If you’re going to spend your Mother’s Day with Gemma Teller, Katey Sagal’s ass-kicking matriarch on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, then you'd better have a lot of booze and an affinity for hearing other women referred to as “gashes.” She is not a bonnet-wearing, tea-sipping mother of yore, but rather a hard-living warrior whose many destructive life choices were made not only in self-preservation, but for the safety and welfare of both her SAMCRO family and more importantly, her son Jax.

A lot of those life choices involved slamming some bitch’s face into the corner of a table, but we’re going to take a brief spoiler-heavy look back at five of the more drastic and life-changing decisions Gemma made over Sons of Anarchy's last six seasons. (Being Jax and Tara’s 24/7 babysitter should be on here, but it isn’t, since she often passed them off to Wayne Unser.) Each entry is a window into the purity of Gemma’s role as a mother, which is far beyond teaching and nurturing Jax, and more entrenched with changing the world around her son to save him from himself, mostly behind his back. Happy Mother’s Day, Gemma. You’ve earned it.

That Time She Allowed Wendy to Overdose
It didn’t take long for Gemma to introduce audiences to her unique matronly ways. In the very first episode, she pays a fateful visit to Wendy, Jax’s estranged wife and mother of his first-born son, Abel. This isn’t a happy-go-lucky conversation inside the comfort of one’s home, but rather a heated tiff in a hospital room hours after Wendy gave birth to Abel. Not interested in hearing Wendy’s impassioned claims that she would clean up her life and earn her way to motherhood, Gemma threatens to kill her if she ever tries to assert her presence – or “cast a shadow,” as Gemma puts it – in their lives again.

It’s a frightening tactic in and of itself, but the kicker comes when Gemma passes Wendy a Bible that has a drug-filled needle stuffed in it, one that she filled while having the conversation. A needle that Wendy then uses on herself and overdoses. She lives, and eventually causes many more problems in seasons to come, but the impact was made, and we learned right away that Gemma is not a woman above trying to force suicide on someone else in order to keep them at bay.


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