For those of you who haven’t watched last nights episode of Sons of Anarchy, you won’t want to read this! (Please do yourself a favor and stay off social media as well until you do!) But for those of you, who cried along with me as we saw our beloved Opie (Ryan Hurst) meet the reaper, I’ve got some juicy scoop straight from the mouth of creator Kurt Sutter.
I just had the chance to speak to him and ask him all the burning questions everyone has on their mind right now. I honestly can’t help fighting tears as I even write this piece knowing that it means that Opie is really gone. His life was pretty sad and after all the pain that he had been subjected to throughout the years, I release him and hope he is in tv heaven.
I just wish his death hadn’t been so brutal. But it’s the type of life that he chose to live as a member of the Sons of Anarchy where life just isn’t pretty so why should death?
When I Tweeted fans and let them know I would be talking to Kurt, everyone wanted me to ask him WHY?! So here is your answer:
“I think the fans understand why it was done,” Sutter explained. “I don’t do things arbitrarily or for shock value. Yes it’s incredibly sad but the death of Opie will color the rest of the episodes for the rest of the series. His death won’t be in vain”
Kurt answered a variety of questions so here are the highlights:
When did you decide Opie’s fate?
“I had been playing with the idea and thinking of that arc between Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Opie really towards the end of season 3,” Kurt said. “And then it all came together with the death of Piney (William Lucking) last year. I got to the end of that season and realized that there is this circular dynamic that was happening with Jax and Opie that I felt very difficult in terms of where it was going.
This is really the first season where I’ve had to think about the end game, knowing where I want to take my hero and how I want him to get there, the road I want him to travel.
I felt that Jax needed that emotional upheaval. That one event that happens in a mans life that can change the course of his destiny. That event was the death of his best friend. I just wanted it to happen early in the season in a very organic way.”
When did Ryan Hurst know his character was going to die:
“I brought Ryan in even before we started writing. It’s a very difficult thing. He is really plugged into the show and loves the character,” Sutter said about Hurst. “Ryan is a super sensitive dude and it was difficult for both of us to figure out how to do this.
In the end, when he read the script and read the episodes that follow, he understood the nature of it and the importace of it in the mythology of the show.”
Did you always know that Opie would meet his end the way it played out?
I knew there was this organic way to get him to prison,” Kurt explained. “I loved what we did at the end of episode 2, in terms of Opie realizing he couldn’t let his best friend go to jail unprotected. Not to trick people, but there was a sense of Opie coming to his friends aide and perhaps this was the beginning of them reuniting and becoming brothers again.
And it was. It was a bumpy road but Jax was honest with him, telling him everything, and really bonding again as a result of these circumstances. Obviously without Jax knowing how this was going. So I knew that is what we were going to do.
I wanted Opie to go out a warrior, with nobility. WIth him feeling, I may not have a lot to live for but at the very least I’m going to go out doing something noble and protecting the people that I love. I feel that we were able to do all that with this death.”
What was going through Opie’s mind when he decided to be the one to fight?
“I felt we had done so much damage to Opie and his family over the course of a few seasons which is why I couldn’t wrap my brain around bringing him back to the table at the end of last season. That didn’t seem right.
I do believe some of it was, ‘here is an opportunity for me to do the right thing and perhaps this is how I can be a best service to my club.’
In a weird, selfish way to his family. I always got a sense that OPie struggled with those kids ever since he got out of prison. He never really felt connected to them or his family. The Lyla thing was somewhat abrupt and some kind of distraction. Perhaps this was his way of being of service to his club and his family by going out doing the right thing. It was his personal choice of personal sacrifice.
My intention in that scene was that Jax wasn’t going to let anybody force him to make that choice. even if it meant him making that choice himself. I felt like Opie saw that in Jax and had to step-in and make that choice.”
Tig (Kim Coates) has the blood of three innocent people on his hands. What will that guilt mean for the Tig/Clay (Ron Perlman) and the Tig/Jax relationship moving forward.
“I think both of those [relationships] will continue to change. The betrayal that Tig felt, as we saw early on in the first couple of episodes [of season 5], with Tig and Clay is real,” Kurt said. “Tig does feel betrayed so you will see this interesting shift that happens this season sort of paralleling what happened in season two when Opie started moving closer to Clay as a result of his rift with Jax.
That will start to happen in this season as well you’ll see Tig will be engaged with the new dynamic he has with Jax. It’s a debt for what he did. He doesn’t know all the details of Jax’s deal with Pope (Harold Perrineau), he basically knows he got him a pardon.”
“Tig is such a great, complicated character. He is one of those characters that, on any given episode, I can spin him into some absurd comic relief or some gut wrenching family dynamic. I’m lucky enough to have an actor like Kim that can put on anything I ask him to wear and pull it off.
The biggest question that I wanted to know after all this pain and suffering, was will we lose anymore guys this season?!
“I can’t tell you that, Kurt exclaimed! If it does happen, it will be totally arbitrary. If it happens again, it would probably not be as sudden.”
Tune in to an all new episode of Sons of Anarchy, Tuesday nights at 10pm only on FX.