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. Gina says:

    This is THE BEST show on TV! I love it! And 2 those who want Tara killed off. . . R u nuts! No way, Tara HAS to stay! The worst part of the show. . . Not enough episodes and too long between seasons! Please, please add more episodes!

  2. Dawn grimes says:

    My husband and I love the show. I think the twists were great and there are so many possibilities that can take place with all the characters that should bring more seasons to come. Great job. Only thing I would like to see is Victory motorcycles thrown into group they are pretty sharp and have more cc’s than Harley. They should check them out.

  3. Dmic says:

    I think this season was really good!… A lot of interesting factors keeping u waiting for next episode…. But as for finale, extremely disappointed …. All the other finales had me feeling like wow!… That was crazy…. For what a good season this was the finale was way to slow and not much shock value… I hope next season steps it up a notch… And about 3 notches in the finale

  4. alex says:

    this season by far the best. If i was jax I would of killed clay for killing his farher. So next season will be very interesting. cant wait. And by the way make the season longer now there is nothing to watch. damn it.

  5. naomi says:

    When will juice have to face up to being the one who stole the coke & killed a brother??

  6. Darwin says:

    That would be an amazing ending. That was the first thought I had when they showed the old photograph of his dad and Gemma. Not only does it remind her of that memory but what if history does repeat itself…

  7. Kels says:

    SOA is amazing. And while yes the finale was low key it was by no means bad!!! And you can’t just kill Tara! She is essential to jax’s character! If you kill her he does a 180 and no more show! DUH!!!!!!! Get it together. And just because Tara isn’t one of those porn star skanks flashing t&a everywhere doesn’t make her boring! She’s a STRONG female character. Which I commend Kurt sitter for including since this show is geared towards mainly men!

  8. Laurye says:

    LOVE this season of Sons!! Definitely the best since season one and the storyline with Clay getting his “just reward” was SO satisfying for someone who has watched every episode dying to see this manipulative S.O.B.’s secrets come to light.(Now how about Gemma’s??) The photograph at the end was so telling…I would love to see more flashbacks of Gemma and JT…

  9. Irish Steve says:

    Seeing Jax at the head of the table with Tara by his side, made all the wait and wonder so worth it. Seeing him in that chair kinda reminded me of Al pachino in scareface, when he plops down in his chair.

  10. Lucky says:

    I loved the show from the very beginning and was absolutely thrilled that you didn’t end the show just like the way you lead us up to thinking it would end but then like you said you can’t just put a stop on it with such dynamic character’s and a great storyline like this. There is still so much that could happen between the character’s . In short keep up the good work

  11. ken k says:

    Anyone else notice mr HA himself making a cameo

  12. corey hendricks says:

    Id Jus like ta thank Mr. Sutter for makin this series one that is impossible to walk away from. And every friend I’ve had watch it wit me is now hooked as well!!! Come on season 5, we need a lil more anarchy!!!!!

  13. Bobo46 says:

    I agree from day one,I am not a Tara fan, she is whiny and makes Jax looks weak,her character is weak to have her step up in Gemma-s role is awful if she dies Jax would not leave the club that club is his life all he knows but-maybe he would get his intensity back,for now it looks like he is just pussy whipped

  14. Dre says:

    What a vivid imagination Mr. Sutter has. Keep up the great work! One of my favorite shows…other one being that other masterpiece that Juice was watching in his cell…The Shield!

  15. lynnmac says:

    A grin swept across my face when this season ended. I was much happier than I thought I’d be. I’m so glad they didn’t leave us hanging like with season 2. I thought it was great and I loved how Jemma seen her and John in Jax and Tara. I’m just still really bummed about Piney. He was my favorite. I will be patiently waiting for season 5. Its going to be good as always and if you think it isn’t good then why are you and so many other people watching it?? Just sayin…

  16. Jd says:

    Ok I do like the show but on the real it’s really racicst!!!! Why

  17. vicki says:

    This season was great, the best. Cant kill off Tara there has to be
    Some one to keep Jemma in line And control all the secrets.

  18. Guy St. john says:

    The show is great even if there are some disagreements.Yes this is A tv show.With great talent and some real life meaning to it.Just realize somebody’s life is almost exactly to this story in the world its just not you to truely understand.Great job Kurt and crew.

  19. matt says:

    The question is now ……..where can I find out about casting ? My rent a agent can’t find anything about it …. You Def get what you pay for . Nothing would be better than playing a role in a sutter production

  20. Dean Rinke says:

    I would love to be on your show been watching sents day one I am a background artist been in 7 movies last one is OZ The Great And Powerful please contact me on how to apply for it would make a great prospect or member thank you. Dean Rinke

  21. Ax says:

    Great season, looking forward to season 5.

  22. Maria randall says:

    Why is no one wondering who Potter really is and why he wants to see SAMCRO go down. Who is he and what is he doing in charming. Tara will never be killed off but she might try to kill clay or Gemma in the next season. Some many questions and such a long Wait to see whats really going to happen next season. Best show ever not matter what anyone says.

  23. Tom S. says:

    Wow Kurt Sutter Sir you are a truly talented genius,you weave stories that we crave like a heroin addict needing a fix ….. Bravo keep it coming

  24. twisted_demon says:

    I think what all the critics fail to grasp is exactly what took place. is clay going to roll over and be stripped? I’m gonna say yes, on the surface, because he was shot he’s weak. and his fangs were trimmed, but he’s not done, as for gemma you know Tara is in danger, but I worry about gemma Tara can an will kill her, she’s like that now, as for the critics awwww, sad day, you didn’t get what you want….keep watching it’s almost over

  25. mindi says:

    I love this show!!! It’s the best Damn show on tv <3 looking forward to next season and seeing JAX!!!

  26. JoshuaZ says:

    Its ridiculous how bloodthirsty the so called fans of this show are. The show is a twist, its not a giant explosion and everybody bad dies. It’s genius, and lays the plot for season 5. You kill the show if you kill Tara. It’s a great way to show sacrifices being made for the good of SAMCRO by making Jax abide by these rules from the Cartel and keep Clay alive. That doesn’t make him a big fool. It makes him smart. Makes Opie smart to. They have control. And know that the anger they hold and bottle is because if they release it, their club dies. They both are selfless. What most of the fans don’t realize is that they are the so called “Heroes” of the show. The show is far from a disappointment. The same cannot be said about some of its fans.

  27. Linda Paradise,Tx. says:

    You said it perfect!☺



  29. Roy says:

    Alright, am I the only one that immediately seen the connection between fiction and reality with Sutter’s angle on the CIA endorsing weapon trafficking to a Mexican drug cartel….Operation Fast and Furious come to mind with anyone. The real life Dept of Just coverup of one of the largest arms trafficking ring in US history; being ran by our nations very own BATFE!???!! I don’t know when these finals epispdes were written or filmed, but the very similar story line between fiction and reality are wierd… I thought the finale was a little anti-climatic also. Defiantely worth watching, but may more mental/psychological than action/thriller…. I’ll be back next year!!

  30. michele says:

    I see Jax bringing the dream of his father to the club. Where they disassociate themselves with the guns abd drugs, so they can live more normally in daily life. Since they don’t know how function without yhe deception. That way Jax can prepare his sons for survival at at a normal level. Tara will help with the change at his side being his guiding strenghth, seeimg how her boss changed. Gemma will use Jaxs ex to push Tara to the limit to keep her in.

  31. shelly says:

    I love the show and at the end with the sex toys and the doll damn . that was so good. It is a good show and I hope FX keeps it going . thanks for the stories and the writing of the show ,looking forward to all the next seasons shelly

  32. Charles Lewis says:

    I think the finale was anti-climatic but it ended perfect. I kept thinking how are they going to kill clay off? He’s the ultimate bad guy for the show. It’s amazing how Tara has changed from a goodie-good girl to suddenly this bad ass biker chic. It’s going to be a long winter and summer waiting for season 5.

  33. Diane says:

    Amen. Tara needs to go. Not a fan. I think they lost me in the season finale part 1, where Jax says to one of his fellow bikers “keep me in the loop”. Really? Do bikers use corporate speak? Didn’t fit…

  34. Brian says:

    Never saw the cartel CIA angle coming. It answered questions of how to keep jax I’n charming because there is no show wo him. It answered how to keep clay alive when there seemed no posible way with jax opie Gemma Tara and the club all having overwhelming reasons to kill him. It created new protagonist with the niners. Story lines w Irish CIA niners internal strict endless. Greatest writers on tv. Ty

  35. mike says:

    Every character is there or still alive for a reason. Like others have said you kill Tara or Clay or Gemma and there is no show. The dynamic of the show is basically based on these three people their interactions, secrets, relationship to eachother. One thing people have to remember is that it is a TV show not real life. I thought the final show was awesome and they did all the things they needed to do in order to keep Jax in the club, them not all go to jail, keep Tara around, keep Clay in the picture and leave a story line left to continue into another season. Anyone who complained don’t get it or has not watched all 4 seasons.

  36. Sazperella says:

    Stunning end to an awesome series! can’t wait for Season 5! Opie was fantastic this season and can’t wait to see what they do with his character!

  37. Bobby G. says:

    ….The best thing I’ve heard out of all this is Sutter talking about SEASON 7……….

  38. Blaze says:

    He already knows. That came out in season 2.

  39. sarah says:

    love LOVE LOVED this season but reading some of these comments is freaking me out! lol. PLEASE kurt don’t let it end with history repeating itself with tara and opie or tara turning on jax in general! I love them! (although if it happens I’m more then happy to welcome charlie with opens arms and comfort him) haha ;)

    kurt and katie, you’re geniuses

  40. Tommy says:

    Love the show, loved the ending. Looking forward to session 5. But I think its time for Jaxs to get a real pair of boots. He’s the only one in the club that wears snickers (REALY) run down to your local biker bar and see how many REAL BIKERS wear snickers. Ride safe. From THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY.

  41. terry says:

    You are a idiot

  42. franny says:

    What happens to Bobby

  43. jennifer says:

    I love the show. Have to agree that this was one of the best seasons ever. Only part I didn’t like was part 2 of the finale. I didn’t like the twist with the cartel, although I understand the writer had to figure out a way to make Jax stay. I love Tara I don’t think she will ever completely become as dark as Jax’s mom. She is loyal to Jax.

  44. Matt says:

    Don’t forget, Unser also knows what Gemma knows.

  45. SPM says:

    Season 4 was the best yet! For those who say otherwise truly don’t understand the underpinnings and complexities of the characters! SOA is truly a gem, the characters and great writing bring true fans back week after week and season after season. I appreciate Kurt Sutters incredible story telling ability, looking forward to Season 5 with great anticipation!

  46. jack says:


    L&R JACK

  47. Jenn says:

    Hey! Nothing was wrong with “As The World Turns”, it had engaging storylines from time to time. As long as Clay doesn’t die and come back 50 times like James Stenbeck I think SOA will be safe. Also, Tara is an awesome character and I believe potentially the “baddest” of them all. :-)

  48. Bpaw says:

    Way to go Kurt!! I’m not in an MC, but have known a few. I ride, been on the wild side, not a rouge, Maybe concidered a Lone wolf!! Love the show, even part 2! A lot of action(mostly mental & emotional)Some have called it a Soap Opera, but so is life…Hopefully you will have at least 2 or 3 more seasons!! My opinion, excellent writing & acting!!! keep up the work and please keep up the great show, and I know of a few MC’s would be happy to hear from you for any kind of consult.

  49. NotExactly says:

    I for one thought the finale was fantastic. The thought that the two cartel dudes were working for the government never crossed my mind throughout the season. Season 5 is now set up to be the most interesting season yet, as Jax becoming president is the biggest thing to happen to the club for the entire duration of the show. I was kind of disappointed to read in the interview that season 5 will not start immediately after season 4. I really hope we get to see the meet between the sons, the “Cartel” and the Irish. Also…I think it would be awesome if occasionally through season 5 we see flashbacks of what the club was like when Clay, Gemma, and Piney were young and JT was still alive, kinda like the godfather part 2.

  50. Melissa smith says:

    First i want to say SOA is the best show on tv and it is my favorite of all time no show could out beat it.I hope it never stop’s so please keep up the good work and keep the seasons coming.Oh and i love Jax’s he is the best looking thing on tv!!!