On last night’s Sons of Anarchy, “John 8:32,” we met a teenage girl named Brooke whose life, it turns out, is distinctly intertwined with Jax’s. While there was little that had to do with the evening’s story arc, it did shed a bit of light on a small piece of mythology that has been woven into the show.

Hayley MacFarland as Brooke (photo courtesy of FX)

Hayley MacFarland as Brooke (photo courtesy of FX)

Inside find my thoughts on this new twist to the homeless woman story line.

Fans of the show are probably familiar with the nameless character on the show called “Homeless Woman” played by Olivia Burnette. She has often been seen by or talked to Jax (Charlie Hunnam), and once to Gemma (Katey Sagal) – always right at a major turning point for the characters. Usually she seems to provide a warning sign or acts as an omen that one of the awful things that happens to these characters is about to happen. Who she is, or more accurately, what she is, has been a subject of debate; one that has never been fully settled by series creator, Kurt Sutter.

Last night we saw Brooke, who much like the homeless woman often is, was sitting quietly, noticed by Jax as he walked by. But unlike the homeless woman who rarely interacted, Brooke took a pipe wrench to Tig’s bike and then threw it into the Candy Shop window. Unser did some research and found out she is the daughter of Gary Putner, whose wife also died in the accident that killed JT, Jax’s dad. Jax, confused and probably pretty worried about the kid, goes to see Gary who explains that Brooke has some mental illness issues she is working through. Discovering an article about the mom as they packed up their house that is being foreclosed on didn’t help her mental stability. Here’s something I found amusing – I was shocked at the rational and apologetic behavior of the dad. He was just down on his luck, but didn’t blame the club for all of his troubles or the actions of his kid. He didn’t think they deserved it. A trait that seems to be a rarity on this show.

While in the house Jax found a picture of Gary and his wife, a woman Jax thought seemed familiar. And she should – it was the homeless woman. WHAT. Yeah, great moment for those who really pay attention. Before I get into that… Jax went to Putner’s boss, Elliot Oswald (Patrick St. Esprit), and got him to help pay to keep the Putner’s house in exchange for their support in Oswald’s upcoming mayoral campaign (see you in Season 7!). Brooke later came to the shop, apologized, and thanked Jax. The two found comfort in each other over their mutual loss that day many years ago. Not that comfort, you pervs. She’s a kid. Stop it.

As Brooke walked back home she passed a homeless woman whose back was turned as she dug through a dumpster, and of course it was the homeless woman. So what does this mean? What is Sutter trying to say? Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessarily one thing. First of all, as Sutter pointed out in an interview with TVLine last night, this show is based on Hamlet, which has it’s own level of supernatural elements. Ghosts are a major aspect of that play and push the narrative forward. The ghost of Hamlet’s father warns Hamlet of dangers. The same can be said for the homeless woman. Is she a ghost? An angel (the song being played when we saw her last night was about an angel)? A demon out for revenge?

I don’t think it even matters – perhaps she ony means what we want her to mean. I wouldn’t put it past Sutter to never give us answers. Frankly, I hope he doesn’t. But providing this new aspect of her story – a reason why she has been watching over Jax, good or bad – is a fascinating part of the story. I’ve often wondered who she is, and now we know. I hope we see her again.

What do you think of this new twist in the homeless woman’s tale?

Follow me on Twitter @serrae 



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