Sons of Anarchy closed out its seventh and final season with the death of lead character Jackson “Jax” Teller.
It’s a death that many fans of Sons of Anarchy saw coming for one reason or another. However, just because a series finale death is predictable given the path of the series lead does not guarantee it would be satisfying.
It’s kind of hard to avoid comparing the end of Sons of Anarchy to that of Breaking Bad. Both shows began around the same time, and although the AMC hit ended its run a year sooner, the FX series also saw its main character die within the closing seconds of the series.
Both Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad featured men who began with the best of intentions, only to find themselves “dead men walking” in the end. However, Sons of Anarchy was perhaps either too ambitious or too unoriginal in the end.
Although some of us called Jax’s suicide (*raises hand*), in the end his demise borrowed heavily from a tried and true TV trope.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 10, 2014
Kurt Sutter may have promised Hamlet, but Sons of Anarchy borrowed more heavily from the “good book” in the end.
Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair made a similar observation in her write up of the Sons of Anarchy series finale.
“[J]ax Teller wasn’t Hamlet, [h]e was Jesus Christ himself as he rode to his death.
The episode kicked off on a biblical note with Bruce Springsteen’s “Adam Raised a Cain,” a song creator Kurt Sutter told Vanity Fair he’s wanted on the show for years. But that wasn’t the last biblical allusion.
Far from it.
Sons of Anarchy was so enamored with the idea of Jax as Jesus that they packed the episode to the gills with references to his martyrdom. Any one of these Jesus references might have been a nice touch, but the frenzy of imagery just made Jax’s end ridiculous, rather than tragic.”
I have to agree with Robinson’s opinion of the Sons of Anarchy finale.
— IGN (@IGN) December 12, 2014
As anyone remotely familiar with the New Testament can tell you, Jesus Christ was sinless. Such was the significance of his sacrifice. Christ died for your sins; Teller died for Sons of Anarchy to be neatly tied up with a big, shiny, inexplicably-supernatural bow.
In the end, Sons of Anarchy was closer to Breaking Bad satisfying than Lost enraging, but it attempted to redeem an unredeemable character.
Not only did Sons of Anarchy attempt to do so, but the choice of Christ-like allusions made a martyr out of a monster, and perhaps that was a bit insulting to the audience.
What did you think of the Sons of Anarchy finale?
[Image Credit: flex07]