Dr. Tara Knowles is a character on the FX drama Sons of Anarchy played by Maggie Siff. She is the love interest of the main character, Jax Teller, and in the show's first season, fights it out with his ex-wife, Wendy Case.
|First appearance||"Pilot" (episode 1.01)|
|Created by||Kurt Sutter|
|Portrayed by||Maggie Siff|
Attending Surgeon at St. Thomas Hospital
|Spouse(s)||Jackson "Jax" Teller (Old Man/ Boyfriend)|
|Children||Abel Teller (as a legal guardian and semi-adoptive mother)|
Tara is a native of Charming, California. (She says her heritage is half-Irish.) Tara's mother died when she was nine years old. According to ATF Agent Stahl, she had a "drunk daddy", whom Tara described as a "bit of a packrat." She was Jax Teller's high-school girlfriend, and during this era she got a crow tattoo on her lower back representing her connection to SAMCRO. Tara was arrested in Jax's company at least three times in 1996. Tara left town when Jax was 19, trying to get away from small-town life and the influence of the club. According to his mother Gemma, this all but broke Jax's heart.
After leaving Charming, Tara moved in with a cousin of her father's who lived in San Diego, studied at UC San Diego where she graduated with honors, attended medical school in Chicago (Feinberg Medical School at Northwestern University according to her file in "Fun Town" but "Loyola Med" according to Agent Stahl in "Better Half") where she was at the top of her class, and then went on to her internship in Chicago Presbyterian.
While in Chicago, Tara dated ATF agent Joshua Kohn, and got pregnant by him, but had an abortion at six weeks. Kohn became intimidating and obsessive, so she took out a restraining order against him several months before she returned to Charming, after an absence of 11 years.
Tara works as a pediatric resident at the local hospital, St. Thomas. A capable physician, she often tends to Jax's gravely ill infant son Abel during the infant's hospitalization.
Tara lives in her childhood home, which was left to her by her father when he died. She also drives a Cutlass her father had parked in the garage under "two tons of old newspapers."
Tara's relationship with Jax upon her return to Charming is largely tentative, based primarily on their mutual concern for gravely ill Abel, until the psychotic ATF Agent Kohn comes to town. He is looking to continue his relationship with Tara on the pretext of investigating the Sons of Anarchy. Afraid for her life, Tara seeks Jax's help in driving off Kohn. Jax stabs Kohn's car on her behalf, beats him bloody in an altercation at Floyd's barber shop, and then escorts him out of town. When Kohn returns in the dead of night and attacks Tara in her home, she shoots Kohn in the gut and calls Jax for help.
The couple discuss the matter, Jax, angered by Kohn's abuse of Tara, shoots Kohn in the head, thereby putting a permanent end to his intimidation tactics and bullying. Tara and Jax then fall into each others' arms and make love while Kohn's iPod plays the Andy Williams song "Can't Get Used to Losing You" on repeat.
Following the killing of Kohn, Jax and Tara seem to settle into a largely healthy and positive romantic relationship. Tara spends more time with Jax at the clubhouse, plays nice with Gemma, and works to heal wounded club associate Cameron Hayes.
The Jax-Tara relationship soon seems to disintegrate after his ex-wife Wendy returns from rehab. In the penultimate season-one episode "The Sleep of Babies", Tara is seen sleeping alone while Jax and Wendy make love. In the final episode of the first season, "The Revelator", Tara tells Jax that she has arranged to return to Chicago as she does not believe she is cut out for life in Charming. This angers Jax and he storms off. At the end of the episode Tara is seen to have changed her mind, and she turns up at Donna's funeral where Jax and Tara share a kiss.
Season two shows Tara officially becoming Jax's "old lady" and becoming integrated into the club's world. After Gemma is raped, she turns to Tara for medical help. Tara encourages Gemma to seek out counseling to deal with the psychological repercussions of the attack but Gemma is reluctant. However, Tara's help with Gemma along with her help raising Abel seems to help heal the rift between Tara and Gemma. Tara's connection with Jax and SAMCRO, on the other hand, causes problems for her at work. Gemma accidentally breaks Tara's nose after Tara startled her. One of the hospital administrators, Margaret Murphy, believes that Jax was responsible for the injury and warns Tara about the problems her association with Jax could cause her. Later, Margaret files a "hostile work environment" complaint against Tara after Gemma confronts the administrator about the hospital's desire to move Chibs to another facility because his insurance situation. Chibs later falsely complains of head pain and is able to stay at the hospital. Margaret accuses Tara of coaching Chibs with his symptoms and has Tara's privileges suspended.
When Jax decides that he wanted to go nomad, Tara is upset that he made the decision without talking to her. However, unlike just about everyone else connected to the club, she feels like it might be the right decision given the tension between Jax and Clay.
Gemma lets Tara know that as Jax's "old lady", Tara has considerable prestige and respect in the club after other women in the club defer to her, and that she shouldn't "take any shit" from anyone. Later, Tara confronts Margaret after a verbal exchange and it gets ugly, with Tara choking her and punching her in the face. Tara tells Margaret, "I know where you live, I know where your kids go to school." and informs her that the cops are on SAMCRO's payroll and that the club runs Charming. Tara advises Margaret to keep her mouth shut and retract her complaint. Margaret, face bloody, quickly agrees.
In the season two finale, Tara attempts to convince Gemma to not get revenge on those that raped her but is unsuccessful. She is present at Jax's home when Cameron Hayes appears and is tied to a chair by him before he kidnaps Abel Teller. Tara is untied by Jax and is able to tell him what has happened to his son. Jax and the rest of the club unsucessfully try and save Abel while Tara is later seen being consoled by Deputy David Hale.
Tara is still saddened by the loss of Abel. As time goes by, Jax is constantly pushing her away. While visiting Gemma when she was on the run, Tara helped Gemma kill her father's caregiver and Tig helped them cover it up. She later reveals to Gemma in the hospital that she is six weeks pregnant with Jax's child.
After Jax breaks up with Tara, she catches him with Cara Cara pornstar, Ima. Later in the day Tara is at Jax's house packing. He apologizes for what she saw earlier, but she feels he wanted her to see it, because he wants her gone and he knew it was the one thing that would drive her away. She expresses that she thinks he is doing because he hates her for what happened to Abel, but he continues to say that it is to protect her and she still doesn't believe him. When Tara leaves Jax's house it is shown that recently ousted Calaveras MC leader, Hector Salazar has been secretly stalking her and Jax.
The way Tara starts feeling and her anxiousness to keep the baby a secret from Jax permanently indicates she might be thinking about getting an abortion. Gemma convinces Tara to wait until Jax gets back and look into Abel's eyes before she does anything. Gemma wants Tara to try to mend the relationship because Jax hasn't been thinking clearly since Abel's abduction. She ultimately helps Gemma escape custody so that she can accompany Clay and Jax to Belfast.
Lyla asks Tara if she knows of any clinics that conduct abortions. After she goes with Lyla to have the procedure, they have a conversation about why Lyla is having the abortion. It turns out Lyla is having the same problem with Opie that Tara is having with Jax. He won't open up to her in fear of what might happen. After the conversation, Tara sets an appointment for herself to have an abortion as well. Later, Tara reveals to Margaret Murphy that she is going to have an abortion and Murphy offers to drive her to the clinic. During a staged car accident, the two women are taken hostage by Hector Salazar and his girlfriend Louisa. Salazar found Tara's location through information from Jacob Hale, Jr., the corrupt businessman who is trying to become the mayor of Charming.
While Tara and Margaret were being held by Salazar, Margaret was crying and panicking Tara was calm and cool about the situation. She even tells Margaret to try and get some sleep. When Tara gets a chance to go to the bathroom, she looks for something to use as a weapon. She breaks off a piece of a mirror. As Salazar's girlfriend breaks into the bathroom, Tara cuts her neck and almost escapes with Margaret just as Salazar arrives. After a stand off Tara tells him that is girlfriend is in the bathroom bleeding badly. She says that she will keep his girlfriend alive if he lets Margaret go. After they leave the house Salazar's girlfriend dies in the car and Salazar grabs Tara, throws her on the car, and puts a gun to her head.
Salazar takes Tara to Jacob Hale's office, where he takes Hale hostage as well. When he gives his list of demands, one of them is for Jax to come to Hale's office. Tara sees Salazar pull out a knife and he tells her that he plans to kill her and while Jax watches and then kill Jax. As Jax enters the office, Salazar is about to kill Tara, but is stabbed by Jacob Hale. Jax wrestles the gun from Salazar and gives it to Tara and tells her to kill anyone who is not a cop. When the whole ordeal is over with Jax and Tara go to doctor for a ultrasound to make sure the baby is healthy. Jax and Tara go to Gemma's house where Gemma hugs her for her safe return from Salazar. When Tara sees Abel, she happily holds him and welcomes him back home. In the season finale, Tara has become more involved in the club. She drives Jimmy O. back to the garage with him in the trunk after SAMCRO buys him off the Russians. Jax makes sure that she wears a bulletproof vest to insure her safety in case something goes wrong. When Stahl tells the club about the deal Jax made with her, which was actually a trap by the club to kill Stahl and Jimmy, she hugs him goodbye for fear that the club will kill him in prison. In the closing minute of the season 3 finale, Tara reads letters from John Teller to his mistress Maureen Ashby implying that Gemma and Clay would be responsible for his death should it happen.
She and Jax's mother, Gemma Teller Morrow, were once on bad terms, although they seem to now respect and like one another. In season 2 she regularly gives Tara advice on how to cope with being a "club woman" and how to assert herself as such. It seems Gemma has been grooming Tara to be the Queen of the Club one day.
Tara and Jax's ex-wife Wendy have a surprisingly cooperative relationship given their conflicting feelings for Jax.