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August 21, 2014

Jax Teller

'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4 Finale Recap (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 6th 2011 11:00PM
['Sons of Anarchy' - 'To Be, Act 2']

I've been saying for weeks now that the Season 4 finale of 'Sons of Anarchy' would be a pivotal episode of the show. It was clear that the way that the current series of events resolved would influence the show for some time to come, and give us a big clue as to what creative directions the show would follow and what kind of risks it would be willing to embrace.

You can find the audio version of my reaction to the finale in this week's 'SOA' Talking TV podcast, which is live now here and here. Or you can read on for my thoughts on how things worked out for Jax, Clay, Gemma, Tara and the rest of these Charming men.

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'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4, Episode 10 Recap (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 8th 2011 11:00PM
['Sons of Anarchy' - 'Hands']

In my years of writing about 'Sons of Anarchy,' I don't think I've had the opportunity to write these words yet: This episode belonged to Maggie Siff.

Don't get me wrong, I've always known what a good actress she is, but 'SOA' is mostly the story of the SAMCRO guys, with a few subsidiary stories for Gemma and, to a lesser extent, Tara. Those stories are usually fit in around the contours of the club stories, and not always elegantly. But Tara's attempt to leave the orbit of the club got the time and attention it deserved in Tuesday's gripping episode. In that hour, Siff got her most challenging scenes to date and absolutely nailed them.

If 'Sons of Anarchy' is roughly following the shape of 'Hamlet,' then Charming's Ophelia just went mad. Or perhaps she began to see things clearly for the first time, and we all know what honesty and clarity get you in the world of SAMCRO: Blood, pain, heartbreak.

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'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4, Episode 9 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 1st 2011 11:00PM
['Sons of Anarchy' - 'Kiss']

Oh, Jax. You stepped up and showed some very savvy leadership in this episode. Much of what was good about 'Kiss' stemmed from Charlie Hunnam's terrific performance and from the ways in which the episode showed that Clay isn't just reckless these days, he's also not a good leader for the club. Jax is clearly the right man for these troubled times.

But does Jax really think a sitdown with the Irish, the cartel and the club is just one of "a few details" he has to take care of, a simple errand to be disposed of quickly? Has he learned nothing from being involved in the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club since he was knee-high to a Harley?

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'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4, Episode 4 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 27th 2011 11:00PM
['Sons of Anarchy' - 'Una Venta']

We hear the word "patch" a lot on 'Sons of Anarchy,' and it's interesting to think about how its various meanings are applicable to the current state of the club.

Of course, to wear the SAMCRO patch means that you're a fully vested member of the club. But there are deep divisions within the club, as well as differences of opinion and temporary alliances with various non-member too.

'Una Venta' did a good job of showing us how those problems have been patched over, but underneath that temporary fix, things are really starting to fester.

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'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4, Episode 3 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 20th 2011 11:00PM
['Sons of Anarchy' - 'Dorylus']

This week is crazy-insane crunch time for the fall season, so this might be one of my shorter 'Sons of Anarchy' reviews.

Clearly, the most compelling part of the episode was the vote at the end. But there were some interesting moments amid the political wheeling and dealing that went on before the big gathering around the 'SOA' table.

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'Sons of Anarchy' Season 4, Episode 2 Recap (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 13th 2011 11:00PM
['Sons of Anarchy' -- 'Booster']

This episode provides textbook examples of what I think is working -- and wobbling -- this season on 'SOA.'

The long-term tensions, alliances, goals and conflicts that are being set up among various club members are gold, as far as I'm concerned. One thing I especially like about this episode is the variation on a theme we've seen explored in the past -- the idea that when Clay and Jax are allied, they're actually more dangerous to the club than when they're at each others' throats.

That's not to say that the alliance is smooth sailing all the way. Far from it. Jax felt blindsided by the deal that Clay had made with the cartel about transporting coke, and Clay couldn't believe that Jax would really and truly walk away from the club forever. Both men were forced, not willingly, to accept the situation as it is, and given their parallel goals -- to make money before leaving the club's leadership positions -- they had to grudgingly get over whatever problems they might have with each other's actions.

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'Sons of Anarchy' Season 3 Finale Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 30th 2010 11:30PM
The current season of 'Sons of Anarchy' has gotten me thinking about secrets and lies.

When are secrets the characters are carrying effective tension-builders? When is it good for the audience to know something that the characters don't and vice versa? The show's extra-long season finale caused me to ponder these topics once again.

Overall, there was a propulsive sense of forward movement in the episode, and some excellent character moments as well. However there was a twist at the end of the episode, one that both worked and didn't work.

Was the twist entertaining on one level? Sure. But it was also indicative of some of the problems of this uneven season.

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TV Moment of 2009: Gemma Reveals Her Rape on 'Sons of Anarchy'

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 26th 2009 10:00AM
Sons of Anarchy: Balm, Gemma tells Jax and Clay about the RapeFX's wild west motorcycle series 'Sons of Anarchy' had a killer sophomore season, in more ways than one. Shortly after the finale, it was green-lit for season three, and it's easy to see why. Story arcs touched on gun-running cartels, an explosive porn business, and tensions both inside and outside of SAMCRO.

One of the best scenes of the season, perhaps the entire series, occurred in episode ten, 'Balm'; it was the culmination of an arc that actually began in the season premiere, 'Albification.'

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Review: Sons of Anarchy - Na Triobloidi (season finale)

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 2nd 2009 8:30AM
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(S02E13)
"Any idea where we're headed?" /"No." - Chief Unser to Gemma

If you're looking for someone to yak to at the office tomorrow about the second season closer of Sons of Anarchy but don't want to open your meathole to someone who has no idea what you're talking about, there's one sure-fire way to tell without having to say a word: check their fingernails. They will be bitten right down to the bone.

The 90-minute episode was a real tension builder from beginning to end and it not only managed to solve some of the protagonists' problems in very creative and interesting ways, but it also created new ones that just made me hungrier for season three. It couldn't come soon enough if I had a time machine.

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Review: Sons of Anarchy - Culling

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 25th 2009 11:16PM

(S02E12) "Either you or me goes home in a bag." - Jax to A.J.

The showdown we've been waiting all season to see finally happened tonight and even though it didn't end the way the antagonists deserved (i.e. heads removed where the shoulder meets the neck, placed on a stick and paraded around town on a substandard Japanese import), it still had my head spinning.

The show opens with SAMCRO preparing for their big, inevitable smackdown with the League by keeping all of their loved ones under lock and key at the clubhouse. But instead of just jumping into the fray head first with baseball bats twisted in barb-wire and all, they do what they should have done from the beginning: they plotted and planned. They turned the tables on the League and by doing so, turned the League on each other.

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Review: Sons of Anarchy - Service

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 18th 2009 8:13AM
Mark Boone Junior and Ron Perlman
(S02E11) "If Gemma had gotten raped on John's watch, he'd have written a whole different book." - Jax

Forgiveness can be a funny thing. Assuming you're on the receiving end of something awful, It's not always easy to determine if you'd even be willing to forgive. That's the beauty of forgiveness though -- the act that led you to it might have been sincere, but that doesn't mean your capacity to forgive has to be. Unlike quietly accepting a situation, forgiving a situation has the power to pacify the parties at fault.

As we learned with Opie last night on Sons of Anarchy, his capacity to forgive is huge, but that doesn't mean he ain't lying through his teeth when it comes to his true intentions.

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Review: Sons of Anarchy - Potlatch

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 28th 2009 9:28AM

"Pull the trigger man. That's the only way this leather is coming off my back." - Jax to Alvarez, the head of the Mayans who orders him to give up his club jacket


Jax is supposed to be the hero of this little modern day Shakesperian epic, but he's starting to look more and more like the enemy in each episode.

I don't mean that he'll be the one in the end who has been scheming the whole time behind SAMCRO's back with the white power. This is a well-crafted, slow paced, high caliber drama, not a badly written Schwarzenegger movie with a thrown together twist ending (cough, Total Recall, cough).

Jax is more of an enemy of himself. He might have good intentions at heart, but his moves are nowhere near his brain. Maybe his loyalty to his family runs deeper than he ever imagined. Logic and family hardly make a decent cocktail. Anyone with a brother-in-law can tell you that.

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Review: Sons of Anarchy - Gilead

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 21st 2009 1:55AM
Ron Perlman on Sons of Anarchy(S0207) - "This club needs a healing brother, and you got to be the one to deliver it." - Bobby to Jax

The tension between Jax and Clay has never been thicker. You could make a birthday cake with it ... a big, tasty birthday cake of hate.

Tonight, it finally came to a head, and who knew that Agent Stahl would be the one to cut them down to slices? It looks like she finally got them ... or did she?

Kurt Sutter's episodes are always deeply complex and very clever, and last Tuesday's episode really put Jax and Clay in a corner. He should write every episode, if he were superhuman and incapable of suffering from total exhaustion.

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Sons of Anarchy: Eureka

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 29th 2009 11:02PM
Charlie Hunnam on Sons of Anarachy(S02E04) - "If you come across something that don't make you miserable, enjoy it." - Chief Unser to Tara

Was I the only human being on the planet who was completely snowed by the BS claim that SAMCRO was headed out of town to do a charity blood drive for Charming? The thought of any shady dealings never crossed my mind for a second. I probably wouldn't even have any doubts if they devised a charity scheme that's more their speed like a "Ride Joust for Diabetes" or a "100-Yard Coke Line Snort for Macular Degeneration."

It's not a sign of my stupidity. Believe me, I've got much more convincing signs of that. For instance, I drive a Pontiac, a brand new Pontiac ... with a 30,000 mile warranty.

It's a sign that the characters are becoming more endearing and real and they play on your emotions more than if they were just flat images on a high definition television screen. They are flesh and blood and bone, and all the little synapses and thoughts that make them human beings are connecting. They have made the audience, or at least the audience that sits in my living room each week, part of their family.

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Sons of Anarchy, season two -- An early look

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 4th 2009 3:01PM
Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller on FX's 'Sons of Anarchy.'
The level that FX's Sons of Anarchy's second season has to reach to top their outrageous first might seem unfathomable. But the man helming this ship is writer, creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter - the man who helped steer The Shield through seven strange and unpredictable seasons of treacherous waters that were once deemed unchartable for the likes of basic cable.

It's tight control on what appears to be complete chaos. Sutter and company are a fleet of reckless Sledge Hammers who are willing to blow up whole buildings to get the job done. Trust him. He knows what he's doing.

FX's white hot biker drama kicks off Tuesday and it brings all of the blood, guts, bullets and glory that the first season did in buckets. And that's just in the first five episodes.

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