Gemma Teller Morrow, one of the most loving, loyal, twisted, and fierce female characters in the history of television.
Despite Sons of Anarchy being a heavily male-centered drama that revolves around in excess of 8 male leads at all times, Gemma Teller Morrow brings a female presence to the show that counteracts all of the testosterone, proving that one woman has the strength to hold together the lives of even the toughest of men.
Initially, while Gemma may seem non-essential to the show’s plot, her significance soon becomes clear as she is the key to the secrets behind the history that sets the foundation of the show. Gemma’s role grows increasingly more vital with each passing season. Devoted wife of the president of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Clay Morrow, and loving mother of club vice president, Jackson Teller, SOA’s lead character, Gemma is the matriarch of the family and serves as the queen of the outlaw throne. She is who the men look to for guidance and emotional support, as well as the role model for all of the women that desire to win the hearts of the beloved men in her life. Gemma loves her family with every fiber of her soul and very much plays the role of mother bear. Of course, that protective nature only causes her trouble when it comes to the love of her son’s life and eventual wife, Tara Knowles. The two embark on a tumultuous journey of love, hate, and death, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.
In the show’s first season, Gemma says, “Nothing gets in the way of me taking care of my family–especially not my conscience.” There is no better way to describe Gemma as a character than with this quote. Everything she does is what she believes to be best for her family, no matter what. There is nothing she won’t do to protect them. Unfortunately, her actions don’t always lead to the best outcomes, which gives her the reputation as one of the greatest villains in television. Often described as the female Walter White, Gemma’s ruthless actions hurt everyone around her, especially those she loves the most. However, as bad as they may be, everything she does is rooted in love, which is one of the reasons why I consider the show to be such an incredible love story. She demonstrates the depths of love and the great lengths that she will go to do what needs to be done. In the end, it is her grace and commitment to the outlaw life and her devotion as a mother that gives her somewhat of a sense of redemption, despite the fact that she truly is one of the most conniving and wicked characters in television.
Gemma Teller Morrow, played by television legend, Katey Sagal, is a character like none I have ever seen. She is twisted and dangerous, yet the performance of Sagal is emotionally raw and downright exceptional. She delivers 7 seasons of pure talent and never falters, not even for a second. It’s an absolute shame that she never received Emmy recognition for her efforts because she truly deserved it.
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