Sons of Anarchy
I wasn’t expecting to like this character, or the series half as much as I did. I mean on paper, he’s a thug, with serious issues, not least of which are the fact that his mother is a overbearing and controlling woman. But there was something more there, in between the violent outbursts, which admittedly are frequent.
It was his interactions with Tara, and Opie in particular which made me like Jax. He seemed to be a person who genuinely deeply cared about his family, and reacted on impulse, using the only thing that he could think of, to protect them. I mean the first instance of his violent streak that we see is in the pilot, but comes after his son is born ten weeks premature, a result of the boy’s mother Wendy using drugs. He seeks out her drug dealer, and deals with him by beating him with a pool cue.
His love for Tara is arguably one of the major driving forces behind his actions through the first four seasons. He drops everything, disregarding the demands of the club, when her ex boyfriend Josh attacks her in her home, despite the fact that his stepfather is expecting him at the clubhouse, to help with injured members. He seems to be struggling with his dual commitments, throughout the entire run of the show. He wants to be a legitimate person, with Tara and raise their family, throughout the first four seasons, but the pull and responsibility he feels towards the club is ultimately too strong.
He admits his struggle in this line ‘A good father and a good outlaw can’t settle inside the same man.’
It’s the death of Opie in the fifth season, that in my opinion shifted Jax’s focus to the club permanently. Opie sacrifices himself so that Jax and the other members can still operate, and the loss of his best friend, clearly devastates Jax.
In some ways Jax is a more brutal version of the Mitchell brothers, in the British soap Eastenders. All three of the characters, share a common trait, that they value family above all, and will defend it with brutal violence if necessary.
Jax reassures Lyla of this, Opie’s widow during his wake, when she says that she doesn’t have any family to help her with raising the three children.
In part it’s Hunnam’s charisma, and the chemistry that exists between him, and his co stars, most notably Maggie Siff (Tara) Ryan Hurst (Opie), Katey Sagal (Gemma) and Winter Ave Zoll (Lyla), which makes him a memorable character, well that, and the powerful multi layered character that Kurt Sutter created.
Tribute videos which highlight the duality of his nature, include
Tribute to the show in general: it focuses on Jax, using the song Remember the Name and was created by Jbauerfan08