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The Worst Thing That Happened To Jax In Sons Of Anarchy Isn't What You Think

People rarely got what they wanted on Sons of Anarchy, FX's adrenaline-fueled motorcycle drama that ran from 2008 until 2014, and that seemed to go double (or triple!) for Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the son of the club's founder and its eventual president.

When you look at the overarching narrative of Sons of Anarchy, Jax's life was one major trauma after another. He lost both his father and his younger brother, Thomas, at a young age, and then his own son Abel was born early and with a congenital heart problem after his first wife, Wendy (Drea de Matteo), struggled with addiction throughout her pregnancy. Then, at the end of season 2, Abel was kidnapped by the Irish and nearly ended up with a new family across the pond. But none of that holds a candle to the fact Jax was forced to watch his best friend and brother, Opie (Ryan Hurst), be murdered in prison in season 5.

That horrific, life-changing event was followed by yet another when, at the end of season 6, his wife, Tara (Maggie Siff), was murdered at the hands of his own mother (Katey Sagal). You might think that was the absolute worst thing to happen to Jax on Sons of Anarchy, and you might be right in terms of the immediate emotional impact it had on Jax — it was an unforgivable offense that changed SAMCRO's president forever. But there's something else that stands out as one of the saddest and worst things to happen to Jax, and it speaks to who he was as a person and the dreams he had for SAMCRO.

Jax couldn't save SAMCRO

At the start of Sons of Anarchy, Jax found his late father's unpublished memoir, and after reading it, decided he wanted to reform the club his father had founded and move it, as best as he could, into a more legal operation. This ultimately meant getting SAMCRO out of the gun-running business. When Jax died in the series finale, after killing his mother for what she had done and realizing he was never going to be a good man or give his sons the life he wanted for them, the club still wasn't where Jax wanted it to be.

All of the work Jax had done over the course of the series was done, in part, to achieve this one goal, and it never happened. He wasn't able to revert the club back to his father's original vision. In the show's spin-off, Mayans M.C., which is set a few years after the events of Sons of Anarchy, it was revealed early in Season 2 that SAMCRO was still struggling to extricate itself from running black market weapons, proving just how hard this really was.

However, midway through Mayans' second season, SAMCRO's current president, Chibs Telford (Tommy Flanagan), who took over after Jax's death, was able to negotiate a new deal between the Santo Padre chapter of the Mayans and a club in Tijuana known as the Vatos. The latter would both store the IRA's guns and serve as their main transport, effectively removing SAMCRO and their members from the equation entirely, finally fulfilling Jax's vision. So while he never reaped the rewards of it himself, Jax's dream did eventually come true. It's just sad that he didn't live to see it.