Let’s start at the beginning.
Last night we watched as Jax attempted to make peace between brown, black, and white; pled his case to the other SOA Presidents regarding Jury’s murder; and made deals with the Irish. All while also looking for his mother and preparing for what would come once he found her.
From the start of this episode, when I saw Jax limping, I could tell that something is definitely going on. Why was he limping?! I know that something like that wouldn’t be in the episode if it didn’t mean something. I couldn’t tell what exactly, but there is definitely something that we don’t know going on in last night’s episode and if I had to guess, I would say it is going to be some huge revelation in next week’s series finale.
(There was also something weird going on with Nero going in Jax’s garage for tools, but I can’t tell for sure if that was something important or if I was just looking too far into every little thing that happened last night.)
Everything is getting set up for the end in “Red Rose.” Jax is getting everything in order with the club and with the gangs in Charming. He’s setting his boy’s and Wendy up with Nero to go to Norco. Gemma got pretty nostalgic and said goodbye to her father in a heartbreaking scene. Juice got his final chance to do something for the club. Even Unser got a chance to make his final stand for Gemma. It was definitely a week full of goodbyes.
There were three deaths this week and every one of them was heartbreaking.
First, we watched Juice’s last moments. This was a death that I saw coming all season long. At first I fought the idea of Juice dying because I loved his character too much, but by last night’s episode I’d finally come to a point where I really thought that Juice should die. This season he went through too much to be able to live any kind of life afterwards. Death was probably a blessing for him, especially since he was able to go out with some shred of loyalty for his club. Yet when Manson stabbed him, over and over in the neck, my heart hurt. I expected and wanted him to die so I was surprised that it was still so sad. Over the past seven seasons, I came to love Juice’s character so much, and it was terrible to see where he went this season and how everything ended for him.
Next, the only unexpected kill of last night’s episode, was Unser. He’s gone seven seasons dying from cancer where everyone though that he wouldn’t make it. At the beginning of this season, I thought for sure he would be the first one to realize Gemma’s secret and end up killed by her. I did not, however, expect for Jax to shoot him in the chest last night. It was sweet watching him try to fight for Gemma even though was obvious that Gemma didn’t want his help. If I had to guess, I’d say Unser would rather go out like that anyway, rather then slowly continue to die from the cancer he’s been battling for so long.
After last week’s episode, Jax’s conversation with Jimmy had me convinced that Gemma was not going to die at Jax’s hand. I knew there was very little chance of her surviving and that if she did somehow survive, she would end up in jail for Tara’s murder, but I did not think that Jax had it in him to kill his mother. There was never any chance for a happy ending for Gemma, because even if she survived AND didn’t end up in jail, she would never be able to be a part of both her son and her grandson’s lives. In Gemma’s eyes, she would rather be dead than have to endure living a life without her boys. The scene where Jax killed Gemma was so different from what I had expected it to be all season. It was emotional, but it a calm and restrained way. It was basically the opposite of Tara’s death at the end of Season 6. Both Gemma and Jax knew that she was going to die in that garden but Gemma had to help Jax find it in himself to do it. Even as someone who was always on the Tara side of the Gemma/Tara debate, as someone who’s been waiting all season for Gemma to die, it was devastating watching Jax shoot her in the head. In all of the seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy, that moment was the single most heartbreaking moment. (Yes even more heartbreaking than Opi’s death!)
My favorite thing about this episode was the depth of each dying characters last words. “Just wait until I finish my pie.” “This is all I got left.” “It’s okay. My baby boy. It’s time. I’m ready.” Just by looking at them in writing, they could seem cheesy but the delivery that each actor gave of these lines was absolutely stunning. Juice eating the piece of pie with a sad smile and savoring the fact that even though the last weeks of his life were so awful, at least the last moments of his life were enjoyable. Unser, who gave the last years of his life in loyalty to a woman that he loved, a woman he knew he could never have, giving his last moments to trying to protect her because she was all that he had. Gemma’s last words were by far the best and most hard hitting. Without actually being a member of SAMCRO, through and through she was a part of the club just as much as any of the members. She was dedicated in her belief in the club and its rules and she was dedicated to making sure that Jax followed through with what he needed to do. Despite all of the awful things she did, she loved Jax and her last moment was her last sacrifice for him.
After watching “Red Rose,” I’ve come to my own conclusions about how next week’s series finale is going to end. After everything that has happened, I don’t think that Jax is going to make it out alive in the end. If you’d asked me at the beginning of this season what Jax’s fate would be, I never would have thought that he could die at the end of the season, but after what he did last night, I don’t think there is any way that he can survive. Before Jax killed Gemma, he asked her about JT’s manuscript. I think he’s preparing to make sure that Able gets his father’s words in hopes that he will choose another way than both Jax and JT ultimately did. He’s setting both of his boys up with Wendy and Nero in hopes that they will give his son’s the life that they deserve. A life without Jax in it and a life that maybe doesn’t lead to them ever being members of the club. In previous seasons we watched Jax talk about living a different life. It may be too late for him, but I don’t think it’s too late for Able and Thomas.
So, we’ve got just one episode left to say goodbye to all things SAMCRO. Will Jax and the rest of the club survive? What do you guys think is going to happen? Let us know what you think in the comments!