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Sons of Anarchy 3.13 – NS

It was another special 90-minute episode of “Sons of Anarchy” tonight, but I honestly didn’t expect any less from the season finale, which opened with the typical montage, this time scored to an upbeat pop song while the club enjoyed a cheerful breakfast feast at the clubhouse. The festivities didn’t last long, however, as Gemma is becoming increasingly worried about Jax’s deal with Stahl after discovering a case file on the IRA council in his cut.

She’s still staying mum on the subject, but after Clay tells her about their expanding business relationship with the Irish, Gemma decides to try and save Jax’s skin before any more harm is done by turning herself in. Not that it will do her any good. Stahl has already exonerated Gemma of all the charges (apart from fleeing custody, which has landed her a few months under house arrest), so there’s really nothing she can do. Nevertheless, Gemma promises Stahl that deals like the one she made with Jax never work out because there’s no trust, and it’s going to end badly for one of the parties involved. If only Gemma knew just how right she would be…

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With the hours ticking away until Jimmy is out of SAMCRO’s reach for good, Clay visits Otto at Stockton to set up a meet between him and Lenny the Pimp. Lenny agrees to reach out to his Russian contacts, but warns Otto that while they’re certainly not loyal to Jimmy, it’s going to take a hefty sum for them to flip on him. And as Clay soon learns, he wasn’t kidding, as the Russians ask for $2 million in exchange for Jimmy – money that the club simply doesn’t have. Thankfully, those boxes that Chucky has been trying to show someone for days just so happens to contain $5 million in counterfeit bills. It’s apparently from his time working for Henry Lin, and though he was supposed to destroy it, he decided to keep it instead.

But there are too many inaccuracies in the fake bills to pass it off as real, so Jax suggests that they pad the bags of cash with real money. Stahl is more than willing to give him the $250,000 he needs to sell the illusion, but only if he gives her the location of the drop and promises to stay hidden. The plan was for ATF to intercept Jimmy after the Sons made the trade, thus completing Jax’s end of the deal, but with all the preparation going on at the clubhouse – the letters, Tara’s secret involvement, and Unser’s favor to Clay – I just knew that something potentially big was about to happen.

What I didn’t realize is how many twists and turns would be involved. The drop itself went smoothly, but then the club moved Jimmy to Tara’s car so that ATF wouldn’t get him, and Stahl was furious that Jax had played her. He claims that he was just trying to keep her honest to ensure that she signed off on her end of the deal before handing Jimmy over. The deal is legit – giving SAMCRO a reduced sentence of only three years (and parole in 14 months) – so Jax agrees to sign the document that officially recognizes him as an informant. Before Stahl gives him the paperwork for their lawyer, however, she demands to see that Jimmy is still alive. With no other cards to play, Jax takes Stahl to the clubhouse, and as expected, she turns on him by telling the club that he’s been working with her all along.

Talk about burning bridges, but Jax had to know that she would try to screw him over eventually, didn’t he? That was the main question swirling around in my head as Jax, Clay, Tig, Bobby, Juice and Happy were filed into the back of the ATF truck. Something just didn’t seem right, though, and when the rest of the Sons were shown speeding along in a bus with sheer determination painted on their faces, everything started to make sense. The clincher for me, however, was Unser’s resignation scene, because they made a point of showing him take that revolver from the drawer. Of course, I thought that Unser was going to kill Jimmy as a favor to Clay, but his only job was to get Stahl and Jimmy alone and let SAMCRO do the dirty work.

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Chibs finally got his revenge on Jimmy, giving him a Glasgow smile before stabbing him in the chest. And as for Stahl, well, it was always going to be Opie who killed her, wasn’t it? That didn’t stop her from begging for mercy again, but this time, Opie followed through on the threat, and the whole thing was made sweeter by the fact that he did it the same way Donna was murdered. The attack was even made to look like retribution from the Irish. Chibs painted an IRA blood mark on Stahl’s car, Kozik punched Unser in the face, and Opie ripped up the document proving that Jax was a rat.

Then again, even with Jimmy and Stahl dead, that doesn’t change the fact that the club is still pissed at Jax. Or are they? In perhaps the biggest twist of the night, it was revealed that Clay and the guys were in on it all along. They certainly did a good job of hiding the truth (especially from Gemma), but it makes me wonder how long this has been going on. Has Clay known about Jax’s deal with Stahl since the beginning, or did he bring him in on the plan after they returned from Ireland? We’ll probably never get a definite answer, but it’s something that really should be addressed. After all, it’s not like they’re going to be particularly busy in prison – assuming, of course, that next season doesn’t pick up immediately after their release.

Still, I think that setting Season Four in prison could yield some interesting developments, although the one I’m most curious to see explored is the implication in John Teller’s letters to Maureen that Clay and Gemma were the ones responsible for his death. It’s something that was hinted at back in Season One when the show was being compared to “Hamlet,” and I’m glad to see that Sutter hasn’t forgotten about it. Kudos to everyone involved for reminding viewers why “SOA” is one of the best dramas on TV.

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