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. m brown says:

    Ryan Hurst was the best of the show. Favorite character, Opie is far more interesting than Jax. It sucks that Sutter feels he has to kill off a character when he can’t get out of a rutt. On another note, this show isn’t as fun as it use to be. Its taking itself too seriously, I miss the jokes and funny witty stuff…. now its all drama!

  2. Yari says:

    Watching all that Opie has suffered since the begining made his death the more harder to watch….He was so complicted with so many issues and sadly I know this is what is going to drive Jax to get things right! Still Opie will be missed I loved his character and his passion…But in my eyes this show is “genius” Sutter is amazing!!! Alway SOA FAN!

  3. Harry020 says:

    Not right for Opie, 4 days later I find myself thinking about this episode. Not understanding why Gemma went after the hooker, Not understanding why Clay is still alive, And Opie dying before Trig. I am looking forward to the revenge on the guard. I would have liked to see the movie with no commercials. Fox plays to many commercials…. Auuughhh I wish they would not have killed Opie..:(

    • Walrus says:

      If you look at the history of the show, Gemma has always had an issue with Clay’s infidelity, and always took it out on the women, not on Clay. She may not love Clay anymore, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be jealous. I know that in my younger days I got into more than one fight when I saw an ex with someone else. It’s not rational to be jealous of an ex, but it happens.

  4. kimberly says:

    understandable reasoning behind Opies death..but cudnt it have waited a bit longer i mean esp after the death of his wife and his father why cudnt opie get some revenge…clay and tig shud be the ones in a position beggin for their life…i wanted to see jax and opie reform the club…so sad opies gone :(

  5. john degeorge says:

    opie death will not be forgotten,,NOW IT’S PAYBACK TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  6. Chuck says:

    Being a biker myself, I know that things can happen in the blink of an eye and without warning. I’ve even lost close friends in a brutal way. Well played Kurt! Even though the death of Opie dug up some old bones within my own life, its the realistic way of how you tell the story that keeps me glued to the TV every Tuesday.

  7. Charlie says:

    Man, this episode was great! Opie was obviously a fan favorite by many of us Sons fans!!! R.I.P. Opie!!! But to see the President talk the way he did to the Sgt., Pope, and then his guys, we all know it’s goona be good and heads will roll for the death of his best friend!!! Can’t wait!!

  8. Jessica says:

    Opie was one of my favs and will miss seeing him! I wanted to see him and Jax grow together and better the club! But my 3yr old daughter said “mommy opie isn’t really dead … He died in the show” :) she doesn’t even watch it with but asked why I was crying! So I told her

  9. Jonieka says:

    Opie wasnt suppose to go! Im sick to my stomach about the whole thing out all ppl Opie? Everything he lost he couldnt even keep his life! Omg his kids smh what a hurtful feeling.

  10. Anthony Perez says:

    Opie was the one character I realy could relate to out of most of the S O A. Wen I saw his death I felt like my life just flashed before my eyes. I took a real good look at myself for the rest of the nite. In my life style I can see that happening to me. I was raised and brought up to be a street soldier and respect my club and my brothers. I don’t want to make my family suffer the way I did after I saw the death of Opie. It realy hit me hard and til this hour I tlk about it with other fans of the show. It was a real eye opener for me. Not to let anybody down that I care for but to think real hard before I jump into the flames that can bring me to that point. R I P Brother Opie, you will be missed. Now its time for Jax to kick sum ars….

  11. Terry says:

    This one hurt, more than a TV show should.

  12. Sam says:

    opie gonna be missed, R.I.P. he was an awesome dude…

  13. Hutt4Life says:

    This is the last Time you will get me Kurt. What I mean by that is: I have learned a very important lesson, a lesson that I have learned time and time again from Kurt Sutter that no one in the show is safe (putting Jax a side). I should have learned my lesson when watching “The Shield”. I need to realise when developing a show, you need to provide a certain realism, a realism that Kurt needs to bring to life in order to point a character in a certain direction. In real life there is no reason why Opie wouldn’t meet his fate in jail. If you live a life of violense, you die by the same violense. The death of Opie is almost too real. Fantasy would be every son still alive through out every season. I know now, no son is safe. Kurt is a genious at understanding what this show needs to be the best show of all time. With that said, I still lost it when Op was killed. I have never been this emotionally connected to any show. Well done Kurt, you have a giant ball sack for having the gutts to kill op.

  14. Wally says:

    Opie is a true brother and will never be forgotten

  15. Sissy says:

    I have been watching SOA from day one and loved Opie every minute of it. I have lived life not entirely shocked by violence but watching that episode had me in shock n now I’m broken hearted I loved his character. I will remain a fan though I own all the seasons so far.

  16. Gary Hollon says:

    My stomach was in knots. I threw the remote across the room. But I have to say this is what you call a great show for when you get this involved in a show. Jax and Opie are my favorite characters on the show. I now have one thing left to say, “Damn it Jax, time to CLEAN house!”

  17. tami says:

    I was Sick can not believe STILL that OPIE is gone..he was one of my favorites on the show. I could not even watch it the second time (which i ALWAYS DO). JUST BROKE MY HEART. Can NOT wait until CLAY is taken OUT.. and jima needs to slow her row..she is getting alittle out of hand/crazy.

  18. GMAN says:

    what a devastating loss to the show!!! he was a great asset to the club n the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Brenda Roberts says:

    I think Sutter did an excellent job of making us absolutely love Opie and that is why everyone is so hit buy the death of him. Yes it was brutal–but so is the real world.
    I will miss Opies character.

  20. Richilynn says:

    I get it but I was so devastated when it was Opie. Just thought it was going to be Juice bc of his recent problem of being a snitch , or Clay bc he needs to go just not my Opie. Don’t think the show will be the same

  21. Hooked says:

    OPIE’S GONE, I have cried and cried, job well done KC. You have accomplished exactly what you set out to do, look at all of these comments….people like myself who have become so involved with this show that the real ness of it actually makes the pain gut wrenching. My problem is this…..I understand all good things must come to an end sometime…..but how am I going to handle the fact that I can’t turn on my tv weekly and watch SOA, or even know that there is at least a new season coming my way in due time, which that wait by itself, is tough enough. It’s kind of like when I try a new brand of something and get hooked on it then WHAM, they take it off the market…..IT SUCKS!!! So for now…….I will continue to watch faithfully and say THANK YOU KC for bringing this series to us to enjoy while we have it. I have cried, I have been mad, confused, shocked, amazed, and completely swept up with this show that life around me does not exist when I’m watching and I can’t say that about any other show on TV.

  22. carmen says:

    that was a bummer about opie i wanted to see him and jax run tough together like they did in the beginning on season one

  23. dana says:

    I cried like a baby when ope was killed. It was shocking and sad and brutal. The sacrafice was primal. Hats off to writers the actors as was a job well done. Ope was my fav but I look fwd to future episodes.

  24. It’s sad when a respected character like Opie gets killed of a show. Mr. Sutter, what a creative way to kill this character. The motorcycle club lifestyle is certainly not a pretty one, with the dealings the Sons have been into especially recently shows only the consequences that are possible if mistakes are made. Continued success with the Sons of Anarchy. May made it continue for more than 7 seasons. And as far as “Opie”,
    “He died a Warriors death”, so others may live.

  25. BikersWitch says:

    Any true 1%’er club president would NEVER have made ANY kind of deal with a black thug in a suit. Or with Mexicans. The first one to try to tell them what to do would be met with a bullet. Jax (and his father) are hippie leftovers who do NOT belong at the head of a 1%er club.

    Sutter may have talked with the HA’s but he fantasized about that which they didn’t tell him. And other information they would’ve told him, he obviously didn’t pay attention to. NO club goes on a run to do some sort of crime wearing their colors – DUH! Anyone who sees them can identify the club! i.e. Rico Act – DUH! Also, they would never ride their bikes – too noisy. They’d wear bike gloves and take stolen cars/trucks with stolen plates. No noise and nothing to tie them to it. And NO old lady would know what was going on. And no old lady would be at “church”.

    I love the show and the characters. Hated it when Opie was killed. TOTAL bummer. But I wish Sutter had paid a little more attention to what he was being told by the HA’s.

  26. Kassie says:

    I have never had a tv series draw me in so much. It is a sad day to loose Opie and the way u killed him off was heart wrenching !! Hopefully it will set the rest of the series. Not sure his loss will help the club.

  27. Tracy holt says:

    Hey I loved Opie! But if you understand clubs this would happen there too! Whether you love them or not! Opie was not fully dedicated to the club anymore had to happen!

  28. cathy says:

    Wasn’t wanting to see Opie gone but it is a punch to the face of Jax to step up take a strong hold and kick some ass to finish out the season. The club needs to be short one major player soon by unnatural causes . . . . CLAY MUST GO!!!!!!!!! I ‘m hoping it’s by Jax’s hand and that he gets to see and feel all the hate and he has caused the CLUB!

  29. My old man just said…you know its a show right? The guy that plays Opie is not dead…lol uh duh…I was just ranting about Opie being killed off…

  30. Dale says:

    I am STILL really saddened by Opie’s death! It’s been two days and I still can’t get that scene out of my head. That was some powerful writing and acting. The quick and savage way it played out, added even more shock value.
    I will miss Ryan Hurst, I’ve enjoyed his acting in anything he’s ever been in. I really hoped he would be in SOA till the end.
    Opie was Jax’s best friend and I think his inner conscience…the same could be said for Piney too. He looked for and trusted their insights on things. I miss them BOTH!!! This is going to isolate Jax as he isn’t close to any other club members.
    I think Opie was coming to the end of the road with all the twisted lies and deceit, he could see where things were going to end up. And he knew Jax couldn’t “give up” one of the club members, Opie stepped up to the sacrificial knight, saving Jax from that agony. I think he was ready to go when he asked his ex to watch over his kids.
    When he went into that room, knowing full well he was going to his death and then telling Jax: “I got this.” I teared up.
    Can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out now! As angry Jax is about Tig’s b.s. I still have a feeling he isn’t going to turn him over to Pope. He will NOT lose any more club members. That prison guard signed his own death warrant with Opie’s death. And all of Pope’s empire is gonna burn. Maybe not this season, but it’s gonna happen. lol
    As for the “home invasions” I have a feeling Clay is behind those. Not sure why yet, he’s covering his ass about something.
    Keep us guessing Kurt! And keep up the great writing.

  31. Richard says:

    Like everybody else I was quite shocked of Opie’s death. I actually lost sleep over it as his death kept replaying in my head. My girlfriend was in tears.

  32. Jason gray says:

    I think it was a great decision. Opie stayed close. His wife. His dad. And he decided to go out with pride and he took the last blow. I hope jax plays out to be better than clay say bye to pope and make the club a HUGE organization.

  33. kyle says:

    im glad that he was taken out of the show i think opie would have been more of a hinderence to jax because of the rage he still had inside because of what clay did to piney now that opie is gone its give jax a reason to be even more of a bad ass and its gonna make getting rid of clay so much easier for him now and now that he is gone jax does not have to worry about opie doing anything stupid to mess things up with the cartel yes he was a awesome character but now i think the event and story line to come will be so much more complex and jax wlill be able to justify his soon to come extreme reactions to all of this i mean it already shows hw jax has changed emotioally by the end of the show that night its gonna be awesome!!!

  34. Jessica says:

    I couldn’t even finish watching the show after the first blow to Opie’s head. So upsetting that he went out that way. I can’t believe they killed off one of my fave characters so early into the season.

  35. William steadman says:

    that smile at the end is what did it for me opie was at peace with his life and where it had brought him , you will be missed

  36. Melissa says:

    Very sad….I cried like a baby… I will miss Opie he was one of my fav people on the show. Like some of you said it was like watching a family memeber go very disturbing…But I give credit where its due, great writing.

  37. Ed says:

    Clay will be on the show till the end. Too big a Star.

  38. Hats of to you Kurt…… have everyone on the edge of their seats, mad happy & sad! Am I mad about Opie,yes but you proved the good die young! I just hope that Opus moves on to bigger & better thing in real life hes a great actor! I will be watching for you ;) RIP OPIE!

  39. KC says:

    OK, I get the “impact” this storyline has on the show. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD…PLEASE don’t take Opie away from us. Let him be the “spirit” of reason in Jax subconscious. That could really mess wit Jax’s mind and still give the viewers what “they” want. I think the show NEEDS Opie’s character, (…I know “we” do.)

  40. Oz_p says:

    I dont get it, the Son’s numbers are getting thin what with those that were killed last season, so why go and kill off Opie, a main character who had Jax’s back even at the end, surely Chibs would have been a better choice!?!? Also the fact he went down without killing at least one of them doesnt exactly show them as much good in a fight!

  41. Eva says:

    when i watched it live all i can say was that i was shocked i’m a very sensitive person n it was like loosing my own brother all i can remember was screaming out loud and balling my eyes out…..not opie he was not even envolved n pope’s daughters death so sad but i guess there is a good reason for it and if Sutter makes the rest of the series awsome and i will understand it then it will be worth it

  42. Amanda says:

    This episode made me cry like I was watching my best friend be killed. :'( Rest in Peace Opie

  43. Devan says:

    I was in shock I had to watch it twice. I had tears running down my face.

  44. selda says:

    Oh how I can’t wait to see how Pope dies….

  45. T.C. Ross says:

    I like most everybody else was shocked and saddened to see Opie killed; but I agree with the writers, his death will forge the dynamics of the remaining shows. Up until now, Jax has only been a participant in these seedy ventures with SAMCRO. Now Jax is fully immersed into the ruthless mindset he needs to have to deal with cartels and the likes of Pope. Jax has that true hardcore resolve to be a leader of a crime syndicate now. We all watched him grow up right before our eyes with the death of Opie. Excited to see how this plays out.

  46. Jeff says:

    Opie was a true bro! He will be missed!

  47. kayla slice says:

    I cried and cried!! The whole scene was just traumatic. Jax screaming from the other room and beating on the glass completely helpless, Opie getting a few good licks in- knowing he has no chance, Tigg turned around not even being able to watch, then the big blow….. I mean c’mon! Is it just me, or is this season 100x more graphic?? The burning girl was bad enough! I understand the story has to be kept interesting or whatever…..but why Opie??!! This sucks.

  48. tammy harris says:

    I know it must of been very hard for Kurt to write Opie off! I do see how and why he had too, but I just can wrap my brain around it!!!!! Been thinking about every other way than killing Opie off. Kurt at the end made the right decision :( It just hurts way too much!!!!! Opie was just life family to me (us), I (we) are morning for you Opie. I (we) love Opie sooooooo much. Kurt please don’t stop doing what you are doing. Ryan I (we) love ya! You have mad love here!!! What ever you do Ryan I (we ) will follow!

  49. Leslie says:

    I must admit, I cry at the drop of a hat. But when Opie was killed, and the way he was killed actually hurt me. And the stellar performance by Hunnam, you can feel the pain in his eyes. You can see he will never be the same, and thats what Sutter wanted. Bravo! So powerful! So moving! My heart hurts for Jax. Would never miss this show for the world!

  50. A. son (Of Anarchy) says:

    RIP…opie…Your death will be Avenged !!!! Opie, piney and Donna together again