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'Sons of Anarchy': Introducing the New Jax

By Kelsea Stahler, Hollywood.com Staff

Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter warned us that Jax Teller was heading down a dark road. "Laying these circumstances out early in the season really colors Jax and the choices he's going to make," he told reporters right after Opie was killed on the show. Between the ominous Season 5 trailer in which his own club members ran him off the road and the comments Sutter made after Opie died, the new Jax was something we should have seen coming. And with "Abelation" the transition seems to be complete.

Tuesday night saw the final straw, but it only helped finish the job. Early on in the episode, Jax is on the warpath, seeking out the goons hired to run him and Gemma off the road. When he finds the guy, the hired gun begs for his life, pleading that he was just doing it for the money and had no idea who he was after. When we (and Chibs) think Jax is simply going to spook the guy and move on, Jax takes another direction, casually grabbing the crook by the shoulders like a pal before putting three bullets directly in his stomach and pushing him off the roof of the warehouse. And it's not long before Jax gets the push he needs to go fully cold.

After last week's accident, Gemma is destroyed. Luckily, Abel seems to be recovering, but his grandmother is out of luck. First, Clay decided to lie for her and create a story about a mystery van (much like the one that went after Jax) running her off the road, when in truth Gemma had just gotten stoned with Unser, but she was too excited to see the kids, so she drove anyway.

It's not unlike Gemma to seek the easiest way out, but as Nero points out, these things have a way of coming out. And considering that when Jax gets to his attackers he's told they weren't sent after Gemma too, it was only a matter of time before he found the truth himself. Unfortunately for Gemma, her lover and brothel proprietor Nero has an interest in keeping her honest and tells Jax the truth about how Gemma crashed the car. It's clear, after his threatening confrontation with Clay, that he was looking for a way to keep Gemma glued to his side instead of Clay's and outing her for almost killing Jax's kids will certainly do that. Lucky for Nero, Jax doesn't tell Gemma how he found out.

The truth finally drives Tara to the place she's been destined to take: the spot as the new Sons matriarch, a seat Gemma used to hold rather securely. She punches Gemma square in the jaw, with her cast-laden wrist while Jax holds baby Thomas. Without so much as a thought, she casts Gemma out. But Jax knows Gemma needs family or she'll waste away. He has to give the woman who birthed him another chance to make it right. And he does. It just may be colder than actually leaving her cut out of his family.

After a quick chat with Roosevelt, Jax learns that there's a rat at his table and that if he finds Frankie Diamonds (who just ran off with Nero's cash and left Chibs for dead) and the other thugs who killed Rita, Roosevelt will turn over the identity of the traitor. Jax automatically thinks it's Clay, since he's recently pieced together that Clay was the one running the attacks on the club, but what he doesn't know is that Juice is the informant who was forced into ratting out his club after Roosevelt found out he'd lied about being half black (a fact that could get him kicked out of the Sons). Hell bent on getting ammunition for the club to sanction an end to Clay's scheming (a permanent one too), Jax finds the only avenue he can think of that will both fully punish his mother for almost robbing him of the one thing that matters most in his life and the method that will serve Clay's secrets up on a silver platter.

He waltzes into Nero's club, requests a private audience with Gemma and offers her the ultimatum: be with Clay in every sense of that phrase, and deliver every last one of his secrets, or be cut out from the Teller family forever.

Now, Gemma completely deserves being heartlessly outcast for her actions. This was her last chance and she blew it into tiny smithereens. But what Jax is asking her to do is so cruel, and so disgusting that it actually takes the focus off of Gemma. We're no longer looking at Gemma and casting shameful, judging glances. We're focused on Jax, who's been driven so far into darkness that he would actually order his mother to give up the only relationship she has left (the one with Nero) to throw herself back into her abusive, sexual relationship with Clay for the club's gain. This is the new Jax, and he makes decisions that many of us won't be able to stomach.

Of course, he's just backed Gemma into a corner with the one person who encourages her devious behaviors (we saw how easily they both hopped into the deception pool in those first few minutes at the hospital). Jax could be getting tough and getting what he wants, or he may have just inadvertently fortified his enemies. Now Gemma is hurt and being forced to partner with the person determined to take Jax down. This could be war.

Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler

<a href=""http://polldaddy.com/poll/6652694/"">What will Gemma do with Jax's proposition?</a>[Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/ FX]

More:

Sons of Anarchy Showrunner Kurt Sutter Wanted Fallen MC Member ""To Go Out a Warrior""

Sons of Anarchy: Kim Coates and Theo Rossi on How Not to Die - VIDEO

Sons of Anarchy Won't Let Up, Sends Gemma Off the Deep End

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