'Sons of Anarchy' Interview: Creator Kurt Sutter Talks Season 5
'Sons of Anarchy' Interview: Creator Kurt Sutter Talks Season 5
Matt Click
Matt Click
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Last night's Sons of Anarchy season 4 finale might have left fans hanging, but luckily show creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter (who also portrays jailbird Otto Delaney) was on-hand this morning to field some questions on season 4's unanswered questions, and what we can look forward to from SAMCRO and its adversaries in season 5.

Season 4 was the highest-rated season yet for Sons of Anarchy, so of course it has already been renewed for season 5. While Sutter admits that he's unsure about many of the storylines going into season 5, he makes it very clear that those hanging plots -- Jax and Clay, Juice's guilt, Otto's betrayal, Gemma's machinations -- will continue through the next few seasons.

Read on to hear more about what Sutter had to say about Sons of Anarchy season 5.

Read our Recap of the Finale >>

On why the guys are so loyal to the MC...

It's the crux of the drama, at least with Jax. He was raised in this world. Can he leave it, can he abandon it -- can he fix it? To be honest with you, if they decided it wasn't what they wanted, I wouldn't have a show anymore.

On where Opie is...

I know there were some questions about where Opie was at the end of the episode. But it'd be too neat and tidy for Opie to show up. Opie is a complicated guy. It took him marrying somebody else for him to actually begin grieving for his wife. He's not a guy that processes things quickly. It might take him a while to get back to the table, if he does.

On why Tara and Clay survived the season...

I have no problem killing off main characters, but I also have to protect the show. It would be very difficult for us to continue with Jax and tell that story without Tara. I think sometimes just whacking somebody is too easy. It's the same thing with Clay. That reveal that Clay killed Jax's father -- we've been playing towards that for four seasons. It'd be too easy to have Jax kill him two scenes later, y'know? We get to play that out now with Jax and Clay, and that's great turf for potent storytelling. I want to see what that looks like for a season or two.

On Clay, Gemma and Tara...

This season, if you look at the dynamic, it's this world about the men, but more often than not, we see it through the window of women. We see Clay through Gemma, and Jax through Tara. We're viewing this world through the eyes of the women. I think season 5 will be an interesting season for [Clay and Gemma]. She made this decision about Clay, and didn't see the ramifications of that with Tara -- that she would create this kind of Frankenstein, somebody else standing behind Jax pulling the strings. But I don't think Gemma will be usurped, and Tara is not quite Gemma yet.

On the show's juxtaposing tones...

I'm very aware that I'm writing a show for TV. I do want to write storylines that are rich and complex, and characters that are three-dimensional. But there's an element to this show that is incredibly pulpy and entertaining. To me, that's as important as the rich, deep character stuff. It is important to me to keep the show fun and entertaining. I think that's what frustrates you guys sometimes, is that combination of things.

On the new external threats for season 5...

I'm trying to be smart and give myself a running start for next season. I've learned it really benefits the show to hit the ground running. A lot of it is creating a sense that this Damocles is hanging over Jax's head as he's sitting at the table, in addition to the very real internal threat that this club faces. I don't know the level of threat yet. My sense is that next season it will be more a slower boil, as opposed to the faster, kinetic beginning of this season.

On the show's rising ratings...

It's very satisfying, and it's a tribute to the fact that I surround myself with people who are way more talented than I am. I think people have really begun to understand these characters. I think Netflix helped a lot.

On Kurt's character, Otto...

To me, Otto was a device to get some exposition, quite honestly. It's been fun, metaphorically, to abuse this guy. And then I had this storyline that came up with Rico, and we sort of took a look at everything Otto had done. It wasn't until this season, for me, that Otto became three-dimensional. He feels this deep sense of betrayal, and in true outlaw fashion, he's gonna take everybody down with him. It was fun to give him another dimension as a character this season. I don't know if he's done -- he's clearly not going to be a resource for the club anymore. I'm sure we'll see Otto again, but I don't know what that will look like.

On Wendy's return...

I'm not certain yet what the Wendy arc will be in season 5. She will be back. I love the character very much. Through the evolution of Tara, I knew it would be interesting to bring her back. And we were able this season to do that at a very awkward and inopportune time for Tara. I know she will factor in with the Gemma and Tara arc.

On the Hamlet inspiration...

It doesn't figure into the writing of the show. It's not like we have the play up on the board with plot points we try to follow. It more inspires the tone and the operatic, epic quality of the show, and the archetypes with Clay, Jax, Gemma and Tara are there, obviously. Whether they all end up dead in a big puddle of blood at the end of the series remains to be seen.

On Jax's leadership...

People have a lot of ideals and make a lot of promises to attain office, and more often than not those ideals fall to the wayside, and they end up repeating the actions of their predecessors. The question is can Jax replace Clay without becoming Clay. Is Clay just a product of this life? If Jax strays from it, if he leads the club as his father did, will he suffer the same fate as his father? Can he be his own man, can he affect change, and can he stay true to the man he is? To me, that's the fun we get to play out for the next couple of seasons.

On the race issue and Juice's secret...

I know it created some confusion with the racial issue this season -- this idea that there were no black members of the club. That's just how it is in these clubs. It dates back to the '40s, when these clubs were established. When we brought in the character of Eli, I thought that would be fun to see play out. It's a theme you see over and over again in this show -- if people just told the truth the first time, there'd be less trouble. But people need to protect themselves. Things don't happen in a vacuum, and they don't go away -- Juice is still dealing with the guilt of shooting a guy in the face and ratting on the club. It may not play out this coming season, but that Juice storyline is not done.

On the creative process of Sons of Anarchy...

I come in at the beginning of the season with a fairly in-depth skeleton of sort of the larger story arcs. I knew Jax was going to be forced to not off Clay, and that we were going to end the season with Jax sitting at the head of the able. I sit down with our writers and go episode by episode. And then those stories sort of inform the larger arcs.

(Image courtesy of FX)

News from our partners