WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!
The final season of "Sons of Anarchy" has premiered, and the stage is set for Charming's carefully constructed house of cards to come crashing down.
Jax is out for vengeance against the wrong people. War is brewing between the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club and other factions for all the wrong reasons. Gemma is hanging onto her sanity by little more than a thread, if that, and she's one miscalculated lie away from exposing her terrible truth. And that's only a small slice of the horror at play in Jax Teller's world.
Let's rub some salt in the wounds and talk about seven of the bigger questions coming out of the "Sons of Anarchy" season premiere.
1. What's Jax's Next Move?
With several slices of a knife and handfuls of salt, plus one strong thrust of a carving fork, Jax Teller has officially gone to war. Despite putting up a front with the Lin Triad and the Mayans, Jax has no intention of laying down his arms — because he firmly believes that the Chinese were responsible for Tara's murder, a false notion built on the lies of his mother.
Now that Jax has waged war for all the wrong reasons, what's his next move? Does he continue his aggressive tactics while he still has the element of surprise on his side, or does he sit back and wait for the Triad's response? For some reason, you get the sense that Jax is more proactive than reactive these days.
2. How Will The Triad and Mayan Alliance Respond?
Henry Lin and Marcus Alvarez are already fed up with SAMCRO's interference in their business, so much so that they're willing to roll up their sleeves and go to war. But thanks to Nero Padilla's insistence, Lin and Alvarez were willing to break bread with Jax, and even attend his welcome home party.
Now that Jax and SAMCRO have killed a member of the Triad, in such an epically brutal fashion, the gloves look ready to come off. But what's their next move? Will the streets of Charming run red with SAMCRO blood, or can the Sons keep the conflict away from their home turf?
3. Is There Hope For Nero?
As Jax's father figure and as an important piece in the Mayan community's network, Nero is stuck between a nasty rock and an equally nasty hard place, both of which are out to bash each other's brains in. He's tried to keep the peace as long as he could. Nero seems as optimistic now as ever, to the extent that he's willing to return to Gemma's arms.
But when Nero finds out about Jax's real intentions — that he's after the Triad for killing Tara — will he be able to pick a side? And if so, which side does he choose: his deep-rooted ties with the Mayans, or his newfound love for the Tellers? Either way, the days of straddling the line and playing the diplomat card are quickly coming to an end.
4. Is There Hope For Juice and Unser?
It doesn't look good for Juicy boy, nor does it look good for Charming's former police chief. By the end of the premiere, Juice has taken Wayne Unser at gunpoint, and tied him to a toilet bowl with a gag on his mouth. Juice faces a terrible dilemma: He can't let Unser leave and risk the club finding out about his whereabouts, but can he keep Unser locked up forever — and if he can't, does that mean he has to kill the old man?
Juice's story looks all but guaranteed for a dark, tragic ending. But Unser might be positioned to cheat the odds once again. He's one of few people who knows about Gemma's involvement in John Teller's death. Unser also inadvertently fed Gemma the wrong intel that led to Tara's murder. Surely some part of him suspects Gemma may have been involved. And if Juice spills the beans to Unser, expect the retired cop to live just long enough to get the message to SAMCRO's prez.
5. Is There Hope For Gemma?
As with Juice, it looks very bad for the Teller matriarch. She's deluded herself into thinking that she's the one thread keeping her family together, rather than acknowledging that she's the one who tore it all to pieces. Not only did she irrevocably damage her nuclear family, Gemma has also told significant enough lies to put the Sons on a war path they can never walk away from fully intact.
If that's not bad enough, Gemma is talking to ghosts, now. She ends the episode by talking to Tara, even though she's ten days dead and nowhere in sight. Clearly, Gemma isn't as sturdy as she says she is. There are some crucial screws loose in Gemma's skull. Likewise, her web of lies is a fragile network: Juice knows her secret, and Wendy and Wayne know about Juice. One tug on the right thread, and Gemma's house of cards will come crashing down.
6. What Happens When Jax Learns The Truth?
It's very much a question of when, not if. There's no way that "Sons" ends without Jax finding out who was really behind the carving fork. Indeed, there's no way "Sons" ends before Jax finds out that the same woman behind the carving fork was the co-architect of his father's demise. We already know the bloody breadth of the brutality Jax was happy to unleash on the man he believed to have killed Tara. What happens when he finds out that it was actually his mother? Can he unleash that same level of death on the woman who gave him life?
Beyond Jax's bubbling war with Gemma, there's Jax's bubbling war with the Triad and Mayans. When Jax learns who was really responsible for killing Tara, will he have any chance of walking things back to the way they were? Or will his methods of Mr. Mayhem escalate the conflict to the point of no return? Is there any world in which any of this has a happy ending?
7. What About The Holy Orgy?
The Piedmont pastors' secret sexy times was easily the weirdest part of the night. (Okay, maybe not as weird as Tig outing himself as a human enema.) But was it just weird for the sake of weirdness? Was it superfluous "Sons," or was it integral to everything that's happening between SAMCRO and the club's rapid descent into darkness?
Few things on "Sons" exist just for existence's sake. If it's there, it matters. Even though it's hard to imagine how killing a bunch of horny holy men results in a death knell for the club, it's foolish not to keep an eye on SAMCRO's latest round of killings as a crucial plot point moving forward.
Where do you think "Sons of Anarchy" will go next?