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‘Sons of Anarchy’ Finally Explains That Homeless Woman

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Sons of Anarchy's mysterious homeless woman

Sons of Anarchy’s mysterious homeless woman

(Note: This post contains spoilers for all episodes of Sons of Anarchy to date.) 

For a series currently in its sixth season, Sons of Anarchy has never quite been about payoffs to long-developed arcs. More often, especially this season, the series has been about sudden shocks, often of the super-violent variety. Take Tuesday night’s episode, in which the imprisoned Clay (Ron Perlman) interrupted a jailhouse chapel session in order to deliver a long, vulgar monologue about “pussy” before biting off a prison guard’s nose and spitting it out.

But this week’s episode finally delivered a payoff to something the series has been building up for years. I’m talking about that unnamed homeless woman who has existed on the fringes of the series for its entire run. Never named, and never having any dialogue, the woman has appeared a couple of times each season, usually at crucial times for the show’s main characters. She’s appeared a couple of dozen times, according to SAMCROpedia, and is played by actress Olivia Burnette, who as a child actress appeared on the old NBC sitcom The Torkelsons.

The homeless woman is usually in the hometown of Charming, but did show up once when the characters visited Belfast in the third season. Creator Kurt Sutter has implied in interviews at various times that the woman is either a guardian angel or “Jesus Christ.”

On Tuesday’s episode- awhile after the jailhouse nose-biting- we finally got some background. Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) goes to visit a man who, it turns out, had a wife who was killed in the same car accident, years before the event of the series, that killed Jax’s father. Jax sees a wedding picture of the late wife and comments that she “looks familiar”- and yep, she’s the homeless woman. Who, it appears, is a ghost.

As usual, the series has about twice as many plots to wrap up in its last four episodes of the season as a normal show would, although I suppose FX’s willingness to allow Sutter to make ‘Sons’ a 90-minute show every other week makes it easier. However, how a series that has never before included supernatural elements will explain the presence of a ghost may be harder to figure out.

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  1. KURT SUTTER’S CHEESE SLID OF HIS CRACKER MANY YRS AGO WITH THIS SERIES. I MEAN THAT WITH ALL RESPECTS!!! THIS IS A GREAT SHOW WITH ALL OF THE TWIST AND VIOLENT TURNS. JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE GOT HIM FIGURED OUT HE SITS IN HIS WRITERS/DIRECTORS CHAIR AND SAYS HAHA AND FUCK YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO REALLY FIGURE HIM OR THE PLOT OUT!! HE IS A MADMAN WITH WHAT I BELIEVE IS A TRUE LOVE FOR WHAT HE DOES. HE HAS THE MOST CREATIVE MIND, WITH SOME OF THE BEST ACTORS/ACTRESSES AND WRITERS THAT ONE CAN IMAGINE. I AM A FAIRLY NEW FAN TO THE SHOW AND LET ME TELL YOU I WAS HOOKED BY THE SECOND EPISODE OF SEASON 1. THANKS SUTTER FOR ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK THIS IS INCREDIBLE SERIES.. >>A FAN<<

    DEBY SHERMAN
  2. Kurt Sutter always has me at the edge of my seat with SOA. Been a fan since the beginning. It will be sad when we have to say goodbye to our characters of Charming.
    Kurt is a mad scientist concocting his story lines for us crazy fans, I mean that in a good way all. Thanks for making me a diehard SOA.

    Roxanne
  3. The torklesons!!!! I knew I’d seen her somewhere before!! But she has had dialogue!!! Soooo I think you should probably re watch or re google that :)

    Melissa
  4. Kurt has said before that one of the shows inspirations is the story of hamlet. in hamlet there are ghosts such as hamlets father who appears to him at distressing times. this could be the inspiration for the homeless woman’s existence in the show, i hope they never explain it as the mystery is what is most appealing.

    luke
  5. But Emma gave her 10 bucks and Jax his sweeter. And Jax had a blanket at the cementary.

    I know what she is. She is the anarchy made flesh :P

    chaq686
  6. I can’t get enough of SOA, bought the seasons, waiting on 6, too bad 7 will be the last one. It does have a lot of twists and turns. It be nice of John Teller suddenly appeared after spending years in hiding, fearing for his life. that would be a hell of twist

    Anni
  7. The homeless woman is my topic of interest because it has been an on going sub-plot. She has a very serious moment with gemma when she mentions abels name nonchalantly out side of a store front during the kidnapping of Abel crisis and then a few more times when jax is at the cemetery writing in his pamflet,he is hungover and she tells him where a source of fresh water is. She has quite a few appearances actually and in the last episode of season 6 when juice is discarding the murder weapons of Tara,she walks by just as he is done. My heart sunk when I saw the photo of “her”? In the supposed widowed husbands house because I even recognized her just as jax did and I said “thats the homeless lady!” But if this IS her, why is she not actually dead? Howcome no one has seen or heard from her since the incident? As a part of a greater picture what purpose does this woman have in the plot of SOA? And if she is a supernatural character as some people suggest what does she know? I bet she has a real time story of what actually went down on the road that day when JT was killed and in the 7thseason (crosses fingers) she reveals her secret to him,because lets be honest… A character like this lingering around in ALL of the seasons with at least one appearance showing herself when jax or gemma is going through an emotional time definitely has a major part to play. It just isn’t her time to wow us yet.

    paddy
  8. I always thought she might be Death, the Reaper incarnate, lingering on the sidelines.

    henna
  9. I always thought she was more of a death omen type thing, because she was always turning up at points when something was changing, like at Donna’s Funeral, and getting Gemma to give her money, and then in Bellfast too, and through out the other seasons. Then when we finally find out she was also tied into it with JT’s crash, it’s probably more, him projecting through her, as more of a guardian angel, keeping an eye on Jax, and showing when something big was going to happen, looking out for Jax in a way, like when she told him their was water at Donna’s and she gave him her blanket (which he probably found after loosing his hoodie)

    It was a really good twist, and I liked it, see how it rounded out in Season 6 was one of the most shocking reveals in the reason so far.

    Lauren. P
  10. This article is incorrect in stating the homeless woman never has any dialogue. She has a conversation with Gemma in her first appearance and speaks to Jax in the cemetery for example. As for who she represents, I think she is Jax’s real mother…. in spirit form, of course. I have a hunch that she may have been one of JT’s “other” women and at the time of the accident that killed her had just given birth to Jax, who may have been in her vehicle with her at the time of the accident. Gemma was also present, and either took the baby or adopted him soon after (I’m leaning more towards her stealing the baby from the scene of the accident). Remember the letters she removed from the folder before giving them to Tara? The letters probably reveal that the homeless woman was actually Jax’s mother…

    Troy
    • That is a very interesting thought , I never even thought about her being a person who was actually in jax’s life , I always leaned toward her being a guardian angel or something of the sort, but seeing as how we are watching the Final season, our answer should soon be revealed, or it may not be, it might forever remain a weird mystery , I hope he writes a more detailed story and a previous generation story (JT as president and all the stuff they did leading up to the TV show) in a series of books. That would be great

      Patrick
  11. This article is lame! She has had dialogue with Jax and Gemma! With Jax in the cemetery and with Gemma outside a grocery store!

    Terri