The question going into the finale episode of "Sons of Anarchy" season 5 was how Jax would handle Clay's role as leader, and the theme of transformation was echoed in the opening shot, where we saw Tara's face fade into Gemma's and then Nero's tattoo fade into Clay's Reaper. The spooky opening montage ended with Gemma, posed in the same way we say Tara and Jax in the season 4 finale.
So let's get started. Jax meets with Pope at Charming Heights to iron out the details for handing over Tig. Jax says he wants Pope's to sign some sort of official agreement before he'll hand over his brother to the slaughter, though. Auggie is going to get some lawyers to write up a contrac for Jax and Hale to sign in time for Tig's big execution, scheduled for 2PM and set to take place at a rural garage owned by Pope.
We also watch Juice take something (likely the gun he got from Clay) out of a locked and store it in one of the bikes at Pope's garage. But Clay's too busy to notice. He's set to leave for Ireland and a fresh start with Gemma.
At the hospital Tara is still recovering, but has no permanent damage to her hand, which will fully recover in six months. Suddenly, Wendy shows up to tell Tara what Jax has been up to. Things are not looking good for Tara, as her plan is quickly unraveling thanks to an honest mistake from her new practice.
The "Sons of Anarchy" season 5 finale then jumped to Nero, who's occupied dealing with rival gang Triple Twos, and it's leader Dante, who's been organizing dog fights. The SAMCRO boys visit the dog fight to size up Dante's gang. "Sons of Anarchy" didn't spare it's viewers when it came to depicting the dog fighting, in what was one of the most violent and painful scenes from season 5 so far. Even the characters are bothered, Tig the most, after he watches a losing dog get put down by its disappointed owner. At this point we see an entire garbage can full of murdered dogs.
But Jax told Tig to keep his cool, and the entire gang shows up later to confront Dante, who's busy counting his money. SAMCRO gets chased out of the warehouse, but Nero's gang as well as the Mayans all show up to fight against the Triple Twos. Nero chases down Dante and throws him out a window into the street. He tries to steal an old lady's car but she's got a pitbull in her SUV and it immediately attacks the trapped Dante. Revenge never tasted so sweet.
Jax meets with Tara, who breaks the news about her injured hand and give him one last chance to be honest with her. Jax rebuffs her, calling Tara a junkie. Unser is also there to fill Jax in on Lee Toric, who has a pretty impressive resume (Harvard, Special Forcers US Marshal), but was also forced to retire early because of excessive force and racial profiling. It turns out that nurse Otto killed was Lee's only family. Otto was forced to give a statement at jail in front of Lee, but bit his own tongue off instead and threw it right at Lee. Otto then shrieks and laughs as blood gushes from his mouth.
Meanwhile, Gemma shows up to threaten Tara. She says she'll tell the police about Otto and the crucifix. Tara is threatening to leave and take the boys with her, and Gemma says she'd rather die than lost those boys. They start arguing and suddenly Tara grabs Gemma by the throat. Gemma punches Tara right in the gut. That's as far as they take the fight though, and Tara refuses to back down.
At T-M, Chibs is trying to save the dog. Jax is running late, and calls Auggie, asking him to let Pope know he's show up soon with Tig. Then Jax lies to Tig and says he found one of the dog breeders used for the dog fights. Tig is eager to teach the fictional breeder a lesson, and the two of them take off alone.
Jax takes Tig out to the middle of nowhere. Tig looks around for dogs, and when he turns back towards Jax he finds a gun aimed right at him. Tig is in trouble, he's already handed over his weapons to Jax. Then Pope shows up in a car. Jax apologizes to Tig, coldly, for what's about to happen. Pope takes away Jax's gune as well and then hands over the signed contract.
At Jax's advice, Pope takes Tig into a garage to kill him. Jax continues to act like he's ready to watch Tig die, but it seems like he may have a plan after all. He walks over to his bike ad quietly pulls out the stowed away gun. Jax is alone with one thug, while Pope is inside getting ready to kill Tig. Jax kills Pope's guard and runs into the garage. Jax shoots two more thugs while a tied up Tig takcles Pope, who drops his gun. Then Jax cuts Tig free so her can kill Pope and finally get revenge on the man who killed his daughter. Tig shoots Pope twice in the head and there's blood everywhere. Once the dust settles Tig is crying and hugging Jax.
The "Sons of Anarchy" season 5 finale isn't over though, not by a longshot. At the hospital Tara hears about what Otto did to his own tongue. Then the lawyer hands Tara the documents she needs for life insurance and to claim ownership over her boys. She signs them without reading, but they won't mean anything until Jax also signs. Good luck with that Tara.
At Clay's house with Gemma the ex-gang leader is telling Juice how much he'll miss him. Clay even forgives Juice for everything and they hug. Juice has second thoughts and tries to leave, but at that moment Eli shows up with his second in command and the gun that killed Pope. Clay quickly realizes Gemma has betrayed him and then Eli arrests him. Gemma's going to have to come down to jail and give a statement.
In Charming Heights Jax waits for Auggie to get confirmation that Clay's fingerprints have been found on the gun Tig used to kill Pope. Looks like Auggie and Jax and good buddies now that Pope's dead. At T-M, Jax tells Juice he's proud of what he did to Clay. Tig is also there, looking after his new dog.
Meanwhile, Gemma tells Nero everything that happened and reveals that she wants to be with him. They kiss, and are interrupted by Jax's arrival. Jax and Nero argue over what to do, and fail to come to any sort of agreement.
Back at home, Jax finds Tara's legal documents and demands to know why Wendy is listed as guardian. He's really angry. She reveals that she's leaving for Oregon in two weeks and taking the kids with her. She asks Jax to go with them, and adds that if they stay in Charming they'll never escape their own violent lives. Suddenly, Eli shows up to arrest Tara for conspiring to commit a murder.
Tara's son is crying, and then she starts crying as well and completely falls apart. She goes completely numb as she's led out of the house by Eli.
As the "Sons of Anarchy" season 5 finale comes to its end the world these characters inhabit has almost completely fallen apart. Bobby cuts of his VP patch and leaves it on the table. Nero is still sleeping with a weapon by his side. Clay is one his way to jail and Tara is in a cop car. We see Gemma walk out of the police station, where she likely just gave testimony against both Clay and Tara. She heads back to Jax's house, where he's torn up Tara's documents, and says she's there to take care of him. He quickly gives in.
Wow! What an episode. But what did you think? Let us know in the comments.