Sons of Anarchy Season Finale Post Mortem: Kurt Sutter Tackles Burning Qs and Previews Season 5

[The following contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s Sons of Anarchy Season 4 finale. If you have yet to lay witness to it all, turn back now.]

Phew. Sons of Anarchy concluded what has arguably been its finest season (take note, Emmy!) with an edge-of-your seat, twist-filled, game-altering hour that tied up a number of loose ends and planted just enough seeds to keep viewers pumped for Season 5. In the following Q&A, the show’s passionate, outspoken creator, Kurt Sutter, weighs in on the finale’s biggest question marks and reveals what’s in store when the show returns next year.

TVLINE | Was it always your plan to have Clay survive the season?
Yeah. The character of Clay was essential to me for at least a couple more seasons. There’s so much more dramatic ground to cover with Jax at the head of that table and Clay now almost the Piney character in that he’s weakened and stripped of some of his previous weight and power. To me, that’s a really interesting dynamic. And quite honestly, I didn’t want to waste the power of Jax having that knowledge and passion and knowing about the deceit that happened and the secret that’s been kept from him for all these years with just one episode of him killing Clay. Because then it’s done. He’s avenged his father’s death and it’s almost like that storyline kind of burns out, and I just feel there’s a lot more story to tell there. I equate it to a little bit of what we did on The Shield. When Vic found out that Shane was responsible for killing Lem, we played out a whole season with those two guys knowing that. It was so much fun to have those two guys [harbor] intense hatred and and yet they had to suit up every day and go to work together. That’s just really fun fertile ground for story.

TVLINE | The Tara-Gemma dynamic was forever altered, too. They’re essentially becoming the same person. Moving forward, what is the one thing that prevents Tara from truly becoming like Gemma?
That was always the idea to have Gemma kind of bring Tara close and ultimately create her own little Frankenstein there. Look, I don’t think we’re going to waste the arc that we built with Tara this season. Meaning, she’s not going to go back to the, “Am I in or am I out?” Tara that we’ve seen previously. But clearly Tara is not Gemma… Tara gives Jax that syringe and says, “This is how you [kill Clay].” Well if it was Gemma, she would have already done it, so there’s still an element of Tara that’s somewhat removed. I don’t thing Tara would actually be able to go up to Clay and put a bullet in his head or put the syringe in the tube. Is Tara really capable of becoming Gemma? And what happens if she’s put in a position where she has to make that ultimate sacrifice for her family and her club? Is she going to be capable of going that dark? So I do think they’re definitely some struggles with Tara yet to play out.

TVLINE | Tara and Clay now have something in common, in that they both know that Gemma is concealing the truth about her role in JT’s death from Jax.

Sons of Anarchy Spoiler Alert: Look Who’s Returning in Season 5

TVLINE | I have to imagine that that’s going to be a big story for next season.
I think so. It’s interesting — people have been asking me what’s going to happen with Clay and Gemma, and I’m not quite sure yet. I just know that they will always be intrinsically connected because of the secrets and the lies that they have together. And that’s an example of one. It’s why when Gemma sees Clay alive at the end [of the finale], that’s just a really bad thing for her. That’s a really big, dangerous loose end. So that will be something that we will definitely play with next season. And for Tara, that definitely gives her some leverage over Gemma. There are definitely still some loose ends from those letters — even though we see Gemma burning them. The physical evidence is missing, but Tara has enough weight with Jax that if she told him the truth, even without seeing the letters I think he would believe Tara. Perhaps Jax might not believe Clay, but I definitely think he would believe Tara. So I do believe there is some danger there even though she’s destroyed the evidence firsthand.

TVLINE | Is it safe to assume that the crime boss father of Leroy’s dead girlfriend will be a huge character next season?
Yeah. In terms of the level of participation, that always remains to be seen. But I definitely wanted to lay some track for Season 5 and put some complications already on Jax’s shoulder as he’s sitting at the head of the table. He’s already got a problem [going into Season 5].

TVLINE | Is it possible that we’ve seen the last of Opie for now?
I don’t think so. It was never my intention to suggest that he is away. To me, it was just too convenient and too soon for Opie to suddenly come back to that table with Jax. So much has happened to him and he’s such a thoughtful guy. I just think he’s the kind of guy that’s going to [need] a minute to put all this stuff in order in his head. And we’ll probably build some kind of story around that before he’s able to actually come back and be [at Jax’s side]. So that was just [a matter of] protecting the character and then to give me some story play for next season as well.

TVLINE | Given the pressing nature of the Irish deal, will Season 5 pick up almost instantly?
Fairly close. Obviously, there’s not going to be the huge break we did between Seasons 3 and 4. But I’ll try to [build in] a little time, maybe a month or so.

For Sons of Anarchy Scoop and Spoilers 24/7 Follow Ausiello on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello

TVLINE | Where do you stand on setting an end date to the show?
I’ve had a conversation with [FX president] John Landgraf and I look at [doing] potentially seven seasons. And, honestly, that’s really just coming from the model of the show and knowing that usually by Season 6 and 7 the above-the-line costs start to get pretty high and the show sort of loses profitability and it’s really difficult to continue to [produce] beyond that point. So my thought was that if I could get seven seasons, I’d definitely have stories to tell and a way to end it. So ideally, I’d love to be able to get another three seasons.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mike H says:

    NO! Different Tara altogether.

  2. thomas wood says:

    What’s gonna happen to opie

  3. Danielle says:

    I thought the finale was great. Not every finale needs to end with the whole “who shot JR?” feeling. Jax stripped Clay of everything and made him suffer more than death. Then watching Jax sit down at the head of the table was great. No words needed to be spoken. It left me to think about all that could happen next season which is great. Last nights episode had many twists which will give us alot of story next season. Just wish we didnt have to wait so long for it to come back.
    P.S. Love Tara

  4. angie says:

    sutter the show is great i want ten season it’s just good tv and we rarley see that with all these reality shows fox needs to give u more shows and longer months sep-dec is too short thanks…

  5. Sergio says:

    Keep Gaiun Guys!!!! TARA RULZ ;) SAMCRO RULZ!!, DIE CLAYY! DIE!! (Ron Rulz)

  6. heavy D says:

    i’m only hoping that SOA sticks with the code for MC…. being a member there are many things that happen on the show that would not happen out in real life..i.e. wearing their cuts inside a cage? that right there would cost you atleast 100 dollars…lmao so hope they do more research.

  7. Gail says:

    I thought this season was GREAT!!! Those of you who didn’t are entitled to your opinions, for sure, but this is brilliant writing and producing by ALL involved. And if everybody gets killed that YOU want killed, and all the explosive scenes are shown all at once, you just have THE END. It’s a very entertaining series to watch for those of us that are INTERESTED in watching. And the season finale was BRILLIANT!!!!! Kudos, and you can bet I will be watching next season!!!!

  8. Cait says:

    I hate Tara can you please kill her off?

  9. LimestoneKid says:

    An Emmy? You must be joking. That night’s episode was a crock. A big, steaming crock.

  10. Amy niwa says:

    Thea needs to be books….. I wanna read the manuscripts….and the letters! :P

  11. Proudmommy says:

    I’m a true fan of SOA and love the season been glue to this show since season one but I hate that I have to wait till next yr for another season

    Don’t kill off Tara she is great
    Why not kill off Gemma there’s a good reason too

  12. Mick says:

    Season 4 was amazing!! Started off with such a massive bang and so much happening, it was hard to keep up with how fast paced it was going.
    But that being said, I think I agree with the majority here, the finale wasn’t as epic as I thought it would be.

    I mean, my favourite part from the whole episode is when Jax told Tig to step down. And I agree, they should have left the photo of Gemma/John off at the end. If you couldn’t put two-and-two together then you shouldn’t be watching this show.

    The Cartel being CIA was a very good twist, but wasn’t really displayed all that well. It was just like ‘Oh look, the Cartel are here… And they’ve already got their badges out’ Whilst I was like ‘Woah, that’s unexpected’ it didn’t really do it for me… lol

    I hope Season 5 has as much punch as the rest. Keep it up Sutter.

  13. Sara W says:

    LOVED this season and the ending. And for those of you that think Tara should be killed off, you are beyond ignorant. Tara holds a HUGE dynamic to the show. Like someone else said, without Tara, Jax will say f-ck it and be gone.

  14. Diana says:

    I agree Tara needs to go!!

  15. Kara says:

    The finale was done so well. I loved that it was a quiet ending. Very interested in seeing how Tara and Gemma’s relationship is going to unfold. The last scene w Tara over Jax’s shoulder (a la john and gemma) was epic! Beautiful way to end the season and still leave us on the edge of our seats.

  16. mnb says:

    Talk about stretching things out. I love the show, but the long story arcs are terrible. Kidnapping his baby to Ireland? Three words: jumping the shark

    Clay should have died this season. Next season should be the last. Instead, there will be tons of filler.

  17. matt says:

    What kind of show would it be if everybody killed everybody ? Tara holds a huge role in jax and gemmas life ,especially jax. She has a huge influence in his decisions ,but he still proves to hold his own and make choices to better his club and family . Killing Tara would take that dynamic away from jax .

  18. ken k says:

    I just hope we dont have to wait till sept for ses 5 pritty much the only thing that is worth waching on tv thes days keep it up sutter

  19. Reaper1 says:

    All i can say that this show is getting good yeah there was not to much action. But it is a stort line kurt is simply trying to make ot morr realistic. Tara should not get killed because she is awesome plus and important key in how jax lives. Season 5 is going to be great all i know is that the layout of the table isblookong good

  20. Lora says:

    I cannot believe this season ended the way it did. And FYI Tara is my fav. In being a guys show she is strong educated and bad ass. The perfect women for Jax’s character. He depends on her to make him strong. Further more the main focus was the strange ass cop. I have a very deep feeling the dead will rise next season. I know that the station was having conflict on if there was gonna be a season 5. But really wish the cops bkground would have come out first… Can’t wait for season 5….

  21. tiffany says:

    Great show, love all the seasons…can’t wait for more…would love to see 10 or 11 seasons…

  22. Karyn says:

    I 100% agree with you! That dude has no frigin clue and true, die hard SOA fans loved this season, probably one of the best yet!

  23. nick perry says:

    I think it would be a great idea for you to turn this into a movie when the show is over.

  24. Mr Yuk says:

    I think this season kicked ass, yea the finale prt2 coulda been better but oh well. I believe Tara would rather jax stay at the gavel than go to prison

  25. nick says:

    i hope they throw in flashbacks next season. The ending with the photo of john and gemma was a great ending and im so pumped for the next season. granted this season finale wasnt as fast paced as others but it was still an amazing ending. it set up for jax being president perfectly with the introduction of the new crime boss and the cia’s involvement with the ira. and i was talking with my friends saying about how there would be 6-7 seasons and its good to see i was right. theres only so much story you can really tell before it gets played out or boring. Keep up the great work and this time…dont make us wait 2 years for season 5!

  26. jd says:

    Wait till opie finds.out tig did his wife in…..

  27. Brendan says:

    i miss Sack! he was the best prospect the sons ever had, he shoulda had a brother or baby with that girl, just something to keep him a part of the sons.

  28. greenidevil says:

    Wasnt really happy at all with clay not being knocked off,but after reading the answers to the Qs i understand…luv the picture ending knew it was coming i love everything bout this show the twists r just right Extremely hype about 3 more seasons YAY!

  29. Suezy says:

    I think this season was just as intense as all the others. I am really looking forward to the next season. I can see where Kurt has ALL kinds of story line directions to go!!! Oh yeah, brilliant!!
    Don’t make us wait too long for the next season….already having withdrawls!! Thanks for a great series! Keep it up!

  30. kelly says:

    Haha that’s soooo funny my man said the same exact thing lol

  31. Mary says:

    It was a good and the pose at the end was great got under gemmas skin loved it:) someone is bound to kill clay for all that goes Tara and clay and the x cop knows Gemma played a part in having Jt killed Tara and jax r great together! Tara has learned to b a bitch thanks to Gemma:) can’t wait for season 5 love the show!

  32. grace says:

    More..more..more. ..Kurt sutter is awesome…

  33. Princess Harrison says:

    I thought that season 4 was the best with all the ride to die effects Gemmia is losing power and all of the people that had her back are falling apart Tara is becoming a junior verson of Gemmia but will go out hard and she does have the club in the plan of her hand and Jax just wants to make it all right but what about Bobbie will he be freed? And what about the 9ers? We know that’s another can of whipass. I belive that in season 5 Opie will be hard as nails because his trust has been violated again let me put it this way Mr Kurt will need to come hard in comming seasons

  34. roy hooks says:

    When is season 5 gonna start

  35. sara says:

    when exactly does the next season start seriously tuesday nights are the highlights of my week this is literally the one and only show i watch!!!

  36. Joel says:

    Awesome..thats all I can say im sittn on the edge of my chair dam. I gotta wait…Com on man…lolll .. SOA thats how we roll…..

  37. Malina says:

    I’m glad the writer doesn’t base his creative thinking off some of these idiots comments. This season was off the chain I want more I love son’s I’m a huge fan continue to be the great writer you are can’t wait for season 5

  38. Martin says:

    The ending was good…. The whole show is good…. Some things are on the money with the MC wold….

  39. mat says:

    I think this show is great!! Kurt is a genius, after every Weeks show I can’t wait for the next!! The part that sucks is fx doesn’t show SOA reruns during the off season!:(

  40. Matt says:

    I too, was not impressed with the 2 part season finale that basically lead to nothing. I didnt think that it sucked. I just expected more like in the season finale, from season 3. I hope season 5 is better. I will definately be watching.

  41. Robin says:

    Well said!!!

  42. Stacy says:

    I have to say that I’m a die hard SOA fan. That’s why we all watch the show, right? I thought the season finale was pure genius. I’ve always had a fascination with motorcycle gangs. For next season I would like to see more of what the prospects go through to be recruited into the gang. The table is looking pretty slim now- they need some newbies! Also, I think the SOA needs to attend a Sturgis rally and cause a little trouble in town. Just a few thoughts-

  43. Pebbs says:

    Just because someone is in a club doesn’t mean that they just go have sex with all these women. Yeah there are crazy parties with boobs and chicks kissing and doing stuff… but they don’t have cheap hookers there. Most of the women are the women of the men in the club.

    I agree with the controlling women comment tho. A club like that is a MANS club, us women are supposed to be there to support our men and stand by them. I think Tara and Gemma are too controlling and get too involved with club business. That never happens in real life, I know that first hand.

  44. John says:

    This is by far the best show on tv. I am hooked! Everyone thats negitive on here are not true followers! I see were sutter is going and its gonna be great! I think its awesome that jax took the gavel and taras by his side. I think jax will take care of clay in due time! I think it will happen as an accident and it will involve opie! Keep up the good work Mr Sutter!

  45. Stella says:

    Loved the finale! Can’t wait for next season.

  46. Chuck says:

    Frankly, I thought Part 2 of the finale was weak. I have been a HUGE fan of this show from day one (and will continue to be) but I thought that the writing for the finale was a little on the “lazy” side. The CIA!?!?!? C’mon folks!!! I’m anxiously awaiting next season, with all the changes, and I think it will be interesting, but let’s get back to Bikes…this is SOA NOT “Days of Our Lives”…………

  47. Doug says:

    Kurt, thank you for the brillant show. I have been with S.O.A from the beginning. Wish I could have been part of it. Once again you are the man. Thank you.

  48. gent says:

    this season by far has been the best but part 2 of the finale sucked balls… show is becoming predictable like the shield did.

  49. big mo says:

    i would love to see S.O.A the movie!!!

  50. art martinez says:

    it was a badass way to end season 4 cause it makes me want to watch more and see how everything plays out…kurt ure doin a great job keep it up!