Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy
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"A Mother's Work" is the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of the FX original series Sons of Anarchy, and the series' seventy-ninth episode overall.


Jax's search for Tara and his children lead him to make a difficult decision. Nero confronts Jax over Juice's role in Darvany's murder. Alvarez and Henry Lin form a pact against the One Niners, which threatens to shut down SAMCRO's business in Stockton. Gemma takes matters into her own hands.


Jax writes alone in the cemetery at Opie's grave, confessing he is terrified a great deal of the time, afraid of what he's done and might have to do. But he needs that rush of terror to get him out of bed in the morning. He confesses remorse for the violence he's committed. "But I think what brings me the most sorrow is that I've learned to justify this behavior. I always find a reason, a cause, a need, that allows me the karmic lubrication to stuff my guilt into a savage compartment. I've become the thing, the one I hated," he writes.

Clay is buried in a plain grave at the cemetery, with only Unser present. Gemma sits alone, drinking early to deal with being separated from her grandchildren. Nero meets with Fiasco and his crew, accepting a wad of protection cash. Jax writes that he has lost his way since Opie, his conscience, was killed. He tells his sons that today will be an important day. He tells them they are the most important thing to him and he'll never hurt them or abandon them. "Everything I do is for my sons," he writes.

He leaves the cemetery. A white pigeon struts along the highway, when suddenly it is obliterated into a cloud of blood, bone and feathers, as Jax rides to face his day. At DA Patterson's office, Sheriff Eli Roosevelt checks in. They think Tara's too smart to run, but they don't know if Jax would really kill her. "Let's find out," Patterson says.

Bobby's back on his feet and comes to the HQ with Chibs and Tig. Gemma is waiting, anxious because there are sheriffs outside the house, but Bobby points out if Tara gave up the club, they'd already be in custody. As the guys head upstairs, Gemma pulls Juice aside to talk. Gemma sends Brooke out with Chuckie to get sandwiches. Jax is letting her work off the damage from breaking the window. Juice doesn't want to talk about his overdose, but tells Gemma he doesn't want to die. "I'm just a little unsure about how to live in all this right now," he says. Gemma agrees not to tell Jax.

Juice tells her he might have "overshared" on a few things to Nero. Gemma assures him he didn't say anything, and Nero won't either. Jax arrives, followed shortly thereafter by Patterson and Roosevelt. Jax whispers to Gemma: "Tell Nero I'll see him at Diosa." She leaves. Patterson tells Roosevelt she wants to talk to Jax alone. Patterson asks where Tara is. Jax says she took the boys on a retreat. "We had a meeting, she missed it. I'm just trying to find out if we're going to reschedule," Patterson says.

Then she asks Jax if he struggles with his need to be a good man. "My guess is you struggle with it every day, what you are, crashing into who you are," she says. Patterson dances around, then asks Jax if he's willing to let his family pay the price for his mistakes. She promises him if that happens, it'll destroy him. She speaks to him as a mother, trying to reach through his anger. "You're a husband, and a father, and a man -- before all of this (the club). Own your place," she says.

Upstairs around the table, Jax tells the boys that Patterson doesn't know where Tara is. Jax doesn't think she's running with Abel, who needs to be near his doctors. They want to find her before Patterson does, to convince her not to rat. And if they can't.... "then we do what we have to do," Jax says. They decide to follow up on Tara's new lawyer, the hospital administrator, and see if Barosky has heard anything. Chuckie interrupts, to announce Marcus Alvarez of the Mayans is there.

Out front, Marcus admits to some concerns about the changes the club is making. Jax explains that the Chinese pissed off the Irish, so he had to deal with Lin's crew. As for the power shift with the Sons handing guns to August Marks' crew, Jax assures Marcus it's only about the fact that August has the biggest network and the only thing they could do. Marcus would have liked some warning, but Jax says he should have seen it coming. Marcus says their shipment of guns is two weeks late and asks Jax to get it from August today. He wants Nero at the meeting, which surprises Jax. Then Marcus tells him the Mayans are setting up in Stockton (where Nero is). Jax is annoyed to just be hearing about it now. Jax would have liked some warning, but Marcus mocks him by saying Jax should have seen it coming.

From her hotel room, Tara calls her attorney, Mitch. She says she's in Lodi but needed time to think. He tells her the deal with Patterson is still on the table, but she can't bail again. She wants to meet with him first to review the deal and says she'll text him where. Tara talks to Abel, telling him they're going on a trip to anywhere in the world they pick. She asks him to help his little brother not be scared. Her heart melts as she watches her two boys together.

Juice and Bobby follow Mitch as he leaves the courthouse. Jax and the Sons meet with Nero's crew and August's gun dealing Niners. August isn't there yet. Jax asks Nero when he knew about the Mayans moving into Stockton. Nero assures him he found out yesterday and pointedly says he doesn't believe in keeping secrets from friends (referring to what he learned from Juice -- that Jax had him kill Darvany, the mother of the school shooter).

"You believe in karma, hermano?" Nero asks. "You ever think maybe all of these bad things that are happening to the mother of your children, it's because of some heinous thing that you did to another child's mother?" He tells Jax he knows about Darvany. He tells him stuff like that doesn't just get buried. It comes back, and when it does, it makes you pay.

Marcus Alvarez rides up and Chibs delivers word that Tyler is handling all of August's street deals and August won't be coming. The crews have a business discussion/macho-off. Marcus wants assurances that the street balance won't be upset. He asks about Lin and mentions that the Sons killed Bohai Lin and eight of his guys, which is news to Nero. Tyler says he reached out to Henry Lin to smooth that over. Marcus agrees to take Tyler's guns, but he's angry Marks didn't come.

As the Sons ride off, Nero asks Marcus what happened with the Chinese. Nero glowers as Jax drives off, hearing about how Jax killed the Chinese in cold blood to seal the deal with the Irish and Marks. Marcus asks to see the guns before he takes them. Nero and Fiasco are both stunned when Marcus's Mayans all pull guns and blow away some of the Niners. Jax meets with Barosky, asking him to have his guys to keep an eye out for Tara. But he has good news, with the Navy in town, Collette has doubled her business. Jax tells Barosky about the Mayans setting up in Stockton, but he says the Mayans and Niners don't have a beef anymore. Rat interrupts to tell Jax that Tara's lawyer is waiting at a park in Lodi.

When Jax rides off with Happy, Barosky tells Tig and Chibs that he just heard about the Niners shooting over the police scanner. He's not surprised everyone is scrambling for their gun turf, and he wonders where Nero is in it. Nero is having lunch with Marcus, angry about being blindsided by the shooting. He doesn't want to be part of those things, especially given his ties to Gemma. Marcus supports Nero's desire to step away.

Marcus is meeting with Henry Lin tonight to divvy up Stockton and Oakland, he suggests Nero send Fiasco to represent him. Nero doesn't seem to like his options. Bobby and Juice wait at the park as Tara pulls up with her boys to meet with Mitch. He goes over everything and says she'd have to testify. She tells him where she's staying and where the sheriffs can pick her up. Tara stays to let Abel play on the playground as Mitch goes to call Patterson.

Wayne drops by Gemma's to take Wendy to rehab. He's worried about what will happen to Tara. Gemma asks about Clay's burial, then kisses him for going. "I love you Wayne, I don't know what I'd do without you," Gemma says. Gemma leaves to see Nero. Wayne shares a cup of coffee with Wendy and they commiserate over the women who left them. Wayne says he sticks around Charming because it's the only place someone still loves him. Wendy says she married Jax because he had a good heart and she felt safe with him, but that's gone.

Jax, Bobby, Juice and Happy find Tara in the park. When she sees them, she's terrified. Jax takes Thomas out of her arms and glares at her. "Please don't hurt me in front of the kids," she begs. She breaks down crying as she tells him how she sacrificed everything for him and how he's turned into a monster. "I'll go if I have to, at least I'll know I tried to save them from becoming what you are," she says. "I never forced my life on you, you came back to me. You're part of what I am, Tara, you always have been," he says.

She says her mistake was thinking their love was stronger than his history. She asks him why he'd condemn his sons to the same pain he deals with every day. Through her tears she asks to say good-bye to her boys before he takes her. He takes her arm, then tells her she doesn't have to run - he's not going to hurt her or them. "Just be a good mother. Save our boys, please," he says. Nero comes back to Diosa and faces questions from Gemma. She can tell something's wrong, but he doesn't want to talk. When she gets angry, he asks her if she would run away with him and leave everything behind. "You know I can't make that choice," she says. "I know, but I have to," he says. "Jesus Christ, are you dumping me?"

Gemma flies off the handle and storms out. Patterson comes to Tara's hotel room and is surprised to find Jax there with her. "This is me, owning my place," Jax says. He offers to turn himself in as the source of the KG-9 and Tara is free to take the boys anywhere she wants. Jax says he'll spend the day with his boys, who are at the ice cream shop, then be at his house at 6 p.m. to turn himself in. When she leaves, Tara thanks him. He says he loves her, she says the same and they fall into bed.

Later, at the table, Jax explains things to just Bobby and Chibs and says there's no other way. He'll be charged with possession and conspiracy. Tara's lawyer thinks they'll settle for 25 years, parole in 10, maybe 7. Bobby lies and tells Jax things went fine after the gun deal between Alvarez and the Niners. Jax suggests Bobby take over as president, with Chibs as VP. He tells them to just stay in legit business. One last thing: He says Juice can't be trusted.

He tells them to support whatever Tara wants. At her house, Gemma ignores pounding on her door as she drinks and smokes alone. Finally Wayne lets himself in. He tells Gemma that Jax is being arrested and Tara made a deal. She thinks she'll never see her grandsons again. She wants to leave, but Wayne stops her because she's drunk and not fit to drive. She sends him for her heart pills in the other room and she takes Wayne's keys and leaves.

Back at the ice cream shop, Wayne tells Jax to find Gemma and fill her in. Juice offers to go get her. Jax follows Juice outside. As Jax hugs him, he whispers menacingly in Juice's ear: "You betrayed me." Roosevelt takes Tara back to her house, where Wayne's truck is parked in the driveway. Roosevelt goes to wait outside for Patterson. Tara has a brief moment, savoring being back in her own house. Then she walks into the kitchen and sees Gemma. Gemma attacks, grabbing Tara and bashing in her head with an iron. Gemma then forces Tara's head into the sink full of water. As Tara thrashes, Gemma picks up a carving fork and jams it repeatedly into Tara's head. Tara doesn't stand a chance.

Outside, Juice pulls up and tells Roosevelt that Gemma was driving Unser's truck. They hear a noise from inside and race in to see Gemma slumping to the floor next to Tara's dead body. "It had to be done. I had work to do. It had to be done. She did this. She made a deal, she betrayed him," Gemma babbles. "Tara didn't rat, Gemma. Jax gave himself up to protect her, to keep her safe," Roosevelt says. He takes out his radio and starts to call it in, "We got a ...", BANG! There's a shot. Juice shoots Roosevelt in the back. Juice looks down at Gemma and offers her a hand up from her destruction.

Later, Jax kisses his sons good-bye and says his goodbyes to the club. Wendy sits alone in rehab. Wayne smokes alone. His truck returns to the yard with Gemma at the wheel. She's changed shirt. She collapses on him sobbing. The Sons wait for Tara to come pick up the boys at the ice cream shop. Jax rides to turn himself in. Fiasco shows up at the meeting with Marcus and Henry Lin -- with Nero. Nero feels the weight of rejoining the life he's been trying to flee.

Juice disposes of the evidence from Tara's house in dumpsters. As he rides off, emerging from the shadows is the homeless woman. She is pushing a baby carriage with a small stuffed pony is affixed to the canopy. she touches it lovingly.

Jax comes home, expecting to meet Patterson and turn himself in. Instead, he finds two dead bodies on the kitchen floor, including his wife. Stunned, he drops his gun and breaks down sobbing, cradling Tara's bloody lifeless body in his arms. Racked with grief and quivering in agony, he kisses her. Patterson and her sheriffs come in. She takes in the gruesome tableau, including Roosevelt's dead body and Jax's gun. Jax, not acknowledging Patterson or anyone else, lets out an agonized wail as the screen fades to black and the season ends.

Church meetings[]

Jax: Patterson doesn't know where Tara is. She was supposed to meet. She never showed.

Tig: So she made a deal?

Bobby: Obviously contingent on something she was supposed to bring, or do at that meeting.

Happy: What does she have?

Jax: She's seen a lot. They want testimony.

Chibs: You think she's running?

Jax: Not with the boys. She wouldn't put them through that. Abel has to be close to his doctors. It's too risky.

Bobby: Means she's out there trying to decide where to jump.

Tig: And we need to find her first. (Jax sighs) To convince her that the club is depending on her.

Jax: To convince her not to rat.

Juice: And if we can't?

Jax: Then we do what we have to do.

Bobby: We will make that call when we know more. Right now, we just need to find out where the hell she is.

Jax: Yeah. Okay. She has no family here.

Juice: The administrator at the hospital. She's tight with her.

Chibs: Okay. I'll put Montez on that.

Jax: And the new lawyer. Unser knows who it is. Let's sit on him, see if he's in touch.

Tig: Maybe Barosky can help, have his cops keep an eye out.

Jax: That's a good idea, give him a call.

(Chucky knocks on door, Ratboy opens): Sorry, guys. Gentleman to see Jax. Marcus Alvarez.


(not technically a church meeting)

Chibs: There's gotta be another way.

Jax: There's not, man. I can't ask my wife to take the hit for us. And I'm not letting it land on the club. Maybe this is what was supposed to happen. Why I've been so hell-bent on trying to get us out of guns.

Chibs: I hate this.

Jax: I know, brother.

Bobby: What are they charging you with?

Jax: Possession, conspiracy.

Bobby: With the parole violation and the priors, I hate to say, they're gonna hang you.

Jax: Surrendering buys me some good faith. Tara's lawyer thinks they'll settle for 25. Parole in 10, maybe 7 if I'm lucky.

Chibs: Jesus.

Jax: I'm good with it. I'll still get to see my boys grow. And we got the club in a good place. I mean, shit's a little bumpy with brown, but that'll iron out. Did you talk to Alvarez and Nero after the buy?

Bobby: No. All quiet. You should tell the rest of the club.

Jax: No. (hands Bobby the gavel) You should tell the rest of the club.

Bobby: I don't want it.

Jax: You're always talking about what is best for the club, Bobby. You leading is best. With him (Chibs) at your left, we have a chance. Just keep moving towards legitimate shit. Get Caracara up and running, T-M back on track. SAMCRO will be fine.

Bobby: Chibs?


Bobby: Okay.

Jax: There's one more thing. I was wrong about Juice. He can't be trusted.

Bobby: Why? What happened?

Jax (to Chibs): Bring him up to speed.

Chibs: Aye.

Jax: I'm gonna go be with my boys.

Bobby: Alright, good.

Chibs: We'll look after your family, Jackie.

Jax: Whatever Tara wants, you support it.

Bobby: Of course.

Jax: Thank you. I love you both, so much. (Bobby pats Jax's arm, Chib pats shoulders)



Main Cast[]

Supporting Cast[]

Special guest stars

Guest stars




  • Last appearance of Dr. Tara Knowles.
  • When Tara is walking to her house alongside Eli, you can see that Maggie Siff is pregnant.

Notable Quotes[]

Tyne: I know how much you love Tara, and I see how deeply she loves you. Betrayal is a very intense feeling, one that can only be matched by the maternal instinct of a mother protecting her young.
Jax: I don't need a lesson in family feelings. If you have something to say, then say it.
Tyne: Whatever decisions happen here today, the outcome lands on you. Are you willing to let your family pay the price for your mistakes? Is that what a good man would do? Because if that happens, I promise you son, it's gonna destroy you and everything else you love, and that's not the law in me talking, that's a flawed mother who made a lot of mistakes. You're a husband, and a father, and a man before all of this. Own your place.

Gemma: It had to be done.. had to be done.
Eli: What did you do?
Gemma: She did this, she did this. She made a deal, she betrayed him.
Eli: Tara didn't rat, Gemma. Jax gave himself up to protect her, to keep her safe.

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