I fully expect tonight's finale to be satisfying and compelling and all of those frustrations, anxiety, dalliances, and delays will be paid off towards the somewhere/something that we've been headed to all season. Frankly, I need it because at times during Season 3, I've felt like the show has made me feel as crazy as Gemma holding a gun to a baby's head.
Near the middle of the season, I was ready to have the conversation with Sons of Anarchy. You know. It’s the uncomfortable but necessary conversation you have with your BFF when you have to tell her that maybe jeggings aren’t the go-to look she thought they were. You tell your bestie in the kindest way possible that those jeggings look awful because you love her and you want her to look her best and don't want anyone to see her in an unflattering way.
I felt that in some ways Sons of Anarchy has been trotting around town in a really unflattering pair of jeggings. Yes, really. The jeggings for SoA have been the clunky plot devices that defy even extraordinary levels of suspending disbelief. What the hell do I mean? Well, here goes:
- Salazar was a weak villain. Clay didn't recognize his bullshit MC and there was no reason for him to live for a stunning 12 episodes. The Sons of Season 1 and 2 would have never let that guy walk out of the bathroom in the park. Never, ever, ever. Compared to incredibly interesting, complex villains like Stahl and Zobelle, Salazar was a punk. He only lived to kidnap Tara.
- The logistical difficulties of getting to Belfast were maddening and defied logic. Yes, I get it they are outlaws. They live off the grid. But they also had passports and they were out on bail. If push came to shove and they seriously wanted to get to Belfast, it shouldn't have been that difficult. I'm sure that at a minimum someone's old lady had a credit card and could have at least bought Jax a ticket.
- The legal/procedural aspects of Gemma's case for killing Polly and the gun charges on SoA for their raid on Zobelle's dinner of the faithful defy reason and standards for good legal representation. First off, Gemma obviously killed Polly in self defense. Unser even indicated early in the season that the evidence was pointing in the direction. So why not just make sure that the lawyer is doing her damn job and push things along? The forensic evidence never would have supported Stahl's version of events, so why not work the justice system? If you're paying someone $1500 an hour to represent you, then maybe it's a good idea to make sure they are doing their job and working to get you off of the charges. And with the raid on the dinner of the faithful, the last remaining witness was on the verge of bugging out from testifying against SoA, leveling all the charges down to possession. Why the need for a big ATF deal? Get your lawyer on it, plead it down, and move on.
These are relatively minor criticisms of a really interesting, complex, compelling season. I expect tonight's finale to be very satisfying but how we get to the end matters too. I hope that those little plot devices that haven't lived up to the smartness of the show don't get in the way of a fantastic ending.
I'm very excited to see what happens tonight. I want to see what Jax does with the deal he made with Stahl, how he sorts out the Jimmy issue and what all of it means for his future, his relationship with Tara and the MC. Will Jax burn out or fade away? We'll find out tonight.