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 (436)

  • My Favorite Show!!!IMe and My Old Lady have watched every episode ,and I Tell Ya it’s been Good ;now I Believe it’s gonna be Great!!! My Thanks 2 Sutter & The REAPER CREW keep bringing The Seasons!!!

    Comment by WoodWalker335 – December 7, 2011 04:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is just a television series…come on people is it really that important that we have to argue about characters from a script, and how they will be played out in season’s to come? SOA is a great show. It keeps me entertained for a few months and than we wait until next September. I am into this show until it dies, but until than I think the rest of you should just chill out and either watch or don’t watch it.

    Comment by Bill Holmberg – December 7, 2011 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just wondering when season 5 is coming out ???

    Comment by Nikki – December 7, 2011 04:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the finale was great! It is changing the whole dynamics of the show completely. Well if look at it from my point of view, next season can only get better and its gonna be a blood bath no body can touch them at the as long as the deal with irish goes thru. A lot of posts said that tara and gemma are in danger over the info in the letters well jaxs knows and you can bet opies next. Jaxs will have to give opie an act of good faith besides just sitting at the gavle.

    Comment by jeremy – December 7, 2011 04:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the whole show. Would love more with Opie not only is he hot there seems so much more to him then what we have seen.

    Comment by Cindy – December 7, 2011 04:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the show was great. I loved the end with jax taking the head of the table and the reactions. I do agree with another comment about guys at times wearing there cuts in public will still under court order not to, one minute jax has his on than not on, more of a bluper

    Comment by Doug – December 7, 2011 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was so excited for part two of the finale. Not so impressed though. The fact that the entire season revolved around this major bust, and then *poof* its not happening? Weird. Also, Auto would not have ratted. Totally out of his character and unbelievable. I think Tara should not have ran and told Jax she was staying so quickly. Shes an accomplished woman. She should presumably know how to think a problem through. Someone mentioned she wouldnt want her children around the violence. I believe this to be true so for her to not even give some thought to moving without Jax is strange

    Comment by mamapowell – December 7, 2011 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i totallyagree this session was awesome and i hope the show lasts for years and now im going to have the dts having to wait a year.

    Comment by tracy barrett – December 7, 2011 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The fact that many of you want the main characters killed mean you are really passionate about the show. Its a good thing.

    My only complaint is I have to turn up the volume and sometimes rewind to understand some of the dialogue, especially Clay’s conversations. He mumbles sometimes.

    Comment by Ladybikerlele – December 7, 2011 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • omg best season yet cant wait to see what is going to happen wioth clay and jax cause clay wont go out without a fight but it was soo good to see jax at the head of that table and tara is turning into gemma and its kind of scary really happy that none of the guys got arrested and that juice is now free of the cops and all cleared want to see more of him in the seasons to come love him<3 this is the best show that has ever played on tv <3<3!!!

    Comment by Danielle – December 7, 2011 05:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show and can’t wait for next season but season threes ending has been my favorite so far

    Comment by Adam – December 7, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When will this season be aired in the uk i had to watch it via streaming and not as good as watching it on the tv SOA is the best program i have ever seen it used to be the sopranos but the sons has suprised me on how good the story has grown, its got every thing u could want in a show FANTASTIC THANK YOU

    Comment by Martin Beeley – December 7, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SOA was totally awesome this season! Loved hating Clay, rooting for Gemma,Jax and Tara! Tara is sticking by her man like a committed woman does and its good to see Jax stand by her too. Can’t wait for next season and how things play out between Gemma,Jax,Clay and Ope.

    Comment by BMW – December 7, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show I.watched it faithfully jax was and favorites I’m so anxious season and.hopefully we can get 7 the best upsets me that I wait till.Sept to see it again

    Comment by angie – December 7, 2011 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • this season was one of thebest so far and all these people saying they didn’t like it can go watch some show like themiddle, they just don’t get it and i feel sorry for them they don’t know a great show if it hit them in the face. I’m a woman but I’m soo hooked.

    Comment by tracy – December 7, 2011 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show has wonderful acting and writing. It’s like the Sapranos on Motorcycles.

    Comment by Tim Burke – December 7, 2011 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I totally agree! I started watching in the middle of season 2 and at the end of that season I was hooked and started buying them all as they came out….(I will never have to go without). Kurt Sutter is AMAZING and I would most definitely love more than 7 seasons but will so enjoy and purchase every season we have!!! People that are so hard on their critisism should find something else to watch!!!

    Comment by Lisa Smith – December 7, 2011 05:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Sons of Anarchy is an awesome show.And next season will be even better. you really should have more shows as good as this one.Its got to be my favorite.

    Comment by Sandy – December 7, 2011 05:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did u not pay attention or did u forget to take your meds?! This season of Sons was integral to the plotline of the show, genius….

    Comment by Big Red – December 7, 2011 05:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LOVE SOA…Look forward to next season..Was dissaponted in the finale, no big shocking ending except for the Cartel working with the CIA..understand Jax has to let Clay live to make the deal with the Irish..Like Jax being at the head of the table with Tara by his side..want them to stay together, strong. Wanting Clay to suffer for all his miss-deeds..killing Donna, Opies wife & father..and giving the hit on Tara. I enjoy the sex scenes..there haven’t been many lately..Gemma is bad-ass & Tara is learning from her..I amagine Opie will have his revenge next season..Still one the best shows on TV..great acting!

    Comment by Gwen – December 7, 2011 05:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SOA far exceeds any daytime soap opera. This show rocks!
    Us gals like the show too. One thing I would like to see, is some of the women on the show riding their own bikes. Chicks can ride just as well if not better then some dudes. Take it from one who rides her own.

    Comment by biker babe – December 7, 2011 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best show ever! I loved that we got answers in this finale. It makes the wait for next season more bearable. Do NOT kill of Tara. It would ruin the show. So many “good” girls can easily go the other way in real life over love. It just makes it all believable. And really what ” good ” girl doesn’t secretly love a ” bad ” boy?!

    Comment by nellz – December 7, 2011 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Deff agree with you . Well said

    Comment by kb – December 7, 2011 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Me and my wife never watched season 1 but began watching it since season 2. For christmas last year I got season 1 and ill tell you best show on tv in a long time hate it when its not on.

    Comment by Triple G – December 7, 2011 05:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Poor Opie. I just want to give him a big hug. He’d probably bite my arm off though..

    Comment by rae – December 7, 2011 05:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My husband and I are die-hard SOA fans and wait with baited breath for every episode- It was difficult to wait so long between seasons and I almost got to the don’t care stage- Dont make is so long this time! We both ride, both are not outlaws but know them and this ain’t far from reality- You are doing an awesome job- even quit our satelite supplier because and only because of SOA. Right on!

    Comment by Heidi McGuigan – December 7, 2011 05:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What comment?….lol

    Comment by Tim – December 7, 2011 05:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t wait for season five!!! Kurt, if you need another character hit me up!!!!

    Comment by Josh Palazzo – December 7, 2011 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Season 2 and 3 finales were the best by far…this 1was good but what its setting up for next season is going the best part about it. So happy that I the club doesn’t have to worry about the feds or cia just the local cops….or at least I hope. To the comment about piney only being dead for a few days, he was dead for a week before Opie found him but he did go up there for weeks at a time with people checking on him and asking about him which really hasn’t happen as much as it usually does

    Comment by Caitlin – December 7, 2011 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously…. Tara plays a big part in SOA….. If she was gone, it wouldn’t be the same….. There are some people the show could do without and she is definatley not one!!!!

    Comment by peggy – December 7, 2011 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Someone agrees with me! I totally think its gonna come out that Clay is Jax’s real father. That Gemma cheated on John when he was in Ireland with Clay and that’s why Gemma conspired with Clay to kill him. Clay always calls Jax “son” I think he was going to tell him that in the hospital. Best show ever, best season ever. I could go on and on!

    Comment by Robyn – December 7, 2011 05:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Riding through this world, all alone. God takes your sole, your on your own. The crow flies straight, perfect line. On the devils bed, till ya dye. Gotta look this life in the eye…

    Comment by Chris P – December 7, 2011 05:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My hushand and I love this show! We look forward to seeing whats going to happen next, it’s the best tv show out there and I hope it keeps going, you have done a fantastic job on the story line and I trust all the seasons to come will be the same. Any one with negative imput just shouldn’t watch it! Please keep SOA going it’s badass!

    Comment by no name – December 7, 2011 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looking forward to next season.
    Thank you for a great “must see” TV show.

    Comment by Asters – December 7, 2011 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have been watching since season one and I can’t get enough! Unfortunately I missed both parts of the finale. Juice is a rat but put in a bad predicament. He needs to answer for his actions though. GO OPIE! ITS ABOUT TIME! I was gonna throe something if he didn’t shoot Clay!

    Comment by RedQueen – December 7, 2011 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As a woman in a club, I have to say that not all clubs are like SOA. We are family oriented, and I give Tara props for sticking by her man. I know I would. I love SOA, but the sleazy women gotta go. Concentrate on more of the betrayal that’s going on with everyone in the club. A true club don’t hold secrets. Nuff said…

    Comment by bikermom – December 7, 2011 05:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t wait till next season

    Comment by kojack – December 7, 2011 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by EMANUEL (MANNY) – December 7, 2011 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Everyone one hating on episode 14 needs to stop the finale was a two parter if you didn’t like last nights episode then O well. If you think that you can write better then go for it. As in for the hole season I thought it was great but some of you didn’t. This show is like any other show or a cd some episodes your going to like some your not. Some songs your going to like some your not. The tara and jax’s thing is like another marriage the wife or husband is going to stand by there man or woman. Clay is a dick and I would of like jaxs to kill him but then there would be no more beef between them and that’s one story line that never gets old and I also want to see more of so great job there Sutter. BEST SHOW EVER ON TV AND BEST WRITING EVER KURT SUTTER. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!

    Comment by Josh Escalante – December 7, 2011 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The letters implicated Gemma and Unser in John Tellers death,how they made it look like an accident,and how Unser took the accident report and falsified it,to look like an accident. I don’t understand why people have to be so rude when responding to other peoples comments,everyone has there own opinion!! and i think SOA has been one of the best shows on network TV in a long time!!!

    Comment by cristina – December 7, 2011 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • S.O.A is the most amazing realistic show on tv that allows people to see that bikers are real people just like you!! Doing what it takes to better there family. As a biker myself, I live the show and I too have been to “church” in the past. Only thing that could make SOA better next year would be to find a place for me on it. Lol

    Comment by Randy Sexton – December 7, 2011 05:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dude, u suck. Ur obviously mentally retarded and have no idea who the characters are.

    Comment by kenny – December 7, 2011 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • More of Opie please. Hope he and Lila get sorted. Season 7 no way, hope there are many more to come.

    Comment by Jacinta Mcgarry – December 7, 2011 06:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ilove SOA I have seen All 4 season. me my man and is best friend kick it on tuesday just to watch SOA. i cant wait for more seasons to come it awsome keep up the good work for all the actors in the show. and if if its possible go behond 7 season i hope this show dont end.

    Comment by Dee – December 7, 2011 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show! It’s the only show I wait all week to watch. This season was awesome and I can’t wait for next season! I agree that Tara should die cause she’s eventually gonna be the reason for Jax leaving the club. I liked her in other seasons but this season I didn’t see her as stronger, I seen her as a whiny bitch! Can’t wait to see what unfolds next season! Just wish we didn’t have to wait til September!

    Comment by Liz – December 7, 2011 06:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This season was awesome. It had a good storyline and great acting. I missed most of this season as I am a truck driver and spend most of my time on the road. My take on these people leaving negative comments is, they are making comments based on a one or two show span. U have to watch the beginning of season one to see how the story progressed and how the characters have evolved. Just because this season didn’t end the way u thought it should have doesn’t make it a bad season. I thought the last 2 episodes were great. Leaves a lot to the imagination for next season.

    Comment by kenny – December 7, 2011 06:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show. I think this season was a little different from the previous seasons, but it was fantastic as usual. I think its a good build up for whats to come. I did feel the ending wasn’t as gripping as previous endings, but I’d still give it a 9.0. THATS how good this show is. I only give it a 9 instead of a 10 because when J’s son was kidnapped, that was really an amazing cliffhanger. I really want to see Gemma knocked down a few pegs. Katy could play it to the hilt. She’s such a good actress…deserves an Emmy…as well as Charlie. Can’t wait for next season!!!!

    Comment by KarenB – December 7, 2011 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • U are so right. Woman do not pry into the clubs business. It pisses me off that they don’t know what a real club is. Women don’t get involved. Ik first hand as well.

    Comment by bikermom – December 7, 2011 06:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved this season was glued to the edge of my seat every tues night watched all three showings on tues and the one on wed folliwing ahs can’t wait to see next season kurt you the man……

    Comment by mommabutterfly50 – December 7, 2011 06:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I did like this season better than most of last season. i was not a fan of belfast.
    Wish it was a soap. Than I could watch it 5 days a week year round and would not have to be in suspense for the next 9 months! Hands down my favorite tv show!

    Comment by Andrew – December 7, 2011 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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