It’s been close to five years since Sons of Anarchy went off the air and since then Mayans has tried being the top dog on the MC scene but hasn’t managed to rise nearly as well as SOA did back in the day. Jax teller, played by Charlie Hunnam, was the central character of this story and as such was the one that many people clung to in the hope that it would either continue or that it would meet a fitting end. In season 7 it finally did conclude and it did so in a way that stunned a lot of people and made others wonder just what showrunner Kurt Sutter could have possibly been thinking. But in all honesty it couldn’t have ended any better since Jax’s arc had been reached, his time on the show had ended, and the lessons we’d learned from him, even if they were lessons we already knew, had been taught throughout the course of the show. Some of the most influential cast members had been taken out, and as it stood the show would have continued to decline it feels like since the loss of so many would have meant that the show would have to adopt a new look or simply fade off.
Here are a few lessons that Jax and those around him taught us during the show’s run.
10. Learn the difference between an ally and a friend.
Meredith B. Kile from ET Online reminds us of Charles Barosky, the crooked cop played by Peter Weller and the traitor to SAMCRO that forced things to go sideways for a while. He was an ally when Jax needed him, but he was quick to turn traitor once it suited his own agenda. The difference between a friend and an ally is that a friend isn’t as likely to turn on you when it suits them. An ally is there when they need something.
9. Chances are meant to be taken.
If you can recall, Jax was doing everything it took to get his club out of the spotlight and off the cops’ radar so that he could go legit and make things work while still keeping the integrity of SAMCRO and all it stood for. The chances he took were great and didn’t always pan out but they were worth the effort at least.
8. To be a strong leader it takes following a strong leader.
Some people might think this means Clay, but in truth Clay was always more of an usurper than anything and pretended at the strength that he had. A man that would gladly kill off his friend and leader and start making back alley deals to keep his position isn’t much of a man, or a leader. Unfortunately Jax had to learn that a good leader will make sacrifices at times, even if it’s a sacrifice he can’t bear to make.
7. Recognize those that are worth your time.
Maybe you’ll remember, as Allison Keene of Collider did, about Rat Boy and how Jax recognized his worth during one episode when he was finally patched in. A real leader recognizes who’s worth their time and who isn’t.
6. Even family can drag you down.
This was a hard pill to swallow since Jax had to come to grips with the idea that his mother killed his wife and then blamed it on an Asian gang to hide her mistake. Plus, Jax’s first wife nearly killed their son thanks to her addiction. And even his father had ideas that weren’t popular with the MC and ended up getting him killed. Yeah, you could say that his family was a bit off kilter for the most part.
5. Take care of your home and the rest will fall in line in due time.
When your home life is in tatters it’s hard to keep anything else straight since that turmoil tends to follow you no matter how hard you work or how far you go. Keeping your home life secure tends to make other things not matter as much or at least fall into perspective.
4. Turnabout isn’t fair, but it’s sometimes necessary.
It’s said that turnabout is fair play, but in truth there’s nothing fair about it. Jax had to pay back a few people during the final episode, and while it wasn’t fair it was definitely needed to tie up those loose ends that could have damaged his club even further.
3. Death isn’t the worst punishment.
Sometimes death is the release that some people don’t deserve, and some need to finally be at peace. But death, as we’ve learned thanks to Jax, is most definitely not the worst punishment than can come. Living is sometimes even worse.
2. The past is to be remembered but not built upon.
Trying to build a future in the same way as the past isn’t always a workable deal since the past methods that were used don’t always translate that well to the present. Sometimes you’ve got to use the past as a guide and nothing more.
1. Family is the most important part of a person’s life.
At the end of every day your family is where your heart is and it’s what you defend above everything, even if by defending them you have to let them go.
There was more wisdom in this show than people seem to think.