Season 5 of “Sons of Anarchy” ended with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) stuck between two realities: On one hand, he accomplished nearly everything he had set out to do since becoming president of the MC. On the other, his personal life is, as creator Kurt Sutter puts it, “in shambles.”
“I really wanted to get to a place where Jax perhaps realizes he’s better at being an outlaw than he is at being a husband and a father,” Sutter said Wednesday (Dec. 5) on a post-season call with reporters. “… The intent was to have him have this very successful, although bloody an tumultuous and tragic or painful, run as president of the club, but ultimately to have that stuff come out almost flawlessly. The execution of Pope [Harold Perrineau], the way he maneuvered that, he pulled that off like a spec ops soldier. All that stuff went flawlessly and was incredibly smart. While all that was going on on the outlaw side, all the stuff with his family was essentially falling apart.
“… At the end of it, he does one incredibly well and one incredibly bad. [It’s] just the idea of, maybe I’m supposed to be doing this and not be doing that. I’m not saying this is where we’re ultimately going to be with the character, but in this moment, I think there is a sense of, I’m completely successful on the one hand and I’ve completely failed at this other thing, and maybe I’m just supposed to be doing the thing I’m good at. That’s where I wanted to have him land at the end.”
Sutter had a lot more to say. Some highlights from the call:
Donal Logue is definitely coming back next season, and Jimmy Smits may also return. “We made a deal with Donal for a total of 10 episodes so far. He was in two or three this year, so we definitely have him locked up for seven or eight next season, and most likely it will be more than that. That character I believe will be a big character next season. [He’s] probably the most dangerous threat the club’s ever had in terms of a guy with law-enforcement weight, law-enforcement credentials or connections, and yet because he’s retired does not have the legal handcuffs or morality hurdles that some of our other law enforcement members have had. …
“Jimmy Smits, I would love to bring back. Jimmy adds such a gravitas to the show. I love bringing that new culture into the show, his sort of Latino past and that energy. Mixing that into our world is really fascinating to me. I love the relationships going on with he and Gemma [Katey Sagal]. I would love to bring Jimmy back. We left it sort of open-ended because I wasn’t sure of his availability. I feel like there’s enough emotional weight on the table … for us to continue that story line, yet I was careful not to pin any major story arc to his character just in case that couldn’t happen.”
Clay Morrow: Dead man walking? “When August [Billy Brown] tells his guy, ‘I want him dead before the hearing,’ I really want to give a sense that there’s a death knell for Clay [Ron Perlman], that he is essentially a dead man walking, or in that case a dead man riding between lots of black men. I really wanted to set that up — that Jax was successful in the death-by-proxy option he’s choosing for Clay. How that will play out I’m not sure yet. Whether or not Clay will make it through Season 6 I’m not sure.
“… What I don’t want to do is get into another situation where it’s another almost death for Clay, because I think that’s very unsatisfying. I’m not quite sure where Clay’s end date will be, but I do think that ultimately it has to be near. But there still is some more story to tell.”
Otto and his tongue: Of having the character he plays, incarcerated SAMCRO member Otto, bite off his own tongue rather than talk about murdering a nurse, Sutter says, “It was my way of writing myself out of having to learn dialogue. So if Otto comes back, it will just be grunts and me scribbling s*** on paper. … I thought with a guy that’s as f***ed up and damaged as Otto, what better way to say ‘I’m not talking.'”