“Greensleeves” was a bit of a reprieve from the growing body count that Sons of Anarchy has been throwing at viewers this season. Unfortunately, that didn’t keep the tragedies at bay. Even with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) attempting to come to a less bloody resolution for the conflict that he created with Marks (Billy Brown), there were too many variables at play to have predicted the outcome of tonight’s shocking final scene.
Let’s face it. Jax practically begged Marks to retaliate. He’s been stacking the odds against himself from the very beginning. Not only has he created a situation where everyone on the wrong side of the law was forced to choose a side, and even some wearing badges (it wasn’t surprising that Officer Eglee chose to remain on good terms with the club), but ultimately, it wasn’t between him and Lin. When all the chips fell, it was Marks standing on the opposing side.
It wasn’t long ago that Pope, thus Marks, was the salvation that Jax was desperate to find. Most of the series has been consumed with John Teller’s resurrected idea of moving the club out of the gun business. Marks had the means to do so, and after some convincing, the Irish obliged Jax’s request, not having many other options (and generally being greedy men at heart). A lot of decent characters lost their lives in this transition to a more legitimate means of business for the MC, and it appears now that all of that was kind of for nothing.
After the loss of his wife, Jax was quick to change his tune. In this episode, he openly admits that he’s at fault for the bumpy and bloody road to get them to this point. He exhibits some true leadership skills by admitting the flaws in his plan. Not once did he try to make excuses for his behavior, or put it on anyone else. This might have started as his personal vengeance, but the club stood behind him all the way. They are, after all, a family. And, for better or worse, they’re all in it to the end now.
The concept of the MC being a family, in the non-traditional sense, makes this episode that much more difficult to take. Kurt Sutter let the momentum plateau in order to bring fans a rather depressing moment. Going with Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) as the victim of collateral damage was an interesting direction to take the storyline. To be frank, I’m rather indifferent to the idea. It’s not that he hasn’t played a huge role over the course of the show’s run, but his character arc hasn’t been particularly relevant thus far this season. He’s almost become more of a peripheral main character. He provides support, but doesn’t offer much more other than being a friendly face.