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

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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.”



Comments (752)

  • …anybody see Ryan Hurst in “The Ladykillers”?…he has a lot of range as an actor…watch it and see…

    Comment by ParadiseRoad – October 9, 2012 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s a tv show its not real! Get a life you pathetic morons!

    Comment by Chris199 – October 9, 2012 10:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Are you people that fking pathetic it’s a f@&king t.v show how can you make comments making it sound like real life? Grow the fuk up get a life it’s f&@king fiction you f#@king dumb losers! Peace ;)

    Comment by Chris199 – October 9, 2012 10:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think that you are devoid of any heart, soul or imagination. Why would you be making stupid comments if you weren’t just as enthralled with the show?

      Comment by Karen – October 9, 2012 10:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I live the show as mush as the next person but I also have a sense of reality the show is just a peice of entertainment I mean really how old are you? You act like you personally know the guy it’s so sad I feel so sorry for you that you are that pathetic I mean come on its NOT REAL! All of the people commenting acting like they knew the guy you honestly need to open your door take a step outside and get a life go watch a footy match or any sporting event go to a music concert and get a grip of reality you are not living In a fanticy world where you are a member of a made up bikey gang you are on planet earth get a grip. If you are that into it and think you can relate so much to it and think he was such a hero go join the hells angels and live the life for yourself not on a fuking tv show where you think you are one of them. Peace ;) xx

        Comment by Chris199 – October 12, 2012 06:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I like* not live

          Comment by Chris199 – October 12, 2012 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Common, a little harsh, people watch a show and get into it as a fun escape. We all know we have our jobs to go to ect but after the kids are asleep, it’s nice to get a break with a rockin show. When you watch something for so long, you have your favorite characters that you like and you can’t wait to see what they would do next. What would the Sopranos have been without “T” ….. Ect . People are not pathetic , they are just going to miss one of their favorite characters.

          Comment by Ben – October 14, 2012 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really didn’t think that the show would lose Opie! Damn, it’s a true heartbreak…Opie was the heart and soul…true stand up guy, for the SOA! I really hate that he’s gone. Ryan Hurst…you’re one hell of an actor. Hope to see you in something great soon. I know that Jax, (Charlie) will vindicate Opies death. I also know that the writers will bring Clay his rightful end….death! Long live the heart and soul of SOA…this is one weekly show that really grabs me!

    Comment by Karen – October 9, 2012 10:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hello author, whoever you are. I’m sure your writing skills are pedestrian and I won’t critique what I didn’t read, but I will offer some advice on critical thinking since you are apparently as obtuse as a chicken’s asshole: DON”E PUT DENOUEMENTS IN YOUR TITLE YOU IDIOT!!!!! Do you not understand how Google’s search algorithms work? You putz!!!!

    Comment by GM – October 10, 2012 05:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What kind of an idiot warns about spoilers and then writes the spoiler into the headliner?

    Comment by White rabbit – October 12, 2012 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • are you kidding me? you say it contains spoilers but in your main title it comes up with opie’s death as the first hit on google. You have ruined that episode for me….

    Comment by bill – October 14, 2012 01:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it was one of the best moments of the whole seasons.
    I was wondering how likely is to one comic book of the walking dead written at the exact same time they were shooting the episode. Spoiler ; in the comic Rick ( leader of the good ones as Jax ) has to see with a bunch of friends how a more powerfull enemy kills his best friend in front of him. unable to stop the baseball bate breaking his head one hit after another. And as Jax he convinces his group to aparently submit to this powerfull enemy´s demands and not go to a retaliation war…. isn´t this an extraordinary coincidence?

    Comment by sandman – October 19, 2012 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • In srason 4 piney and jax are talking and jax was saying something about JT running away to Belfast that Jt was betraying the club and running away, and then coming back when something happened to his brother Thomas and it being too late. Piney says something about it showing a mans character in how he steps up after a crisis to handle the consquences. Sorry it was the last converation that Jax had with piney before clay killed him.

    Comment by Gar – October 23, 2012 07:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What a joke , Sons are little Bitches lol Letting Opp die because Ron Pearlman is to big a name to get rid of , lmao what couldnt afford to kill his charachter . This show just gets stupider and stupider , badass Bikers lmao Kids riding up n down my street on Big Wheels got more Juice than these clowns .

    Comment by Skag – November 1, 2012 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want to PROTEST the death of OPIE! Bring harry Winston back to the screen! Here’s how….1. Birth certificate of a Love child of piney was discovered when cleaning out the cabin. 2. Irish baby sellers took identical twin at birth and told Piney the child was dead at birth. or 3. As a Ghost Rider..Abel’s birth mom tries to damage Tara by slipping Acid into her sandwich. Jax shows up, takes a bite of the sandwich as he is leaving. He starts seeing OPIE as a ghost rider who gives him wisedom to run the club. Jax continues to see images in black and white.

    Comment by pamela bond – November 4, 2012 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • See he was a true brother. An No brother and guy like that. Is going to sit around an do nothing he knew it would change his Lil bros course that’s a True Bf

    Comment by kasey – November 6, 2012 08:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YO KURT SUTTER…….KURT SUTTER…WHERE ARE YOU?
    I NEED TO BITCH SLAP YOU FOR OPIE!
    LOVE
    SIKWILLE

    Comment by Wilson – November 14, 2012 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When Opie died brutally, and Jax was looking, It was so gripping!

    Comment by Vik – November 16, 2012 11:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • F*** opie he’s a b**** a** n****… after he didn’t kill the fbi lady from season 1-2 I lost respect for him…and y’all ppl that’s cryin lmao!!!!!

    Comment by opie killa – November 16, 2012 09:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • this was crap! plain and simple…..Opie should not have been killed!!! It should have been Tig! I actually got quite angry about this!!!

    oh and WOW…..some people really need to learn how to spell…….”goast”…….really??? its GHOST….just because it sounds similar to Toast…..does not mean you replace the T with a G……

    that is all!

    Comment by juntao! – January 1, 2013 04:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It rly shouldve been juice im still not over him turnin rat in the last season n i dnt trust him to not do it again once a snitch always a snitch

    Comment by bigg$ – January 15, 2013 09:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This pages is 3rd result when you search for Opie on Google.
    Thanks for spoiling the series form me.

    Comment by Spoiler Alert – January 18, 2013 08:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sutter has jumped the shark multiple times these last two seasons. Not much left but torture porn now. If no one is ever happy, if suffering and death is all that’s around you, what is the argument for the MC at all? As Sutter writes it, there is NONE. Who knew an argument could actually be made for a fast food job.

    Comment by RIPSOA – January 22, 2013 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think they should bring opie back like he just vanished to kill off clay now thats a show then opie turn the club straight

    Comment by Todd – February 5, 2013 10:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was cried when Opie’s death. I love him and his character. But the other side, Kurt is so brilliant!!!

    Comment by nillaprilliyanti – February 15, 2013 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Killing Opie was the biggest mistake of the show. he was my second favorite character and the second toughest compared to Jax. i wish their was someway to bring him back not to sound like someone with no life

    Comment by Tyler Gogan – March 17, 2013 05:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does any one know the songs name that played when Jax said goodbye to oppi and the bikes took the cofin to the van

    Comment by fransces – May 7, 2013 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry when the bikers took his cofin to the van

    Comment by fransces – May 7, 2013 01:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Opie’s death will not color the rest of the series, it just made it darker. i was really pissed when he died, every time i watch the series i wish opie was there with the brothers. gonna really miss u opie R.I.P

    Comment by staix – July 1, 2013 05:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t take this. Tanke my life! Opie in my heart! <3

    Comment by Ronnyah – August 22, 2013 04:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Opie is One of my favorite charactors besides Jack and Juice. Hope they get O-towns leader and burn that scum bag alive in other episodes!:). SOA rules all! I love that club:).

    Comment by Markito Soler – October 21, 2013 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This show is a joke. Today’s bikers probably work at H&R block and gay bar hop on the weekends while wearing their pirate costumes.

    Comment by Tina – January 23, 2014 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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