- Jax Teller’s suicide was the perfect end to his character arc in Sons of Anarchy, as it symbolized the tragic nature of the show and the desire to end the Teller lineage associated with the outlaw life.
- Jax’s decision to kill himself was influenced by the death of his wife Tara, which triggered a series of events that led him to prioritize revenge and ultimately caused the downfall of the club.
- Kurt Sutter’s spinoff show, Mayans MC, honors Jax Teller’s character through references and tributes, proving that his impact on the Sons of Anarchy universe has persisted despite his death in the original series.
After many ups and downs in the club and various personal tragedies, the series finale of Sons of Anarchy saw Jax Teller’s death, but many fans are still wondering why Jax killed himself. In 2008, viewers were taken to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and their various conflicts in the drama series Sons of Anarchy, created by Kurt Sutter. Sons of Anarchy was very well-received from the beginning, with critics praising its tone, themes, and the performances of the main cast, allowing it to live on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014 with the lingering question of why Jax killed himself.
Sons of Anarchy covers the life and death of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club, Sons of Anarchy. The series begins when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members, in which he shared his vision for the club. This discovery leads Jax to question the club’s path and history, his relationships, family, and himself, but in the end, after everything he goes through for the sake of the club and his family, his plans for the future of the club don’t go as expected – and he got an appropriate ending in the Sons of Anarchy finale.
Suicide Was The Perfect End To Jax Teller’s Arc
When viewers met Jax, he was the VP of the club, but as he learned more about the history of SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original), he discovered a lot of dark secrets related to his family. Jax took over the Presidency of the club when he learned Clay was involved in John’s death, and this was the moment he had been waiting for as he wanted to use his father’s ideas to give the MC a better future. Most importantly, what Jax wanted was for SAMCRO to get out of the business of weapons and go “legit” with other businesses.
In the Sons of Anarchy ending, after a bunch of obstacles (most of them personal), Jax couldn’t fulfill his plans. After killing the President of the Sons of Anarchy Nevada charter, Jury White (Michael Shamus Wiles), Jax had to meet Mr. Mayhem as established by the club’s rules. In the end, his brothers from the club couldn’t do it, and they let Jax kill himself on the road, similar to his father’s death. But why did Jax kill himself? As heartbreaking as Jax’s death was, it was the best way Sons of Anarchy could have ended, and ultimately, the only way, as well.
Why Jax Was Killed Off In The Sons Of Anarchy Series Finale
Kurt Sutter was very active on social media during quarantine and took the time to answer all types of questions from fans about Sons of Anarchy. Among those was one of the main reasons why Jax killed himself. He couldn’t live without his wife, Tara (Maggie Siff), who was killed in Sons Of Anarchy season 6 by Gemma (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother. Tara’s death was a trigger in Jax’s arc, as he made revenge the club’s priority, but thanks to Gemma’s lies, he ended up killing a lot of innocent people and damaging SAMCRO’s links with other charters and clubs.
Sutter replied that “many things factored into that fateful decision,” among those being Tara’s death, but in the end, it was all about ending “the lineage of Tellers being associated with the outlaw life” and his sons not following his path. In an interview with EW in 2014, Sons of Anarchy executive producer, Paris Barclay, explained that they were writing a tragedy, and it had “always been a tragedy in the Shakespearean or Greek sense,” so the series was always headed toward Sons of Anarchy’s tragic end, and they always knew Jax wasn’t going to get a happy ending next to his sons.
It’s worth noting that one of Sutter’s inspirations for Sons of Anarchy was William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which is quite clear when taking a look back at the story (with Jax Teller himself representing Hamlet), and even Barclay referenced this when explaining that “in tragedies, generally the hero dies.” On the other hand, and more from an audience perspective than a creator one, Jax’s death had to happen so his dreams for SAMCRO could be fulfilled, which is what happened in the spinoff series Mayans MC, where the current Sons of Anarchy President, Filip “Chibs” Telford (Tommy Flanagan), finally reached a deal where the club was effectively removed from the weapons business.
Ultimately, the only way the Sons of Anarchy ending could have happened was with the Jax Teller death, as he had already lost most of his loved ones and gotten the club into bigger trouble that would have ultimately affected his sons, as well.
How Mayans MC Honors Jax Teller
Kurt Sutter’s spinoff show, Mayans MC, honors many of the characters in its parent show, one of them being Jax. Jax is mentioned numerous times throughout the series, sometimes in passing but often in more poignant moments. One of the homages made to Jax Teller happens in Mayans MC season 3, episode 3, “Overreaching Don’t Pay.” In the episode, SAMCRO’s Montez and Happy show up to pass on some advice to the Mayans, basically relaying that the Mayans need to let the Sons know when they’re passing through. In the scene, Montez remarks that they don’t want to disrespect Jax Teller’s last wishes.
Dropping the character’s name makes his presence known within the Sons of Anarchy universe and proves that showrunner Kurt Sutter still has plenty of respect for the character. The character of Jax Teller even inspired a costume change on Mayans MC in the form of his biker’s kutte (the sleeveless leather jacket worn by club members). Jax’s kutte included a patch of scythe M-16’s on his collar, which also shows up on Les Packer in Mayans MC. This was an intentional tribute to the late Jax, showing that he’s not forgotten despite the character being killed off in the Sons of Anarchy ending, and demonstrating that his impact has persisted beyond his truncated lifespan.
Charlie Hunnam Won’t Revisit Jax Teller
The Jax Sons of Anarchy death marked the end of the road for the character. Charlie Hunnam has made it clear that he won’t return to revisit Jax Teller in any way in the future of the franchise. However, it isn’t just the legacy of the character that is keeping Hunnam at bay.
The actor said that playing Jax Teller took a lot out of him, and he grew attached to the character and its storyline – which was full of violence, death, and tragedy. He said, “I would never, ever put that cut back on. I would never put his rings back on. Not even for Halloween. It was a very deep experience. I lived with that character inside me for years, like, in a very real way” (via PEOPLE). Hunnam said that he wouldn’t consider a flashback scene. “He’s dead now … When he died, he died.”
Could Charlie Hunnam Return In A New Spinoff?
While Charlie Hunnam didn’t directly address why Jax killed himself, he seemed to make it clear that it was a definitive end for the character. The scene cuts away from the final impact, but it leaves little possibility for his survival. However, even with Hunnam dismissing the idea of ever returning to the character of Jax, he did recently suggest a way of returning to the Sons of Anarchy universe with a new project. He shared (via Comic Book) that “I have an idea that I’m exploring in its infancy where that could be a possibility.”
There are possibilities that Jax faked his death in the Sons of Anarchy finale and the spinoff could see him coming out of hiding. Of course, a prequel idea is one of the most obvious paths a new show could take, though so much time has passed, it doesn’t seem likely Hunnam could pass for a younger Jax. One of the more interesting ideas is that the spinoff would focus on Jax’s sons Abel and Thomas which could allow Jax to appear in flashbacks or visions to his sons. While those ideas could work, Hunnam’s past assertion that he would never play Jax again suggest there could be a Sons of Anarchy spinoff with him as a totally new character which would be hard to swallow for fans.