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The Ending Of Sons Of Anarchy Finally Explained

After seven seasons and 92 episodes, FX's Sons of Anarchy came to a close in 2014. It had been a long, bloody road for Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and the titular motorcycle club, but all good things must come to an end. Thankfully, series creator Kurt Sutter was able to wrap up the story the way he intended — something not every show on air gets to do. That's not to say that every single character had a happy ending; quite the opposite, in fact. But the Sons of Anarchy team made sure to tie up all the stories in a variety of ways — from dishing out the series' signature use of extreme violence to bringing a narrative arc full circle.

While the action-heavy episodes of Sons of Anarchy always kept the audience engaged, the exploration of Jax's character really came to a head in season 7 as he dealt with the fallout from the death of Tara (Maggie Siff) at the end of season 6. The biker prince was forced to look at all the violence that overwhelmed his life, and questioned whether his sons were doomed to the same fate. It also saw him forge a new path for the M.C. while also attempting to put some good back into the world for once.

Here's how the viciously captivating Sons of Anarchy took its last ride.

Ending the IRA partnership and forging new ties

One of the biggest sources of income for the Sons is the partnership across the pond with the True IRA, buying and selling guns for "the cause" of the Irish group. But it's always been a shaky alliance that has frayed over time — and with betrayals, murders, and even the kidnapping of baby Abel Teller at the end of season 2. As Jax began reading through his father's journals over the course of the show, he slowly realized that gun-running and drug-dealing really wasn't what his father, John Teller (Victor Newmark), had intended for the club.

Those journals help Jax realize that his life has been hurtling down the wrong road for years. He decides once and for all to get out of business with the IRA, but obviously the only way to do so is with bullets and blood. The club lures one of the Irish Council, Brendan Roarke (Bob McCracken), to Charming under the pretense of supplying him with an IRA traitor to execute: Connor Malone (Scott Anderson).

But when Roarke and his associates arrive to take matters into their own hands, Jax swiftly executes the Irish King with a single gunshot to the head. It's a bold move that usually would come with some heavy blowback on Jax, but the young biker had already chosen how his story will end, so it doesn't matter to him. Jax even makes life easy for Malone, who continues the existing gun deal with Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) and the Mayans instead of the Sons of Anarchy. It took a lot of time to get the club out of guns, but at least Jax finally managed it.

A new future for Abel and Thomas

The final season of Sons of Anarchy sees plenty of stories come full circle, but none is more surprising than Wendy's (Drea de Matteo) redemption. Jax's ex-wife starts the series as a problematic drug addict whom the biker wants to keep far away from his newborn son, Abel. But as time goes on, Wendy rebuilds her life — and in the wake of Tara's murder, she helps Jax right himself to a point where he knew what to do. He ends up giving his stake in both the escort service Diosa International and Redwoody Productions to the club as an extra source of income — while telling Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits) to take Wendy, Abel, and Thomas (Jax's son with Tara) away from Charming to start a new life.

Jax had realized that his actions really started to impact his sons — especially Abel, who had started to display some worrying violent tendencies. Jax's lust for revenge over Tara's death and his war against the Irish had warped him into the very person he'd desperately tried not to become. And if Abel and Thomas stayed in Charming with him, or with the club, history was destined to repeat itself. 

Jax even explains that the boys need to hate the very idea of him so that they stay on a better path than he had. "I'm not a good man," he says. "I'm a criminal and a killer. I need my sons to grow up hating the thought of me." It's a shame that the boys will be without their father, but it makes complete sense to let Wendy raise Abel (and presumably adopt Thomas), giving her a second chance at motherhood.

The homeless woman

There's been plenty of debate over the homeless woman in Sons of Anarchy over the years. Is she a Charming local through which the audience sees all the events of the series? Is she a mysterious ghost keeping watch over the Teller family? Or is she a long-lost sibling or mother tied to someone in the club? We see her in one last appearance shortly before Jax carries out his last ride. However, when Jax asks the woman who she really is, she doesn't respond. Instead, she hands him her blanket and tells him, "It's time." That line only becomes more ominous after putting Kurt Sutter's explanation alongside the scene.

The Sons of Anarchy creator revealed on his YouTube channel that the homeless woman is ... Jesus. Yes, the Son of God came to Charming. But telling Jax "it's time" is an obvious suggestion that his story is about to come to its close. 

One last ride

As charismatic and charming as Jax Teller could be, there's no way he could keep on going the way he was. Like he explains to Nero, he'd become so consumed by rage and violence that he'd transformed into the very thing he'd resented for so long. In fact, it's easy to see parallels between Jax and his adoptive father Clay Morrow — and look where that got Ron Perlman's villain. 

Killing August Marks (Billy Brown) and Charles Barosky (Peter Weller) in broad daylight not only allows Jax to secure revenge on the pair for double-crossing SAMCRO, but it also draws the police's attention so that Jax can carry out his plan to take his own life. Jax's self-sacrifice takes place on the very road that his father also died on. In fact, you could argue that's where all of Jax's problems started in the first place: If John Teller hadn't been killed in an accident that Gemma and Clay engineered, then Jax wouldn't have ended up searching for answers about his dad's life. At the end of Sons of Anarchy, Jax embodies the phrase "like father, like son" when he opens his arms as he faces an oncoming lorry (driven by Michael Chiklis' Milo, no less!) and welcomes death, knowing it's his penance for all the bloodshed he'd taken part in.

It's a truly emotional ending for audiences who stuck with the M.C. over the years, and although FX produced a Mayans spin-off series after Sons ended, it's no less devastating to witness Jax's death. It's also worth pointing out that the final moments of the series tie back into the spiritual nature of the show, as Jax's blood trickles towards some wine-soaked bread the homeless woman had been eating in the earlier scene.

The finale was heartbreaking, but if nothing else, Sons of Anarchy ended just like its main character did: on its own terms.