‘Sons of Anarchy’ – Season 4 Ends with a Whimper.

Well, there it is. Sons of Anarchy‘s 4th season came to an end last night, and it wasn’t as thrilling as advertised.

After a season 2 that was among the best in TV history, show creator Kurt Sutter gave us a somewhat lackluster 3rd season. But what both of those arcs had in common was, the premieres and finales were excellent. So SoA’s 4th season airs and it’s awesome all the way though, rivaling season 2. It’s so epic in fact that, in an unprecedented move, FX actually adds a 14th episode mid-season. And so months of treachery and lies and backstabbing was all set to come to a head last night. This was built up to be the almost inevitable end of SAMCRO. It was one of those things where you debating how they could even have a 5th season as it seemed like they were set to kill off everyone…

Ok, so here is what we seemed to know going in to last night:

  • Clay is going to die for what he did to John Teller and Piney, and for what he tried to do to Tara. And ultimately for what he did to Gemma’s face.
  • Once the deal with the Irish is done, so is Jax. He and Tara will leave Charming never to return. Until next season anyhow.
  • The deal with the Irish will be busted up by the feds and the rest of the SoA will join Bobby, Otto, and Juice in prison.
  • Once Jax is in jail, and Clay is no longer backing Gemma, Wendy is gonna make a play to get Abel back.

So what we go instead was:

  • Clay will live because without him there is no IRA connection. So he will be stripped of his president patch and continue to sit at the table.
  • Jax is going nowhere as he will now (predictably) run SAMCRO. The big question is will Opie be his right hand or can he not sit with Clay…
  • The big Cartel & IRA deal? Squashed by the CIA in one of the biggest cop-outs since the “It was all just a dream” excuse was invented.
  • Juice is now free and clear, and with Otto on Death Row, Bobby Elvis will simply serve as their new “Man on the inside” that they so often utilize.
  • No mention of Wendy what-so-ever.
  • The Charming Heights storyline was tied up sorta.

What this all means, is that while we’ve set the pieces up nicely for next season, we were delivered a bill of goods with no payoff last night. Instead of righteous violence, we got ‘The Godfather’ ending…

Only it didn’t follow-up all the family business being taken care of, it simply shoe-horned in there. And instead of Jax seeming like the biggest badass ever, ala Michael Corleone, he seems like little more than a puppet that is being pulled back and forth by his mother and his girlfriend…

So Tara is attempting to replace Gemma as the new ‘Lady McBeth’ and she hasn’t yet convinced me. A couple of episodes ago she told both Jax and Clay – “Tell me you love me.” in the creepiest Terminator-like voice I’ve seen since Summer Glau‘s last job. Overall, it was still a great 4th season, and up until the last episode (along with Breaking Bad) had been making a case for shows getting stronger as they go, as opposed to stuff like The Sopranos and Nip/Tuck which totally fell apart starting in their 4th years.

So as weak as the finale was, it does appear to be setting up a pretty solid season 5…

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