Sons of Anarchy Creator Kurt Sutter On Latest Death: “I Wanted (Spoiler) to Go Down As a Warrior”

Sons of Anarchy Laying Pipe Season 5 Episode 3

If you haven’t seen Tuesday night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy “Laying Pipe,” stop reading right now if you don’t want to be spoiled and come back once you’ve seen it.

For those of you who have seen the heartbreaking episode, I’m sure there is a lot of emotion surrounding Opie tragic death and even though I knew that someone was going to die in this episode, I’m still kind of getting over that scene.

Creator Kurt Sutter took time to answer a few burning questions about Sons of Anarchy and its latest death during a conference call on Wednesday morning. Here are a few things he had to say.

On His Decision to Kill Opie

Sutter explained that he had been playing with the idea at the end of season 3. There was a “circular dynamic” with Jax and Opie that was hard to get away from in terms of where that arc was going. He felt that Jax needed an upheaval, that one event that happens in a man’s life that will change him forever and the death of a man’s best friend is it.

Sutter also knew he wanted it to happen early on in the season in a very organic way. He later added, “I wanted Opie to go down as a warrior.”

On The Impact Opie’s Death Will Have and The Arc of The Season

“Yes, it’s incredibly sad, but the death of Opie will color the rest of the episodes for the rest of the series. It’s not a death that will happen in vain.”

Sutter explained that this is the season Jax really figures out “what kind of man he’s gonna become.” He wanted to make sure to “lay these circumstances early in the season” so as to allow Opie’s death to color Jax the way it needed to.

There is not doubt about it, Jax will be influenced by the death of Opie, and that death will color him for the rest of the season.


On Opie’s Motivation

Sutter does think that Opie did give up in a way, which is part of the complexity of the character. Sutter believes Opie found this “opportunity for me to go out doing the right thing…”

In addition, Sutter explained that he always “got a sense that Opie struggled with those kids ever since he got out of prison.” he added, “I never felt he was able to connect to those kids and perhaps this is his way of being of service to his family and club.”

Opie knew that Jax wasn’t going to let anybody force him to make that choice even if he had to make that choice himself and he had to step in and make that choice for him.

On When Ryan Hurst Found Out

Sutter told Ryan Hurst about Opie’s death before he started writing the new season. He explained that it was a difficult thing because Hurst loved his character and is “a super sensitive dude.” However, in the end when he read the script, and read the episodes that follow “he understood the nature of it and the importance of it in the mythology for the show.”

In addition to Opie’s death, Sutter also shared some new information of what’s to come this season on Sons of Anarchy.

On The New Dynamic Between Tig and Jax

Sutter shared that the betrayal that Tig felt early on is real, so we’ll be seeing an interesting shift this season, similar to Season 2 when Opie moved close to Clay after his rift with Jax.

Sutter added “Tig is such a great complicated character.”

On The Juice Storyline

Sutter teased that the circumstances the are laying track right now will lead to Juice and his secret (from last season), but that will happen towards the back half of the season.

On Pope

Sutter described Pope as having a “street mentality, that pimp mentality,” in the sense that he leads with fear and brutality, then everything else he does seems soft. “I make you safe and loved once you realize how brutal I can be.”

Sutter acknowledged the mentorship between Pop and Jx, but he explained that “it’s really all about ego,” He added, “Pope assumes everyone wants to be like him.”

He also teased that halfway through the season we find out a bit more about who Pope is and why he made the decisions he did.

On Clay and Jax

Opie’s death will color all of Jax’s relationships.

He explained that Clay’s emotional path this season would not be a straight line, and that we will continue to see Jax and Clay go at it but maybe not in the way we expect.

On Tara

Sutter explained that the last 4 seasons of Tara being exposed to this life won’t go unaccounted for. He teased that we would see what influence Gemma and Jax and this world had on the decisions she makes.

Sons of Anarchy airs on Tuesdays at 10pm on FX.