Sons of Anarchy Boss Defends Shocking, Brutal Death, Says 'It Will Color the Rest of the Series'

Sons of Anarchy OpieThe following contains major spoilers from this week’s episode of FX’s Sons of Anarchy.

FX’s Sons of Anarchy has killed its fair share of characters over the years, but no death has packed quite the punch as Opie’s grisly murder in this Tuesday’s episode. To recap, grimacing anew with every keystroke: Per the terms laid out by Damon Pope to solve the Sons’ prison problem, Jax would not only cede half of the club’s coke-muling earn, but also sacrifice one of his brothers. (Tig’s life however was not on the table, as Pope also insisted that his daughter’s killer rot behind bars, forever.) And while Jax adamantly refused to give up a Son, Opie made the tough call for him, forcing his way into an off-book prison melee that had only one possible outcome: his death, via several blows to the head with a steel pipe.

During a Wednesday conference call, Sons creator Kurt Sutter told TVLine that he first mulled Opie’s fate during Season 3, and firmed it up at the end of Season 4, when the character’s dad, Piney, met his own maker, at Clay’s hand.

“I got to the end of that season and realized there is this circular dynamic happening with Jax and Opie that I felt was very difficult to get out of,” Sutter explained. Having informally set his sights on a seven-season run, “This is the first [season] I’ve had to think about the end game, and knowing where I wanted to get my hero and knowing how I wanted to get there, the road I wanted him to travel,” Sutter continued. “And Jax needed that emotional upheaval, that one event that happens in a mans life that can change the course of his destiny — the death of his best friend was [that].”

Sutter acknowledges that the manner of Opie’s death and the suddenness was hard-hitting, but promises it was not served up lightly. “I knew this would be a gut-wrenching episode and difficult for people to wrap their brains around, but… the death of Opie will color the rest of the episodes for the rest of the series,” he stressed. “It’s not a death that will happen in vain. Of course there’ll be a sense of vengeance, something that drives out guys to retaliate, but also the emotional impact that his death will have on the rest of the characters will always be there.”

Other topics Sutter addressed during the press call:

WHY OPIE GAVE UP HIS LIFE | “I do believe that some of it was a sense of, ‘Here’s an opportunity for me to go out doing the right thing, to be of best service to my club’ — and also to his family,” Sutter said, noting that Opie never really reconciled his life with his relationship to his ex and their kids. “Jax wasn’t going to force himself to make that choice [of who dies]. Opie saw that … and had to step in and make that choice.”

GIVING RYAN HURST THE BAD NEWS | “It’s a difficult thing. He is very plugged into the show and loves the character, and Ryan is a super-sensitive dude, so it was difficult for both of us to figure out how to do this,” Sutter related. “In the end, when he read the script and saw the episodes that follow, he understood the nature of it and the importance of it in the mythology of the show.”

WHY SUTTER HIMSELF ‘SPOILED’ THE BIG DEATH | For a showrunner who is extremely averse to spoilers, Sutter’s use of Twitter and the like to talk up the looming death was, to say the least, surprising. “The reason I ended up teasing it … was really because of social media and the speed at which information travels,” he explained. “It was about giving people a heads up that if they weren’t watching the episode [live] to stay off social media until they did, so it wouldn’t get spoiled.”

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  1. Debora says:

    Ok, Mr Sutter. I thought I was watching a show called SONS OF ANARCHY, but I was watching “Saint Seya” Oõ

  2. Heather says:

    I cried so hard. I was torn yet I love Jax but Opie was a great man only trying to turn his life around. I’m worried about where the rest is going to go

  3. Andy Ridley says:

    Kurt Please can you give a date for when we will get season 5 here in the UK please……..
    Great show….

  4. chuck says:

    Rip “opie”
    You will be missed.
    Now he can be with his wife, the only thing that bothers me is his kids lost both parents.I hope jax takes opies kids in and raises them better then opie did give them a chance. Mr. Sutter I hope u tie this lose end up with the kids. Being a father of 5 that was the first thing I thought of as opie crashed to the ground life les

  5. Stephanie says:

    I started to cry :( RIP Opie!! He was one of my top 2 favs!!! </3

  6. Lori says:

    Once I saw Opie go in that room, I couldn’t watch, I knew it was going to be too brutal and from the sounds of it I was right. I thought for sure it would be Chibs and since I can’t understand half of what he says, and although I like his character, I was ok with him going. Sigh.

  7. Mary says:

    Kurt: I wanted to tell you that Episode three was amazing storytelling and grippingly sad for me. I loved opie he was my favorite son; I was hoping for some happiness for him after what his wife did (dirty girl!) He was like a big lonely bear that I wanted to comfort. I cried so hard when they killed him and was somewhat angry too! Oh, PS, Clay needs his ass kicked again! lol The episode, though heartwrenching, was great; and you never disappoint where the show is concerned. Thank you!

  8. joy ward says:


  9. Sneeper says:

    This season is bad ass
    Brilliant opies death was a surprise
    But it was due coming
    Very interested in the episodes coming
    I dislike the wait between seasons way more them opies death
    Will be sadder when I have no more seasons to look forward to

  10. Hazzard says:

    This was a very disappointing episode. How do you kill off the Matador. I was shaking with anger as I watched. I just hope now that clays end is even worse and pope n his peeps even worse yet. Looking foward to seeing where Rusty comes in to all this.

  11. Mary says:

    :-( opie:-( gna miss him, still upset abt it, but the shoe must go on. It was a very brutal way to kill him off, but it was very disturbing to watch tig watch his daughter b burned alive. Sons of anarchy is a great show, I love it and will continue to watch…great work sutter…u havr done it again. Cant wait for the rest of the season:-)

  12. Dyann says:

    This was the second one that had made me cry ! The first was when Donna was killed. But it did have a big impact on me when Opie was killed. I know the show is based on fictional characters. But I can not get past the fact that Opie is gone, he was one of my favorites

  13. karen davis says:

    I’m not happy about Opie’s death, I just hope it does serve the purpose Kurt wants. I can only hope at the end of this series Opie makes a Ghost/Dream appearance to Jax to give him closure at the vengance of his, Donna, and Piney’s deaths and a message of hope for Jax to carry on his life. I also hope somehow it has something to do with Clay’s death!

  14. migdalia felice says:

    Not a great move, killing Opie off. There were others that were boring on the show. Maybe one of them could have taken one for the team!

    Will not watch with such enthusiasm as before. Maybe will not watch at all.

  15. Kristen Otero says:

    First of all… To plan in advance that the show will only be 7 seasons is so stupid to me.. If people like the show, like they do… Why would you end it?? And as for opie, I heard before I watched it that he was going to die.. Still don’t understand killing off main characters…. Doesn’t help the show. SOA is my fav and my husband and I will keep watching!

    • JULES says:

      Letting a show continue just because people like to watch it can ruin a story. Think of how many shows ran past their prime and the quality of storytelling declined horribly. I’d rather have 7 amazing seasons than be stuck with bad episodes. And killing off a main character is brilliant when it works with the concept of the show- which it did here. Sutter is actually telling a story and he’s not afraid to do it.

  16. JULES says:

    I honestly don’t get those that say Sutter made the wrong decision or that they will never watch again. I’m confused as to what show they think they were watching here…. SOA is gritty, violent and NOT happy. Killing Opie made sense for all the reasons he stated. Yes it was sad- but life is sad. Especially a life of crime. It’s realistic to the storyline. It wouldn’t make sense to have all the main characters always survive. I’m sorry, I just don’t get how some people see this.

  17. Angelina says:

    I loved Opie. He was one of the main reasons I watched this show. Him and Jax are my faves. When I saw that episode, it killed me inside. I was shocked and dumbfounded. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen. It was like I was watching my man get brutally murdered and there was nothing I cod do about it. I cried so sincerely for him. Can’t believe he’s gone an wnt out that way. :•((

  18. Tonya Hanson says:

    Opie was ome of my favs besides Jaxx. They were best buddies.. the loss of Ope made me cry :-( and the pain Jaxx showed during and after that made it worse for me. I cried the rest of the episode and 2 days after the show.. I still can’t believe it. Well done mr. Sutter. Your a brilliant man!!!!

  19. Yvonne says:

    OMG I cryed like a baby I loved Opie as much as I do Jaxs…. I have been watching sons since the first day they came out I’m so addicted.I will sit in my room and keep watching when fx replays the episodes….. keep up the good work shutter

  20. Luanne says:

    It sucks…I’m finding a new Tuesday night show

  21. ann says:

    If u really pay attention you saw dis coming this is wat will take jax to da next level yea I was sad just like everyone else but I think dis was best for da show I could see jax feeding off his hurt and pain to come out on top isnt dis show about jax anyway just saying.. well written sutter!

  22. bill says:

    i feel sorry for opie but at least he went out with respect. .jax if i were you , i would go after the man responsible for it all,pope.i would make him pay,

  23. Angelina says:

    Should have been tig!! He killed that girl not Opie.

  24. wes razo says:

    The thing that bothers me is that Tigs life was off the table ,so Opie sacrificed himself then Tig walks when he should have been the one to die in the first place.

  25. penny says:

    i think that the was a very wrong to kill off Opie,one one the lesser club members would have given you the same affect,waying in on my mind should i continue to watch or not,i really wish that the writers would syop and think killing off the people that fans like really is not a good way to go,leaveing the people that the fans like will make the fans come back,all i can say is i think you have made a very piss poor judgement,and trust me i am not the only one

    • Walrus says:

      It had to be one of the four in prison. Take Tig out of the equation because Pope said it couldn’t be him. Jax could have given himself up, but that wouldn’t have made much sense… left Opie and Chibs. They set this up in the previous episode when Opie said he didn’t even know how to love anything anymore… it was almost like a suicide note.

  26. Debi says:

    I was mortified to find it was gonna be Opie. Like many others, he was one of my very favorites. Can’t you find another family to pick on? Sons has been responsible for wiping out his whole family. RIP Opie. I wont forget you!!!!!!!

  27. Barbara Good says:

    Going to miss Opi. You should bring him back on the show as a dream Jax was having or maybe a twin brother that no one knew about. Please bring Opi back.

  28. lisa singer says:

    love the show…you really know how to keep up glue each week to what is happeneing next..i hated opie dieing as well…but i felt to it was for the best…he loved the club even after all he has lost to it..he would do anything…and he felt he would help jax out by making the desious for him since jax couldn’t or idnt want to..opie was that type of man….a good mAN ….can’t wait to see what happens next keep up the good work….wish you came on more than 1 time a week…the waiting really draws me in….

  29. S. Lawyer says:

    You had me and several friends in tears. Opie of all people. This episode left me in tears feeling as it my guts had been ripped out. I LOVE Opie and love Ryan Hurst. I will keep watching b/c I also love the show but I will do so with tear filled eyes. Now, do us all a favor and KILL CLAY! Thank you… That is all.

  30. Becky says:

    I was shocked, like everyone else about Opie. Jax and Opie are the sexiest men on Sons so now I just wait and hope to see another naked scene of Jax.

  31. Kniteowl says:

    Yep, I just quit watching this show! Thanks a lot guys.

  32. Bob Berhow says:

    Hey Kirt, I can’t think of a series that I liked more! Great work! I have changed my life so that I will be up at ten on TuesdaysI wish that I could get ahold of season 5, An hour once a week isn’t enough!

  33. Love the show, CAN’T wait for next week!!

  34. Tanya McMillen says:

    I saw it coming and had to leave the room. I’m so upset with Opie’s death it’s like I lost a family member. Several friends on FB and I had discussions after. Some are not sure they will continue watching, so I hope the risk was worth the loss. The rest of the season better really kick ass cause Opie’s memory is worth more than you may think ! I’ll continue to watch for a while to see where the story line goes, but I’m not sure I’ll continue if it’s not up to Opie’s memory.

  35. Nicki says:

    As much as we loved Opie, we will continue to watch the show and support Kurt. It’ s going to be very interesting to see how this all plays out!

  36. Tara Keehn says:

    I have to say, it really bummed me out for a good portion of the day after I watched it. I really liked Opie’s character and will miss his presence on the show! I get the plot significance… But Opie will be missed!

  37. josh says:

    rip opie i almost boycotted the show over this im still upset but will continue to watch they better avenge his death

  38. I have no tears for Opie.He gave me goose bumps the way he forced Hisself into his last fight.He was a proud man who
    gave his everything for his friend Jax and his club S.O.A.

  39. Diane says:

    So glad to see that I was not the only one moved to tears. I love Opie and like so many others will watch him whereever he goes and whatever show he next appears. Love ya Opie

  40. mpdrgn says:

    I was so pissed that they killed Opie, I will not watch the rest of the season and hope the show gets canceled…I will go back to watching Outlaw bikers on A&E… Hell they might all be repeats, but Atleast it’s about real bikers

    • JANE says:

      You just contradicted yourself completely. If you want a show about “real bikers” than doesn’t Opie’s death make sense? What, do you think it’s always a happily ever after? It’s a realistic death in the story. Sorry you can’t see that.

  41. natw says:

    all i have to say is Hamlet…

  42. Mel says:

    Did anyone notice Juice on the floor with bullets in his gut during the raid. He’s gone.

    • jenna forbes says:

      I think that was a Mexican guy…you may be right though they Did show him twice. OMG. Well he was a rat. He should have been in that cell.

  43. Tonya says:

    Opie will definitely be missed. He was so brave in what he did. I wish it didn’t happen like that though. As he hit that guard I knew what came next. I have never got tears in my eyes so fast than what I did Tuesday night. I always watch each episode back to back as it comes on, and it was so hard to watch over. I can’t get it out of my head :'( I can’t wait to see what’s in store for that guard and Pope. Even though I was so disappointed I will continue to watch SOA, Im a die hard fan forever..

  44. jenna forbes says:

    Honestly I was in disbelief through out the entire scene. I was sick to my stomach with tears streaming down my face. Never before have I been so upset over a show but I loved opie and I understand now why he had to die but I still can’t accept it. There better one hell of a revenge That’s all i have to say now. Rip opine you’re the one and only true vp.

  45. Woody Moore says:

    I still can’t believe they killed Opie. Very disappointed but that’s one of the things that makes this show so good. You don’t know what is going to happen and no one is safe.

  46. Tonya says:

    That wasn’t Juice on the floor, watch it again and look carefully at the head.

  47. Mara says:

    I understand the concept of opie death, he was one of my fav. But the way he went down was very brutal,sad and to fast of fight. I would had loved to see him fight a good battle, after of course he beat everyone down with the same pipe that eventually took his life. I love SOA and hope that trigger be the one to kill pope.

  48. Dominick J Panetta says:

    Thanks for the greatest show. On tv ! Very sad about Opie but like how you potraided him !!!!!! Anything for the club and ANYTHING FOR A BEST FRIEND !!!!!!!

  49. Sheryl says:

    I can’t believe I actually fell in love with the character. oPI you are awesome I was sad I cried when they killed you I was so upset why did you let this happen Sutter bring him back. all I can say is that I cannot wait to see you in something else you are an awesome actor. this is so weird I have never been so involved in the series as I am with sons of anarchy.

  50. candice gray says:

    you will be sadly missed Opie, I loved the character and Ryan Hurst. the show must go on but it won’t be the same without you………R.I.P. MAJOR LOSS FOR US THE FANS AND THE SHOW