Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is in the process of penning the first script of season 5. But that doesn’t mean he came to Wednesday night’s PaleyFest panel without the best of his shareable scoop on what’s in store for SAMCRO in a season that finds them under the leadership of Jax. And when he and the rest of the cast (including wife/star Katey Sagal, Theo Rossi, Tommy Flanagan, and Dayton Callie) couldn’t say anything quite yet, they opted to fill the air with F-bombs and hilarious anecdotes (like one about Ron Pearlman’s lack of motorcycle skills).
Here’s a recap of what we heard about the new season, which kicks off in fall:
The season picks up around three weeks after the events in the finale, Sutter told EW on the red carpet, and finds Jax still sitting at the head of the table. The season will explore “the ripple effect that has on the guys — their loyalties and where people land [on the issue],” said Sutter. “For me, the dynamic that’s fun to play out this season is the struggle of being king. Can you be the leader of an organized crime syndicate and not become Clay? And if you’re not like Clay, will you be forced to suffer the same fate as John Teller?…For Jax, it’s the struggle between those two father figures and what he may and may not become.”
In past seasons, Tara has struggled with whether or not she’s wanted to be part of the SAMCRO world, but this season leaves little doubt, Sutter said. “She’s clearly in. But she’s now figuring out, ‘Who am I in this world?’ Can I still be Dr. Tara Knowles and be the supportive queen I need to be?”
David Pope will debut
As Sutter told EW after the finale, his season will introduce David Pope, the man whose daughter was killed by Tig (Kim Coats). He has not been cast yet.
Opie will continue to struggle
Poor Opie. A failing second marriage, a dead dad, and a club in shambles. What’s a guy to do? Well, season 5 will find Ryan Hurst’s Opie still trying to wrap his head around what’s going on in his life and whether or not there’s repair to be had. “We’ll really get to play that out with Opie and Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and see how that relationship has changed and if you can come back from that.”
No Gemma/Tig action… probably
While the world was crumbling in Charming, it didn’t escape fans that Gemma and Tig became especially close. (Though there had been hints of chemistry before.) Sutter, however, remains unconvinced it will lead to much more. “I don’t think Tig and Gemma have ever hooked up. There’s always been an attraction,” Sutter said. “Tig has been the third wheel in that relationship for years. I don’t know where that’s going to go.”
More Shield vets on the way?
A number of actors who once appeared on The Shield, which Sutter executive-produced, have made their way onto Sons, but don’t hold your breath for an appearance from Michael Chiklis. “I think it would be really difficult to bring Michael onto the show and not have that character be overshadowed by Vic Mackey. I’m still thinking of ways to do that because I love Michael, but that would be a tough one,” he admits.
Scoops aside, Sutter also shined light on his efforts to produce a prequel to Sons that would explore the story of the first nine members. He’s expressed his desires to produce the show to FX, he said, but it remains on the sidelines for now. “It’s definitely out there,” he said. “I see it as a really different show … I see it more as a political and social [and] historical show, in terms of [incorporating the story with] everything that was going on in the ’60s — like Vietnam.”
Katey Sagal: Truly, all of us look forward to each new script.
Dayton Callie (who plays Unser): Yeah, ‘Am I f—ing alive?!’
Sutter: Spoken like a man with cancer.
[Crowd roars with laughter]
Callie: He’s been holding that over my head for four years!