TV Recaps
Sons of Anarchy Review: Season 7 Is the Beginning of the End

Dan O'Halloran | 12 Sep 2014 08:00
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Jax is on a warpath in the final season of Sons of Anarchy, but will he take the MC down with him?

Season premieres have to do a lot of heavy lifting. They have to touch on the "it will change everything!!" events of the last season's finale as well as set up the conflicts that will run throughout the new "and nothing will be the same!!" season. FX decided to tackle this for season 7 by running the first two episodes of Sons of Anarchy (FX, Tuesdays at 10pm) back to back. And by the end of the two hour premiere, we have a pretty good idea of what's in store for this last year of the show. As you probably guessed, all hell is going to break loose among the gangs of the fictional central California town of Charming and the interesting development this season is that instead of being the one to minimize the damage, Jax is the one instigating the mayhem.

Jax has spent the entire series so far trying to keep SAMCRO from going entirely to the dark side. There were rules (no selling hard drugs), moral lines (no hurting women...mostly) and above all loyalty. But with the death of his wife at the end of season six's finale, Jax is a changed man. Not knowing that it was his own mother Gemma who did the deed (thinking she was protecting her son), Jax is on the warpath and he is more ruthless and determined than all the rival gang leaders he has tangled with over the years. And to drive home the point, the premiere opens with him beating a fellow inmate senseless, carving a swastika into his chest and ripping out the guy's teeth with his bare hands. And that was just the warm up for what he has in mind later.

When he gets released from jail after the feds couldn't pin Tara's death on him, he calls a meeting of the motorcycle club and lays it out. He was soft all these years, trying to make up for all the bad things he'd done in the past, but now he considers that selfish and meaningless. With the loss of his wife, he's not going to lose his club, too. And everyone in his MC needs to be ready to lay down their life or get out now.

Multiple times in this episode we are told that a storm is brewing among all the gangs that control the illegal trade in the area in a loose alliance. Jax's SAMCRO faces the united front of the Mayans (the browns) and the Asians (the yellows), so he works hard to gain favor with the neo-Nazis (the whites) led by the creepy Marilyn Manson and the Niner's African-American crew (the blacks) not to mention the other black gang, The Grim Bastards. Where before Jax would work as peacekeeper, now he's more interested in the role of the war leader. Well, that explains all the skull imagery overlaid on his image on the billboards promoting this season...

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