And so it ends -- "Sons of Anarchy," which set up the fourth season finale with elements from every cliffhanger you could think of from the beginning of TV time, didn't wrap the whole thing up as much as let the air out of the balloon. Fffffzzzzttttt. That was it: No great operatic conclusion, but a slow close to credits, with an old Animals' hit covered, and a long tracking shot of the SAMCRO war room.
Disappointing? Not so much -- the end, that is -- as improbable whilst skirting the edges of kooky. I suppose there was no other obvious way to end this and still finish off the story lines that were on a collision course -- the Galindo cartel actually a division of the CIA which decided that to control the politics of a country, you first have to control the drug supply, or whatever half-baked and quickly dispensed theory was tossed at viewers whose plausibility by that point had been so sorely tested that they probably didn't really care any more whether it made sense or not?!
OK. I'll accept that. It did, in fact seem silly, but shows must end their seasons, and in a pinch, this would have to do.
Clay survives? Of course he did. There was never any doubt about that even if it was intriguing to play with the idea of a "SOA" without Ron Perlman -- utterly impossible.
The best part was that final goodbye between Rockmond Dunbar's Eli Roosevelt and Ray McKinnon's Linc Potter -- the cop and the Fed, their wary season-long standoff now at an end. You know, Eli said, you're a strange dude. I know, said Linc. I don't really like people.
And then the sex toys dump -- another high point of the episode.
I'm going to miss McKinnon -- and Dunbar, although one assumes and hopes they'll both be back in some capacity next season. McKinnon's Potter was possibly my favorite TV character of the 2011 season -- this oddball misfit who did (or seemed to do) stretching exercises on his head while smoking some exotic cigarette in the middle of the war room.
My final grade for the fourth season finale: B
And my grade for the fourth: A