“Sons of Anarchy” ran into a minefield — literally — in the episode that aired on FX on Tuesday, Nov. 15. During a raid on the Lobos Sonora cartel, the SAMCRO outlaw motorcycle club members and their allies wound up surrounded by explosives.
Unfortunately, Tacoma chapter biker Herman Kozik (Kenny Johnson) put a foot wrong and landed on a mine. Declaring, “You gotta be sh****ng me,” he was promptly blown into pink mist — except for the arm that landed on his recently suicidal fellow biker, Juice (Theo Rossi).
Yes, “SOA” killed Kenny.
The creator of “Sons of Anarchy” is Kurt Sutter. He was a writer on FX’s “The Shield,” which starred Johnson as LAPD Strike Team Detective Curtis “Lem” Lemansky, who died in a grenade blast.
Asked whether Sutter remembered that Johnson had already been blown up in a show he was working on, Johnson tells Zap2it, “Yeah, exactly, since he’s the one that came up with that [grenade] idea.”
Johnson says the original plan was for Kozik to leave SAMCRO in Northern California and head back to Tacoma, but there were problems with Johnson’s regular gig on NBC’s new “Prime Suspect.”
“So I was going back to Tacoma,” he says, “and NBC wouldn’t release me for a month and a half to do the episodes for Kurt. Finally, I had a 10-day opening. I told Kurt, ‘Listen, dude, I have 10 days. I guarantee I have nothing, so you can write whatever you want.’ He says, ‘OK, great, we’ll see what we can do.’
“Then the next day, the script comes, and it’s, like, I get frickin’ blown up. Again. And again, that wasn’t what Kurt had in mind, until something popped in his head, and a light bulb went on.”
As to fan reaction, Johnson says, “I got a lot of tweets and Facebooks, and some people are, like, ‘No, not again! Why, again? Why? It doesn’t make sense. Why Kozik?’
“The Lem thing was a hard one, but that was earned. This one wasn’t, for me. Again, Kurt’s the creator of the show, so he gets to make the calls.”
Johnson has no explanation as to why Sutter seems to look at him and think of things that go boom.
“Yeah, I don’t know, man,” he says. “You’ll have to ask Kurt all those things. My God, that’s enough times that I’ve been blown up forever and ever, I hope. Maybe it’s an ongoing theme. I have no idea.”
And, as it turns out, it was a very big boom.
“It looked like the atomic bomb went off,” says Johnson. “I was like, holy sh*t, there’s no way I’m coming back from that.’ When we did the explosion on the day, they had pieces of Kozik’s body everywhere. They thought they were going to catch it on film, but when they blew it up — literally, this is no joke — there were people standing over 100 yards away, and there were pieces blowing up over their heads.
“It went so high and so far, that we’re like, ‘Oh, my God, there’s no way they caught any of that on camera.'”
Meanwhile, Johnson’s other show, NBC’s remake of the British “Prime Suspect,” starring Maria Bello, has shut down production after 13 episodes and lost its Thursday, 10 p.m. ET, timeslot in the new year to another freshman drama, “The Firm.”
Johnson plays Matt Webb, the blue-collar boyfriend of Bello’s NYPD Detective Jane Timoney.
The show hasn’t officially been axed, but the future’s looking a bit grim.
“They won’t make that announcement,” says Johnson. “It seems like they’re fighting to try to help it. It has gone up the last two weeks in a row. Maybe this week, it will go up.
“I think it’s one of those things where they’re going to let it play for the 13 episodes and see if the ratings keep climbing. If they do, maybe the back nine — I’m not sure.
“The danger, I feel, if they put it on hold, the crew is probably going to have to work somewhere else, because people need to keep working. I’ve no idea, actually. Nobody still knows. they’re just going on as if it’s still going.”
At least Webb is unlikely to be blown up.
“No,” says Johnson. “I could get killed by a stray bullet.”