That changed in season 5. I got spoiled for a major character death on Twitter, by the actor himself, so from midway through, all the way through last night's episode, I've watched it as it aired.
I'm going to talk about last night's episode now. If you haven't watched it and don't want to be spoiled, turn back now.
I knew Gemma would have to pay for her lies sooner or later. But I've been firmly in the Nero camp in the hopes that Jax wouldn't take that step. Nero's line to Unser, "It's about saving Jax," killed me, one of numerous moments that make last night's episode so fantastic. At this point, I'm waiting in dread for the series finale next week, because I'm so terrified it's all going to end so horribly tragic for Jax. It's going to totally break my heart.
But man, so many amazing moments. My top 3:
1. Unser's death. Unser was the one person I'd thought would walk away from all this intact, as a kind of irony that the guy with terminal cancer outlives them all. Shooting Unser was my biggest gasp of the night, even more so than Gemma, since I always knew Gemma's death was a distinct possibility.
2. After months (maybe years) of hating Gemma, the scene between her and her father at the home made me cry. Hal Holbrook was just one of many scene stealers of the night.
3. The dignity in Juice's last moments. Juice has been living on borrowed time for a couple of seasons now, but his devotion to the club to the end was heartwrenching.
The questions for next week are still huge. What's the deal with Jax's limp? Is that part of a scheme for the club to think there's a reason if he ends up driving J.T.'s bike to his death? Will Nero somehow save him? What the hell was Nero's big deal about looking in the garage if not to find a way to save Jax? What was the deal Jax made with the presidents (I think it's about being all-inclusive after he's gone)?
This is going to be one very long week.