Remember when TVLine warned you about things getting really dark for SAMCRO? Well, the time is upon us, beginning with this Tuesday’s installment of Sons of Anarchy (FX, 10/9c), and MC member Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz (played by Theo Rossi) has the unfortunate privilege of being at the center of it all.
“Sons of Anarchy is always murky,” Rossi acknowledges, “but it’s about to go to a different level.”
Of course, the main obstacle Juice faces as the season progresses is maintaining his standing within the club while appeasing Charming’s fearless new sheriff (Rockmond Dunbar), who is threatening to reveal that Juice is actually of African-American decent — a huge no-no within the club’s bylaws.
“[Showrunner] Kurt Sutter is touching on racism in a big way, [which is] an extremely important issue in the MC world,” Rossi explains. “How it plays out [within the season] is just going to be shocking, crazy and not what anybody thinks…like Kurt always does.”
The actor believes that “it’s just the right time to exploit this issue,” given that “there’s been so much talked about already [throughout the series], as far as what goes on with racism inside the motorcycle world. And I couldn’t be happier that Juice happens to be at the epicenter.”
And at the epicenter he most certainly is. Without spoiling anything, the Sons’ drug muling, Charming’s new enforcer, and Juice’s secret lineage come together over the next two episodes in a manner more intense and gruesome than the gritty drama has ever before seen.
Longtime SOA fans have oft noted that the unflinchingly loyal Juice is one of the show’s most prominent scene-stealers, a fact that is seemingly not lost on Sutter. “Kurt has eleven series regulars to deal with… and [still I've had] some really great, memorable scenes that the fans seem to have loved,” muses Rossi. “It’s really shown Juice as the soldier that he is, and what an enormous and integral part of the club he has become.”
“I’m just a huge fan of the show in an outsider way,” adds Rossi. “I’m a huge fan of the writing and I’m a huge fan of every actor on it, so to get to play in this world even more than I already have is fantastic.”
Excited to see Juice’s big, juicy story arc? Any speculation on how it’ll play out? Sound off in the comments. And for all my TV news and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MegMasters.