Sons Of Anarchy is regarded by some as one of the best TV shows of the 21st century. One of the reasons the show is revered is because it is packed with fascinating characters. Since most of the biker gang members and their families are deeply involved in crime viewers may not find them relatable, but their captivating arcs always provide plenty of entertainment and viewer satisfaction.
While Jax Teller is the star of the critically acclaimed FX series, events don’t always focus on him, allowing the other characters to shine too. In each season of the show, there is a character that impresses more than the rest. From their dialogue to their mannerisms to their arcs, everything about them is worth commending.
Season 1: Wayne Unser
A cancer diagnosis makes Charming police chief Wayne Unser consider retirement early on in the show but the Sons force him to stay in the job because he has always helped them by looking the other way. Agreeing to stay on for a few months, he helps broker a peace treaty between SAMCRO and the Mayans, hence bringing much-needed tranquility to the town.
Unser is at his best in season 1 because he still wields much social and financial power. The success of Unser Trucking means he doesn’t have to rely on the Sons for handouts as he does later on. He is also influential enough to summon three of the deadliest gang leaders (Clay, Alvarez, and Ernest Derby) and convince them to shake hands. Though he isn’t one of the most heroic officers in Sons Of Anarchy he proves that his arm-around-shoulder works better than brute force when dealing with gangs. By the time the season comes to a close, he has helped the Sons accomplish key tasks such as slowing down the ATF, proving Opie’s innocence, and freeing Cherry.
Season 2: Gemma Teller Morrow
To prevent a war between L.O.A. N. and the Sons, Gemma keeps quiet when she is assaulted by a group led A.J. Weston. Regrettably, the trauma from the attack causes cracks in her marriage to Clay. She also engages in a number of interesting Female Vs Female battles with highlights such as hitting Cherry with a skateboard, killing Polly, and fleeing from June Stahl.
In all other seasons, Gemma keeps piling up on her cardinal and non-cardinal sins but nearly everything she does in the second season is laudable. Her decision to cover her own pain in order to prevent a war might not sit well with some fans but it highlights her considerate side, which is preferable to the recklessness that causes the show’s deadliest conflict later on. Moreover, as an antagonistic character, Gemma is always at her best when she is bossing around her fellow women and there’s nowhere where she does that better than in season 2.
Season 3: Jimmy O’Phalen
Season 3 is mostly dedicated to the search for Abel and that’s where Jimmy O, the street boss of the True IRA, comes in. He conspires with SAMBEL’s top brass to try and wipe out SAMCRO and also works with Father Kellan Ashby to keep Abel away from Jax. In addition to that, he is revealed to be the man responsible for kicking Chibs out of Belfast and taking his family.
Most villains normally have an endgame in mind but Jimmy O sprouts above the typical baddie-in-chiefs by simply finding glee in making others suffer. It’s a trait that makes him one of the most dangerous characters in Sons Of Anarchy. The True IRA boss proves to be a master manipulator too by causing a rift between the Belfast charter and the mother charter. And by targeting family, he manages to strike the bikers on their Archille’s heels. By the time Jax and Chibs finally get their revenge on Jimmy O, he has already left huge scars on them.
Season 4: Clay Morrow
Clay’s downfall begins in the fourth season and it is at this turning point that he is seen to be at his peak as a gangster. Choosing to make a cocaine deal with the Galindo Cartel makes him clash with his colleagues but he stands his ground. The threat of his biggest secret (killing John Teller) being discovered also causes him to be impetuous, leading to not only the death of Piney but the end of his marriage.
Clay has never been presented as a character that fans should like. He is at his best when being the bringer of havoc and he amps this up in season 4 because he is being pushed into a corner. Watching Clay ruin everything that’s dear to him, including his marriage to Gemma, is entertaining because fans patiently waited for the moment that things would fall apart. Things eventually crumble for everyone that chooses this life but Clay opts to go down fighting by ɱʋrɗᥱring a fellow First 9 member and desperately trying to hold on to the Galindo deal. Through his misfortunes, it becomes apparent that bad choices have fangs and they’ll always come back to bite.
Season 5: Damon Pope
Yet another formidable villain brings hell and all its chambers to SAMCRO when Tig accidentally runs over his daughter. As revenge, Pope orchestrates some of the most unnecessary ƙ𝔦ℓℓs in Sons of Anarchy by burning Tig’s daughter alive and having Opie beaten to death in prison.
Pope comes off as a mighty villain because his mission for vengeance leaves the Sons so helpless. An eye for an eye is not his policy as he prefers to take the whole head instead. Even though his demands hurt them, the Sons keep caving in because they understand that with the kind of influence Pope has, resistance will be met with even more bloodshed. And unlike the rest of the villains, Pope never does the dirty work himself. In the same manner that mob bosses do, he simply shows up and issues orders, a mannerism that makes him appear more sophisticated than the rest of the gang leaders on the show.
Season 6: Tara Knowles
Tara hits a dead-end in her attempts to create a better life for herself and her family in season 6. Frustrated by her failure to get out of Charming, she considers being an informant and using Bobby’s bullet as her entry ticket into the witness protection program. Jax manages to make her change her mind but unfortunately, false rumors make Gemma come after her, resulting in one of the saddest deaths in Sons Of Anarchy.
Tara is at her best in this particular season because she is fed up. Tired of the chaotic Charming life, she is on a quest for safety and tranquility. She is no longer willing to argue with Jax about whether they should leave or not. For the first time, she is ready to bury her feelings for Jax and do what’s right. Even while she’s considering being a snitch, fans still find themselves rooting for her because they know she is right that she needs to leave town and the man who has been cheating on her so much. Regrettably, she still chooses to trust Jax and it’s that back peddling that pushes her back into danger.
Season 7: Jax Teller
While mourning Tara, Jax loses all hope and decides to keep on leaping without looking, He ƙ𝔦ℓℓls a number of high-profile people, including August Marks and Jury. The ɱʋrɗᥱr of the latter gets him reprimanded and instead of “Meeting Mr. Mayhem,” he chooses to end his own life.
The Jax that viewers are presented with in the final season isn’t the one they are accustomed to. His decisions never stop being shocking and it’s by keeping fans baffled that Jax manages to stand out. Having spent most of the show being a thinker and planner, he suddenly turns impulsive without analyzing the bigger picture or potential consequences. And while the usual Jax preferred to be diplomatic with rivals and foes, this Jax chooses to simply ɱʋrɗᥱr them. He’s an outright gangster and even though the change in personality is unfortunate, it’s also refreshing for viewers.