Sons of Anarchy ended with Jax Teller’s suicide on the road, similar to his father’s death, but why did he have to die? Let’s take a look.
After many ups and downs in the club and various personal tragedies, the series finale of Sons of Anarchy saw Jax Teller’s death, but why did he have to die? In 2008, viewers were taken to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and their various conflicts in the drama series Sons of Anarchy, created by Kurt Sutter. Sons of Anarchy was very well-received from the beginning, with critics praising its tone, themes, and the performances of the main cast, allowing it to live on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014.
Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the club, and in which he shared his vision and plans for the club, which don’t match those of the club’s current President (and Jax’s stepfather), Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). This discovery leads Jax to question the club’s path and history, his relationships, family, and himself, but in the end, after everything he goes through for the sake of the club and his family, his plans for the future of the club don’t go as expected – and he got an appropriate ending in the Sons of Anarchy finale.
When viewers met Jax, he was the VP of the club, but as he learned more about the history of SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original), he discovered a lot of dark secrets related to his family. Jax took over the Presidency of the club when he learned Clay was involved in John’s death, and this was the moment he had been waiting for as he wanted to use his father’s ideas to give the MC a better future – and most importantly, what Jax wanted was for SAMCRO to get out of the business of weapons and go “legit” with other businesses, but after a bunch of obstacles (most of them personal), Jax couldn’t fulfill his plans. After killing the President of the Sons of Anarchy Nevada charter, Jury White (Michael Shamus Wiles), Jax had to meet Mr. Mayhem as established by the club’s rules, but in the end, his brothers from the club couldn’t do it and they let Jax kill himself on the road, in a similar manner to his father’s death. As heartbreaking as Jax’s death was, it was the best way Sons of Anarchy could have ended, and ultimately, the only way as well.
Kurt Sutter was very active on social media during quarantine, and took the time to answer all types of questions from fans about Sons of Anarchy. Among those was one about the main reasons why “Jax decided his fate,” suggesting that he couldn’t live without his wife, Tara (Maggie Siff), who was killed in season 6 by Gemma (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother. Tara’s death was a trigger in Jax’s arc, as he made revenge the club’s priority, but thanks to Gemma’s lies, he ended up killing a lot of innocent people and damaging SAMCRO’s links with other charters and clubs. Sutter replied that “many things factored into that fateful decision,” among those being Tara’s death, but in the end, it was all about ending “the lineage of Tellers being associated with the outlaw life” and his sons not following his path.
In an interview with THAT ONE in 2014, Sons of Anarchy executive producer Paris Barclay explained that they were writing a tragedy and it had “always been a tragedy in the Shakespearean or Greek sense,” so the series had to end tragically, and they always knew Jax wasn’t going to get a happy ending next to his sons. It’s worth noting that one of Sutter’s inspirations for Sons of Anarchy was William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is quite clear when taking a look back at the story (with Jax himself representing Hamlet), and even Barclay referenced this when explaining that “in tragedies, generally the hero dies.“
On the other hand, and more from an audience perspective than a creator one, Jax’s death had to happen so his dreams for SAMCRO could be fulfilled, which is what happened in the spinoff series Mayans MC, where the current Sons of Anarchy President, Filip “Chibs” Telford (Tommy Flanagan), finally reached a deal where the club was effectively removed from the weapons business. Ultimately, the only way the Sons of Anarchy finale could have happened was with Jax Teller’s death, as he had already lost most of his loved ones and got the club into bigger trouble that would have ultimately affected his sons as well.
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