'Sons of Anarchy' season finale: The Rat Prince

sons-anarachyImage Credit: Prashant Gupta/FXWhen I think back to the season 3 finale of Sons of Anarchy, I’ll remember three things:

1. The moment that Jax’s face turned to a smile in the paddy wagon as he got word that the plan none of us saw coming had worked: Turns out the club knew, probably all along, about him turning rat with Agent Stahl to clear Gemma and get their sentence reduced to three years (14 months with good behavior). With Unser having no hope of saving the Charming PD after Salazar’s death last episode (is that why Jax really did it?), he was again loyal to SAMCRO and stopped Stahl and her men as they were driving off with Jimmy O (who thought he had the luck of the Irish when the Feds took him into custody from the Sons after they’d bought him from the Russians with counterfeit money). Unser sent Stahl’s men ahead to investigate a threat and said he’d wait with her. Cue members of the Sons rolling up in a school bus — Chibs stabbed Jimmy, and Opie shot Stahl. Poetic. Kozik gave Unser a punch (other cheek, he’s had bridgework done), so it’d look like he got overpowered by, I presume, IRA hitmen who left their sign on the car window in Jimmy’s blood. Kozik also tore up the deal Jax had signed naming members of the Irish kings.

2. A tiny piece of me was actually sad to see Stahl die in the end. Clearly, she had to. But while other people thought her shooting her partner/lover in the neck last episode was cartoon evil — ditto the smiling as she touched her side of the bed during the calm-before-the-storm opening montage this week — I thought it was kind of awesome. How often do you get to see a female ATF agent that sociopathic and that willing to stare down a badass like Jax? (I felt some new energy on her end when she was in Jax’s face at the cemetery. Was that just her enjoying him being her bitch, or was it… sexual tension?) Zobelle got to walk last season because in creator Kurt Sutter’s mind, he was the kind of guy who would’ve outsmarted the Sons. Being the law (however dirty) in a show about outlaws, Stahl never would get that credit. I get it. P.S. I attribute my sudden appreciation for well-played evil on SoA to the presence of Keith Szarabajka, who guested as the top Russian and also starred on the brilliant-but-canceled 1996 Fox series Profit (Adrian Pasdar played a delicious sociopath). He got me in the mood, as, I suppose, Jeff Kober (Jacob Hale) has been doing all season. (Remember Kober as the psychotic vampire Buffy had to face without her superstrength on her 18th birthday? )

3. That John Teller’s voice reminds me of Christopher Guest’s, which sort of makes it hard to take him seriously — and subsequently lessens the weight of the epic battle for Jax’s soul, which will begin again in season 4 if Tara decides to show Jax the letters John wrote to Maureen. I thought that association was crazy until I just looked up who voices John Teller: it’s Christopher Guest’s brother Nicholas Guest.

What did you think of the finale? Sound off below!

Comments (301 total) Add your comment
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  • Pam

    Love, love, loved the finale!!! When can we expect Season 4?

    • Jason

      Agree. Best episode of the series, so far. While I really enjoyed having Stahl around since the shows 1st season, at least it was Opie that got to pull the trigger. Chibs getting to kill Jimmy was very cool, especially that face slice thing. Ouch! Great finale, can’t wait for Season 4. This is one the the 3 best shows on television, and never disappoints. Great finale!

      • SOA = Best show on TV

        Chibbs acted the hell out of that scene. Loved that whole scene.

      • Jesse

        Agreed, and one of my favorite shots of the whole episode has to be Chibs sipping his juice box on the school bus just before exacting a revenge that had been years in the making. Classic!

      • Tim

        What chibs did was called the Glasgow smile, Chelsea grin and a few others. its how tommy flannigan got his scars in real life when he was younger.

      • Tim

        Also did anyone realise that the juice box actually said Jamison on it. irish whiskey in a juice box!

      • Darren Harris

        Chibbs executed the “Glasgow Smile”… A fitting end for ol’ Jimmy Boy-O. The coup de grace by our man Opie to that sociopath Stahl was so poetic words are wasted so I won’t even try.

    • jojo

      why have there not been any other SoA recaps in ew this season?

      • Julia

        Mandy, Thank you for recapping SONS. That finale was amazing.

        And Thank you for helping me figure out why Jacob Hale looked so familiar. Now I have to go re-watch that episode of Buffy!!

  • Teri

    I loved the finale! That isn’t even a big enough word for it.
    I had to check out Keith Szarabajka on IMDB this morning. I knew I recognized him but couldn’t place it. He played Holtz on Angel.
    Everyone did such a great job this season. I can’t wait until next year! I wonder how much time will have elapsed in the SoA world.

    • Via

      I figure somewhere between 12-14 months.

      • Patty

        SOA will come back in early September.

    • SOA = Best show on TV

      My guess is we will get to see some time inside with the SOA. I know I would like to see them working out of prison for a little while at least. Here is my prediction, Zoebell the main bad guy from season 2 who happens to control the drug trade in prison will make a come back in season 4. And hopefully they will finally get him back for what he had done to Gemma.

      • Fizzy

        I dont think rats have much power outside of protective custody.

      • misty

        that would be great to see. but i dont believe he’ll be back for a long time.

    • Greg

      Holtz! That’s it!

    • Michelle

      As soon as he came on screen I knew that was Holtz.


      it sounds like they are fgoing to serve most of the jail time off air. they will probably do there last month or so and begin the transition into the club life. Jax will have to deal with his parents murdering his father or not, The club will have a Russian problem and maybe a Zobel problem if we are lucky. After all he is in the same class as Charmings new mayor and his deal with the Mayans seems still in place.

      • Heidi

        I’m sad for Jax. I’m assuming he’s going to miss the birth of his baby. The soonest they’re supposed to be getting out is 14 months…..Tara will have the baby by then.

    • lala

      the guy playing jacob hale also was another character in Buffy. he played the character in the penultimate season that Willow went to for her magic fixes. He was some sort of supernatural drug dealer.

      • Betsy Cole

        This was what I remembered too. He was soo different, all skinny and Jim Morrison-ey. Same breathy sinister cooing though.

  • Iowajay

    Amazing finale to one of the best shows on TV!! Apparently, the outlaw didn’t have mercy this time!!!

    • Rick

      What did Agent Stahl say to Opie right before he killed her? I played it over a couple of times but could not understand what she said to him

      • brad

        You showed mercy before (or something like that).

        Then Opie said “not now… ”

        I had to turn on my closed captoin and read it…

      • Olive

        Loved Opie in that scene

      • Heidi

        He said, ” this is what she felt ” and then he pulled the trigger.

      • Betsy Cole

        She says, “Please, you had mercy before.” He says, “Now I don’t. This is what she felt.”

        Thanks to brad for the post to help me decipher. It was driving me crazy and I don’t have cc on DVR.

      • george cassill

        Best ever finale!
        You gotta love they way SOA helps the CHARMING law. Curbing drug dealers and all. Most patriotic.

  • Anna

    I thought it was fantastic — I love long cons and this one was particularly smart and well played. Jax’s smile was priceless. I didn’t think the Clay/Gemma ‘revelation’ was that much of a shock considering the hints dating back to episode 1, and I hope there is a lot more to this story and it is not what it seems. Anyway, I thought this finale was incredibly satisfying and I like that it ended on a kind of hopeful note. Loved the Jax and Tara scenes, Katey was incredible as always, and I can’t wait til season 4.

    • Jason

      I kind of like the Clay/Gemma being sinister angle. It sort of drives home the point that Motorcycle clubs put the club before all else. It also sets the stage for some pretty intense story lines….there’s always been this underlying tension between Jax and Clay. That needs to come to the surface again, at some point anyway.

    • Sarah

      “I didn’t think the Clay/Gemma ‘revelation’ was that much of a shock considering the hints dating back to episode 1…”

      No kidding, really? The entire show has been Hamlet on Harleys all along; I don’t see how anyone could have missed it. Jax is even referred to as the “prince.”

      • Tony

        yea it’ll all end with jax killing clay like in hamlet.

  • who cares

    wow, some recap. great job!

    • who cares

      please note the sarcasm

      • Marsha

        Who cares?

      • marsha cares

        good one!

      • Rush

        Sarcasm fail.

    • Via

      Where does it state that this is a recap? And please note MY sarcasm.

      • who cares

        oh i dunno, maybe since its linked on ew’s tv recaps page?

      • who cares

        btw, you didn’t use any sarcasm, brainiac

      • AC

        Who Cares? Just be happy that we got something on SOA, and not another 3 Glee Recaps

      • Rush

        If you have to point it out, it’s sarcasm fail.

      • SOA = Best show on TV

        Its not a recap and if it is EW needs a kick in the balls. I have checked this site every week this season for a recap on the best show on TV which is SOA and they give no love to the SOA. They just want to talk about and recap crap shows like Gossip Girl or other mind numbing crap like that. And then in the last episode all of a sudden they want to do a recap? What a joke.

      • who cares

        i was just trying to point out that ew needs a better recap of SoA. i think we are all on the same page with this.

        @Rush – life fail.

      • Angeleen

        Saying fail = fail. I hate that slang word. Anyway.

        I do agree with Who Cares, in that it would be great to have a well developed recap of SOA on a regular basis along with other details about that show.

    • Mother Nature

      It’s the only mention we’ve had of Sons all season–quit your complaining.

  • D

    The finale was great! I enjoyed all of season 3, moreso than most people from the feedback I’ve read. The journey taken in season 3 will lead to a balls-out season 4, I’m sure. Kurt Sutter never disappoints.

  • Jordy


  • t

    Firstly, can we please please please get a regular recap or something of this FANTASTIC show on EW???? You guys are totally sleeping on this.

    [SPOILERS AHEAD]. The finale was pretty good, but the entire 3rd season was pretty uneven for me. Jax is becoming more and more the opposite of his late father…and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. What will Tara do with those letters, which revealed John’s suspicions about Gemma and Clay being in future cahoots to get rid of him? Loved and shivered when Chibs slashed Jimmy O, and how very fitting that Ope killed Stahl. Can’t wait to see where Kurt will take it next season. And yeah – Charlie Hunnam is one hota$$ mofo, too. D#mn, son!

    • K

      Agree, please recap SOA regularly! I have to go to HitFix, TVSquad, and TWOP to get my SOA day-after fix and would much prefer it on EW with all my other recaps.

      • SOA = Best show on TV


      • Merry Bear

        EW is obviously too obsessed with Dancing with the Stars to give a show like Sons any mention for 13 straight weeks. Ken Tucker used to do a nice recap last season, but nada for Season 3. Thanks, Mandi, for at least giving us a recap on the finale, and may I suggest to the EW powers-that-be: pay attention to smart shows and you’ll get smart readers/posters on your site.

      • lala

        Doc jensen has nothing to do now that Lost is over – why cant he do the recaps?

    • sassyc

      I have to agree on all counts. Ken Tucker did a regular recap last season- and this year NOTHING. Whats up with that?Just cuz its not family friendly like Glee, doesn’t mean people don’t watch, or don’t care to discuss how overlooked this cast is for their performances week after week.
      Oh, yeah- Agreed….Charlie Hunnam is toooo F ing hot!! Yikes!! :)

      • Tom

        Ken Tucker’s recaps last season were the reason I started watching the show, I was very surprised when he didn’t continue this season

    • Vicki

      This is my first season really watching so I’m not familiar with the Opie/Stahl connection. What did she do to him previously? It was an amazing finale. Just loved it and Jax.

      • AC

        In Season 1 Stahl set up Opie to look like a Rat by placing a wire in his truck. Clay/Tig found the wire and put out a hit on Opie, not knowing he was unaware of it. Tig killed Opie’s wife Donna and he has always blamed Stahl for it.

      • Tammi

        Stahl set Opie up to look like a rat to the club, so they put out a hit on him. When they tried to kill him, though, they accidentally killed his wife Donna. Opie eventually found out and promised Stahl payback.

      • Chris

        Opie didn’t exactly promise revenge to Stahl. If you recall his words were “The outlaw had mercy, remember that the next time you try to make one of my brothers look like a rat” or something along those lines. She did not remember, called Jax out as a rat, and paid the price.

  • Jan

    Great! Didn’t see that one coming. Can’t wait for the new season.

  • MD

    Awesome ending to a great season. And how about that incredible music – especially the haunting version of the Neil Young classic that plays through the climax? Bring on Season 4

    • Via

      Same thing I was thinking last night; the music was great literally from start to finish. I love when the music enhances the viewing experience, kudos to the SOA music supervisor.

  • sassyc

    Please don’t make us wait till September for more!!
    This was an awesome episode. Stahl finally got what was coming to her, and at the hands of Opie made it that much better. Can’t wait for season 4 !!!

    • Lime

      It definitely had to be Opie. Just like it had to be Chibs to take out Jimmy. I seriously cried for the last 15 minutes of the show – not because I was sad about Stahl/Jimmy dying (on the contrary), but because of the justice done and the closure for Chibs (who I LOVE) and Opie.

      • Misspriss_1

        I love Chibs too! He is just so cool!

  • Ang

    Not enough words to say!!! but AMAZING!!!!!! Jax’s smile in the paddy wagon just priceless, no one could have done a better job!! Love that guy! This show is amazing and can’t wait until next season!

    • Rush

      “Paddy wagon” is racist.

      • K

        A paddy wagon is a police vehicle for transporting criminals. How is that racist?

      • Merry Bear

        “Paddy” is a slang name for Irish. Kind of an amusing word choice, considering this season’s major themes, but not racist. We Irish can laugh at ourselves.

      • lala

        sorry, Merry Bear, definitely racist. Just b/c the Irish aren’t fighting for their rights anymore, doesn’t make it any less racist. And FYI, the term “shenanigans” also racist against the Irish.

      • beeswax

        It is also thought ‘Paddywagon’ was the American term for a police vehicles because the police forces in early 1900 America were predominately occupied by Irishmen.

  • Cosntance

    Satisfying. For now at least. Chibs and Opie’s revenge was best part for me and it was time for both Jimmy and Stahl to exit. Left enough questions to ponder to have me already looking forward to next seson.

  • Jackie

    the finale was sooooo good i loved it. i cant wait for season 4

  • elle

    Finale was Awesome!!!! This show has a truly talented cast and great writers! Very well done. Cant wait for more SOA next year!

    • Leon

      I’d just like to be in the show ,me and my Harley

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