Post Mortems

Post Mortem: Sons of Anarchy Creator Talks MIA Funeral, Gemma's Ghostly Chat, Bare-Naked Juice and More

Sons of Anarchy Season 7 Premiere

FX’s Sons of Anarchy kicked off its farewell run on Tuesday in gory fashion, as an unglued Jax set out to avenge his wife Tara’s brutal murder. As series creator Kurt Sutter recently told TVLine, “It’s the most proactive we’ve ever seen our hero in the sense of being singular of purpose. It’s all about revenge.” And he wasn’t kidding.

In the closing moments of the 105-minute opener, Jax savagely butchered an innocent (of this crime, at least) man — at the prompting of the actual culprit, Gemma. Speaking of Sons‘ Black Widow: When she wasn’t covering her tracks, she was busy chatting with her late daughter-in-law’s spirit, attempting a reconciliation with ex-lover Nero and trying to convince her accomplice Juice that she’s not bat$#*! crazy.

In the following Q&A, Sutter tackles a smattering of our hot premiere-episode topics, including (but not limited to) the decision to keep Tara’s memorial off screen, Jax and Gemma’s trust issues (or lack thereof), Wayne’s impending revelation, Juice’s “revealing” workout and much more.

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TVLINE | Talk to me about the decision not to show Tara’s funeral in that opening montage.
We have done a lot of funerals on the show already — [like] Donna’s funeral. It felt a little too obvious. And I liked the fact that Jax didn’t want to be there when the body was put in the ground. It was simple, quiet and functional. It wasn’t going to be an event that you would normally see on a TV show. We have that moment [during the opening montage] with Unser, and that’s how we acknowledge it.

TVLINE | Gemma insists to Juice at one point that she’s not a psychopath. Do you agree with her self-diagnosis?
I do. I really do. I think Gemma is capable of great violence. She has done a lot of dark things in her life, and some of them we have never seen and she has never revealed. I do think she believed that the events that happened with Tara were [the result of] misinformation. And that she, at the end of the day, felt like she was protecting the club and protecting her son. And that’s what she’s holding on to. In her mind, she was doing it for the right reasons. And then she qualifies everything else, with, “Well, if I tell the truth, all of these bad things are going to happen. So it’s best that I keep this secret.” Obviously, it’s self-serving. We’ve witnessed the damage that’s been created by Gemma’s secrets in the past, and this is no different. And, yet, again, she believes this is the best thing. Jax is the perpetrator of the violence, but she lights the fire. She gives him the information that sets in motion these horrendous events based on a lie.

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TVLINE | Speaking of Gemma’s lies, why did Jax take her on her word when she fingered the Chinese gang member as having killed Tara?
At that point, there’s no reason why he would have any doubt, or any reason to believe that she was responsible [for Tara’s death]. And the fact that she actually identifies a specific guy is ultimately the thing that convinces Jax. And, remember, it was Tara and Eli who were killed — could Gemma have pulled off both of those? And [from Jax’s POV], Gemma didn’t really know anything about the war with the Chinese in order to make up that lie. It was Juice that gave her all that information, that she then fed to Jax. That all made it implausible for it to be manufactured by Gemma. Obviously, as the audience, we know it’s because Gemma had a partner. Therein lies the blood bond between Gemma and Juice.

TVLINE | We saw Gemma “talking” to Tara in the kitchen at one point. Which was weird. Where did the idea for that come from?
It came out in the writing, and I’m sort of going with it. [Laughs] In a lot of episodes [this season], she has this continuing dialogue with Tara. In her mind, it’s her way of exorcising that guilt. It’s as if Tara understands and has forgiven her. In Episode 2 or 3, she’s having a dialogue with her in the car about the kids and private school – it’s as if she needs to have this conversation to continuously remind herself that what she did was ultimately an accident and that Tara would have forgiven her or understood. It’s kind of weird. And I love the way Katey [Sagal] is playing it, which is very simple and not, “I’m a crazy lady and I’m freaking out.” It’s as if you expect to turn around and see [Tara] there. It’s obviously showing the seams are somewhat busting on Gemma.

TVLINE | The premiere doesn’t show Wayne connecting the dots between a drunken, rage-filled Gemma fleeing in his truck and Tara turning up dead hours later. Does that come up later in the season?
No. He doesn’t find out that Gemma has ultimately given this lie to Jax until much deeper in the season. And once that happens, he starts to connect the dots.

RELATED Sons of Anarchy Boss Answers the Big Question: Will Tara ‘Return’?

TVLINE | Are Gemma and Nero officially back together now? It was sort of ambiguous.
It’s heading in that direction. Once Nero feels like he’s possibly getting a handle on the conflict that he’s in, then it might be safe for him and Gemma to spend time together again. At the end of last season, he was seeing this heading in a very bloody direction with him against Jax, and he didn’t want to pull Gemma into that conflict. Now he feels like, “OK, I’m potentially playing intermediary. I can maybe resolve this stuff.”

TVLINE | Does he love her?
I think her really does. It broke his heart to push her away last season. It’s a bit of a push and pull for the first few episodes. But I think, ultimately, they’re drawn to each other.

TVLINE | Lastly, Juice’s naked push-ups — was that a valentine to the show’s female and gay male fans?
[Laughs] To a certain extent. And it’s the fact that Juice can’t leave that space right now — he’s sort of trapped in that box — so he’s kind of losing it. But, yeah, it’s also like a “This one’s for you” to the fans.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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52 Comments
  1. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Poor Abel he looked so sad and miserable……..come on Jax the killer is standing right NEXT to you! Got the wrong person sitting on that chair! Gemma talking to what supposed to be the ghost of Tara? Tara is up in biker heaven with Opie, Donna, Piney and JT all pissed of that she ‘TRUSTS’ Wendy and it’s better for the boys? yeah right bitch. Overall LOVED the episode what the HELL Juice…is he really gonna tell Alverez everything about SAMCRO?!!!!SMH.

  2. Sarah Hill says:

    To Kurt Sutter: Please, please stop saying, “You know.” I don’t understand how such a master with words can be so poor at expressing himself orally. Thank you for giving us this magnificent series.

    • Kait says:

      That’s probably his go-to filler, how some people say “like” or “um” or “uh” to collect their thoughts quick, he probably can’t help it and it comes off natural.

    • Kkirk says:

      No the begging should be please, please, please Kurt don’t end this show… Period!!!!! What are we gonna do without Sons???? This is my quality time with my daughter, we curl up every Tuesday night & watch Sons together. That’s our Q-Time!!! Lol. Probably because its the only show we both totally love. So Kurt you are taking away Q-Time of a mother & daughter. Not good!!!!!

  3. Tekiquia says:

    I’m sorry but JAX should have went to see his boys. This is why TARA wanted to take the boys away in the first place. I want GEMMA to die a slow and painful death. Jax better find out about all her lies before he kills her too. On another note, there is no way JAX is walking or riding into the sunset alive this season. That makes me sad😭

    • EJ386 says:

      He probably should have, but it is completely in character not to do so…

      • Cort says:

        He totally should’ve but ita. It was in character and during the Afterward show Charlie spoke about how Tara kept him on a more “righteous” path and made him want to be a good man. Maybe a part of him was afraid of losing part of his anger and the thirst for revenge if he saw the boys. Or he was dreading the moment Abel asked for his mom and having to explain. I know Gemma already told him that Tara was in heaven but no kid really understands what that means.

        • Bwhit says:

          I agree it was better to not see them. You could tell he was on a mission and maybe seeing them would have made him lose it. It did make my skin crawl seeing Wendy with Thomas though.

    • Erin says:

      As someone who’s cold lost a parent at a young age (my daughter was 4 when her father passed away, also but a natural & kind of horrific death) as a parent putting myself in Jax’s shoes as much as I wanted nothing more than to be with my daughter, I couldn’t bare to look in her eyes at first and hear the words “What happened to daddy?” Also if it was more like Tara’s murder I think any parent given the situation would feel/do the same as Jax. Put your self in his situation before you speak on what he “should’ve done! ” Kurt Sutter knows what he’s doing

  4. Bwhit says:

    Charlie is doing a fantastic job of showing that Jax is pretty much dead behind the eyes. The only time we could see the weight of his loss was when he talked to the DA. It was awesome to have it back. Maybe I am wishful thinking but I do think Jax will kill Gemma by the end of this.

  5. I will forever see the Chinese guy’s death and hear Bohemian Rhapsody.

  6. Floy says:

    Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

  7. Kait says:

    I don’t get how Jax didn’t see through his mom’s lie about seeing that guy leaving Tara’s house. I get that he’s clouded by his grief but he should have known that Gemma’s a naturally suspicious person, like she wouldn’t have followed the random man leaving Tara’s house. It was a weak story, especially for Gemma.
    I also laughed out loud at head members of numerous gangs talking about gun distribution and such on a street corner basically. Do they not realize there’s cameras everywhere? They even said “gang task force” out loud at the meeting and Jax even brought up a cops name among others. There could have been cops nearby with listening devices (like those old handheld satellite looking things attached to headphones or whatever the modern-day version is).
    Overall, mehhh episode, enjoyed Jax’s “push and shiv” quote, one gang’s questioning of Nero’s escorts serving “snacks,” and Gemma’s talk of her nether-region piercing.

    • Kait says:

      Also that pastor, pastor, reverend, woman scene can I just say… “Pew-pew-pew.”
      I’m sorry.

    • abz says:

      Seriously!! How does he still trust her? I know he’s grieving but he doesn’t even take the murder weapon and how she was murdered into account. What kind of rival gang would try to drown an enemy and use a two-pronged fork as a weapon? They would’ve have just shot her and Eli and be done with it. It’s so frustrating. I’m guessing it’s gonna be a long wait till he starts to find out the truth

      • Susan says:

        Exactly. Jax seems much smarter than that. It’s obvious from the crime scene that there had to be two people. Why would someone use a fork to kill Tara and then shoot Eli in the back? Or one could think that someone shot Eli first but why not then just shoot Tara? If they wanted to torture her it would have been worse, so it makes no sense that the Chinese would have killed her and Eli. Unless his grief and his feelings for his mommy are just clouding his judgement. I still think that Wayne is going to figure it out and take the rap for Gemma letting her off the hook. As much as I want Gemma to pay for what she did I have a feeling that she is not going to die. I think it would be worse for her to be locked up in prison and never getting to see her son or her grandsons again.

      • guest says:

        totally agree. why woulf a gang member go after his wife with a fork? That Jax believes this is stupid. But even more unrealistic is how Unser reacts? He told Gemma Tara was a rat. Two seconds later she ends up with a fork in her head? Unser knows Gemma inside out . He should jump to that conclusion right away. Sorry Writers really lame opening of the last season.

  8. James D says:

    I’m going to have a real problem watching this season. I adore this series but WTH. I understand this is a drama and the point of it it is to drag out the tale for a final conclusion but to see Gemma continue to get away with crap is almost to much to bare. I think we all know how this is going to end and by tonights episode it seems clear who will put the final nail in Jax’s coffin (Lin) it’s having to wait for it to happen is almost too much for me to take. with that said it will be very satisfying to watch Jax gut that sociopath scumbag of a mother he has.

    • Bwhit says:

      Yes! She may not be a psychopath but is most certainly a sociopath. She has zero remorse, but Jax is like a robot right now and I think a part of him can’t go to that place to think his mom did this, I have faith he will get there, and when he does Gemma better run.

    • A.B. says:

      Agree on this season being frustrating to watch because it will get dragged out. I saw that coming at the end of last season. My husband and I let 3 or 4 episode record before we start watching, a mini marathon. I I think that’s the only way to watch a slow show like Mad Men.

  9. abz says:

    Seeing those kids in the hands of anyone other than Tara just makes me mad and miss her more. I still love the show and am gonna see how it plays out, but I can already feel a void in the show with her absence. It’s just not the same.
    That being said, I think that Gemma’s undoing might be by her own guilt and desperation that might push her over the edge. I have no problem with that as long as Jax actually finds out the truth.
    And speaking of Jax, there really doesn’t seem to be much hope for the character. He’s beyond redeemable and I don’t think he’ll be making it out alive by the end of the show.
    Looking forward to seeing Lea Michele’s guest stint and Venus’ return :)

  10. Coal says:

    Firstly, S.O.A has the best soundtrack on Tv since season 1. Secondly I will never understand why Katey Sagal has never received an Emmy for her performance as Gemma in actual fact several member of the cast have deserved at least a nomination. As for Gemma talking to Tara I’m good just as long as she doesn’t hallucinate her or see her in her dreams I’m good.

  11. Britta Unfiltered says:

    It is worrisome to me that Kurt Sutter is sitting around writing storylines for Gemma’s character and believing her behavior is perfectly acceptable and normal, and completely not psychopathic. She commits violent murder, she can justify everything terrible she does, she feels no guilt or remorse over her actions, she manipulates her loved ones into doing her dirty work, she believes those she commits crimes against are fine with it and forgive her, and she has no problem causing the suffering and death of an innocent person if it keeps her out of trouble. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck….it’s probably a psychopath. Is Kurt Sutter a psychopath? I kind of do picture him sitting around getting off on the violence on his show a great deal. “Oh, look, my wife Katey is playing a scene where she sends an innocent man to die a terrible, slow death and she feels no remorse about it!” [Kurt masturbates furiously]. The violence and the complete lack of humanity has gotten to be a bit too much for me. I fast forward through the violent scenes now. When Jax pulled out that wrench, I said, Nope! And fast forwarded away. I will probably be doing that for the rest of the season when those kinds of scenes come up. Seriously, they are way out of hand. It just feels like a murder fetish film at this point. I would stop watching the show, but we’re so close to the ending that I just have to see how it all comes out. And I need the satisfaction of seeing Gemma get everything she deserves, because I’m sure that will happen eventually. I also kind of want to see Jax bite the dust, because he’s a pretty terrible person himself.

    • Susan says:

      I agree with you. These are not good people in any sense. With Tara around there was hope but not anymore. Gemma needs to suffer and I think she will be the end of the season when everyone, and I mean everyone, including Jax, Juice, Nero and maybe even Wayne, all turn against her. Then she will be all alone and not get to see or be a part of her grandsons’ lives. Having Jax cut her up into little pieces isn’t punishment enough for that woman. And I agree that she is mentally deranged by trying to justify what she did. Absolutely no remorse. Perhaps. like Lady MacBeth she will drive herself completely mad by the end. One can only hope.

    • Tony says:

      I don’t get the sense that Sutter believes or is suggesting that Gemma’s behavior is acceptable, justifiable or normal by any means. I think he’s speaking from the characters POV in that she truly believes that what she does is is for some selfless greater good.

    • Jojo says:

      Took the words right out of my mouth, particularly the “murder fetish film” part. I’m also finding the characters stale and predictable. There’s way too much heavy-handed gore and too much time devoted to SAMCRO meeting with other gangs/clubs and double-double crossing them (who can follow it all, after a while???). That stuff would be more interesting if it was balanced out with side stories about the characters and their interactions. I liked the Opie & Piney storylines, Tara’s relationship with the Club and the clash with her work, the struggles of the younger members of the club, like Half-Sack (for example).

  12. The Carpooler says:

    How is Unser still alive? Season 1 he had weeks or months. Did I miss a remission?

  13. Fran says:

    Excellent episode, but its going to be pure torture to watch Gemma this season. And sorry Kurt but Gemma is the very definition of a psychopath. Everything she does is for her own selfish needs. She justifies it by saying its best for the club or for her family, but its really what SHE wants for the club and her family. Anyone that could act that way she does after killing her daughter in law… yeah they’re not a normal human being. I knew this season would be difficult to watch and the first episode prove that.

  14. cherie says:

    I think the series will end with Gemma’s ultimate payback. Jax will be dead, the club (at least what is left of it) having found out what she did deserts her and the boys are taken away. Her whole purpose has been to protect her family and the club. She will lose everything. Much worse for her than a quick death.

  15. diana woodall says:

    can you please tell me what the music or group that is on the sons please

  16. Mara says:

    Love this show and every season has gotten better but Gemma justifying and coming up with this self serving BS was actually pretty disgusting.

  17. mel says:

    I have a gut feeling that the homeless woman will kill both Jax and Gemma in a weird ending.

    • Tekiquia says:

      I totally agree. Something about that homeless lady makes me feel like shes been wronged or hurt by the MC. Maybe I missed an explanation but I can see that totally happening.

      • Darbi says:

        I think she’s the mother of that girl who broke the ice cream shop’s window. She’s like some sort of ghost or spirit haunting jax and gemma along with the girl’s dad. Jax saw the mother’s picture and said she looked familiar and the dad said he saw her sometimes too. I’m curious to see what happens with that story.

  18. Deion says:

    This Jax? This Jax can die. I had a debate last night with a friend about whether we blame Juice for his actions. He thinks that Juice has gone full over to the dark side. I don’t believe that. I know that Jax is the main character, but they’ve already touched on how the things Juice has had to do to survive have affected him. I hope we see some resolution to that, and not just him dying a gruesome death as a rat or traitor.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      Well first of all Kurt mentioned that only 2 MC members will go down this season and Paris Barclay who directed the opener last night said(in an article) that there’s still a table.Juice is the MOST obvious and Jax since he’s the Hamlet based character. But with Juice I’m kinda doubting it for now. To me there’s only 2 theories that he will meet his maker either the cops get him and can die in prison OR Jax and the MC kill him on the spot. Remember he HELPED Gemma by destroying all the evidence of Tara’s murder/killing Eli and from the promo of the upcoming episodes it seems like juicy is serious of telling Alverez all the intell on the Sons and if he does he really needs to go! I will be SO MAD if they kill off Bobby, Chibs, Happy or Tig. When that time comes I hope it’s one of the new members LEAVE the originals ALONE!

  19. herrumph says:

    Since Jax killed the wrong person, it will end with his club destroyed and him in jail or dead also. Gemma could die but if not most likely will be in the mental ward if Jax dies in the end. When he killed the guy Gemma framed, it cannot end happy.

  20. Olivia says:

    First off, I really wasn’t sure I would watch this season. I was so upset about Tara’s death. It’s 9 months later and it still bugs me. But I figured I’d give it a try.
    I think the first episode is a good indication that reality is going to be suspended this season. Last season, it was ridiculous Jax would turn himself in and not talk to his mom or try to see her before going to prison and tell her Tara didn’t make a deal. Wow, I ‘m even more bitter than I realized.
    My concern is that the season is going to drag out and there seems to be no hope or redemption. When Tara was alive, she brought compassion and humanity as well as hope. Without her, it just seems like there will be revenge and tons of violence. I’m not sure that’s something I want to watch.

  21. dave says:

    End of season 6…..jax was going to jail for selling guns to the school shooters father. Season 7 understandably he is released for taras murder….what happened to the other charges?

    • Benny says:

      Yes please PLEASE can somebody answer this?!?

      I’m coming to this show about 2 yrs late, watching on Amazon.

      Just started Season 7 and I’m like…wtf?

      The school shooting (which formed the basis for about 50% of Season 6’s events) just magically went away?

      I’ve Googled this question a ton and I’m shocked to find that this is the only mention of this enormous plot hole that I’ve been able to find.

  22. Cheyenne Springs says:

    I have to LOL at these comments. Obviously none of you have been around real life MC gangs.

  23. gene r says:

    I don’t believe the whole story line that Gemma told jax that the Chinese killed tera. I truly believe that Jax came up with the idea to have Gemma tell the club and everyone else that she seen the Chinese guy. While jax and Gemma were coming back to the club house after being released out of county jail, they both talked as if Gemma nor jax knew who killed tera. Jax knows a war is coming, what better way to get the club and all associates on board with smashing the Chinese and leaving the “browns” out to dry with no back up or support. It just seems to me that Jax has been planning this whole story to get support and win this up and coming war. Also I believe that tigg will end up playing a roll in jaxs death at the end.

  24. Jeanne says:

    Yes I can understand the 2 many funerals … but Tara did so much more for the club to just have that dinky funeral , It is as though she got exactly what Clay got that is a crying shame , Gemma got more attention being raped , Tara was the SOA club presidents WIFE , If Jax did not “Break the DEAL” and if he would have stuck to his word with Tara she would not have tried to well as others puts it rat !

  25. AliC says:

    If Juice got rid of the fork into a dumpster in the finale, how does Jax know to kill the Asian guy with it in the premiere?

  26. C. Jones says:

    The entirety of SOA I have been on team Gemma. No matter how bad she was, I was a fan. I forgave. However, Tara’s death was just too much for me. I am still upset, sad, and pissed my Tara’s death. Just can’t watch this season. I’m waiting to “hear” that Gemma died a slow painful death. And yes, I know it is a show and yes, I have a life.

  27. Mee140 says:

    WHEN is Gemma going to GET HERS? Real tired of her meddling .

  28. Carter says:

    Mother or not enough is enough