Sons of Anarchy was one of FX’s most successful shows of all time, running strong for seven seasons. The testosterone-driven drama that reflected Shakespeare’s Hamlet was a phenomenon that created a whole trend in the motorcycle community. It’s a show based on redemption and brotherhood (though that’s questionable).
Despite its success through its seven seasons, a surprising number of glaring plot holes seems to curse the show practically every season, leaving viewers to scratch their heads. Of course, no matter how successful a show is, there’s no such thing as a flawless production. From unexplained, ominous characters, to plotlines that made no sense, viewers were often left wondering what the writers were thinking.
Here are 15 glaring plot holes in Sons of Anarchy that the writers probably should have caught.
15 August Marks’ Land Deal
The plot of season seven hinged on a church land deal between August Marks and SAMCRO, leading to a whole lot of carnage where characters are taken, arrested, and doomed. However, after August Marks passes, the dispute over the church land is never mentioned again! This glaring plot hole ultimately shows the questionable writing of the final season.
14 The Fate Of John Teller
The father of our hero, Jax, supposedly met his end in a crash, and his passing dominates much of the first season. We learn that he wanted to move away from criminality, and we later discover that Gemma and Clay tampered with his bike, leading to his crash. Apparently the two schemers didn’t like his plans, even when we discover Jury White revealed he knew John’s plans all along, so what exactly happened to this guy?
13 Gemma Passing On The Ring
Gemma was certainly a wicked character, but there’s no doubting that she loved her grandsons, Abel and Thomas. Throughout the show, she talked to Jax about ensuring that the kids didn’t follow into the biker lifestyle. But in the final season, while saying goodbye to them, she gives Abel a Sons ring, which basically ensures that the boy will follow in his father’s footsteps, countermanding everything she’s worked for all show! This type of plot hole seems pretty careless on the part of the writers.
12 Wayne Unser’s Cancer
Former Chief of Police Wayne Unser is a rather polarizing figure in the series, negotiating the balance between SAMCRO and the town. He stepped down from his position after being diagnosed with cancer, but that simply became a backstory with little relevance to the rest of the show, leading us to wonder what the point of his cancer diagnosis was to begin with?
11 Juice’s Fear Of An Outdated Club Rule
In season four, Lieutenant Roosevelt reveals that Juice Ortiz is half black, which violates a club rule written years earlier. Roosevelt is trying to gain leverage on SAMCRO to help build a case against the IRA and Mexican Cartel, and Ortiz ends up snitching on the Sons. But the storyline ends up being pointless, as Jax has shown that the Sons have no problem working with people of other races, and he even mentions that many of the club rules are outdated and in need of revision.
10 Operating In Charming
For the amount of chaos and destruction that ensues in and around the fictional town of Charming, it makes little sense that they’d use the town of 14,000 as their base of operations. It makes it easier for law enforcement to track them down, and with all the havoc that SAMCRO causes throughout the show—even involving civilians—there would undoubtedly be a massive police and military presence sent in to stop the bikers.
9 That Homeless Lady
One character who seems strangely ominous and keeps showing up throughout the show is a strange homeless woman. A fan theory states that she’s the ghost of Emily Putner, the woman who perished in the same crash as Jax’s father. In her final appearance, she hands Jax a blanket and says, “It’s time,” before he goes on his fateful ride. The lack of an answer about who this woman is confuses all of us.
8 The IRA Deal
The partnership between SAMCRO and the IRA made no sense from the get-go. The idea that a bunch of Irish mobsters would pick a biker gang out of a small California town to work with—especially with Chibs being excommunicated by the IRA—is flaky at best. And given all the federal and local heat that follows the Sons around, it seems unlikely that the IRA would partake in any deals with them. Even after the IRA takes his son, Jax still seems willing to work with them.
7 The CIA Debacle
In the fourth season of the show, it appears that a major showdown between the US Attorney’s Office and SAMCRO is ready to begin, with the lead attorney about to make a huge bust on the crew. Then the cartel from earlier in the season shows up and reveals they’re CIA agents and need to call the bust off so SAMCRO can fry some bigger fish. The twist comes out of nowhere and screw up a bunch of subplots built up over the season.
6 Why Is Anyone Devoted To The MC?
Throughout the show, SAMCRO makes critical mistakes, often ending in the demise of characters, such as Opie’s wife (at the hands of Tig), Opie himself, Tig’s daughter, Jax’s wife, and many, many more. It makes us wonder why anyone in the club would blindly follow Jax when there are so many potential downsides to showing that loyalty. What are they gaining from it all? Because it surely isn’t “brotherhood.”
5 Lack Of Women On Bikes
The show is filled with macho men, but they’re all scared of the club matriarch, Gemma Teller. Tara, Jax’s wife, is seen as respectable, too. They are the leading ladies of the show, but not too many other women get shown any kind of respect, and this comes from a club emphasizing the “old ladies” to look up to. The majority of women don’t hold any sway on the show, are treated terribly, and women are hardly ever shown on motorcycles, despite given "respect" by the MC.
4 Why Would Outsiders Trust SAMCRO?
Throughout the seasons, the Sons were not a trustworthy bunch, doing underhanded things to get their way, despite Jax telling everyone they could be trusted. From the Mayans to the IRA to the One-Niners, the deals struck with SAMCRO tended to go bad rather quickly. But rival gangs constantly did business with them, despite having no evidence that they could be trusted. Not to mention, the Sons were terrible businessmen, so why did anyone trust them at all?
3 Unsuspecting Gemma
At the end of season five, Tara agrees to rat on the Sons in exchange for witness protection for her and her sons. When Gemma finds out Tara is going to take Thomas and Abel from her, she brutally takes her out. Jax is constantly misled by Gemma in his search for answers, even going so far as to take out other players from China. Even though the job looked less than professional, Gemma is not once suspected of the crime, which makes little sense given her checkered past.
2 Milo The Trucker
Milo, played by The Shield star Michael Chiklis, is a mysterious truck driver who gives Gemma a ride to her father’s house in the penultimate episode, and he’s the one behind the wheel when Jax drives his bike in front of a truck and goes splat. He’s even given the final line of the series: “Jesus!” But viewers never learn who this character was, what he represented, how he connected with a show, and why such a big name actor would play such a minor part.
1 Who Was The Better Leader?
Clay Morrow was seen as manipulative and sinister, only serving his best interests. He feuded with Jax over direction of the club, until he was voted out and arrested. Jax tried to steer the MC away from the gun and drug trades, but ended up with more deceased people on his hands than Clay ever did. Ultimately, he was shown as a less capable leader who people blindly followed, which makes us wonder, was Clay the better choice all along?
References: avclub.com, fx.com, tvtropes.com