'Sons of Anarchy' Creator Kurt Sutter on Season 4's Bold Finale and Season 5 Plans

"My sense for next season is that it will be a slower boil," the showrunner told THR.
Prashant Gupta / FX

Sons of Anarchy, FX’s hit drama about a California motorcycle club, wrapped up its fourth season on Tuesday. The finale ended what has arguably been the best season for the drama, helmed by Kurt Sutter.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you have not watched Tuesday’s Season 4 finale.]

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In the final episode, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) deals with the revelation that the president of the club, Clay (Ron Perlman) killed his father and attempted to have his wife Tara (Maggie Siff) killed. While he wanted to kill Clay and leave the club, he can’t because it turns out the cartel SAMCRO has been dealing with is actually working with the Feds and tell Jax that Clay needs to make a deal go through.

So Jax will take the spot at the head of the table, but Clay will remain alive and a part of the club. On top of all that, SAMCRO will have to deal with another threat after they killed the daughter of a major crime boss who is sure to come after them.

”I’m trying to be smart and give myself a running start for next season,” Sutter told THR about setting up the new conflicts for next season. “It really benefits the show to hit the ground running.”

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Sutter admitted that he hasn’t quite figured out what level of threat the new crime boss will be. “I’d love to bring in that character who, in my mind, is sort of a Frank Lucas guy,” said Sutter, referring to the organized crime boss in Harlem who reigned during the 60s and 70s.

Sutter added that of course the internal conflicts around Clay and Jax and the rest of the club will continue. Sutter said that he plans to pace next season a bit differently.

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“My sense for next season is that it will be a slower boil,” added Sutter. “This season, everyone was sort of out of breath at the end of every episode, and my sense is that next season that won’t be the case.”

At the end of the episode, Jax has invited his best friend in the club, Opie (Ryan Hurst), to join him as his vp. But Opie did not appear at the table, leaving many viewers wondering if Opie would be leaving with the end of Season 4.

Sutter said that Opie would indeed be returning for Season 5, but not to the table right away. “It was just too neat and simple for Opie to come back,” said Sutter.

“I think it’s all just sort of catching up with Opie and he’s not a guy who processes things quickly,” said Sutter. “It will take a minute for him to get back to that table, if he does get back and that’s something we get to play off next season.”

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Some viewers expected that Clay, after the many heinous actions he performed this season, would be killed off at the end of the year, especially since Sutter has been open about the fact that this story is based on Hamlet. But he wasn’t.

“I’m all about surprising, and I have no problems killing off main characters but I also have to in some ways protect the show,” explained Sutter. “For me, I think whacking somebody sometimes is just too easy.”