About two months ago, a friend sent me a text message that simply said:
“I’ve been thinking, is it possible to trace the downfall of SAMCRO to Juice worrying about himself being part black? At least one of the major plot points that started a snowball of events. Thoughts?”
And I did have some thoughts…
I actually think that the downfall of SAMCRO was jump started by the death of Donna Winston, but was mostly caused by the rape of Gemma Teller and her actions following that event. Gemma’s lies have caused a lot of bad things to happen this season alone, but I believe that if she had not been raped, or had reacted differently to her rape, the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club would not be where they are presently.
It goes without saying that you should not read this if you are not caught up on the most recent episode.
In season one, Gemma was more of a mental manipulator. The only physical thing she did on purpose was hit Cherry with a skateboard, but she immediately realizes her mistake. It is not until after she is raped that she starts to feel really helpless and starts acting erratically. She feels like she cannot tell Clay and Jax what happened, so she starts taking matters into her own hands. She initially cannot bring herself to kill Weston in cold blood, but when she finally confronts Polly at the safe house, Polly pulls a gun and Gemma kills her in self defense…and then everything goes to shit…
If Gemma had not killed Polly and gotten herself set up for Edmond’s death, then Cameron would not have stolen Thomas or killed Half Sack. SAMCRO would have never gone to Ireland to get Abel back and Maureen would never have had the chance to give John Teller’s letters to Jax. (Jax also never would have made out with his half-sister, which still makes me ill to think about). Tara does not read the letters, which means she has no reason to suspect Clay and Gemma of killing John. Clay would have had no reason to have her killed, so her hand would have never been injured.
If Tara never suspects Clay and Gemma, then she never goes to Piney. Piney would not have approach Clay about John’s death and blackmailed him with the letters and Clay has no reason to kill Piney. If Clay had not killed Piney and been responsible for Donna’s death, then Opie never would have shot Clay. This means that Clay would have no need to implicate the One-Niners, which means Tig would not have gone after them and accidentally killed Damon Pope’s daughter. Damon Pope then does not feel the need to kill Tig’s daughter or Tig, or have Jax, Tig and Chibs sent to prison. Opie would not have been killed and Jax would have never gone into business with Pope. Being in business with Pope and his successor August Marks caused a lot of other things to happen, the last of which resulted in the death of Bobby.
Furthermore, if Jax had not needed to go to Ireland, maybe Jimmy O would have ended up taking over the Irish gun running in the United States and started selling directly to the Russians. SAMCRO could have gotten out of guns earlier and they never would have gone into business with the Galindo Cartel. No cartel also means Jax and Tara could have left Charming together with their boys or they would have had no reason to leave at all.
Gemma ultimately left Clay because of what he did to Piney and Tara. If none of that had happened and Gemma had stayed with Clay, then she never would have started dating Nero. Without Nero in the picture, his cousin’s girlfriend’s kid never gets his hands on a gun (or at least not one of SAMCRO’s guns) and takes it to school. Also, if Nero had never met Gemma he might have retired from being a “companionator” earlier and left town with his son.
Gemma’s actions at the end of season six obviously caused a myriad of other things to happen (and I am sure I am also leaving a lot out), but if she had never gotten raped, or if she had talked to someone about what happened to her, I believe things would have turned out very differently for SAMCRO.
I realize that this is a TV show and the whole point is for things to happen. I also realize that you could say this about most things in life, “if this had never happened, that would have never happened,” but it was an interesting exercise to look back over seven seasons and really examine how this one event affected so many other peoples’ actions and ultimate fates.
Gemma is finally dead and, even though I assumed it would happen by the end of the series, I did not know how it would go down and it was kind of perfect. She died the way she lived, as a mother who only wanted to protect her family.
I am going to be extremely upset after the final episode airs next week, but I am grateful to Kurt Sutter and the entire cast and crew for seven breathtaking and mind-blowing seasons.