This really has been the season of Jax (Charlie Hunnam), as creator Kurt Sutter has mentioned it would be.
He took on the burden of becoming president of the California motorcycle club at the beginning of the season, and it’s led him on a wild ride and clearly changed him as a person.
The question has always been if Jax would turn into the same type of leader that Clay (Ron Perlman) was. After tonight’s episode, fans may have their answer.
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Here are five highlights from the season five finale:
1. Jax’s Plan Falls Into Place
All season, it’s been a bit confusing what Jax’s plan has been for Pope. This is the guy who killed a member’s daughter, and yet Jax has been promising to deliver Tig (Kim Coates) to Pope all season.
The episode starts off with Jax asking for paperwork proving Pope’s commitment to Charming Heights, and in return he says he’ll deliver Tig so Pope can kill him.
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After SAMCRO discovers a dogfighting ring while trying to help Nero clean up his gang problem, Jax tells Tig that he found the breeder of the dogs used in the fights.
When they get to the abandoned area of town, Jax pulls a gun on Tig as Pope’s people drive up. Pope gives Jax the paperwork and Jax suggests he kills Tig in the garage so that anyone walking by wouldn’t hear or see him.
Of course, Jax wasn’t really going to let Pope kill a member of his club. When they head into the garage, Jax takes a gun and kills Pope’s men. Jax lets Tig kill Pope.
Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt is sent to the site of the homicide and finds Pope dead. Jax (creepily) calls him and directs him to Clay’s gun, which was planted at the scene.
2. Clay Heads to the Slammer
Roosevelt arrives at Clay’s home, and tells him his gun was used in the murder of Damon Pope and his three associates.
Gemma (Katey Sagal) is asked to confirm Clay’s alibi that he was at home the whole time. She tells the cops that Clay went out with the gun to “settle up some accounts.”
Clay is arrested.
Jax tells Pope’s No. 2, August Marks, that Clay must have followed him there. While Marks sees that it’s suspiciously convenient that Jax was able to get rid of both Pope and Clay during this process, Marks still puts a bounty on Clay Morrow. “I want him dead before his hearing,” he says.
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3. Tara Makes a Move, Gemma Makes One Back
Tara (Maggie Siff) finds out that there is no permanent damage to her arm, and she can operate in six months.
Wendy stops by and tells Tara about Jax drugging her in order to keep her away from the kids.
“The MC, this town, it kills all the shit you love,” she says, encouraging Tara to make the move to Oregon.
Later, Tara talks to Jax, telling him that her hand will be fully operational in six months. She doesn’t tell him that she knows about what he did to Wendy, instead asking him questions and testing to see if he’ll tell her the truth... which he doesn’t.
Tara finds out that Otto bit off his own tongue, which basically saves her from any threat of going to jail because of Otto’s murder of the prison nurse.
Gemma finds out that Tara is planning on moving to Oregon, and corners Tara at the hospital.
“You take one step out of Charming, the only place you’re going in prison,” threatens Gemma, saying she’ll tell cops that Tara asked her to bring her that cross that Otto used to kill that nurse.
She reestablishes who is the baddest bitch of them all, giving Tara a solid punch in the stomach.
Later, Tara wants Jax to sign the papers to make Wendy a legal guardian of the kids if something happens to them. Jax isn’t into it. Tara tells him that she took the job in Oregon and it begins in two weeks. She’s taking the kids with her.
Jax doesn’t have time to respond because there’s a knock at the door. Roosevelt is there -- to arrest Tara for conspiracy to commit murder. In a powerfully emotional scene, Tara is handcuffed and taken to jail.
4. More Changes at the Club
Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) steps down as vice president of SAMCRO after Jax’s plan unfolds. He had hoped that Jax would be a different kind of leader than Clay, but has discovered that Jax is quickly changing.
5. Gemma and Nero
After Gemma follows through on her part of the plan to take down Clay, she is able to reunite with Nero (Jimmy Smits) for good. While he says his life is about to get very messy, she says she’s OK with that. She adds: “It’s what I do best.”
What did you think of the season five finale? What do you think will happen to Tara? And Clay? How do you feel about Jax as a leader now? Sound off in the comments section below.