Sons of Anarchy Recap: Find Out Which Series Regular Met a Heartbreaking, Grisly Death

Warning: The following story contains MAJOR spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Sons of Anarchy. We repeat, do NOT read on if you’ve yet to watch the FX drama’s latest installment.

If ever the term “game changer” were applicable to a TV twist, this would be it.

FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy pulled off a trifecta of devastation this Tuesday night when with one lethal, final blow it orphaned two children, widowed a porn star and shattered the already-cracked heart of a biker club king by killing off fan favorite Opie Winston.

Constantly tormented by his involvement in a club he no longer believed in, the conflicted Son — portrayed impeccably until the brutal end by actor Ryan Hurst — finally found peace when, in order to save his “brother” Jax (and perhaps even SAMCRO at large), he sacrificed his life.

Here’s how the tragic twist unfolded:

Damon Pope paid a visit to a behind-bars Jax and informed the Charming king that in order to get his crew off of SAMCRO’s back, half of what the Sons get via muling coke — which is roughly $100K a month — would now go to the Big Bad. His demands far exceeded financial gain, though, as he proceeded to demand of Jax “a dead Son” among one of the four — Opie, Tig, Chibs and Jax himself — currently serving time. Tig, however, was off limits and needed to stay in jail for the rest of his life so Pope could keep tabs on (and assault, in perpetuity) the man who killed his daughter. As Harold Perrineau’s alter ego put it, this is all merely “the cost of doing battle.”

RELATED | Exclusive Sons of Anarchy‘s Maggie Siff Weighs In on Jax and Tara’s Surprise Wedding

While in solitary together, Jax filled Opie in on Pope’s impossible demands — and he finally saw fit to tell his best friend everything he’d been concealing. Out came countless secrets about John Teller’s letters, Romeo’s ties to the FBI and RICO, Clay’s involvement in their respective fathers’ deaths and why things panned out the way they did in the Season 4 ender.

“I had to make a choice, brother: kill Clay or save the club,” Jax confessed, to which a dismayed Opie — who angrily attacked his friend in the moment — solemnly responded: “You made the wrong choice.”

Shortly thereafter, a corrupt Sergeant in Pope’s pocket rounded up the four Sons and asked Jax — who had also filled in Chibs and Tig on the ultimatum — which of the men would be leaving the jail in a body bag. Ever the valiant leader, Jax stepped forward, about to punch the cop, and said “My call.” But his efforts were thwarted when Opie intervened, headbutting the lawman and ultimately being carried away to endure his death sentence.

With an inconsolable Jax, Chibs and Tig looking on from an adjoining room, Opie fought as hard as he could, taking out a handful of the inmates sent to kill him before smiling at his “brother” and taking a fatal (and extremely graphic) whack to the skull.

Pope returned to jail to face Jax, who informed the crime boss that while he would get his money, Tig staying behind bars was a no-go. As Jax put it, Tig would now know that Jax saved his life, which gives him “the internal advantage” he needs. “And when I’m done,” he added, “you can send [Tig] out the same way you did his kid. ‘Cause I really don’t give a s–t” — a deal that Pope respects, but not without an ominous note: “Be smart, Mr. Teller,” he advised. “It’s who you are.”

RELATED | Sons of Anarchy Cast, Creator Discuss ‘Crazier, Stronger and Much More Intense’ Season 5

Emotionless, Jax told Tig that he had gotten him out of a life sentence. The catch: “You back my every play and you never vote against me again” — terms to which the distraught Tig agrees.

Elsewhere in the episode…

• The Gemma/Tara animosity continued, as the dethroned Queen found herself unable to visit her grandkids in daycare. Scorned, Gemma visited Abel’s birth mother Wendy (Drea de Matteo) and fed her a story about Tara “self-medicating” and how now is the time to make a move on gaining custody. Jax’s ex wasted little time pouncing at the opportunity to confront Tara, but unfortunately she was once against bested by an on-her-game doc. “I’m a surgeon and you’re some ex-junkie biker whore,” snarled Tara. “You want to come after me and my family? Bring it on, darlin’. I’m not afraid of your bulls–t custody threat.” The new Mrs. Teller proceeded to confront Gemma about the setup — a moment that gave fans the best exchange of the night:

Tara: “Don’t ever try to hurt me or my family again.”
Gemma: “Or what, doctor? You gonna kill me?”
Tara: “No… But my husband might.

Boom, roasted! Point: Dr. Knowles.

• The Clay and Juice bromance officially began when the dethroned king essentially begged Juice to bring him to where Gemma has been hiding out. The hesitant Juice obliged, and soon Jimmy Smits’ Nero and Clay were face-to-face. The exchange, while awkward, was peaceful enough, with the Old Man eventually taking up with call girl Emma, played by former Disney darling Ashley Tisdale. (Juice got a little sumpin’, too, courtesy of the resident madam.) Gemma hightailed it to Nero’s when she learned her ex was there, and, upon her arrival, beat the crap out of the blonde chippy. And, after all of that, the police mysteriously showed up to raid Nero’s place of business, cuffing both the owner and Gemma in the process.

How do you feel about the gut-wrenching death of Opie? Will Sons ever be the same? Hit the comments.

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185 Comments
  1. blackheart says:

    it should of been Clay, I hate that character.

  2. Ashley says:

    I’m devastated. Other then Jax, Opie is my fav. I did not take that scene very well. I seriously sobbed. I felt like I was actually there watching it. I had a feeling it was gonna be him tho… As much as I didn’t want to think it there was little signs. Ryan is amazing and I’m going to miss seeing him every week on my tv. RIP Op <3

  3. travis says:

    it all lays at clays feet tig was just a pawn to do clays dirty work he has out lived his time on the show he needs to go the sooner the better

  4. samantha anderson says:

    I have never felt upset about the death of a tv character before, this is awful, it feels like someone I knew died. I love opie in this show and SOA is by far the best series ever, I own all 4 previous seasons and have watched them repeatedly, I’m so addicted its crazy. That just killed me how opie went out though, kinda wish it wouldn’t have shown as much cuz that image is just stuck in my head and I can’t sleep. RIP OPIE, this character went to hell and back a few times, I really loved him, SOA will not be the same without him, wish he didn’t go out like that, and poor jax watching and couldn’t do anything, I’m heartbroken. Never gonna sleep tonight

  5. justin smith says:

    if opie dosent make a come back im not watching any more

  6. king says:

    Perfect death for the big man they couldn’t kill chibs in now jax no the pain it cost to be king

  7. Aaron says:

    Man, I feel cheated, the best actor on the show ,(in my opinion, and others) any scene Ope was in he stole the show, he had a larger than life presence and truly sold the biker lifestyle.
    I will stick with Sons to the last episode, but Kurt Sutter has lost ground with me, it’s one thing to shock people with brutality and sex on primetime, but at this point I feel he is just seeing how far he can push it, how much power he has. I will not be tuning in to his next series, I’ll just keep watching my sons re runs!!

    • Aaron, I could not agree more. I’m totally devastated..and not sure why, but wll be there til the bitter end. SoA has had me in grips since day one. R.I.P. Opie – Ryan, you will be sorely missed !

  8. Nna says:

    Opie :( can’t believe he’s really dead! Samcro won’t be the same without him

  9. pat says:

    Opie will be truely missed, I just wished there was more of a fight before he went down to see him go down taking atleast one of them with him would have been a lot better for me. Giving him that final blaze of glory…. :-( RIP Opie

  10. Sharon says:

    To all those who say they are done watching- I feel like you aren’t real SOA fans. Kurt Sutter does not cater to what the fans think he should do, or what the critic’s say- he makes a show that is gritty and dark and so well written. I applaud him for sticking to the mythology and not waiver on what he knows is right for each character and the show. Watch his last WTF Sutter, he explains his decision, and I stand by him. Best show on TV, best actors, and best writers. That being said, no one is a bigger fan of Ryan then I am, and I am just in awe of his acting. If he had to go out, I am so glad he went out like he did- a true loyal brother to Jax.

    • STeat T says:

      I completely agree! True fans will never stop watching. Opie is a horrible loss but it will all play out. Kurt knows what he is doing… sheesh ppl!!!

    • Jen says:

      Amen! Opie was my favorite character, but to say you only watched the show for him means you didn’t really watch the show. Every character is important in their own way and all the stories weave in and out of others so intricately that to hang your viewing hat on one person is incredibly narrow-minded. That was, hands down, a brilliant hour + of television and those who can’t recognize that…maybe it’s time you did move on.

    • A says:

      More than not being true fans, I feel like the people saying they won’t watch anymore don’t have any experience watching TV. This stuff happens. Can you really bitch that the episode (and this season so far) is shocking, well-written, and well-executed?

    • they are not done, kinda gets under your skin. Right now they are just so devastated. They can’t stay away. I just started watching late last season and I am HOOKED! Gotta get the first 4 seasons so I can really see what is going on!

  11. jeanette says:

    it sucks .i just think if he was leaving the show they coluldve did it a different way. its a awesome show

  12. Emily says:

    RIP Opie. Sad death but I saw it coming. Meanwhile, when did Tara and Gemma become the most annoying characters on this show?! I used to love and root for them so much, but tonight was a mess. However, Katey Sagal remains as fierce as ever with her line delivery. “You’re the smart one. I forgot.” “Where is this sad song going?” “My pretty little Frankenstein.” Hahaha.

  13. STeat T says:

    You ppl make me laugh! As if u are really going to stop watching SOA now cause they off’d Opie. Get real. U can be mad and upset, we all were. Opie was like a brother to us all who have been loyal fans from the beginning. But to try to convince us that your a true fan and now u wont be watching is futile. We all know better, and we all be in front of our TV’s next Tuesday hoping that they do him the proper justice at the funeral. SO be mad be upset and disappointed but dont be a quitter!! lol

  14. Anthony Guevara says:

    It really sucks that Opie had to be the one to die, but it makes complete sense that he would sacrifice himself. He had nothing left to live for. His 1st wife was killed by the club. His 2nd wife couldn’t handle everything that came with the club and left him. Then his dad is killed by the same person who set up his wife to be murdered. If you were paying attention he even asked Jax if it was worth it anymore. Making all this money only to.have to spend it to stay alive. Good writing by Sutter and an amazing performance by Ryan Hurst. Opie will be missed!

  15. Ken says:

    Totally devastated…..Opie has always been my favorite Son…..loyalty to the end…even with all that was revealed to him. Just devastated……no other way to describe how I fee right now.

  16. Tiffany says:

    I cried so much last night. Opie was my second favorite character behind Jax. Tig’s irrational behavior last season has brought this club to their knees….and it’s really a shame. Kurt Sutter, you’ve broken my heart a bit, but I’m stoked to see whats next!

  17. Weslake says:

    I can’t believe it!!!! I’ve watched the show from the very beginning and Opie along with Jax and Chibs are my favs. It took me a few minutes to recover from the utter shock of watching Jax watch his best friend get killed. Kurt Iove your creation, but I hated that episode. I guess it would’ve been to easy to get rid of the two people responsible for all of this confusion – Clay and Tig. S.O.A. fan 4 life – but I’m going to miss Opie….

  18. wrstlgirl says:

    Everything Opie said to Jax is coming true.

  19. Joe says:

    It HAD to be Opie and here’s why: Over the last four seasons, Opie has been the person who paid the biggest price for living the Outlaw Life. He was a tragic figure from the start. Remember in the pilot: he was newly released from prison, broke, and his marriage was on the verge of ending. He went back to the Sons because in his own words, “I earn with the club.”

    When Donna finally relented and began to accept SAMCRO and her husband’s role in that brotherhood, she paid the ultimate price at the hands of Tig and Clay.

    And as much of a corrupt sociopath as June Stahl was, she was the one who reminded us that Opie, after all, was a stone cold killer. And yet….

    At the end of last season, Opie finally began to take stock of all the life as an outlaw had cost: his father, his beloved Donna. But the lure of the brotherhood proved, in the end, to be too strong for Opie. He went back to that which he had foresaken wisely and he paid the ultimate price.

    I tip my hat to the writers: They killed off a major character and it serves as a way of reminding us that the life of an outlaw, whether in a biker gang or a street gang or a drug cartel has great risks that outweigh the rewards.

  20. FlyineE says:

    99% of the people who say they will never watch again will be right back in front of that TV next week…and the other 1% will be back in 2 weeks….

  21. Michael Flores says:

    I saw this coming and for some reason knew after the first episode(no Bullsht) but watching onward i was hoping i was so wrong and hearing pope say he didnt want tig dead,leaving chibs and opie i saddenly admit was hoping chips wud be the call because im a hardcore Opie fan, Ryan Hurst as Opie was the reason I fell for SOA his story line and involvment but seeing the tragic lost of my Fav character was Hard blowing, so much it felt real and close to home if u get what im saying, but as everyone else said i understood why opie, but cause i understood dont mean i had to like it….RIP Opie Winston

    • I know Michael…and feel so stupid and vulnerable for allowing a fictional tv show bring out such raw emotion in me !! I actually had to call my doctor for a prescription for anxiety medicine !!!!

  22. I am devastated, ripped wide open, exposed, shocked, can’t believe a fictional tv show could have me in it’s grips…Mr Sutter, you are genius, the Internet is going mad ! Facebook websites for SoA blazing. I’ll miss you Ryan, I’m completely heartbroken !! :(

    • sancho30 says:

      i agree 100%….i dont understand why im afflicted so! i want to meet kurt sutter, no one has been able to make me faithful to a show in my 40 years on earth….

  23. Sean says:

    Man, I hated to see Opie go, but it makes sense on his part as far as the plot goes. I got a feeling we’re going to see the black kingpin gangster meet his fate by the end of the season as well as the jail guard sergeant that oversaw & set up the fight in the box.

  24. Rain says:

    After last season I really didn’t plan on watching it again. Jimmy Smits being added gave me the motivation to try again. Opie’s death was the final straw, I now have more DVR space Tuesday nights. After everything he’s suffered at the hands of the club, he was the last one that should have had to give his life for it.

  25. Brian says:

    Uh people who saying you aren’t going to watch anymore give me a break. Yes I’m also not happy they killed off Opie but it’s season 5 already out of 7 seasons Kurt has in his head. Not everyone is going to live from here on out and they won’t all live happily ever after. Plus Kurt already said this season will be one of the bloodiest and there will be more than a few casualties, including main characters. (guess we now have our first with Opie)

  26. ken1313 says:

    Those saying they will never watch again……come on…be serious. It’s a great show that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is…and be groundbreaking (and HEART BREAKING). Opie was my favorite character……and I was crushed last night……still am. It sucks…but to not watch the show again? That’s just ridiculous. It’s no different than the Sopranos, Lost and The walking Dead…main characters die….it’s what makes the show so good. And you can damn well believe I will be watching….eagerly….to see how the Sons exact revenge on that guard and Pope……….it’s not gonna be a simple bullet in the head for those two……I wanna see them go thru a wood chipper or something equally horrific. Either way…I’ll be glued to my TV every Tuesday night at 10PM

    • Tiffany says:

      The people that won’t watch again are insane…this show keeps all of us on the edge of our seats every week, year after year. Yeah, some seasons are better than others, but what show is always 100% on point? This show, unlike most shows, isn’t afraid of killing a well like character. The pain we as the audience felt was real…and in that Kurt did his job. He conveyed the loss of this man, best friend, father to us all. That’s real television. That’s drama. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. Kurt Sutter keeps it real with us…he knows how invested we all are…and he still packs punches.

  27. S says:

    Jax needed a turning point. He needed what Pope told him was the moment that he would rise from a player to being a king. Up until this point he was just trying to make everyone happy. Opie’s sacrifice was to save Jax number 1 and number 2 was Opie’s way of pushing Jax to do what needed to be done. It was an amazing moment to see a character’s shift from a guy still just trying to tread water until he can get out, to the King of SAMCRO…The recap left out the best moment for Jax in my opinion. When he told the SGT. I will get out, there is nothing you can do to stop it. When I do, I will find you and I will kill you. At that moment…you knew Jax would never walk away from SAMCRO.

  28. Lisa says:

    Opie!! I’ll miss you. There was no reason for him to die, especially like that. I hope Pope dies slowly. I just goes to show how amazing the writers are on this show. To all you people who are not watching anymore…. YEAH RIGhT! As if you’ll be able to pass up the next episode. What the hell is Jax gonna do now!! You’ll be watching too….. Guarantee it :)

  29. Opie Lover says:

    fuxx Jax….Opie was the sh!t

    Damn!!!!!

  30. Engbunny says:

    THIS BLEW!!!! It should have been someone I hated! Opie was my favorite character. DAMN!!!! I hate Kurt Sutter right now.

  31. Ren says:

    i didnt realize it at the time, but the whole ep foreshadows opie’s death and suicide mission– when he said “It just ain’t fun anymore. Chasing cash we don’t need and spending every dime to stay alive.” it shows him giving up on life, he gave lyla money to provide for the kids and said his final goodbye, he went to prison w/ them knowing they didn’t have any protection. he had nothing to lose.

    Kurt Sutter has killed another “Lem”– Opie was the heart of the show, just like Lem. So many tragedies happened to both of them and they never deserved it. They endured so much on behalf of their team/club and would remain loyal forever. That’s what gets them killed in the end.

    Tig is obviously Shane Vendrell– impulsive, hot headed, unpredictable, dangerous, violent, follows their leader into the ends of the earth. They both cause so much unnecessary problems for their team/club. I see bad things happening to him and soon.

  32. Elaine says:

    God, I was so sure they’d somehow get Clay into the prison and he’d be the one to “take one for the club”. Damn. Damn. Damn. Opieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Noooooooooooooooooooooooo

    I have been in love with Ryan since the Spielberg series “Taken”. That man can break your heart with his eyes. There is no one who projects spiritual pain than Ryan.
    I’m going to miss Opie so much.

    As much as I understand what Kurt did, doesn’t mean I have to like it. I have to give him credit, though, because like George R. R. Martin, he’s not afraid to kill off beloved and/or main characters to move the story in a different direction. (If only more mainstream series had the balls to do that.)

    Here’s looking forward to Ryan’s next project …. and here’s to never forgetting Opie. (I’m totally against real life violence, but man, I can’t wait for Jax to take out that bastard guard. That actor played his role really damn good too.)

  33. Shaun says:

    Opie dead, Clay playing games, Jax distraught ,the whole club in turmoil… Such a shame. Can’t wait for Jax to get redemption on that c.o…Gemma and Nero where most likely set up by clay since he’s a B—–h. One other members will most likely die in the rest of the series. Pope is one viscious dude . Good job on the character

  34. Jennifer says:

    I really don’t think

  35. Jennifer says:

    I really don’t think I wanna watch anymore. I’m just disgusted. They killed off a key character… Just stupid.

  36. sancho30 says:

    im a police officer, captivated by this show since season one….i have seen the worst of society (real life)……when opie died i shed a tear, took my blood pressure medicine, and wished death on pope…..touche kurt sutter…touche!!!!!

  37. Liz says:

    Was wondering if anyone can explain what Jax’s wife wanted for the paper to be filled out for the prison and what it was for? I missed it and only caught a bit of what she was saying. Thank you!

  38. Kay Kay says:

    So glad to know so many have my same opinion… Heart broken & feeling that Opie wanted to die to be with his 1 true love Donna & his pops. Opie served 5 years for Samcro & came back to blow up what needed to be done! He really will be missed however I also watch HBO & they said it, they will kill off the main character & leave you wanting more. Kurt is obviously planning on either joing HBO or taking their nominations. 3rd epispde of the season & it’s already been one awesome ride! RIP Opie you stood up & went out like a true soldier @ war! Much luv 2 u brother

  39. beth says:

    I can’t believe they killed him! He was my favorite character and I was really looking forward to finally seeing how the two of them ran the club!!! So messed up and a stupid decision in my opinion!!! Don’t even want to watch anymore.

  40. Jake says:

    That whole Tara getting a paper to approve her “helping out” at the prison…. didn’t make sense. There’s no way a prison would let a current inmate’s immediately be a volunteer at the prison. If the volunteer were in place before the inmate ever began his sentence, possibly, but no way they’d let a new inmate’s immediate family be a volunteer there. Didn’t make sense to me.

  41. WILLIAMLULIEJR says:

    doesnt look lick things are getting better for sons just worse. I THINK POPE LOOKS LIKE HE’S FROM SANFORD AND SONS.

  42. H.Houston says:

    I knew it was Opie when I looked at the crew in jail.

    It couldn’t be Tig because that asshat has more trouble to brew for the club this year.

    It couldn’t be Chibs because Jax desperately needs Chibs (and Bobby) to keep him sane.

    And as much as some point and say or it was absolutely going to be Opie — I don’t know, maybe some of you didn’t catch what happened there. The markings of a true leader, you never ask your men or team to do something you are not willing to do. That is why when he talked to Opie he told him everything and told him that Bobby knew too. He wasn’t getting ready to send Opie in there or Chibs in there — Jax himself was going to do it from the moment that Pope told him the deal parameters.

    That is why Jax deserves to sit at the head of the table. Those are the decisions a president must make.

  43. digusted in SoCal says:

    I

  44. digusted in SoCal says:

    I have watched SOA since the first show aired and I’ve loved every minute of it. Even the gore was justifiable, but this guy Pope has to go, he is the anti-christ. Even for a hard core criminal, he is over the top. Burning a young girl alive and wanting to torture someone for life! I want Pope and his entire crew taken down this season or I am done with the series.

  45. Marc says:

    Homeland has nothing on SoA. It even gives The Wire a good run for the money.

  46. Eileen says:

    I hope someone can help!
    My DVR ran out before the show ended! Last I saw was Jax sending Chibs over to Tig to send him over to Jax!
    Hope I didn’t miss too much.

    • stephanie says:

      you missed jax stepping up and taking his spot mentally and emotionally as a president of the club…he pretty much put tig in his place and told him he got him out of his life sentence and for that he was to back his vote and move in every way shape and form…

      • Eileen says:

        Thank you so much for the ending! I can’t believe my time ran out. I’ve reset my DVR so it records 15 minutes past the hour!

        I came upon this series by accident; someone at work mentioned it to my husband. I cannot BELIEVE I didn’t know about it! We were so lucky to watch Seasons 1-4 back to back; we watched about three a night!

        Now, I sit and have to wait a full week before knowing what comes next. But, it’s so worth the wait.

  47. Killing Opie may be Sons jump the shark moment. The last episodes of the season will be the tell but I have a feeling the best of this show is behind us. My hope is they go out gracefully and not flog a dead iron horse.

  48. Grano Diorite says:

    Kurt Sutter is such a sick MOFO, no character is safe. That’s what makes the show so exciting. It’s not like you’re a little kid watching a scary scene in Star Trek and reassure yourself the main characters won’t get killed. Imagine if they whacked Spock in the original series? Kurt Sutter is THE evil genius….

  49. sylvester fields.jr says:

    Please don’t cancels the Sons after season six, it’s bad enough that Opie gone but to make season 7 the final just ain’t right to us the fans…

  50. Mary says:

    I understood that Opie was eventually going to die, I remember in sutters interviews that in the first season they were going to kill him instead of Donna, Im just sad at HOW he went, I understood why he died and what was going on in the series to lead up too it, but come on it was Opie, they could have made that fight scene last a little longer, maybe been killed by the second wave of like 10 men or something, but 3…………..I know its like real life, but I think Opie deserved a show. Again though maybe that was sutters way of showing how much he really had given up.

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