SONS OF ANARCHY Season Finale Recap: “J’ai Obtenu Cette”

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Emotions have run high in these last few Sons of Anarchy episodes, and while much of it has made up for the unevenness of the season, one wonders how entertaining the full season will be upon rewatch knowing that resolution evades.  Still, “J’ai Obtenu Cette” (which is one hell of an unnecessarily pretentious title) was in and of itself a great episode, and it set up a very emotionally complex fifth season.  Of course, that’s also the reaction most of us had at the end of last season.  While Season Five has indeed been about Jax versus Clay and their ongoing power struggle, the show has wandered a great deal in between, (even though it’s extended its episode count and occasionally the runtime to allow for more storytelling).  Hit the jump for a look at the best parts of “J’ai Obtenu Cette” i.e. “I Got This.”

sons-of-anarchy-tommy-flanagan-mark-boone-juniorThankfully, the action in the finale focused back on the club, which is where the most compelling drama for the show always lies.  The opening image of Clay sitting with his tattoo blacked out was powerful; more so than, say, his outright death.  As much as one may hate Clay, that tatt symbolizes the death of who he is and who he lived his life to become, and it’s extremely tragic.  Sons of Anarchy could learn from this.  Sometimes it’s in the small things.

Shock value has its place though, and Otto’s incredibly bizarre tongue chomp-and-toss was pretty intense stuff (also potentially a callback to another Shakespearean element: Lavinia from Titus Andronicus having her tongue cut off so she couldn’t identify her rapists.  Perhaps I give Sutter too much credit with his allusions, even though he does purposefully plant them).  My notes for this simply read “holy shit.”  Is there any other way to experience it?  The Marshall’s summation of “way to commit, Otto” said it all.  As overused as the Otto character can be, he does occasionally have some cartoonishly amazing moments.

The show also brought back some humor to its grisly violence, both in the Otto scene and much more so when SAMCRO helped Nero out with Dante, who had the misfortune of being left in a car with a very unhappy pit bull.  The moments at the dog fight were meant, presumably, to humanize the men again and to show that even though they do commit intense acts of violence to other men on what seems like every other day, they also have a code.  To quote Omar from The Wire, “it’s all in the game, yo.” The dogs are not part of that.

It was interesting how Tig ended up bonding with that dog so intensely after his own near-death experience.  I think there weren’t many of us who supposed Jax would really let Pope kill Tig (much like the grand twist of Season Three’s finale), but Tig had to go through so much to get to that point, and as he said to Jax, it could have too easily all gone wrong.  But Jax is of Clay’s mould now, not of JT’s, and that was a risk was apparently willing to take.  (Side note: I think they need to start recruiting again, with the number of members they keep killing off).

sons-of-anarchy-katey-sagal-charlie-hunnamThe final shot of Gemma and Jax, another mirror to the old JT/Gemma photo and the moment replicated at the end of last season with Tara and Jax in the same position as the new heads of the table, was damming.  Jax is trapped in Charming with the club for better or worse, and Gemma will stop at nothing to keep her seat at the throne (including putting Tara in jail, potentially, although I think hearing Jax and Nero’s conversation counted for something with her … though which way I’m not sure).

The bottom line is that Jax will never get away from the club or that life, and Nero is the prime example of why and how.  Though Tara was right that the longer she and Jax stay in Charming the more like Clay and Gemma they become, with Abel and Thomas eventually repeating the patterns themselves, it doesn’t matter.  Where that will take her character in particular is uncertain, but the amazing scene where Tara was handcuffed cut to the bone.  She signed up for some of this life, but not all that she has gotten from it.

As for the villains, losing Pope and gaining the Marshall is an unfortunate swap, because the Marshall seems like a rehash of several other characters we’ve seen in the past whereas Pope was fresh.  But Pope going out the way he did was vaguely satisfying (Tig getting his revenge for the revenge of the revenge) and Jax’s alliance with his second in command a good set up.  In fact, praise the brilliance of that move by the writers — the seeds were planted many episodes ago with Jax ascertaining Mr. Marks’ happiness at being Pope’s right-hand man without the chance to take over himself.  A well-played bit that had a great deal more subtlety than man plots on the show.

To sum things up, once again Jax thought he has control over everything, but as Bobby chastised him, it’s not just about using one’s incredible smarts.  Even though Jax made some incredibly nuanced machinations to get the Irish, Galindo, Pope and everyone else off of his back, his wife is going to jail and his VP has resigned.  Nothing is easy.

sons-of-anarchy-charlie-hunnamMy hopes for Season Six are high, but Season Five has shown how unpredictably the show can skitter away from its main trajectory or most promising points.  Still, Sons of Anarchy seems to be reclaiming, slightly, some of the elements that made its first and second seasons so brilliant: emotional drama paired with humor, and a side of violence.  But no matter how off the rails it goes, it’s unlikely we die-hard fans will abandon it.  We’re too involved now with SAMCRO to turn our backs on it.  Much like Jax.

Episode Rating: A+,  Season Rating: B

Musings and Miscellanea:

– Holy frak that guy taking nails to the face! Plus Gemma’s sucker punch to Tara and saying “I hope you’re not pregnant.”  Lawd …

– Didn’t need to see the trashcans of dogs though (!)

– Oh Chucky, the only reliable comic relief, and yet your French was not only weird it wasn’t funny.

– Thank God my Tiggy lives.  Even though he has been emotionally destroyed … Juice, too!  Jax rules with an iron fist. I’m tired of seeing Juice be a puddle of sad though, I need him to go back to hacking computers and opening heath clubs.

– “Men need to be loved.  Women need to be wanted” — Gemma

– What is up with guys drinking out of a milk carton?  How hard is it to get a glass?  I mean, it’s not even easy to drink out of a carton: it’s hard to hold on to and the mouth of it is flimsy.

– That lawyer had on the biggest ring I’ve ever seen.  Tone it down, girl.

– “It’s about being smart enough not to hurt him.  You had the chance to be different” – Bobby to Jax

– Thanks to everyone who has been reading and following along all season, it’s been a lot of fun.  Riding through this world … 

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  • Alex Mullen

    For the record, “J’ai obtenu cette” means absolutely nothing in french. It only translates to “I got this” if you take each individual word and replace it with its french equivalent, regardless of context or syntax. I am perplexed as to why they would name the episode using a language they don’t understand and not even bother checking with a french speaker.

    • Adam Bellamy

      C’mon, it’s about bringing the season full circle. That was the last thing Opie said to Jax before he was beaten to death. It’s what ultimately set Jax off the rails.

    • Tarek

      I confirm. “J’ai obtenu cette” means nothing. It is a phrase without an ending part.
      I am pretty sure they have used google translate to translate ” I got this”

      In French this would be translated into ” c’est sous control”

    • Matthew

      For what it’s worth, in France, it is a sort of equivalent to “it’s all good”. It’s not a pointless title. Of course Sutter, who is very smart, didn’t tack the title on to his season finale without having a firm grasp of what he meant.

      • Sarah

        No really, it doesn’t mean anything in French; it’s neither idiomatic nor grammatical. In English you can use the same word, “this,” as either a pronoun (e.g. “I got *this*”) or as a demonstrative adjective (e.g. “I’ve got *this* situation under control”). In French, these are two different words: “cela/ceci” for the former or “cette” for the latter. In this episode title, they used “cette,” which is the demonstrative adjective. They basically just left an incomplete sentence hanging out there. Retranslating this sense back into English, this title would be something like “I have a particular.” A particular what?

        I’m sure French has something similar to “I got this” out there, but it’s certainly not this, as idioms rarely have such a literal correspondence between languages (and as I indicate, this one’s not even grammatically sound). This just looks a lot like the online translator laziness that the lazier among foreign language learners pull. And if you search for this phrase on Google France, you either come up with hits for this particular episode, or you find this sentence fragment in completely different contexts (where they completed the sentence with an object).

  • Bb

    Maybe because the person speaking it doesn’t understand it fully?

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  • Leo

    I have read every review you wrote this season, and I really don’t think that you get this show.

    I haven’t seen the finale yet and I won’t until after my Exam tomorrow, but my bet is on Pope getting killed by the club. That talk he had with Jax in the back of his car when he said that there is a 5 Million dollar reward to who ever kills his killer. That seems like a set up for season 6. Also last episode when Jax talked to Pope’s right hand man and put out a feeler whether or not he is just waiting patiently for the chance to take over Pope’s empire. It definitely feels like Jax is putting a feeler out as if he has a plan that we don’t get to see.

    Also my bet is that if Juice doesn’t die this episode, he is going to be leaving with Clay.

    15 more hours before I can see the finale. Can’t wait! Damn you, Theoretical Computer Science, Damn you for so many reason’s!

  • Op

    How about the meaning of the homeless girl …. this is the 3rd or 4th time shes appeared

    • Adam Bellamy

      Agreed! I’ve read theories like she is some sort of omen or the reaper itself. Apparently only Jax and Gemma see her, and it only occurs when one of their characters is about to go through a big change.

  • PG13

    Allison,

    This is the most feminine review you’ve written. LOL at your milk carton side note.

  • PG13

    Allison,

    This is the most feminine review you\’ve written. LOL at your milk carton side note.

  • Adam Bellamy

    Thought this was a great finale, and a pretty good season. It’s the first season I watched live since first getting into the series via Netflix. Favorite scenes were the Otto/tongue one and when they trapped Dante. I think Sutter may have made a mistake announcing the two final seasons in the sense that we all KNEW Clay was never in any danger. Much like Breaking Bad\\\’s standoff between Walt and Jesse, the final season of SoA is going to come down to Jax vs. Clay. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the show is executed really well, but that kind of pulled me out of the experience this season. I felt like it introduced a ton of new characters that I would have rather spent more time with vs. wondering if Clay will actually die. ;)

    Also, TBS totally ruined Pope’s death (though I guess I knew it was coming regardless?). But once I saw Harold Perrineau was a main character on “Wedding Band” I knew without a doubt he was going to die.

  • Matthew

    For what it\’s worth, in France, it is a sort of equivalent to \"it\’s all good\". It\’s not a pointless title. Of course Sutter, who is very smart, didn\’t tack the title on to his season finale without having a firm grasp of what he meant.

  • wESh

    Maybe the title does not make sense because Chucky is still learning and can be messy with his french…

  • Sarah

    No really, it doesn\’t mean anything in French; it\’s neither idiomatic nor grammatical. In English you can use the same word, \"this,\" as either a pronoun (e.g. \"I got *this*\") or as a demonstrative adjective (e.g. \"I\’ve got *this* situation under control\"). In French, these are two different words: \"cela/ceci\" for the former or \"cette\" for the latter. In this episode title, they used \"cette,\" which is the demonstrative adjective. They basically just left an incomplete sentence hanging out there. Retranslating this sense back into English, this title would be something like \"I have a particular.\" A particular what?

    I\’m sure French has something similar to \"I got this\" out there, but it\’s certainly not this, as idioms rarely have such a literal correspondence between languages (and as I indicate, this one\’s not even grammatically sound). This just looks a lot like the online translator laziness that the lazier among foreign language learners pull. And if you search for this phrase on Google France, you either come up with hits for this particular episode, or you find this sentence fragment in completely different contexts (where they completed the sentence with an object).

  • Sarah

    No really, it doesn’t mean anything in French; it’s neither idiomatic nor grammatical. In English you can use the same word, “this,” as either a pronoun (e.g. “I got *this*”;) or as a demonstrative adjective (e.g. “I’ve got *this* situation under control”). In French, these are two different words: “cela/ceci” for the former or “cette” for the latter. In this episode title, they used “cette,” obviously, which is the demonstrative adjective. They basically just left an incomplete sentence hanging out there. A better sense of this re-translated back to English would be “I have this particular.” It needs an object.

    I’m sure French has something similar to “I got this” out there, but it’s certainly not “J’ai obtenu cette,” as idioms rarely have such a literal correspondence between languages (and as I indicate, this one’s not even grammatically sound). This just looks a lot like the online translator laziness that some foreign language students pull. And if you search for this phrase on Google France, you either come up with hits for this particular episode, or you find this sentence fragment in completely different contexts (where they completed the sentence with an object).

    • Sarah

      Sorry about double-posting. It told me the first two security codes were wrong (possibly because the text color is like half of half of half of half a shade darker than its background), and then all these fun extra characters were inserted into my original message….

      • Sarah

        TRIPLE posting. Seriously, what in god’s name is wrong with this site? Telling me my security code is wrong and then posting it anyway. I bid you all adieu.

      • tarek

        now you got this Sarah

  • Sam

    I was pretty sure that Jax would not let Tig die, but I will admit that they actually made me question it last night. It would have been a little too hardcore for the show to kill off the guy after they had his daughter burned alive, and I am glad that he was given a dog to care for and love in the end. I was talking to a coworker at DISH about the show, and he thinks that this has been the best season yet. I have to agree because I have the entire season saved on my DISH Hopper’s 2TB hard drive and I have watched every episode multiple times, which I never wanted to do with the previous seasons. I am really excited to see where Gemma’s character goes because we can be sure that she is not going to be nearly as passive next season as she was in the beginning of this one.

  • Diana

    I was so glad Juice didn’t die. I thought he might not make it through the season. His soft heart may still come to be his downfall. I also love what Sutter does with music. Loved Loved Loved the rendition of “To Sir with Love” at the top of the episode.

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  • pwags

    Hey…did anyone else notice Mr. Happypants Hands was speaking french or trying to learn to speak french in the end of season 5 …..hmmmm????? He always seems to have something in his pocket!!!

  • Rod

    Do you think Jax knew the police were coming for Tara? He was pretty un-emotional while they took her away. Also, he didn’t question why Gemma “happened” to be there. And no conversation between he & Gemma at the end???? Would he go to that extreme to keep his sons in Charming??

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