Sons of Anarchy: Throne of Lies & Tales of Woe (S7E11)
Queen Gemma’s many, MANY lies began unraveling over the past few episodes and things finally came to a head in the final minutes of last week’s episode, “Faith & Despondency” when Abel finally confided the awful truth he overheard his grandmother speaking. This week’s episode “Suits of Woe” opens with Jax watching his troubled son sleeping peacefully now that he’s unloaded his burdensome secret. Rather Gemma’s burdensome secret that has resulted in countless other deaths and betrayals against former club allies. If you have not watched the episode STOP reading now and get thee to the nearest television, tablet or computer and watch one of the best episodes in the entire series. Easily merits a top 3 spot. Read on for the breakdown.
Jax has spent the night in Abel’s room, going over everything the five year old him about overhearing Gemma’s confession to Thomas. On one hand, Abel hasn’t been dealing well with losing Tara and has been acting out. Jax knows that Abel was lying Gemma scratching up his arm, but why would his son go to such lengths. The next morning, the SAMCRO prez goes looking for Investigator Unser after Wendy confesses to helping Gemma hide Juice from the club. Now that Abel knows Wendy is his birthmother, Jax’s ex doesn’t want to have any more secrets.
Knowing that his mother must have had an ulterior motive for helping Juice, Jax asks Wayne to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Fed up with Jax’s methods and being lied to at every turn, Wayne agrees to help but warns that if Jax burns him on this “there’s no more loyalty” for Jax or his family. (Hmm, does that include Gemma, because that should REALLY include Gemma. Wait until Wayne finds out the humdinger his bestie and unrequited love has kept from him)
Unser does tell Jax about Juice and Gemma pointing the finger at the wrong man for Tara and Eli’s murders. Chris Dun was out-of-state and in police custody that night. Another nail of doubt in the coffin. Jax needs to see Juice. He even promises to make sure the cameras are running throughout the visit.
Juicy already has his orders. Get Lin to expose the rat and then kill the man. His mission for the club is his last hope to make things right and get back in with his chosen family. Tully’s guards escort Juice into a room where they have Lin handcuffed and waiting to be interrogated. One guard tells Juice that there’s a chance of clothes waiting inside for him for when things get messy. Clearly, Lin doesn’t hear this exchange or he wouldn’t have told Juice squat. At least not without putting up a bit of a fight. Juice sets up the camera phone and simply asks “Who sold out SAMCRO?” He asks Lin who gave up the guns. Was it a member. Lin thinks it’s funny they sent a rat to flush out a rat, and he wants to know what happens once he tells Juice what he wants to know.
Having learned it well from Clay, Jax, and Gemma, Juice lies and tells him that nothing will happen. Lin will be free to go. No surprise here what happens after Lin reveals that Barosky sold out the club. Lin gets a shank to the neck as his reward, a semi-quick death.
Juice: I’m a rat. What makes you think I wouldn’t be a liar, too.
Gemma arrives at TM and finds out that Jax knows they helped hide Juice. He tells her that Jax is determined to get to the truth, and Gemma can’t get out of there fast enough. She’s so rattled that she doesn’t even spot Chucky trailing her on his Vespa.
Remember when Jax killed the Indian Hills prez in “self-defense” and Jury’s guys called “BS” on the pack of lies Jax was doling out? Well, apparently the new Indian Hills prez met up with Packer and other SoA presidents for a Forum to discuss the incident. Apparently things did not go well. Outside of SAMCRO (practices per Clay & Jax’s reign), members killing other members could mean a Mayhem vote. Power corrupted Clay and it’s done the same to Jax. Only makes sense for them to meet Mr. Mayhem for the same crime.
Jax can think of nothing except his upcoming visit with Juice. Chibs and Tig can see something is weighing heavily on Jax, but their prez isn’t talking yet. Now he wants to get his facts straight before he says or does anything. If only this Season One-like Jax had been the one calling all the shots at the beginning of this season.
Tully comes in when Jax arrives, but only long enough to secure the room and to make sure that the cameras aren’t running. He tells Jax that his “pretty Puerto Rican” is on the way up. He gives Jax the phone with the taped confession and reports that Juice put Lin down clean and that there won’t be any blowback.
Juice arrives and looks hopeful. His “sins” have been paid in full. He should be back in. Jax doesn’t care about the rat now. He wants the truth about why his mother was helping Juice. She wouldn’t do it out of the kindness of her (dark) heart. At this point, Jax knows the truth, it’s in his emotion filled eyes and unshed tears, but he needs Juice to say the words. He needs Juice to speak the truth that his heart refuses and that his mother could not.
In one of the most heartbreaking and well-acted scenes of the entire series, Theo Rossi and Charlie Hunnam both give off the charts performances. Jax reveals the torment that Abel has gone through. He tells Juice about the child cutting himself and blaming Gemma for it. Jax reveals that he told Abel the truth about Wendy being his birth mother, hoping that this would offer some solace and quiet the boy’s fears of Gemma trying to replace Tara. He then tells Juice about Abel’s truth and that the boy overheard Gemma telling Thomas that killing Tara had been an accident. Jax demands to know the truth of what really happened the night Tara (and Roosevelt) were killed.
Hope is gone. Juice knows that he cannot come back from this. He walks Jax through every single moment. His mind being wrecked from Jax accusing him of betrayal. Talking to Eli Roosevelt outside of Jax’s house. Hearing the crash and then finding Gemma and murdered Tara inside.
Truth at last. Jax and Juice are in tears (I’m wrecked right along with them). Finally Jax knows the truth about his mother’s dirty deeds. Jax tells Juice about Bobby’s death. One of the main results of Gemma and Juice’s lie framing Lin. Jax promises Juice a quick death.
Later, Gemma gets the call she’s been dreading. Juice feels loyal to the very end. He tells her that Jax knows the truth. She goes on her goodbye tour, sharing moments with everyone in her life (except Jax or the club). While the club spends the rest of the episode searching for her, Gemma makes peace first with Wendy telling the former junkie that she’s a good mom. When she should be running, she sits to hold baby Thomas (for one last time?). When Rat and Happy arrive at the house looking for her, Chucky covers and tells them that she hit him and left ten minutes before they arrived.
Chucky: You’re my best friend, Gem.
Gemma: I accept that.
Though, Gemma hasn’t been my favorite person this season for obvious reasons that moment really got me. We’re saying goodbye to these relationships and characters we’ve known and loved/despised. The end is nigh. Saying his own goodbyes, Nero closes the deal to sell his share of Diosa to Alvarez. He gets the 150k he needs to start his new life over with Gemma. He couldn’t be happier…until in comes Montez looking for Gemma. He hasn’t seen her, but wouldn’t tell the club where to find her even if he knew. It’s bad. He just has no idea how, bad until Gemma calls him. She asks him to meet up with her.
Gemma has ended up at the church parish where her father presided way back in the day. Continuing her string of goodbyes, she tells Nero that she loves him and “our time together has been neck-deep in chaos, but you have made me happy.” She also tells him that she was a good mother and that she did everything that she was supposed to do. (Yea…okay. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one)
Their tender goodbye is cut short when Jax calls and Gemma asks Nero not to take the call. Nero answers the second time around and before he even tells the club Jax goes ahead and breaks me heart for the second time that night. Off camera and on the other side of the phone, Jax is revealing the dark details of Tara’s death. As the audience, we already know what’s being said, but the kick to the gut comes watching Nero’s face as he finds about the truth of the woman he loves.
Gemma knows what’s happening. She can’t watch and we can’t look away from the dawning heartbreak on Nero’s face as Jimmy Smits nails every single beat. Promising to be there to support Jax with whatever he needs, Nero let’s the other man go. He does not tell Jax that he’s with Gemma in that moment.
Nero asks her if it is true. For the second time that night, one of Gemma’s men needing confirmation for the truth they already know. She doesn’t lie, though for a split second you expect her to hold on to the lie until the bitter end.
Jax gets into a confrontation with Unser. He wants the former lawman to lure Gemma out of hiding. Unser has no idea about the huge break in his investigation into Tara’s death. He’s pissed because he thinks that Jax lied to him again and he’s ready to wash his hands of Jax. All he knows is that the cameras were turned off during Jax’s meeting with Juice and that Henry Lin is dead. Unser gets in some pretty low blows and harsh truths. He accuses Jax of not caring about Tara’s death and tells him that if he cared about what Tara wanted he’d be spending more time at home with his sons. It gets ugly and punches are thrown. Unser ends up ordering Althea, Cagney to his Lacey (According to Chibs) to put out an APB on Jax. He wants Jax off the streets before he can do anything else stupid. (Where were these APBs a few episodes ago?)
The boys go looking for Barosky, but the man is nowhere to be found. Jax of course has the Stockton cops on his tail which leads to the requisite car chase. It’s a little different this time around. Jax has stolen a car and there’s jazz playing in the background. The SAMCRO prez makes a clean get away.
Jax calls together his table. He apologizes for the hot water he’s gotten the club into and reveals that Henry Lin didn’t kill Tara. No, it was his own mother that executed Tara in the gangland style slaying. Everyone at the table sit shell shocked. Jax goes on to take ownership for all that has gone wrong, the people they’ve killed and allies lost. He tells the boys that he’s going to Packer and the other Presidents to tell them the truth of what he’s done.
Gemma stops off to Abel’s school for one last goodbye. She gives him JT’s ring and tells him that she wants him to have it for when he grows up and gets patched in to SAMCRO. Yes, she says all of this to the already twisted up five-year old. Abel’s teacher intervenes and tell Gemma that she can’t be there. Gemma understands, she asks the woman to keep watching out for her grandson. As the SAMCRO matriarch walks away, Abel whispers a final “Goodbye, Grandma.” Poor confused kid.
As Gemma drives away and Juice is beaten down in his cell by Tully’s guards, Jax shares a moment with his sotto-father, Nero. Here comes the breakdown, Jax has been keeping at bay throughout the extended episode. “How do I come back from this? The damage to my club and my family? My boy?”
Nero suggests that maybe it’s time to honor Tara’s wish. If Nero said one word about that farm I was going to throttle my television. Yes, that’s a good idea, but this isn’t the time. Thankfully, he dropped that seed and left it there. Jax breaks down in Nero’s arms. He still loves his mom, but he can’t reconcile what she’s done. “How could she do this? How could she do that to Tara?”
Wrecked. I was absolutely wrecked after this brilliant ride. Jimmy Smits, Theo Rossi and Charlie Hunnam delivered on a moment that we have all been waiting for this entire season. What happens now? Two more episodes before this ride is over once and for all. How much damage has been done? Can Jax fix things somehow and walk away whole? What should happen to Gemma and is Juice out of chances? Most importantly, did you flash on “The Ghostbusters” when Juice called Gemma “The Gatekeeper”? Hit the comments section with your thoughts on the episode. What were your favorite moments or lines? Who got to you the most?
If Gemma's The Gatekeeper, who's The Keymaster? #SOA