James Minchin/FX
September 11, 2013 at 09:07 PM EDT

Spoiler alert: Sons of Anarchy‘s season 6 premiere featured many scenes that got fans talking, one of which was Jax (Charlie Hunnam) cheating on his wife Tara (Maggie Siff) with maternal madame Colette (Kim Dickens), someone with whom he’s also jumping into business. In a conference call with reporters today, Siff explained why Tara didn’t want to see Jax while she’s in jail awaiting her bail hearing and teased the character’s arc this season.

On Jax and Tara in the premiere: I’m glad to hear that fans were upset [that he cheated], because I was upset as well. They’re in such a disconnected place from each other right now. I think that at the end of season 5, we saw incredible disillusionment on both their parts. Jax is feeling the sting of her betrayal in terms of trying to set things up so that the kids would be given to Wendy, and she was feeling the sting of his betrayal in terms of a real lack of support for her priorities of getting out and getting her kids into a safe place and also some of the more violent and terrifying aspects of his nature that were really revealed to her at the end of last season. They’re on different planes right now. She can’t even see him when she’s in prison. What I was playing with in that premiere episode is that she’s using the time to really collect her thoughts and create a plan for herself in terms of what she’s gonna do to protect herself and her kids — because nobody else is gonna help her, and that includes Jax. Therefore, she can’t expose herself to him because it would just be too difficult.

On whether the school shooting storyline, which creator Kurt Sutter told EW “ultimately becomes the final straw in [the club’s] relationship with the gun business and the domino that takes [the series] to a fairly tragic and epic conclusion,” impacts Tara: It does absolutely affect her in a kind of side fashion, the way everything is woven together thematically. There are several tactics that she tries throughout the season in terms of what she can do to help herself out from under her legal problems, but also to help get her kids out of Charming. She does start to intersect with that story line in ways that I can’t actually get into. I think it affects everybody because the law sweeps in, in a very powerful way, and everybody’s caught up in the ramifications of what that means.

On whether Tara and Toric [Donal Logue] will cross paths again: Yes, a little bit. He’s such a worthy adversary for the club this year, and Donal is so fantastic, I’ve enjoyed working with him so much. As you saw in the premiere, he’s working every angle, so that continues to happen.

On Tara’s new short hair: I’d been wanting to cut my hair for a long time. So at the end of last season, I talked to Kurt about it, and he was like, “Yeah, let’s do it,” once we knew that she was going to prison. …. I think it’s tougher, and there’s something about losing the hair that’s a little bit like losing the part of her that is submissive to Jax and to the club. Kinda losing that really feminine edge, I think, is a really good thing for the season and for the character.

On whether we’ll see Tara, who beat an inmate who stole her blanket, have trouble keeping her darker side in check: You’ll see a little bit of that. I think that she spends a lot of this season really scheming and plotting and doing what she has to do to protect herself, and her tactics are somewhat questionable sometimes. So yes, you’ll see her doing some things that are pretty reminiscent of Gemma and will make you cringe slightly. [Laughs] But, you know, I think she’s also learned if she’s gonna survive in this world, which she’s determined to do, then she’s gotta get a little bit dirty.

On whether she still roots for Jax and Tara to make it: Yeah, I do. I think the thing that’s complicated is in Tara’s ideal world, she has the love of her life, who’s Jax, and she has procured the safety of her children. The question that remains is if those things can actually happen together. I think Jax’s happiness is dependent on there being a club and him being part of it. As the club attempts to come clean, it’s like, is that possible?

Kurt Sutter’s original series, starring Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, and Katey Sagal.
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