Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter continued his shock and awe campaign Tuesday night with an unpredictable and devastating season six finale. Spoiler alert -- definitely don't read on if you haven't watched the episode!
The finale took fans on a heartbreaking series of twists and turns that saw Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Tara's (Maggie Siff) soulful reconciliation after being at odds all season, followed up immediately by Tara's death by meat fork at the hands of her out-of-control and misinformed mother-in-law Gemma (Katey Sagal). Jax, who was prepared to sacrifice all for the safety of his wife and sons and the protection of his club, instead found himself cradling his dead wife in a pool of blood, next to the dead body of a police officer as the district attorney walked in.
The general fan reaction to the episode was a resounding WTF with fans on Twitter claiming PTSD and demanding therapy to deal with it (this writer tossed and turned with nightmares after watching before bed). Now, Kurt Sutter is opening up about his reasons for doing away with what many call the show's moral center, and divulging where he'll take Jax for the show's seventh and final season.
He tells TV Line that this death was a long time coming, "I knew fairly early on that Tara would die before the final season -- probably as early as Season 2. I didn’t quite now exactly how it was going to happen in terms of story, but in terms of a mythology mile-mark, [I knew] that’s when it would happen."
He promises that Jax will be "completely untethered and on his own in the final season." He poses the question, "What happens to a guy like that now that he’s lost both of the people he loves the most, who were able to be his moral compass, with Opie and now Tara?"
Siff reveals that she has known the end was near since the beginning of the season, and that filming and watching the uber-violent death scene was "really hard." Sagal reveals that the murder was not premeditated on Gemma's part, that it was a result of a "blind rage" after believing that Tara had betrayed her son and taken away her grandsons.
In terms of how Gemma killed Tara, the method was typically gory for a show that has seen a father watch his daughter be lit on fire and burned to death in a pit, that same character drown a man in a bathtub full of urine, and another beloved character be beaten to death in a bloody prison brawl. Sutter explains his reasoning for how Tara died, "I knew I wanted it to be simple and pedestrian and of Gemma’s world, not of the club’s world. I didn’t want it to be a gun or a knife. There’s almost something more horrific in terms of us seeing Gemma in that opening montage washing dishes and you have no idea that something as simple as dirty dish water and a carving fork would be used as implements of death… Gemma is just reacting."
With so much turmoil in the season finale, one thing is for sure -- all the major players have earned some Emmy love, particularly Charlie Hunnam, though it's yet to be seen whether the seemingly anti-Sons TV Academy will finally take notice of what the fans already know.
When it comes to season seven, Sutter reveals to TV Line that Jimmy Smits will be back, and the show is making a play for the masterful CCH Pounder to return. It's anyone's guess how Jax will react to this most devastating turn of events – will he be inspired by his wife to follow a moral path, if only for the sake of his sons? Or will he be transported to the dark side and delve even deeper into the club's deadly and criminal world? That's what we'll all be waiting on pins and needles to find out.