Writers are a passionate and vocal group which is I have no problem saying (or shouting) that I love Jax Teller on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and everyone else should too.
Now, you might be wondering why I feel this need to have a Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch type moment of declaring my love but there is actually a very good reason.
Entertainment Weekly writer Dalton Ross recently wrote a clever (but misguided!) opinion piece called ‘Why I hate Jax on Sons of Anarchy and The brilliance of Kurt Sutter‘ compelling me to respond.
Some may laugh, but I’ve watched SOA since day one- so while I agree with Mr. Ross that Kurt Sutter is definitely brilliant (and DEFINITELY deserves an Emmy) I can’t sit quietly while Jax’s character is wrongly maligned once again.
Am I hoping to change his mind with this writing? Well, yes because the character of Jax Teller (played by the talented Charlie Hunnam) is far more complex and deserving of our sympathy than Mr. Ross gives him credit for and Jax needs someone in his corner!
Plus, I’m tired of Jax being vilified because of his actions this last season- a season when he was consumed with grief and rage over his wife’s vicious murder. After 6 seasons of trying to do the right thing he gets a pass.
In order for me to discount Ross’ opinion I must address and correct his biggest misconception, which is that Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie) is a good guy (I’m laughing just writing that).
Ross hates Jax because he killed Unser, “a good man with good intentions and a man who bailed out Jax and the club time and time again.”
Now, while Unser is definitely not a vile or evil person and has helped Jax and the club, he is definitely not “good”.
Saying he’s helped Jax and the club is inaccurate at best because he mainly did that out of loyalty to Gemma (Katey Sagal).
Unser loved Gemma, completely and blindly, which is why he always helped and is the real reason why he died.
Jax pulled the trigger, but Gemma caused it, yet once again the blame is put squarely on Jax. Let’s examine the facts:
Nero (Jimmy Smits) sent Unser to stop Jax from killing Gemma- not to save Gemma, but to: “save Jax”- those were his exact words.
Yet that’s not what Unser did or intended. When he got to the cabin where Gemma was he told her he had to take her in (to protect HER because Jax was on the way there).
Gemma said no and Unser didn’t even try to force her to go, instead he pleaded with her to leave before Jax showed up (because he was worried about HER, not Jax).
Which brings up another strike against Unser- he’s a hypocrite! Earlier in the episode he talked about how he needed to find out who really killed Tara to honor her. Call me crazy but I don’t see how defending her killer honors her!
And that’s just what he did- when Jax got there he got all tough and tried to stop him, not hesitating to pull his gun and escalate the situation.
Maybe he should have grew a pair for once in his life and pulled that gun on Gemma- if he had she might have gone with him and things could have turned out very differently.
But he didn’t do any of that: Jax lowered his gun and told Unser to leave but he couldn’t because he couldn’t stop protecting Gemma, who not only murdered Tara but also murdered Jax’s soul.
So Unser RAISED his gun again and in that instant he sealed his own fate and I’m sorry but for that Jax can and should be forgiven.
Jimmy Smits even acknowledged in a recent interview with EW that Nero sending Unser was a bad move, saying: ” I don’t think that the character of Nero understood how profound and deep the relationship Unser has with them also [was] or else he never would have [sent him]. I guess he thinks that because the police line in Unser’s character thread was there, that he would be able to exact some kind of calm out of the situation.”
Nero, like us, expected Unser to do the right thing for everyone and avoid tragedy, but instead he helped it along by once again doing Gemma’s bidding.
Now, is Jax an angel? Definitely not, he is deeply flawed- he always has been, but he has always been good at his core and that hasn’t changed.
If Jax had turned violent and just started killing for the heck of it I could see people not rooting or caring for him- but he had a very good reason for his actions, as wrong as they were.
You can say that’s defending him no matter what he does, but grief does strange things to people and he is trying to correct his mistakes, which DOES make him worth rooting for.
Jax lost his way this season, but after years of manipulation by Gemma and the pain of losing Tara on top of Opie it is understandable and forgivable because now that the cloud of rage has lifted Jax is doing what he’s always done: trying to make things right and protect everyone.
Mr. Ross, you can hate Jax if you want to, but I love him and everyone else should too.
What do you think of Jax on ‘Sons of Anarchy’? Share your opinion with us below.