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 says:

    Juice is a rat…kill him off…

  2. Debbie says:

    Season 4 was great can’t wait for next season!

  3. Peter Beator says:

    Season was great but I didn’t like the Mexican cartel just pulling up, showing badges with ties to Homeland Security. That was weak & a stretch. A better out would have been to have the Sheriff leak information back to The Sons about the Rico case because of the disagreement earlier in the season on how Juice was handled. Outside of that, it was a great season.

  4. Mike says:

    Dude I absolutely agree with you…the storyline has an amazing plot…u have to watch every season to truly understand wat is going on…just because there wasnt non stop action doesnt mean the last two episodes werent amazingly produced

  5. emme says:

    I loved it! And had the good fortune of going to see Hamlet performed just a month ago and it has made me appreciate Kurt Sutter all the more! Basing my prediction on Hamlet my guess is next season will be the last (Hamlet is a 5 act play)… Tara will go crazy (already hints of that) and be found drowned, Jax and Opie will duel somehow and in that duel, Gemma will be killed, Clay will be killed and then Jax and Opie will also die and that will be it!

  6. Heather says:

    Can’t do anything with juice. I love him he brings some inasence to the show, shows some have a contionence. Every carecter has there own personality, bobby not bring to much. So what’s gonna happen to him? Jax’s hot ass, lookin even hoter now that he’s taken charge!!!! Gemme is gonna bow down to terra now, terra knows the truth.. I like that terra and jax have the trust factor with each other! Now terra get rid of wendy! Lol can’t wait tell next season!!! Can’t live without my Jax fix.lol

  7. Paul says:

    The only part of the season I didn’t like was the Cartel suddenly being in bed with the CIA, oh and the sudden appearance of 20 odd bikers escorting Tig back after the failed attempt on Leroy’s life. Most of the club members are dead or locked up, yet there is suddenly a big gang to help Tig get home. Hmmmm!!!

  8. AK says:

    Not just for the male audience, my friend! I got my husband hooked because of MY addiction! Lol

  9. Michelle says:

    I loved this last episode! Please keep Jax and Tara together! It gives me hope for there true love. Gemma’s secrets need to come out for sure. But I absoulutely love SOA! Your doing awesome with the show!

  10. Tea says:

    I agree…Tara’s boss should become a bigger part of the show….something to do with the club…

  11. Luis Rodriguez says:

    I’m a recent convert to the program. I had the luxury of renting the first three seasons. I am totally hooked! I think the depth of the characters, their inner struggles and motivations make for fabulous television. However, the making of the cartel CIA croonies was poor if not an easy way out. The previous seasons finale were by far more interesting. That said I am looking forward to next season!

  12. Michelle Presnell says:

    I love soa the only show I have ever been addicted to cannot wait for next season.

  13. Chibs's old lady says:

    Tara isn’t dirty! And gemma is beautiful.

  14. Mva says:

    I think the audience is split some either liked it or didn’t! I personally didn’t care for it! I wanted more of an ending like season 3… In my opinion the best so far finale of SONS!!!

  15. Chib's old lady says:

    I was a bit disappointed that clay didn’t die. Not a big fan of Ron pearlman. But his character is a main one so I get it. Also, Bobby is stuck in that place, why didn’t auto just die and then some how Bobby gets out?

  16. Josh says:

    There has never been a show that i never miss an episode of. Best show ive ever seen and nothing on this show ever dissapoints me, except sutter talking about it ending, even if it is three more seasons it still sucks to be reminded that all great things eventually come to an end :(

    • Neal H. Woods says:


  17. momof2innd says:

    I was wondering, at the beginning of the season, where Lincoln Potter came from. The possibility of him being JT was one I never thought of but could really stir things up. The thing with Juice, what does his father have anything to do with any of this, was never a part of his life from what I’ve gathered, so why he would feel the need to hang himself? Chibs as new right-hand-man,a good move, Tig’s involvement in some of the issues with Clay, not a good choice to keep. Why is Otto ratting of his club and implicating Bobby the most? Just because he slept with his wife?!? Not getting that! Will anxiously await the next season.

  18. Jay Machado says:

    I’ve watched the show since day 1 n never miss an episode in my personal opinion each session gets better and better I really liked this session just because there is so much going on with the characters I’m really interested to see how it’s all going to unfold if this deal with the ira/cartel does happen then what happens to clay when he’s no longer useful will Jax kill him does Gemma take the risk of clay telling Jax her role in killing jt he probable wouldn’t believe him but the thought would b in jaxs head after that or since Gemma now has uncer in her pocket will she have him kill clay Gemma did burn the letters but Tara knows the truth n I don’t think Gemma is gonna like the fact that Tara has dirt on her I wonder if she will turn to jaxs ex to take care of Tara now that she is coming back into the picture n how is jaxs gonna handle Otto now that he’s a rat i understand that they put Rico on hold so that the deal with the Ira/cartel goes down but isn’t jaxs n Tara the only 2 inside the club that knows the cartel is CIA so if Gemma does have clay killed be for the deal goes down will someone kill Otto is any of that papper work going to be any good if he can’t testify to it in court n what about the future of the club some have died n correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there only 1 prospect left lol so many questions an now I have to wait until September for any answers great show and I also wonder how it will all end thinking we might get a soprano ending but anyway love the show n cant wait for the next session… (R.I.P. HALFSACK) still emotionally distrut over ur death…

  19. Sara says:

    Freakin awsome I can not wait till next year…..tuesday nights are gonna suck now!!!! Absolutly love.this.show!! :0)

  20. Jay Machado says:

    I have to agree with MVA that session 3 was a sick finally

  21. JonnyBlaze says:

    I didn’t think of that connection until you pointed it out. I agree except that in the god father the women were excluded. But good point brother.

  22. marsha edwards says:

    I have said since the show where the new cop tried to chop up the table and they showed the picture of John Teller, thta Lincoln Potter was John Teller. I still think it might be!!!

  23. joe says:

    a couple things have been bothering me only cause i love this show
    it’s the cutting corners on research
    in many episodes ive noticed the sons getting on their bikes from the wrong side ???? what is with that ???when you get on a bike you do it from the kickstand side of the bike.and the traffic jam on the highway.
    where to start, the cars on the highway were all empty
    and there was no reason for the traffic jam ???with cgi now you can put people in the cars.
    also the club need to get back to some of the roots of club life
    the way it really is in a mc club its starting to remind me of a boys club not a mc

    • SOA fan says:

      LOL. I was watching the episode myself and was laughing about that highway seen. NO people in the cars. I agree Potter is JT. SOA is getting a little predicatle in the story lines. I do not like the Cartel is in bed with CIA.

  24. Allie says:

    I have been a fan of the show since it’s beginning but I cannot stand Tara and her attitude. As for her acting a statue has more emotion.

    • Neal H. Woods says:

      Tara helps make the show as great as it is….the “stand by her man” theory of family that ties MC Clubs together.

  25. Chad says:

    Need a off season wrap-up and lead-up for next season.

  26. Matt says:

    Many of you are delusional. That was the worst episode of SoA ever aired. The CIA? Really? Can we say deus ex machina? Yeah, the CIA needs the Irish … Because the freakin’ CIA can’t figure out where else to get ahold of guns. Last night’s episode resolved an entire season’s worth of dramatic build-up with a cheap magic trick. The House of the Rising Sun rewrite was ham-handed. So was that silly dissolve at the end. Sutter effectively told the entire audience “eff you morons, you’ll swallow anything,” and you’re giddy about it. This show is dead to me. Enjoy next season, suckers!

  27. Nastyy13 says:

    Clay should have DIED..,.

  28. Wooty04 says:

    Continuing my thought… I dont like that Gemma saw Jax put the letters in his tool box. The club needs to know the truth about its past. Cant wait for next season although I know in the end its gonna be a tragedy because its based on shakespeare. End was great but thought the end of last season with the club manipulating Stahl and Opie takin her out was amazing.

  29. elvie says:

    I think the people calling for a characters death seem to have a problem understanding what the show is even about. Fortunately, for the rest of us Mr.Sutter will continue to write the show he wants.
    But also, unfortunetly, there will be the same group of people to show up at every article, blog or whatever and continue to write the same thing over and over because that is all they can bring to the conversation.

  30. Joka says:

    I ment is the best show n the begingning ma bad

  31. dina lynch says:

    Its gonna be a long nine month, but I’ve gottin my roommate n several friends totally hooked as well. The photo at the end was very poetic. What goes around does come around. The look on Gemme face, priceless….

  32. shawn says:

    No no no SOA IS A GOD DAMN LAMBORGHINI!!!!!!!!!!Dexter is good but its a joke compared to soa…… Best show since Lost

  33. Deena says:

    well said….

  34. Bren says:

    I love the show. Period. I think the cast was very well selected and they play the parts extremely well. I am entertained and I look forward to Tuesdays every week while it is on. The only disappointment I felt at the finale was that I would have to wait until September to see what comes next. The people on here who complain are only feeding Kurt Sutters imagination. That makes next season even better. I think there are a multitude of possibilities, with each of the characters, and can’t wait to see whats next. Awesome show. SOA ROCKS!

  35. trish says:

    I agree totally brother. Compared to season2, this season was nothing. Amen, amen.

  36. Debbie says:

    I have been watching SOA since season 1 and I love the show. I believe each character is well described, and also play there roles as if it were there daily life. For those that want Tara dead you don’t get the show at all, there’s a purpose for Tara and could see that since season one… Keep going kurt sutter in keeping SOA alive

  37. Neal H. Woods says:

    SOA is just simply AWESOME!!…Every time you think you ve figured out the answers to each character….they re write the questions for you and its to start over thinking again. Now, going into Season 5, the whole dynamic changes with new leadership but still old secrets in the air. You d have to know that creativity that was a part of THE SHIELD…..would just keep bringing awesome shows to the table.

  38. DB says:

    S.O.A is T.V. genius. In a time of crap on TV Mr. Sutter has made us hook on how TV should ne made Thank you for that. This show is always in beast mode cant wait for tuesday. Best season finale yet …counting the seconds till next year

  39. DB says:

    S.O.A is T.V. genius. In a time of crap on TV Mr. Sutter has made us hook on how TV should ne made Thank you for that. This show is always in beast mode cant wait for tuesday. Best season yet …counting the seconds till next year

  40. Ric says:

    It’s a matter of personal taste but to me soa is much better than Dexter

  41. Kate says:

    You are a “fan” and don’t even know how to spell SAMCRO?

  42. Karen says:

    I have been hooked since the beginning. I also know Outlaw MC and Women stand by their men but stay out of club business.
    I think Mr. Sutter is a GENIUS and would like to thank him for making Tuesdays the best night of the week.
    I also dislike the fact that we have to wait so long in between but with the quality of show we are getting it must take time to create the best tv show.
    OK everyone thinks Potter is JT HOW ABOUT NEW COP, ROOSEVELT, COULD BE JUICE’S DAD? Is that why new cop is kinda watching out for him?

  43. bryan says:

    I agree, juice is a rat, there shoukd b something done with him, he sold the entire club and irish relationship got lucky he didnt get exposed. I always thought he was soft now its been proved.

  44. darkflame1981 says:

    soa is not a fully loaded camry. Give me a break. Soa is a fully loaded limited edition shelby gt mustang

  45. tammy says:

    soa is my favorite show, i cant wait till tuesdays so i can see the next episode, i also wish it ran year round. the writer has done an exellent job with this series and i hate to wait till the next season

  46. Success says:

    I think that was the cake topper. I loved it. Couldn’t have ended a better way.

  47. From England says:

    First of all this is an absolutely amazing drama, I’ve been hooked ever since I saw the advert for the first season and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every episode since then. Now I’ve been watching Season 4 and for most of that time I’ve been thinking this is it, this is the last season of SoA, Jax kills Clay and Potter wraps up the rest with his RICO operation….so imagine my delight when ‘Machete'(lol) whips out his ID and the story is extended. To all those who are saying this was lame (I personally think it was a brilliant bit of script writing) and unbelievable how else could it have ended? “Roll on Season 5!!”

    • corey says:

      it was awful writing what are you talking about??all it did was show that all these characters actions which all season had been pounded into us that all these action have a reaction and what happens a Deus Ex MAchina what a joke just whipe the slate clean. Sutter is afraid to kill of main characters. I once thought this show coul dbe on The Sopranos level boy was I wrong season 3 and 4 sure showed that don’t worry i wont be watching 5 just awful womens daytime soap opera now

  48. Dason says:

    Someone mentioned that Jax could actually be Clays son. That would be interesting. Also the new sheriff isnt Juices dad, he gave him the file to destroy. I think he was just looking out for a “brutha” nahmean?

    Speaking of bruthas, i think it would be great if the 9ers had a bigger role in the story next season.

  49. Vicki says:

    Anyone besides me notice the resimblance of Potter to JT? He rides a bike and never takes off that kacket. Is he hiding some serious ink? After all Kurt is Otto. TV magic I love it!

  50. Kinney says:

    Muthaf Juice. He was snitching for no if you think about it. & what’s the importance of his character again? Someone please remind me. They shoulda had him step on one of those land mines! & Munson gonna start snitching if too.