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Sons of Anarchy Boss on Series Death and Tragic Sacrifice
We may have been forewarned of Sons of Anarchy’s big death this week, but it still wasn’t enough to cushion the immense blow felt from loosing such a beloved character as Opie. Not only is this a heavy loss for Jax, who in a way caused Opie’s death due to his indecision, but fans have always viewed Opie as one of the all time best characters on the show. But the sacrifice was made and the damage cannot be undone. Maybe if this were a supernatural show we could use black magic to bring him back to life, but Sons is a gritty, real series where choices often have nasty consequences and death sticks. Thankfully, we have creator Kurt Sutter to help ease us through this difficult period.
Sutter spoke with TVLine, explaining why Opie had to be the one to die. We were given an in-story reason why Tig, who was responsible for running down Damon Pope’s daughter, couldn’t be the sacrifice Pope demanded on top of half of SAMCRO’s coke-muling ventures – Pope wants Tig to rot in prison for the rest of his life. And Jax wasn’t about to kill one of his own men, so Opie had to step up and make the choice for him by involving himself in a prison fight and getting his head bashed in with a steel pipe. But what was Sutter’s ultimate reasoning behind this? It’s actually pretty simple. Jax needed something, an “emotional upheaval,” to change the direction he was headed, to change his destiny.
“I knew this would be a gut-wrenching episode and difficult for people to wrap their brains around, but… the death of Opie will color the rest of the episodes for the rest of the series,” Sutter explained. “It’s not a death that will happen in vain. Of course there’ll be a sense of vengeance, something that drives out guys to retaliate, but also the emotional impact that his death will have on the rest of the characters will always be there.”
Ultimately, Opie wanted to go out doing the right thing. I just hope this turns out to be the right move for the show. Goodness knows it must have been hard to say good by to actor Ryan Hurst. Sutter said giving him the bad news was difficult, but the two of them figured out how to tell this story and Hurst came to understand why this death would be so important to the show.