Sons of Anarchy's Rockmond Dunbar on Sheriff Eli's Efforts to Save Tara, Juice — and SAMCRO?

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A show like Sons of Anarchy tends to villainize the “good guy.” More often than not, the cops, agents and lawmen on FX’s gritty drama (airing Tuesdays at 10/9c) ultimately meet their maker  — and when they do, fans tend to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Oddly enough, this tried-and-true formula doesn’t seem to apply to Charming’s latest Sheriff, played by Terriers/Prison Break alum Rockmond Dunbar, a fact that is seemingly not lost on Sons showrunner Kurt Sutter.

“My first conversation [with Kurt] went like this: ‘Hey, look man, we’re going to bring you in for a 10-episode arc. You’re going to die. It’s going to be great. I don’t know what your demise is going to be but of course it’s going to be brutal because you know our show,’” Dunbar recalls with a laugh. “So, that’s what I signed up for at the very beginning. But once the 10th episode came that all changed…”

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Yes, there is a very real possibility that we’ll see Eli in Charming during Sons’ fifth year. “The way it’s set up now, there will be some type of continuation [next season],” the actor reveals. “I don’t die, so that’s a good thing!”

Tonight’s installment (a.k.a. the aforementioned 10th episode) will begin to shed light on why the by-the-book cop may actually begin to put down roots in the tiny California town, starting with his desire to keep Tara (Maggie Siff) safe.

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“Eli will become a little bit more involved [with the hit Clay put out on Tara] because it’s happening in his town,” previews Dunbar. “Any threat on someone’s life is very serious and he’s taking it that way. So, you’ll definitely see more of that storyline develop and hopefully it will not come to a close by the end of the season because I think it’s really interesting.”

Charming’s conscience-riddled cop is also taking strides to right the wrongs done to SAMCRO’s distraught Juice (Theo Rossi). Explains the actor: “Eli definitely has sympathy towards Juice because they’re both being manipulated [by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter] in the same way.”

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That said, Dunbar notes that his character remains very much “on the right side of the law” throughout his Sons run (however long that may be), adding, “I don’t think you’ll ever see [Eli and the Sons] team up because there is a hard line between criminal and law enforcement, and that line will never bleed over.”

Hit the comments with your thoughts on the prospect of Eli sticking around Charming for Season 5!



Comments (10)

  • There is a clear line between the sons and law enforcement, but I think you’ll see it get blurry when Eli has to decide what’s right and wrong for his conscience.

    Comment by Sketti – November 8, 2011 09:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m glad. I kinda really like the new sherriff.

    Comment by Rhonda – November 8, 2011 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not that I want to see Roosevelt die….but, It’s kind of annoying to see him just come out and admit that he survives the season. They don’t usually allow the actors to do that in this kind of show. I will say though, that Roosevelt has definitely pulled a 180 since the despicable act of taking the Axe to the club table. He’s definitely grown on me during his story arc w/ Juice.

    Comment by TheDude – November 8, 2011 06:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I definitely agree. I was shocked to see that he could admit that stuff before the season finale ended. I also agree that he has grown on me. I kind of like him now!

      Comment by Beth – November 15, 2011 11:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Eli is gonna have to stick around with everybody dying. Haha

    Comment by Aaron – November 8, 2011 11:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LOVE THE STORYLINE BUT WE BIKERS AINT ALL CLUB PEOPLE ALOT OF THE OLD HIPSTERS OF THE 70S ARE RIDING BECAUSE THATS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN LISTEN TO OUR MUSIC AND HAVE THAT WOODSTOCK AFFECT AT OUR RALLIES AND BIKE RUNS I MYSELF DONT FLY ANY COLORS AND ME AND MY OLD LADY WERE BOTH IN CLUBS AT ONE TIME BUT ITS TIME TO GROW UP YOU CAN ONLY PLAY COWBOY AND INDIANS SO LONG BUT KURT YOU GOT A KICKIN SHOW WISH YOU ALL THE BEST CLAY IS A B.H. BUT GOTTA HAVE ONE DONT WE EVER CLUB HAS ONE SINCERLY JOE

    Comment by JOJOK – November 11, 2011 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i feel the same way married into club in the 70s and now the quite time. woodstock and freedom still run threw my vains. love the sons but being in australia we are so far behind. season 2 Finished. a few weeks ago. anyway gidday from downunder. S.O.A. FAN

    Comment by Zac.dekota – November 15, 2011 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know Georgie was stuffed into the trunk of the “Benz” but at Tigs’ and Opie’s shoot’em’up… the holes seemed more of a miss. Did you note how low Georgie’s head was on the left side in the trunk and the bullet holes seemed more in the upper, middle part of the trunk lid? Georgie’s death ala Juice’s tree branch snapping at the end of that episode? Sorry, I just had to ask…

    Comment by HDMC/SOA FAN – November 17, 2011 01:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “I don’t think you’ll ever see [Eli and the Sons] team up because there is a hard line between criminal and law enforcement, and that line will never bleed over.”

    Err…(retired) Sherriff Unser?

    Comment by Che Che – November 23, 2011 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kurt I just want to say you have a brilliant mind and the best actors on tv I wish the show would last for years to come I’ve bought every season from the beginning I just wish they were available earlier than waiting so long for season four available I allways make sure I don’t miss Tuesday night to see the non stop action and I called direct tv when they were talking about takeing the show off the air that if they did they might as well cancel me and I’d go to another provider thank god you have enough loyal fans me myself included to keep it on I look fwd to every September to see the new shows hated to see piney go but man your awsome keep up the good work sons forever at least I hope so you have the best show on tv

    Comment by john hughes – November 29, 2011 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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