2018 marks 10 years since Sons of Anarchy premiered on FX. The show was a smash hit and one of the best things to happen to FX since It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The creator of the show, Kurt Sutter, put together a cast that no one thought would work so great together. Heck, no one thought a show about a biker gang would do so well either. No one else was successful in bringing a show of that range to television. Those who watched it truly got to experience what it is like to live in a brotherhood and have family that isn’t blood-related.
The show touched on disturbing topics that many were afraid to tackle at that time. Mental health, assault, self-identification, and violence. Normally, shows that tackle these topics are on HBO, but Sutter was able to do it on a cable TV network.
The show has now been off the air for four years and to this day when we reminisce about it we can’t help but feel mixed emotions. We miss characters who shouldn’t be missed like Gemma, and we hate the characters who were really just trying to do better like Tara and Jax. We are also surprised that we ended up rooting for people who really didn't deserve it.
Who would have thought that Wendy would become a savior to the boys? Or that her relationship with Tara would end up being somewhat of a sisterhood? When a show is able to awaken so many different emotions in one person, you know that it is something special. Here is a list of some of those moments that we can't forget.
17 Gemma's Ordeal (Because Of Clay)
In Season 2 Gemma was attacked by a white supremacist group. Of course, this attack took place because of the club and their ties to some negative things. Gemma was set up to be kidnapped and held hostage. This scene was shocking and really solidified that Kurt Sutter was not afraid to go there for the sake of his art. There was even a bit of a debate whether or not the scene should have made the final cut.
We aren’t here to judge, and now that the series is done, and we can look back at it, and we can say it was a vital point to the series. This isn’t to take away that the scene was heartbreaking. It eventually set off a series of events that solidified the clubs penchant to always get revenge no matter what. This is the one scene we wish we could forget, but we can’t and we will never be able to get over what went down. No matter how crazy Gemma was no woman deserves to be put in the situation she was in.
16 Tara’s Role On The Show
Tara’s passing was inevitable. Gemma always felt threatened by her, and when she realized that there was no way for her to control Tara, she wanted her gone. It was a little more complex than that, and it ultimately took several seasons for Gemma o make her move. Nonetheless, she did it and in one of the most odd ways possible. We admit that Tara’s character development was sad, but there were some other crazy moments to come from this show. They will be revealed later on.
The worst thing about Tara’s passing was the build-up. There had been a few attempts on her life throughout the series. There was always tension between her and Jax, or her and Gemma, or her and whoever Jax was going behind her back with. Then there was the mommy tension between her and Wendy. There was just so much negativity always surrounding Tara so it’s as if we had already reconciled with her parting ways before she was really gone. It does kind of leave a burning in our chest when we think of her kids not having her but, at least they have someone.
15 Juice’s Betrayal
Juice was so ride-or-die for the Sons. He was always down for a good fight, he was willing to get his hands dirty, and no matter what the revenge was or who it was against, he was loyal to his boys. What happened Juice? We blame all of Juice’s problems on Clay, but he eventually had so much influence over Juice that he led him down the path of no return. However, one of the things that truly made Juice lose his mind and ultimately betray the club was his fear of being found out.
Juice found out that he was half African-American. Because of the strict rules of the club having a zero tolerance policy when it comes to people of color he soon became paranoid. Paranoid that he could be found out, paranoid about his position in the club. One of Juice’s lines was: “I'm not good on my own... my head gets so loud and nothing syncs up. I start thinking about my thinking and getting lost in the details of nothing.” His mental health took a huge hit, and he ended up being the reason why a lot of his club members lost their lives, and ultimately, the downfall of the club itself, in a addition to a bunch of other crazy things.
14 How It Shifted So Dramatically From Season 1 To 2
Season 1 of the show was so fun-loving and kind of light-hearted. It was just about a biker gang trying to do good in their community and raise their families. Bobby was an Elvis impersonator, Piney was more of a grandfather to his grandkids than he was loyal to his club members, and Clay and Gemma were low-key couple goals. Need we say more? It was just different. So how the show got so dark so quickly is something we will probably never know the answer to. But, it did, and it took the rest of the series down a path that there was no returning from.
Let it known, we are thankful for how the show turned out, but we have to wonder if this was the creator, Kurt Sutter’s, intention from the beginning. Or maybe something happened that made him want to abandon his original plans and go completely rogue. When Season 2 returned, it started with a bang and just had a different tone right off the bat. The show was still familiar, but it was as if they hit the restart button on some things. Even the move from Season 2 to 3 and so on changed dramatically. Maybe Sutter was onto something. Maybe there was a method to his madness after all.
13 Why Couldn’t Jax Ever Be Loyal To Tara?
Tara was so loyal to Jax and he didn't exactly treat her well. Jax always had a side chick and they were always straight up trash. Like the adult entertainment actress or the chick who worked at the brothel. We always wanted to root for Jax because, one, he is so darn cute, and two, he really does love Tara. However, he struggled to be loyal time and time again, leading to embarrassing situations for her and putting a strain on their marriage.
The couple ultimately overcame a lot of Jax’s juvenile behavior but not before Tara grew a pair and went upside a girls head for sleeping with her man. The couple survived their relationship but both tragically passed away at a young age because of the club and the crap they could never get themselves out of. Jax always wanted to have his cake and eat it too, but at some point, he realized that Tara was not the woman to do that with. She was serious about their relationship and about their marriage, and, while he always seemed to have one foot out the door, he was always there to help her when she needed him. We wouldn’t say they are relationship goals, though.
12 Wendy Ended Up With The Kids
When you trust Wendy your ex, baby mama, and former big-time addict with your kids more than you trust what’s left of your brotherhood... things are truly strange. Wendy, Jax’s ex, went from not being fit to even see her own kid with Jax to being the legal guardian of her child and the child that Jax had with Tara. We agree that she was the best fit, but it’s still quite shocking to see what a change she made throughout the series. Wendy was a complete mess. Not only was she an addict, but she was the kind of addict that couldn’t even quit to save her own child life.
She routinely made bad decisions regarding her relationship with Jax and her newborn baby. She was the hero in the end, and that's just shocking. Thank the lord she got the heck out of dodge before any retaliation could come back to bite those poor babies in the butt. We often wonder what their lives are like now. Even though they are fictional characters we wonder what the kids are doing, how Wendy is holding up. Did the pressure get to her? Did she go back to being an addict? These are things we will probably never know even if that spin-off happens.
11 Tara’s Role As A Doctor Questioned
In Season 4, Tara who is a doctor, therefore, needs her hands more than most people, goes through a horrible ordeal. Her hands are smashed in a van door as she tries to avoid being kidnapped. She ultimately gets kidnapped, but thankfully, Jax was with her and was able to catch up to the van and save her before things got too crazy. Unfortunately, Tara’s hands took a hit and for more than half the season, her career as a surgeon was up in the air.
She is bandaged up and laying in a hospital, then she goes through rehab, and she even tries to pretend like it’s not that bad. But ultimately, Tara was never the same. Some can even pinpoint this incident as what made her go off the edge. Not only did they try to kidnap her, they put Abel in danger, and they ruined her career. Tara was never the same, and we don’t blame her. It’s one thing to be guilty by association, but it’s a whole other world to completely screw up someone’s life who really is just trying to be a mother to a baby that isn’t even hers. The fans find out that the hit was sent by none other than Clay, and this is what set off the marital discord between Gemma and Clay.
10 Jax and His Sister
In Season 3, the series headed to Ireland to look for Jax’s son, Abel, and to hide Gemma from whatever crazy thing she did to get her in trouble that time around. The entire season was fun because of how everything had to happen. The Sons couldn’t fly so they had to find several means of making their way to Ireland. When they got there they basically met the Irish Sons and Jax met his… sister. Only, he didn’t know it was his sister.
All season the two had been doing this will they or won’t they dance. They were very strongly attracted to one another and while fans knew that this was Jax’s half-sister, the characters were none the wiser. Gemma loved to keep secrets and resented the fact that John Teller spent so much time in Ireland and even had a whole other woman and family there. Finally, when Jax and his sister were about to get down and dirty, Gemma and Maureen Ashby (his sister’s mother) finally came clean and told them the truth. Their looks of disgust couldn’t have been worse than the fans who were yelling at their screens for at least three episodes straight, as the two would-be lovebirds got uncomfortably close.
9 The City Was Called Charming
How ironic. We are sure this was done intentionally by the creator, Kurt Sutter. The city in California was everything but charming. Sure on the outside looking in it was beautiful and suburban-like, a great place to raise your children. However, fans got to see the seedy underworld that ruled Charming, California and just how disturbed it’s patrons were. From the high number of biker gangs to the insane body count that piled up season after season, one has to wonder what it was like living in Charming? Do you think the population dwindled or that half of these crimes even made the news?
We can’t get over the fact that we never picked up on this before. So much crazy stuff happened in this show that you essentially didn’t care what the name of the town was you were more concerned with who was going to go next. Or better yet, why and how Gemma could make Jax’s life worse. How clever Sutter was to name the town something that was a complete contradiction to what was happening. It’s the little details like that, that make this show so interesting and eye-catching. Well, that and the fact that Sutter wasn’t afraid to get real crazy, real quick.
8 Clay’s Villain Transformation
We always thought that while Clay and Gemma’s relationship was a bit toxic, it was just how they worked. He seemed to love her a lot and was fiercely protective of his wife. We were shocked to learn that he wasn’t who we thought he was in Season 4. After Clay’s plans to have Tara kidnapped, he was even more surprised to find out that his own wife was not on his side. Actually, she was about to rat him out to her son.
Honestly, this was the one time that Gemma was a good mother to Jax and actually wanted to help him outside of her own interest. However, Clay wouldn’t allow it. That season, he gave Gemma a beating that no one would ever be able to forget. To fans, it immediately turned him from this fun-loving, kind of crazy but loyal husband. To this out of control, wavering freak who has completely lost his mind. No one could look at him the same again, he couldn’t even look at himself the same again. He knew he messed up but it was too late fans had already jumped off the ‘we love Clay’ ship.
7 What Could Have Become Of Tig And Gemma
Tig was always in lust (maybe sometimes love) with Gemma. He treated her like a queen and after the horrible ordeal with the white supremacist, he was there to help her when Clay couldn’t even look at her. So naturally, we have to wonder what could have been between the two. There was a mutual attraction, and they even hooked up once. Clay was such a grump and ultimately ended up treating Gemma like hot garbage. If Tig was with her, she may have turned into a completely different person.
We know a Tig and Gemma relationship would be a struggle because Tig might have been too much of a softie for her. However, maybe Gemma needed that. Clay was so much of a manly man that when Gemma was assaulted her almost immediately jumped shipped. He treated her like damaged goods when the whole situation was his fault, to begin with. Even when Tig would act like a fool in front of Gemma, it always made her smile, and they had this unspoken connection. It could have been because he had known her since they were teenagers, but we think it’s because he loved her. Too bad you can’t turn back time.
6 Tara And Jax Finally Get Married
...In a brothel that is. After years of saying they want to wait to get married, you know when the time is right. Jax finally bends his rule and right there in the local brothel, the couple tied the knot, surrounded by a bunch of random women who have somewhat become family over the years. Jax's main intent to get married was to secure Tara before he and the rest of the crew had to report to jail. They got married in Nero Padilla's brothel and almost did it without Gemma there. Let's be honest, she didn't deserve to be there. She hated Tara from day one. However, Gemma surprised everyone when she showed up with their marriage certificate and the rings that she and John exchanged when they got married. How beautiful and loving. This was probably the only time that Gemma played the actual mother role to both Jax and Tara. The scene was sweet maybe because so many emotions were involved. Regardless, Gemma seemed to also want to lighten up on Tara seeing as she was about to be a single mother of two kids with a husband in jail. Gemma knows what she is going through.
5 Fans Never Got To Know John Teller
Jax’s father, John Teller, was such a pivotal point of the show but fans only got to know him through stories and Clay trying to tarnish his name. If there is one thing we could change about the show, it would be that we got to know more about John. More flashbacks or maybe even just a spin-off series based on who he was. A spin-off would be ideal because you could bring back a majority of the cast that fans grew to love, and we would be able to see John as he writes in his journal and tells his own story. Fans would also be able to see just how things unfolded between Gemma and Clay, a young Jax and maybe even Tara. Most importantly, fans will know who John was. Who this man was that left such a mark with his words and thoughts and opinions. This man who wanted to legitimize the club and make them more community-based. We would be able to see that pivotal point where things changed and made him want to be a better man, not the weak man that Clay and Gemma described him as. We also can’t help but wonder if so many people would have died if John was still alive or if he would actually be able to legitimize the club.
4 Otto Acting A Bit Too Crazy
Otto was played by the show creator, Kurt Sutter. He was also one of the most sadistic characters on this show. He was in lock up when the show started, and no doubt, he would be there till it ended. On the inside, he helped SAMCRO get business done with Stockton prison. He was a real help and undeniably loyal to the club. In exchange for them making sure his old lady, Luann, was safe and sheltered, he would help them as much as he could from his jail cell. He showed his loyalty in many ways, but one of the most vicious ways was when he bit his own tongue out.
Yes, and the bloody action was front and center not panning to the left or leaving anything to the imagination. He refused to sell out the club even though they didn’t keep their word about Luann and over time his relationship with Jax and Clay became essentially non-existent. When he was being questioned about the club, their extracurricular activities, and the jail nurse who Otto attacked, he opted to bite his own tongue rather than be a snitch. For Otto, it was no longer about the club, he was missing his wife and really no longer cared to live.
3 We Don’t Know What Happens To SAMCRO
With the show ending one of the things we knew we would never get over was that we couldn’t follow up with SAMCRO. Even though most of the crew passed away, fans still wanted to know what would become of the rest of the crew? Would they grow stronger? Just move on and replace some of the biggest influences? What was to become of Abel and Thomas? Will the club become more reckless? Or without its evil leader, Clay, to encourage them will they finally fulfill John Teller’s wish for the club?
There was just so much that went unanswered, and, while the last season summed up a lot of loose ends, we still would love to know more. Basically, we just didn’t want the show to end, even though it ended at the perfect time. And it doesn’t look like the spin-off that is being planned will give fans much in the way of closure when it comes to the club. Maybe, however, we will see Wendy for a hot second and see how the kids are doing, or maybe we will see Tig in the background living life with Venus. There is still a little bit of hope that we will get a glimpse into their new lives.
2 Gemma’s Betrayal
Gemma is a B-word she is the definition of it. Throughout her time on the show, she proved that time and time again. She never admitted that she was wrong, even when she knew, deep down, that she was. The only thing she was every really good at was being a grandmother. She would fight for her grandkids, and she literally did when Tara passed away and she drummed up a whole lie to point the finger at another crew. She ultimately started a war between two gangs that were coexisting peacefully.
Gemma betrayed a lot of people by the end of the series, but her worst betrayal was her son. She ultimately caused his passing and ruined his family with Tara. She was so desperate for control, and so committed to her meddling that she basically did whatever she could to get away with whatever she needed to get away with. The things that we loved about Gemma in the beginning; her tenacity, her courage, her loyalty and her take no crap attitude was what made us hate her. It’s almost like she became too big-headed and too blinded by her own ego to see that not everything needed retaliation, not everything needed to be attached to violence. That being said, would we still want Gemma as a mother… yup!
1 Jax's Role In The Show
Fans were stunned when Jax took his own life. Even though this was being foreshadowed basically since Season 1, they still couldn’t believe that as headstrong and loyal he was to the club that he would take his own life on the same highway that caused his father’s passing. When you really analyze the episode though a lot of things begin to make sense, what choice did Jax have after all the revenge he inflicted upon the town of Charming? He could either take his own life or go to jail, wishing he had.
He would have rather taken his own life than have to sit in a jail cell for probably the rest of his life missing his late wife, being conflicted over having to his wife's passing, and probably never seeing his kids again because he wouldn’t want them to see him in that way. His passing was necessary, whether you agree or not. There truly was no way for him to come out of this situation on top. He had also lost the will to live knowing that he was unsuccessful in making the club better. There were just too many burdens for him to live peacefully. Yikes, bringing it up again is forming tears in our eyes this was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in a TV show.