The death of Bobby this season and the murder of Tara in the season-six finale were two other big events for Jax, but it was the episode where Opie gets killed in prison that was the real turning point for Charlie's character in the series.
"I think the episode where Opie got killed was pretty powerhouse episode," he told ETonline about the fifth season's third episode. "I had a terrible flu and was running a really gnarly fever and was very, very sick through the course of shooting that episode, and I was so nervous to see it because I thought it was such an important episode."
"Jax, I felt, just needed that emotional upheaval, that one event that happens in a man's life that can change the course of his destiny, and I think the death of his best friend was that event," creator Kurt Sutter told Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired in 2012. "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."
It’s this type of storytelling that we are going to miss most about the series when the finale airs on FX on Dec. 9!