Have you ever killed somebody and then regretted it later?
I mean you planned it for days, weeks … dude even months carrying out all the details, envisioning out all the scenarios, and trying to answer all the what-ifs in your mind. Trying to make the perfect plan.
And then you do it … it’s done.
At first you feel great about it … it had to be done, there’s no other way. But then something tugs at your heart, and it sits heavy on your chest. You begin second guessing yourself wondering, did that have to happen?
Yeah writers got problems.
As a writer I know where the story has to go and what the characters have to do in order to stay true to the life of the story, I know it. But sometimes the emotion of the fan inside me gets in the way and I struggle. But this tends to happen more while reading or watching someone else’s story, and not so much when it’s my own.
This is what happened last night during the two-hour series finale of the most dramatically intense Emmy-and-Golden-Globe-worthy show I’ve ever seen. But they have yet to receive one. It’s like that one great player that never got the championship ring.
Sons of Anarchy ended last night and I can’t even begin to tell you about how the finale made the fan and writer inside me feel. It was a a battle. Had that same feeling of mourning I did with the The Wire, Breaking Bad, LOST, 24, and Friday Night Lights.
Dude … if you haven’t caught up with all the Anarchy then you best stop reading …
“I’m sorry, JT. It was too late for me. I was already inside it. And Gemma … she had plans. But it’s not too late for my boys. I promise, they will never know this life. I understand who you are now. What you did. I love you, dad.” — Jax Teller
Did our hero have to die?
Yeah, I guess he did.
In true form, writing genius and creator Kurt Sutter had to keep the story honest, so yeah I guess Jax did have to end it. Jax arrived at the same crossroads his father, John Teller had come to years earlier. Only this time Jax was going to get it right.
“I realized a good father and a good outlaw can’t settle inside the same man.” — Jax Teller
The fan inside me was hoping there would be another way to keep him riding all the way until the end, just like I had wished for his best friend Opie and his wife Tara.
I was rooting for it. You know me, I love the underdog story. But the writer inside me knew the tougher choice needed to be made and the series had to end with his death. It was for the sake of the story. There was no other ending that seemed right and with that heartbreak came and engulfed me.
So with this crisis and epic sadness over the end of my favorite show and the death of Jax Teller, I began to wonder if other writers had the same issue. Do you ever struggle with that or is it just when watching other stories unfold?
Undergoing the loss of a character is a tough thing for both the fan and the writer in me, because he wasn’t just black and white. He was layered with complexities just like us … he was a good man within the criminal world. He was the good, the bad, and at times the ugly. But in the end he went out like a hero and made the ultimate sacrifice for his boys and for his club.
And even though I knew it was going to happen the fan in me hoped that it wouldn’t. But the writer understood and sadly I’m still all tore up over it. It was one hell of a final ride.
Don’t think I have enough chocolate for this one.