It’s the beginning of the end.
For the past six years, FX's smash series Sons of Anarchy has delivered some of the most compelling, jaw-dropping, and mind-blowing hours in television history, and now it's time to tune in for their final ride. The seventh and final season of SOA premieres tonight, and although we're not ready to say goodbye to Jax (Charlie Hunnam), Gemma (Katey Sagal) and the rest of our badass cast of characters, we could not be more thrilled for these final episodes to air.
ETonline sat down with creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter to discuss what's next for Jax following last year's season finale which ripped out our hearts and gave us a strong hatred for carving forks. Before tuning into tonight's highly anticipated premiere, read on for seven things that you absolutely need to know about the final season of Sons of Anarchy!
1. Don't Mess With Jax: You better eat a light dinner tonight because the first two minutes, and the last two minutes of tonight's season seven premiere will feature some of the most gruesome and torturous scenes in SOA's vicious history. Sutter confirmed that Jax will be following a much "darker" path this year, thus creating one of the most "violent seasons" TV fans have ever seen.
When fans are first reunited with our anti-hero, you'll quickly discover that Jax is "emotionally shut down and numb," and according to Sutter, he's "driven by a singular purpose this season which is avenging the woman that he loves." We can confirm that Jax will go to some serious (and utterly painful!) extremes in order to seek vengeance. "It's probably one of his most proactive seasons because he's not reacting to the things collapsing around him, he's creating the things that are collapsing around him," the EP said.
2. We Hate Mommy Dearest: At one point in tonight's premiere, Gemma has the audacity to describe Tara's funeral to Jax, and we're warning you now: It will take all of your strength not to lunge at your TV and slap her straight across the face. (Resist the urge! No need to break your TV before all the great fall shows come back.) However by the episode's end, you will officially hate Gemma with every fiber of your being. She does something so unspeakable -- you'll be shaking with fury.
3. An Unlikely Alliance: After aiding and abetting in Tara's murder last season, as well as alienating himself from the gang, Theo Rossi describes Juice as "a man with no island." The SOA star spilled to ETonline, "He's lost and that loss is what makes him so dangerous, and on top of that he's got the biggest knowledge that has ever been established in this entire world which is that the king's queen has been brutally murdered by the king's mom -- and he was there." In order to survive in plain sight, Juice will form unlikely alliances with some of Charming's most formidable residents, and he will do whatever it takes (or kill whoever gets in his way!) to keep his location a secret.
4. A Mascara-less Marilyn Manson: We're going to be honest, when we first heard that heavy metal icon Marilyn Manson was tapped to join the hit FX drama, we were a little skeptical. However, after witnessing his terrifying performance as Ron Tully, one of the most dangerous men behind bars in county, we understand why Sutter accepted Manson's pleas to join the show for a three-episode arc.
"[Marilyn's] persona is incredibly dark and goth and stuff like that, but he's really such a sweetheart," Sutter gushed of his friend. "Right now he's sort of filling the role that Otto did in terms of being on the inside… and I loved the idea because it's such a quirky choice and he loved the idea even though I told him he couldn’t wear mascara."
5. Big Things Are Brewing: We mentioned that Gemma will end tonight's episode with an unspeakable act, and in turn this manipulation will spark one the biggest feuds Sons fans have ever seen. Think of it as a wicked domino effect, with Gemma gleefuly flicking over the first tile in order to save her own ass. Sutter, who just so happens to be married to Gemma's off-screen alter ego, Katey Sagal, spilled that Gemma's betrayal will have big repercussions: "It's really just the beginning, and that's really what sort of sets the tone for what is to happen, so the door is wide open."
6. Fueling the Fire: So how does star Charlie Hunnam tap into the rage needed for this final batch of episodes? "For whatever reason I have access deep down inside me to a lot of anger," Hunnam spilled to us on the red carpet at the SOA season premiere party. "So I just keep it screwed down tight most of the time, but I just let the screws off a little bit and it comes out…. I never really have to reach too far to find anger." It's no secret that Jax is hurting when we reconnect with our fearless leader, and Sutter explained that this is unlike anything fans have seen before: "This is a different kind of pain, he kind of knows what to do with this pain," he said. And get ready to see Jax rub salt in those wounds – literally.
7. No One Is Off Limits: Despite the fact that Sons of Anarchy is known for killing off fan favorite characters left and right, Sutter revealed that he never intentionally tries to shatter viewers' emotions – it's all for the sake of great television. The creator explained, "I don't go into it thinking, 'Okay, how can I devastate people the most?'"
The EP continued, "Obviously there are some people in peril this season because of the things they've done. There's a Sword of Damocles hanging over some heads, so we have to navigate around those stories, and decide if -- and when -- those swords are going to fall. As far as the rest go, it really comes to whether or not it makes sense organically, and if I know that making that decision will make the story better, then I'll do it."
Sons of Anarchy's seventh season premieres tonight at 10 p.m. with a special one hour and 45 minute episode on FX.