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Sons of Anarchy's Kurt Sutter on Gemma's 'Deep Bond' With Clay, SAMCRO's Rising Death Toll

Sons of Anarchy Season 5 SpoilersThis story contains spoilers from Tuesday’s Sons of Anarchy. If you’ve yet to watch, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, read on…

Sons of Anarchy continued to up the ante this week with an installment that laid the groundwork for both Clay’s undoing and Gemma’s redemption — though, per Jax’s orders, the two need not be mutually exclusive.

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Upon learning that Gemma had lied about the circumstances surrounding her recent car crash, Jax and Tara kicked the matriarch out of their lives for good. However, Jax later found out that Clay was actually the mastermind behind Charming’s recent string of break-ins, and as such, he came up with a plan to kill two SAMCRO birds with one stone: Gemma, leaving Nero behind, would get back into bed — both figuratively and literally — with Sons’ fallen king. If she unearths his blueprint to dethrone Jax, she’d be welcome back into the family. And if not? Well, Jax wasn’t too concerned about that.

Juice, meanwhile, strengthened his unlikely bond with Clay when he confessed to him all of the sordid details surrounding that RICO case, Miles’ murder and even the controversial ethnicity of this father.

Here, series creator Kurt Sutter speaks with TVLine about Jax’s increasingly dark demeanor, Gemma’s response to her son’s ultimatum and Juice’s dangerous new friendship. The EP also discusses Nero’s inner gangster — whom we’re about to meet — and reveals how high SAMCRO’s death toll might get by the end of Season 5.

TVLINE | Talk about the aftermath of that indecent proposal.
After the death of Opie, we see Jax heading down this path that’s perhaps more dark than we’ve ever seen him; he’s doing things that perhaps we’ve never seen before. The irony of using Clay’s tactics to bring down Clay is what we’re going for. [Jax is] beginning to do things behind the club’s back, he’s making deals with different people at different times… That’s been Clay’s history up to this point, and that’s how he’s gotten ahead and managed his regime. We now see Jax being motivated to do that — probably even unaware of the patterns he’s repeating — and this is the beginning of it with Gemma and taking advantage of those situations. It’s sort of what I teased in the beginning of the season, when I talked about the idea of Damon Pope and Nero Padilla becoming these different mentors: one was about having to get out and doing the right thing, and the other was about not getting out, but learning how to turn disadvantage to advantage. And, again, whether he’s aware of it or not, we see Jax begin to follow the advice of Damon Pope and seeing the advantage in people’s disadvantage.

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TVLINE | You also said prior to the premiere that we will learn exactly what kind of leader Jax is by season’s end. Is that still the plan?
I think so. We don’t spell it out, but I do think that after the season ends, people will be able to judge Jax’s behavior and make that decision for themselves. And that’s ideally what we want to do.

TVLINE | Back to that proposition: Jax told Gemma that if she obliges, he and Tara will welcome her back into their family. Is there any truth to that? Or was that just more manipulation?
It’s both. It’s a dark maneuver, obviously, to undermine Clay. But he does feel that this is leverage he has on Gemma, and leverage only works if you uphold your end of the deal. So, my sense is that it’s not a ruse or a lie. What I love is the idea that as much as Gemma may have disdain for Clay and as much as she’s drawn to Nero, there is a sense that she has this deep connection with [her ex] — and Jax knows that. Even if she’s forced to engage with Clay, she has the awareness that there is a deep bond and a lot of emotionality. It would be hard for her to separate herself from that. My sense is that the reason Gemma’s going out of her way to push Clay away is because she doesn’t want to get sucked back into those strong feelings she may have for him like she has done in the past… But Jax is very away of the connection he still has with her and as he says to her at the end of the episode that he knows that once they lay down together, the secrets will start flowing.

TVLINE | Nero has been fiercely loyal to both Jax and the Sons thus far, but I have to imagine there will be some ramifications after he learns what’s been asked of Gemma.
It will definitely have an impact on him, and it will become a big complication for Gemma, in terms of what she’s starting to feel for Nero and her connection to her own family. It won’t be a straight line in terms of either one of them being settled. Gemma being Gemma, there’s a sense of her trying to navigate around everything, and that’s when things usually come crashing down. But it will definitely have ramifications on her relationship with Nero, and consequently, Nero’s relationship with Jax and the club.

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TVLINE | Will Nero live up to his name in the latter half of the season?
We’ll see that what Nero’s doing with Gemma and the Sons will start to impact his own crew, and that’s perhaps where you’ll start to see his life get more complicated… One of the things I told Jimmy [Smits] from the start is that Nero’s a reformed gangster, but he’s still a gangster — and you will definitely see some of that gangster before the season’s over.

TVLINE | Similarly, Damon Pope has proven more friend than foe — save for the death of Opie. Should we expect the other shoe to drop?
I don’t want to give anything away in terms of where that relationship goes… But both men are aware of who they are and what the other is capable of. I don’t think Jax has sipped [the Damon Pope] Kool-Aid, nor do I think Pope [believes] Jax can really be trusted.

TVLINE | What prompted Juice to confess his sins to Clay of all people? Was it purely a catharsis for him?
We felt like there was a relationship that had been established with Juice and Clay, really [from] when Clay gave him that Men of Mayhem patch awhile back. That was really the thing that broke Juice’s heart the most and caused him to almost kill himself last season. And then we’ve played this whole season as Juice being the guy taking care of Clay during his rehab, so there’s a lot of stuff that’s happened off camera between these two guys; their relationships has grown. Clay knows Juice well and has enough information to know that he’s keeping something from him. It’s really just about him pressing Juice. Juice is unstable; he’s really broken, and Clay exploits that to his own end. It’s that weird gray area; yes, he does care, and yes, there is a fatherly connection, and yes, he is taking care of Juice. But at the end of the day, he’s also getting information that may give him some insight into what Jax is planning and what might impact his own fate. What I love about it is the idea that we’ve played four-and-a-half seasons of the sanctity of the club, and all of a sudden you have a member saying, ‘We all lie. That’s how it works.’ You know what I mean? [Laughs] And for someone like Juice, who’s still a relatively new member… He’s naive in some of the realities of the world. Clay throws that line out in such a cavalier way. Whether or not that’s what everyone believes, the fact that Clay puts it out there for Juice is one of those moments that’s like, ‘Really?!’ That secret will ultimately serve and blown back on both of them.

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TVLINE | Can we expect the deaths of any series regulars before season’s end?
Potentially. Maybe one. I’ve said this from the beginning: If I go back to my Hamlet archetype, there are a couple of acts where wheels are spinning and then the third act is where the guillotine falls — and that’s what’s happening now. It’s the ramifications of a lot of circumstances, a lot of relationships, a lot of lies. It’s a bloody life. One of the things we’ve always done and continue to do on this show is, as random and as off-handed as some of the violence may seem, we very rarely do stuff in a vacuum… It may not happen until the next episode or the next season, but actions have reactions and that stuff can come back and bite you in the ass at anytime. That’s really what we’re seeing now; the stakes are higher and relationships are much more complicated. So, when you raise the stakes like that and your narrative continues to get thicker, s–t happens. [Laughs]

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170 Comments
  1. Preacher says:

    I agree, Kurt Sutter is a genius. I can’t belive all the whining on this thread. The only reason most of these people are pissed off is because they can’t see what’s coming and they seem to need that security in their lives. If you wake up and pay attention you would realize Sutter leaves clues on every episode of what is about to happen. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best written, best directed television series of all time. My only problem with it is I don’t have the patience to wait a week for the next episode. I hope after Son’s is complete, Kurt will consider going into movies. I would pay top dollar to watch what he could pack into a two-hour time frame!

  2. Emtorres says:

    I love jax , gemma n tara and all for different reasons…………i love jaxs character stepping into darker shoes…..love it when gemma is a bitch n love it when tara emulates that same bitchy attitude

  3. Preacher is absolutely right! This is the best show on TV. I look forward to Tuesday nights! I always dread the end of the season and can’t wait for the next one. Thank you Kurt Sutter!

  4. Heather loves Juice! says:

    I just really need my Juice to come out of this alive. I havent felt so badly for one of the characters like I feel for my Juice. The stuff he had to do when the sheriff blackmailed him made me cringe. He felt so bad he tried to kill himself. That makes him so human! He shows REMORSE over and over again, which nobody else ever does! They never even feel guilty when they kill someone. Poor Juice. Confessing to Clay was soooo not smart, but this poor guy… At least he got it off his chest. But I dont trust Clay AT ALL. And now the damn sherrif is gonna give Juice up to Jax. I’m so scared for Juice. :'( I’ve really been glued to my tv this season, and totally on the edge of my seat. I love SOA!

    • Elle says:

      I agree I, love juice! The show needs.someone like him since Jax has gone to the dark side lol! Juice is so sensitive n was threatened into what he did….I have not missed a show or season but they hurt Juice may have to quit watching….ok so I said the same thing when Opie died! But garsh darn it all SOA needs One good ol boy!

    • Elle says:

      Need to do more with Juice…bring in the young blood! He is the best other then Jax n Tara! As for Gemma I’m sure Mrs Sutter gets a say on her character…grow up! You’re a.grandma for crying outloud n yet you belong in the brothel you’re hanging out in….geeeez really? Lol great fan of SOA!! :-)

  5. Nakida says:

    Omg, seriously? How many accidents have been because of the driver being stoned? Pffft! Should have been Gemma’s drinking.
    Also, Tara’s pot smoking behind closed doors is not a problem. Everyone has their relaxers. She could be out getting totally s*^t faced, coming home & being totally useless to the babies the next day. But no, she’s just chillin, havin a smoke, tryin to keep her head on straight. Sheesh people, lay off! lol

  6. amber says:

    i am a true SOA fan. I love sutter! He is a genius! I too feel like i am on a first name basis with the club members and i am an ol lady to the club. My ol man and i watch faithfully every week. We own all the seasons and will own this season by its end as we buy each episode each week via playstation network cuz thats only way we can watch it. I am very addicted to SOA. Love it. And yes its jus a show but i live somewhat vicariously thru sutter’s great story telling of a life i have dreamed about. The bad side of me. Many cheers to sutter for creating something that sooooo many people are waiting eagerly for each week and talk about and defend as if they are part of it. It seems that real for me too.

  7. glenn banks says:

    Everything revolves around Clay. Almost everyone that has died within the SOA family has been as a result of action or reaction from Clay’s lies. Example: Opie, Donna, Nomads, Piney, eventually Tig, Tig’s daughter.

  8. Billie Brooks says:

    Wow Lydia…..I’ve just got to ask…..Why do you even watch the show? Seems a very negative attitude from someone who follows the show closely enough to be on a message board about it?

    Is it so pitiful to watch and enjoy a show (any show) that you can derive so much entertainment from? We all know its “just a show” but its just simple FUN to watch and lose yourself to this fictional world for maybe 45 minutes a week. Nobody is running out and jumping on a Harley to go sell drugs or cut off someones hands because we watch it.

    JUST SAYIN……………..

  9. beccalee says:

    I love everyone of the actors on SOA. I dont care bout the negative feedback bout it. They r all kick a**!!! Love them all. N Gemma is the most awsome actress ever.

  10. Jeana says:

    I don’t even know where the show is going ..going to fast and down a crazy road and changing fast..Don’t know what to think about Gemma and Tarra had NO ROOM to TALK ! Crazy .. Please don’t make me not watch !!

  11. Kareng says:

    I have read all these comments and just realize this is a TV show the way people is reacting is very interesting i cant remember a show that sparks this much interest for a long time you almost think this is real life

    • Tatbaby says:

      F******** retarded psycho people.. Act like theyre friends with them. Even if that were the case looonies, their actingggggggg. lol

  12. Misty says:

    I never used to like Tara, but since seeing the related picture of Gemma standing by clay at the head table and Tara standing by jack I love love that she’s becoming the new Gemma and as seen when she was smashing Carla. As for jack I think he’s nothing like clay pressure but just more sleds these crooked deals come with the role of prez. Regardless of who’s prez.

  13. angel says:

    Sons is a really great show i love it.. but yall all need to realize it is a tv show. Yes jax is not putting up with the bs anymore, which is good. Gemma is getting everything she deserves.. Clay should have been kille off along time ago. Tara and Jax would be good running SOA, Jax grew up in it thats the only thing he really knows.

  14. soa#1fan says:

    Its GOOD TV….thats it!!! Im the biggest SOA fan however, what sutter is doing with the show keeps us all tuned in every week, even if we dont like what hes doing to the characters.
    Every character is AWESOME!! I was very dissapointed when sutter killed off Opie,but it didnt change the love i have for the show!!

    I think all these changes keep us on our toes which is why we keep watching.what kind of a show would it be if jax ran samcro like his dad wanted, or they went legit, and everybody was rainbows and lollipops……it would be like every other crap show on tv.
    I LOVE LOVE the way the shows going!!!

  15. Shayla says:

    Great show I’ve been hooked since the beginning! I wait impatiently each week 4 the next episode and the seasons seem too short and much to far apart! Jax is not the same as Clay, he may be doing more killing & illegal deals w Pope but that is the job of Pesident! He realizes the advantages of keeping someone like Pope on his side, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t still like him dead! Jax has never killed off a member or loved one for his own selfish reasons as Clay has done. He gave Tig the order to kill Opie back in season 1 or 2 but unfortunately his wife drove his truck & Tig murdered her instead of Op and blamed it on the blacks causing problems w them. Then he puts a hit on Tara because she has the letters not caring that she has helped many members who were injured as they couldn’t go to the hospital, she is the mother of Jax’s child & a mother to Abel as well who isn’t her own child. And Gemma had even told Clay to leave Tara alone, that she wouldn’t expose him knowing what it would do to Jax. Then with his bull crap w the nomads trying to undermine Jax & disrupt the club so he can have his spot back. I like Gemma she is a great character I just want her to get it together & be there for her son! She realized what Clay is capable of, yes they killed JT and were both involved but I have a feeling she only went along w that because of her hurt & anger that he had an affair & fathered another child as well as left her alone often to go to Ireland and be w his mistress. She isn’t as bad as a person as Clay and that’s why she left him. I love her w Nero, he is a cool guy & keeps it real. And you can tell he really cares 4 Gemma I see him asking her to go w him when he finally gets the money he needs 2 go away w his son. I was a little disgusted myself how Jax spoke 2 Gemma the last episode, but he was angry and he knows she could get the intel needed on Clay. He has seen her demise since splitting from Clay, drinking and sleeping w strange men, the hotel scene opened his eyes I think to the extent of his mothers turmoil. She didn’t even know the guys name, so he said things to her probably to hurt her 4 what she did to the boys, that weren’t that far off from what she was portraying of herself anyway. I think Jax will let her back in once she proves her loyalty, he can’t trust that she won’t go back 2 Clay & participate in his negative ways. She showed him distrust when Clay lied for her and she let him! Nero is a much better influence he told her she needed to tell him the truth. And as far as Wendy, I think eventually Tara & Jax will come around & maybe let her see Abel, although I don’t blame them if they don’t. Many may forget she didn’t care about her son at all and even used during her pregnancy endangering his life & risking birth defects! She just got it together she needs to keep on the straight & narrow to prove that she has truly changed and I think she’ll get to know her son. Tara & Jax have a long history and have always loved one another so I think she has accepted his way of life at this point and will stick by him no matter what. That’s why she is being less uptight and learning from Gemma the ways of an ol lady & more importantly the ways of a presidents wife! I can’t wait to see how it all plays out and I love all the characters although if Clay keeps up I hope they finally kill him as they should have already done!!

  16. tooley says:

    Since the first season Max has been loyal to the MC only ultimate be undermined by clay. He’s only acting the way he is because not only did clay and Velma murder his father but also his kid was kidnapped he watched his beat friend get murdered and also witnessed an attempt to murder his now wife Tara. So you can’t really blame him for his actions. He just has alot of anger built up inside and he’s trying to do what he feels is best for not only his family but for his club. As for gemma she’s always drunk and high and sleeping around because she’s got alot of raw emotion built up and feels guilty for many things she has done. Tara has held back and its nice to see her standing up. By far this is the beat season and I can not wait to see how this unfolds in the end

  17. Kathy Henson says:

    I cant believe some of the comments made on here..Poor Gemma?????? Really? First of all I love the show and all the characters Ive watched since the pilot in 08. Good writing Kurt…love it ..keep it up. The only true shocker I hated was the death of Opie I wasnt shocked thou Clay killed his wife and father he never looked at the Club the same or Jax for that matter. Gemma is getting exactly what she deserves…she was part of the death along with Clay of Jax father, Jon. Gemma was Gemma because of who she was with the President. She was in on Clays demise if Jax she told him to do something with Jax he was following the wrong fathers footsteps.. Tara is doing great she is loyal to her family, Samcro, Jax and herself. She is playing the President wife very well without being 2 faced like Gemma. I dont feel sorry for either character and I agree with someones statement that I can dislike the character but that doesnt have anything to do with their acting ability. Everyone from Jax to Jack off Man is awesome. I think the one character that is vital and underated is Tig. He is the craziest and most comical of them all. I love the show. I hate Auto turning into a Rat(bad choice Kurt). I’m going to keep watching until it doesnt bc thrill me anymore hopefully it wont happen. If a show is predictable to the point that I’m not mad or blown away or pist off or touched or happy then its time for me to stop watching. I love the show. Thank.for Tues Family Night now Kurt

  18. amber says:

    honestly i can type however i want. I dont care what u think. Who are u to judge and or criticize my words??? Especially in this day and age where ppl abbreviate and use acronyms for everything….Nobody thats right. Just a troll trying to be mean. Well this is a discussion about SOA and not about mine nor anyone elses typing skills. So stick to the topic at hand or troll somewhere else.

  19. amber says:

    wow… There are way too many trolls here that are being mean. There is no point or reason for it. Judge not me lest u first judge yourself.

  20. Paul says:

    I am finding the show has fallen into a predicable formula. It has basically become Y&R for dudes.

  21. I always heard great things about SOA so one nite I cudnt sleep&there was nothing on TV!So,I was browsing around & thot eh…why not.I no u Anarchy fans completely understand wen I say this-Didnt no wat the heck was goin on,didnt tecognize any of the actors except for Katie Segal&cant help but tune in evry week!Still familiarizing myself w/all the characters&the happenings of the show!I watched my first SOA starting the episode aftr Opies death.Wish I had been watching since the beginning!I am captivated &am&will becum a huge fan!If anyone feels like gvng me a heads up about this brilliant series-please do!I read any info that I c

    an regarding this show!Im defineatly going to buy the all the seasons eventually!Hw many seasons will it b on?If anyone feels like gvin me a short version of wats been goin on from the beginning,pls help me becum a fan!I dnt evn know wat SAMCROstands for!(thats hw SOAdumb I am!)&yet,I am captivated!!!

  22. jenny says:

    I just finished watching season.4 and boy am I upset. Usually if something happens in the.club people will get killed and their ink taken away. But when it comes to claY he killed two members I believe. Beat.gemmas butt. And nothing happened.to him because he had.to step down wth I don’t even want to watch season 5 more crap and beat around.the.bush stuff I cam on here to see what happens next. I mean come on jax you showed you wearnt down when it came down to real things. Ugh !

  23. frozie says:

    I have never been as addicted and emotionally invested in a series like I am with SOA. Kurt Sutter you are phenomenal!! As another person had posted earlier – “I’m glad this show doesn’t go ‘exactly’ how I want it to! That’s what entertainment is all about. How boring would it be if the story line went how I expected.” BUT, IMHO for this series to end without me being totally pissed off, it has to come full circle from season 1…..yes i see Jax getting darker and darker, but I hope its to come out the other side, to turn the club back into what he wanted and what his father wanted for the club. Its been him and Tara from the beginning. It has to be them together in the end.

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