WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!
Something rotten is in the city of Charming.
No, really — it's rotten, as in, very gross. "Sons of Anarchy," easily the most brutal scripted series on the air, sank to deeper depths than ever before with its final season premiere, titled "Black Widower." It's no surprise, given where things left off in season six. But, still… "Wow" is the word that comes to mind.
Here are the most awful, violent and otherwise shocking things that happened during the season premiere.
The Tooth Fairy
The final season of "Sons" begins with a cover of The Association's "Never My Love," a classic example of "Sons" scoring a scene of brutal violence with soothing music. The opening montage sees how things are in Charming almost two weeks after Tara's brutal murder: her killer, Gemma, is taking care of grandchildren Abel and Thomas; Juice is literally alone and naked; Wendy is checked out (of rehab); Wayne Unser brings flowers to Tara's lonely gravesite, an unglamorous headstone marked by her prison numbers…
…and then there's Jax, in prison on a parole violation, carving markings into a prisoner's stomach, and pulling out his teeth with his bare hands. It turns out Jax needs to make a big impression on the leader of the prison's Aryan Brotherhood, Ron Tully, played by Marilyn Manson. After all, there's a war coming, and Jax needs all the friends he can get. In gifting Tully with a traitor's teeth, Jax buys the goodwill he needs — but Tully makes it clear that down the line, he's going to need a favor from the Sons. More teeth? No problem.
Gemma Goes Mad
Speaking of teeth, Grandma Gemma is lying right through hers. No one knows she killed Tara, save for Juice. (More on him in a minute.) Driving Jax home from his stay in prison, Gemma has zero trouble lying right to his face, not even flinching when Jax tells her he can't do everything he has to do now without her. In fact, Gemma even has a scapegoat for Tara's murder in mind. (More on that in a minute.)
How is Gemma able to lie to Jax with such a straight face? She explains it to Juice, and to us, in one of the most delusional monologues this show has ever seen.
"If Jax finds out, not only will he have lost a wife, but he'll lose his mother, and Abel and Thomas will grow up never knowing the love of a strong woman," she says. "I'm the only thread holding this family together. This ain't about protecting you and me. It's about protecting Jax and those boys. That's how I look Jax in the eyes. That's how I talk to him about Tara. Because as selfish as it seems, keeping our truth away from him is the right thing to do."
There's that word again — Wow. And if Gemma's speech to Juice wasn't cray-cray enough, try this on for size: At the end of the episode, Gemma speaks with Tara … even though Tara is, you know, super, super dead.
"Sorry about the Wendy of it all," Gemma says to thin air, washing dishes in the same kitchen where she killed Tara a handful of days earlier. "I didn't see that s—t coming. I actually kind of believe her. I don't think she's trying to replace you, or me. Probably be good for them boys having her around. I trust her. For now."
Can we trust Gemma? Absolutely not. Can we trust she's on the brink of a psychotic break? Absolutely. Gemma, already one of the more unhinged characters on "Sons of Anarchy," is going completely off the rails, in one of the show's most awful train-wrecks-in-the-making.
The Secret Juice
Like Gemma, Juice Ortiz is coming undone. He's certainly seen better days, which says a lot when talking about the guy who once murdered a member of his own club to cover up his cooperation with Charming police.
These days, it's even worse for poor Juicy boy. Not only did Jax identify him as a traitor to the club, Juice also helped Gemma cover up Tara's murder. We find out Juice has been missing ever since the night of Tara's death, and unknown to anyone but Gemma, he's living in the abandoned apartment of Wendy Case, Jax's ex-wife and birth mother of his son.
But Wendy comes home from rehab earlier than expected, and becomes the second person to learn of Juice's true whereabouts. Luckily for Juice, Wendy has a conscience, and won't turn Juice over to Jax, knowing it would only lead to his death.
It's not so lucky for Wayne Unser, however. When Charming's former police chief comes by Wendy's apartment to give her a lift, he can't resist his cop instincts; he sees rearranged furniture, pantries filled with canned food, and a mysterious backpack in the closet. He immediately knows something's amiss. Later that night, Unser returns to Wendy's apartment to investigate further — an investigation that ends with Juice holding Unser at gunpoint, and tying him up until further notice.
Vengeance Is For Bastards (Or, Redefining The Phrase "Holy Trinity")
While Jax was away in prison, SAMCRO kept the wheels in motion. They've smoothed things over with various other factions in preparation for their conflict with the Marcus Alvarez-led Mayans and the Lin Triad. Their chief allies: the Grim Bastards, who they're helping out on a quest of vengeance. Several members of the Bastards were murdered, and the Sons have pledged to help find the killer.
To that end, the Sons interrogate a gang-banging amputee whom the Bastards suspect of being involved in the hit. When the gangster is uncooperative, Bobby Elvis chains the man's wheelchair to the back of his motorcycle, and takes him for a spin around the block. The "joy" ride gets the guy talking, and he links the Bastard-killer to a blue vehicle, which leads the Sons to an apartment complex — where they accidentally end up murdering local religious leaders, who just so happen to be participating in a three-way orgy.
So, the Sons and Bastards killed the wrong people. What else is new? And what's a few more bodies added to the pile, anyway? Jax doesn't think twice about it. He orders underling Quinn to bury the bodies in a shallow grave in the woods, as the search continues for the Bastards' true enemy.
Thunderbolts And Lightning, Very, Very Frighting
The escalating conflict between the Sons and the Mayan-Triad alliance seems to deflate somewhat, when Jax leaves jail and offers some concessions to his developing enemies. It turns out to be a ruse — because Gemma has convinced Jax that the Lin Triad are responsible for Tara's murder.
In fact, there's one member of the Lin Triad in particular that Gemma identifies as Tara's killer. After a big bash at the club's new porn studio (appropriately titled, Redwoody Incorporated), Jax has the Triad thug captured and brought to his home. There, Jax promises the terrified young man that he's going to make him feel exactly what his wife felt in her final moments.
And here comes that word again: WOW.
Jax proceeds to slice the man to pieces, rubbing salt in his wounds for good measure, all to the tune of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Just as the song reaches its conclusion, Jax lovingly thumbs the top of the man's head — exactly where the carving fork entered Tara's skull — and plunges his own carving fork directly into the Triad's brain.
"Mama, just killed a man," indeed.
What did you think of the "Sons of Anarchy" season premiere?