“The Final Ride” otherwise known as the final and seventh season of Sons of Anarchy, premiered with a slightly different tone than previous seasons. The series is known, both positively and negatively among viewers, for having multiple overlapping story lines. Prior premieres often showcased the major threads that would be both carried out and unwoven during the forthcoming season. Kurt Sutter, the shows creator and writer, changed up his formula for “Black Widower” providing an episode focused primarily on one story line, Jax Teller’s (Charlie Hunnam) quest to save his club and find vengeance for his late wife, Tara.
Jax has become a hollow version of himself, losing the hope and strive for a better life. This is immediately displayed by Jax’s slow, methodical and straight faced beating and torturing of a man in jail. The violence is not what hints towards a mental change in the character as he has proven to be more than capable of it, sometimes seemingly enjoying it. The utter lack of emotion while he is torturing and supposedly killing a man is something that has never been seen before. In previous seasons Jax was man who planned, using violence as a tool while sometimes as a form of catharsis, becoming emotionally driven to attack. That Jax is gone, having died with his wife. People appear to just be pawns to the man now, things to be beaten, scared, moved and eliminated. Everyone not in his MC is a threat and expendable.
Many fans were worried about how the show would continue after both Tara and Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) met with Mr. Mayhem last season. Sutter has provided his answer. Previous seasons focused on Jax’s rise to power, him attempting to keep the power, and trying to change the game he was a part of. This season he is ready to play by everyone else’s rules, and seems intent to watch everyone who gets in his way burn.
Three major plot lines were tied up by the season six finale “A Mother’s Work.” The Clay and Jax war had come to end with Clay’s somewhat redeeming death. The Tara and Gemma matriarchal war ended with Gemma permanently removing Tara from the game along with her behind the scenes scheming of Tara against the club. This left the show in a very pruned down position. Sutter has apparently capitalized on the less convoluted set up providing viewers what many have wanted from day one, a murderous Jax. Things have finally come full circle, with Jax becoming Clay while forsaking his father JT, whom he had previously idealized, for not being the man the club needed.
There are seeds of ongoing side plots such as a tormented “Juice” holding Wayne hostage, the Mayans and Nero’s new business dealings, Wendy’s attempts to get reconnected with Jax’s sons and Gemma possibly going nuts. The “Juice” issue is sure to come to a bloody end. While Sutter’s clear intention to reintroduce the Mayans, Grim Bastards and Chinese, who all played lesser parts in the last few seasons has a less clear importance on the direction of the series. Wendy’s story line is heavily tied to Gemma, who from the looks of things is beginning to lose her held together demeanor as she is seen talking to herself. Jax’s attitude is apparently mirrored by the rest of his MC, especially “Chibs” who is becoming increasingly impatient with non-Sons members. It is still to be unseen if this will help or hinder the club.
Even with all that is going on, the two main questions are still ‘when will Jax figure out that his mother killed his wife’ and ‘what will he do when he does.’ This season, if the premiere is any indication, will be full of violence, murder, revenge, hate, lies and the death of the Teller family as it is known today. This episode indicated that the impact of every major character’s actions will be felt, and an impending storm is on the horizon. It is sure to come crashing down soon.