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This article is nagging me for several reasons. The basket was sent to Tara's home, Chuckie brought it to TM, which you noted in an edit. Jax knew of the job offer, he just didn't know Tara was moving forward with it. Pope was far too dangerous to toy with, prolonging his death would have realistically brought an army of One-Niners and East Dub down from Oakland to Charming.

Remember, Pope is, was, a man who could crush his enemies easily and had a small army who outnumbered the Sons all along the west coast. Remember, the One-Niners have cliques in Oakland, Nevada, Los Angeles and it's implied they're in other major cities in America on The Shield.
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Great finale and overall a great season. They tied up the story lines they needed and they left us with new story lines that feel fresh.
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I agree they took Pope out too fast. that was definitely the time for one of those scenes usually reserved for when you have James Bond strapped to laser table for them to start out by saying "See this? this is Clay Morrow's gun. he's been kind of a pain in the ass lately, so thanks in advance for paying 5 million to sort out that whole mess for us..We'd also like to thank you for getting that paperwork squared away so Opie's widow will have housing for life. that was awfully sweet of you..." just a nice agonizing outlay of how completely he was maneuvered so we could get a nice reaction to him realizing he was played to the edge and then pushed. and even his final act of payback, his hitmen, would also be used to the Sons favor.
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I'm beginning to wonder if the person writing these reviews pays attention to the episode. Everytime I read them, he goes on rants about things that are plain wrong. Chucky picked up the perishables from Tara's home ... off the front porch ... where he was delivering the floor mats to ...
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It was an easy line to miss, but If I were doing reviews I'd DVR it and watch it twice before writing a review just to make sure that didn't happen and I had a firm grasp on the episode as a whole.
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Personally I think this was an awesome season, I'm still wishing Clay dead but I can live with him in jail for a while. I know Gemma had part to do with Tara's arrest but I'm starting to think maybe Jax did too? Or that he was somewhat relived when she was arrested because that stops her being able to run off with his kids. I'm READY for S6. The wait will kill me but I'm ready.
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Great Show although I think Sutter is beating the Gemma storyline to death. She is no longer interesting to me just wretched and annoying. And c'maan Nero - you could do waaaay better. He said it himself in Spanish "all she brings him is MIERDA (shit). As a viewer I'm more attached to Tara and her becoming a Gemma type versus saving the boys and returning to surgery.
I think Toric is an awesome character - so I gotta hand it to Sutter on that one. Based on the OTTO tongue scene and what Toric says - I forget verbatim what he said - but I got the impression that not only is Toric out for vengeance but he really is planning on painting his masterpiece with the sons. Reading the Artaud book with a bunch of guns on the bed, Harvard educated, special forces, "still looking for a new job"... This guy will enjoy setting up the dominoes and seeing how the sons react as a study of human behavior I think. Not a sicko toying with people for revenge but an intelligent and highly focused man who is skilled enough to set up scenarios that will test the sons commitment to eachother to the core. Choice is at the heart of Toric's twisted game. He will put Jax in a catch 22 like Pope did and we will see the layers of Jax peeled away and the truth and the core revealed.... And then John Teller will come out of hiding and take them all out for Ice Cream :)
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I think that crazy lady was the same crazy lady that Jax was talking to around the time of Pineys funeral, I can't really remember anything about that though.

And I found that funny about what you said about Chuckie, that actor must be like "what is the point of me being here?" same with Opies wifey person!
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It was good. Needs to narrow down the storyline to 3 big events throughout the season and 2 very minor ones that all come together over two episodes (including the finale). Totally agree that the season finale for season 3 is still the best.
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Whoa there. Comparing Jax to Joffery? Whoa. Jax plays the game like an expert while Joffrey is afraid of his shadow. Aside from that, good review.
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The comparison was SO unnecessary and uncalled for in my opinion
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Tara didn't have the flowers sent to the shop. Gemma had "two fingers" take some car mats over to tara's house and the flowers were left on the door step and he brought them back to the shop to give to Tara when she arrived.
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Yeah said they were perishables and didn't want to leave them on her porch.
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You're right...he said he found the on the doorstep of her house and brought them back!
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The one thing I am left pondering is who will be the next VP. The way the camera panned across the clubhouse, Im left feeling like Tig will take over as VP. Chibbs is already sgt. at arms and juice is back in the family, but I don't think they would put him in that seat.
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Tig - that's who Jax wants cuz he's got him in his back pocket.
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Regardless of who steps into the VP seat, it has to be someone who will balance Jax out, and I'm pretty sure Tig is NOT the man for the job. That was the case when Jax was in the VP seat and Clay was at the head of the table, and it recurred when he took over and Bobby was at his left. It has to be the voice of reason in that position or the club is truly doomed because Jackson Teller is a changed man (apparently for the worst).
All I can say is that they need some prospects, or transfers, or something, and FAST. In the circles they run in this club wouldn't last a minute with only 7 members left to cover their asses.
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I think it will be Chibbs. But i wish Jax to step out as president.
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Who else would watch a spinoff with Tig and his dog breaking up dog fighting rings throughout the US? It could be along the lines of an 80's buddy cop movie. Instant classic!
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Haha, I would definitely watch that.
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Brilliant! I would watch. "Starsky and Pups"
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Sorry Tim you did miss the tells, and when you rewatch you'll pick them up and the scenes with Jax and Pope will be deliciously well acted.

Also I wouldn't rule out Jax having been been behind what happened to Tara.....if he knew about the job, he knows the charges won't stick, he gets her a night or 2 at Roosevelt's place, Oregon rescinds the offer due to the arrest and she has to stay. Means to an end.
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Agreed. The defining moment for me was Jax's conversation with August when they're talking about how long he'd been with Pope. August tells him he's been with Pope since he was 17 if that tells Jax anything, and his reply is that it tells him he's "loyal....or patient".
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I'm with you on this...I also wonder if he had something to do with Tara's arrest. He just stood there without a word and didn't look super surprised by the arrest which he knew was a possibility so it didn't come entirely out of the blue. He didn't tell her he loved her, didn't tell her he'd call an attorney (she had to tell him to call one) didn't follow her to the police station. Yes, he could have been in shock that she had been arrested but he just never acts that way and I can't imagine he wouldn't have yelled at the very least "I love you" to his wife as she was cuffed and taken away. No reassuring words. Nothing. And now we must wait 9 stinking months to find out! lol
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I was surprised that Tara didn't say something to Jax about Gemma's threats.
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jaw-dropping,MIND-blowing finale!!! f*******ck that was awsome hour of tv....where to start? My mind is still in awe from this season's finale.

I watch every episode of SOA with some snacks and when Otto did THAT....daamn, I usually chew through those snacks in 15min,but after what happened,I chewed really,really slowly:D

Pope is dead,Pope is dead,Pope is dead!!!!!! YESSSS....and Tig killed him....DOUBLE YES!!!! I knew it, Jax had a plan to kill Pope....and all you were saying how he is best buddies with him.

Dog fights.....veeeery f-ing thin ice with that one Sutter....let's just say.Tig became my favourite charater after what I saw. I would start shooting at everyone in there.....F-ING PIGS!!! Kill them all(Spartacus style or with bullets...kill them all)!!!!!!!!!!!

Nero's scenes did belong in finale....Sutter is setting up for next season. And how Nero talked,seems shity storm is coming to Charming.

Said it many times and will say it many times....have no problem with Clay still being alive and if you are sick of him and this show.....THEN STOP WATCHING IT,problem solved. go watch Dexter and those sing "reality" shows...or Mentalist.

Toric,feud between Gemma and Tara and now Jax and Tara,Nero,Clay....looking forward to season 6.
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Hoping Nero returns next season. I read an interview with Kurt on TV Guide last night after the finale aired (the interview is about the finale_) and he said he'd like to have Jimmy Smits back next season but it depends on his schedule.
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After the Abe-accident I tried to start watching again but the show just turned into some kind of uninteresting mess. I just don't feel it anymore, maybe part because I've lived within these circles myself. Bikers drive cars and don't wear the vests everywhere, at least here in Europe. I also agree with the pointers in the review.
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I agree. I still love the show but the plot could be way more interesting. The show is losing me because I really don't respect any of the characters anymore. Except Chibs. Gemma is so annoying I fast forward her scenes. So full of herself and she really has no bearing on club business at all. Just some annoying old hag that can't let go - there are way more interesting things to focus on.
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but if you fast forward,you have no idea what is being said in her scenes and later when something happens,I bet you wonder why do this or that and it's been said in one of those scenes.
For example....Nowdays I hate every support charater on Dexter,but still get through those scenes,only to know what is what and what is going on(no matter how painful or predictable they are). I did/and still do love Isaak! He,Dex and Deb carried this season on their shoulders.
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What about Hanna?
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this is getting on my f-ing nerves....keep posting comments,but for some reason they don't show.Will keep it short and hopefully my comment finally shows....she is mediocre
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I keep thinking she's only still around because she's Sutter's wife. You're right she has no essential story line anymore.
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I saw that with Jax and Pope coming long way back, ever since Opie's death. Jax had to play smart to stay alive and get his revenge when the time was right there was no way Pope was ever going to get away with that. If anything Pope should have realised and known that, Opies not just being a best friend but a fellow brother. Pope was naive enough thinking Jax will look at it just as business as Pope would have looked at it. He just didnt understand the "Brothers in Arms" bit.

The end reminded me of Godfather when old Corleone's son became Godfather when his wife tried to take the kids away from him. "You donta mess with my familia". Same with Jemma and Jax I guess, at least thats what the final pose portrayed.
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Agree in the Jax's and Pope's situation.

about the second point, i don't agree. I don't think she was taking the kids away from Jax. She was saving the kids and i believe Jax understood that
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Idk, Charlie Hunnam is very telling with his facial expressions, and he looked more pissed and betrayed than understanding. He hasn't shown the ability to deal well with ultimatums in the past.
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true. but is kinda fast the situation to be Jax fault. He reads the documents, talks to Tara and then the Roosevelt is a is doorsteps. All this in minutes. To be Jax's doings he needs to be a really, but really changed person.
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that is the same beggar woman who had cameos in the previous seasons too who to appeared to gemma in season 2 (don't remember 3) and then jax in season 1,4 and 5
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creepy I should add, some ghost?
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Just a correction...Chuckie found Tara's gift basket outside her front door ar home. Gemma had sent him there with a box of car mats for Tara. When he arrived at Tara and Jax's house and found the basket back to the TM shop he thought it was "perishable" and should not be left out in the sun.
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