The title of the Season 6 finale of Sons of Anarchy, “A Mother’s Work,” gives a pretty strong hint of where the episode is heading. There’s really no need to talk about this episode without discussing the ending, so if you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading now.
If you’re just interested in the man hugging, this was a particularly extravagant episode. After stingily parsing out the man hugs for most of the season, the men in this episode could barely make it through a scene without hugging one another. Especially at the end of the episode, with Jax preparing to give himself up to Patterson, he gave a good tearful man hug to each every member of the club. Every type of man hug imaginable has occurred in Sons of Anarchy, but tearful man hugs remain a bit of a rarity, and this episode certainly had a bunch of them!
Otherwise, “A Mother’s Work” may be my least favorite Sons of Anarchy episode in the whole series.
This was an oddly paced episode, clocking in at an hour and twenty minutes, much of it involving soft conversations and other discussions between characters. And every scene of conversation seemed to go on and on. By the time the episode hit the hour mark, things were looking like they were going to be resolved if not happily at least satisfactorily—Jax was going to admit to being the source of the gun used in the school shooting, Tara was going to be left to do whatever she wished without reprisal from the MC as well as having the legal charges against her dropped. Then when the episode simply refused to end, but keep going on and on, I suppose this was supposed to be either building suspense or setting the audience up for a violent surprise, but, quite honestly, I just found it annoying. And the longer the episode stretched out, the more certain I became that Tara was not going to make it to the end, and that Gemma finally cracked and went after Tara in her own kitchen stabbing her to death while also holding her head under water (Gemma, at the very least, is thorough) was not much of a surprise either, at that point. At least, the murder itself wasn’t, even if the method was. A drug befuddled Gemma received a garbled version of events from Unser, and, then, rather than picking up the phone to call Jax and see what the hell was really going on, she instead lay in wait for Tara and murdered her.
The surprise was Juice coming in behind Lt. Roosevelt (who, inexplicably, as Tara’s protection, let her stay in the house by herself after spotting Unser’s truck—stolen by Gemma—in the driveway, and limiting his search of the house to yelling out “Unser” at the door) after Roosevelt belatedly realized that something might be wrong—and shooting him. And then working to cover up Gemma’s role in the murder of Tara. I’m not sure how that will all play out, but it seems that Jax, who walked into the house and discovered the two bodies just before Patterson arrived, will end up charged with the murder that his mother committed.
So, this was not my favorite Sons of Anarchy episode. It seemed forced and manipulative. I’m okay with the killing off of characters, and it certainly seemed that throughout this season that Tara’s time was coming to an end. But, the way the scenario played out just seemed senseless and clichéd (such as the moment Tara smiled in relief that all her plans had turned out—right before Gemma emerged to confront her).
Sons of Anarchy “A Mother’s Work” By the Numbers:
White Doves Cut Bloodily In Half By a Speeding Motorcycle: 1
Man Hug Count of the episode: 12
Season Six Man Hug Count Total: 32.