Katey Sagal on the fate of her Sons of Anarchy character (spoilers)

Spoilers for last night’s Sons of Anarchy
First off, I have to admit that I haven’t been keeping up with Sons of Anarchy. I’ve watched the entire series up until the first episode this final season. At that point, I started to get annoyed by all the senseless violence and plotting, particularly by Gemma (Katey Sagal) and of course by Jax (Charlie Hunnam). It seemed like so many people were dying so those two could cover up their lies, but that’s the whole point of the show and I should be used to it by now. I plan to catch up over the holidays. I’m not one to let spoilers keep me from enjoying a series, but if you are and you’re waiting to watch it, please stop reading now, ok?

In this last, second to final episode, Gemma was killed, execution style, in her father’s garden by her own son, Jax. Jax also killed Unser, who was with Jemma at the time. The murder was revenge for the fact that Gemma killed Jax’s wife, Tara, and lied about it. Juice was murdered in jail, too, for his role in covering up the crime. At least that’s what I gathered from reading several recaps. You can read a recap on E! Online and Entertainment Weekly has a more thorough recap if you’re interested.

Both People and EW have new interviews with Sagal in the wake of her character’s death. I’m quoting some of her People interview here and there’s more at the source:

Was the plan always to have Jax kill Gemma execution-style?
There were lots of conversations about what happens to her before it was finally decided how she would die. For a character like Gemma, even to live is like, what’s worse? At the point you see her in the episode, death is a relief. It all caught up to her. By forming that, then there were conversations about what would be the most fitting, most horrible way for her to die.

What was it like that day, shooting that scene?
Charlie [Hunnam] and I cried a lot. It’s how Sons of Anarchy has always been. Everybody goes there. I remember right before I walk out of that living room and toward the rose garden, Charlie and I just hugged each other, really hugged each other, because it was also goodbye for Katey and Charlie after seven years. It was very emotional in a beautiful way. It wasn’t torturous. It was kind of a relief. We’ll all been building to this moment for this last season, and have all been in our own forms of denial by not really dealing with it ending. But on that day, there was no turning back. It was extremely emotional.

Why did she tell Jax that she loved Tara? Was that really the truth?
She adored Tara. That was not a premeditated killing that happened, though Gemma is not beyond premeditation. It was really an act of rage. It was out of a perfect storm moment where she thought that her was son was being taken down, the club was being taken down, her boyfriend broke up with her and she was super high. I think that in her right frame of mind, she wouldn’t have killed Tara. When she finally came to out of that, she was shocked just as anyone else when she found out that Tara didn’t turn anybody in. I think she absolutely adored Tara and continued to. That’s why she was talking to her [ghost] this season, making sure she knew the kids were okay. It was kind of a crazy Gemma thing, but she also felt very bonded to Tara.

So Gemma got over the idea that Tara had more control over Jax than she did?
I think that was always sort of their struggle. As you saw through the years, it would come and go, but overriding it all, I imagine if she’d been able to get that info first … that Tara never actually turned the club in … she would have made peace with Tara.

Why did Gemma say to Jax, ‘You have to do this, it’s who we are, sweetheart’?
I think she had been resigned about it ever since she headed to her father’s, ever since episode 11 when Nero [Jimmy Smits] found out that she killed Tara. She has certain calm about her, as you see in that last shot in episode 11 when she is driving out of town. She’s been carrying this secret for so long, the jig’s up! She doesn’t really know what’s going to go down. But she is on the journey of closure. She knows what’s going to happen. When she says, ‘This is who we are,’ she’s helping her son one more time. It’s kind of endearing. She’s sort of saying to him, you have to do this because this is the only way this will get done. We are outlaws. This is how we go out. You notice over seven years, nobody has ever gotten sick! Everybody goes out in a violent outlaw sort of way. That’s who they are.

[From People]

From what I’ve seen of the show, Jemma deserved to die. (Within the context of the show, etc.) Jax has been heading toward that end too, though, and the advance buzz for the next, final episode is that Jax is going to meet Mr. Mayhem. Incidentally, Sons of Anarchy is thought to be roughly based on Hamlet and while there aren’t exact parallels the show has a definite Shakespearean quality to it. Hamlet of course dies in the end.

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 9.45.56 AM_edited-1

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Charlie Hunnam filming "Sons Of Anarchy"

Charlie Hunnam filming "Sons Of Anarchy"

some photos are screenshots from FX and also courtesy FX Networks. On set photos of Charlie Hunnam credit: WENN.com

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25 Responses to “Katey Sagal on the fate of her Sons of Anarchy character (spoilers)”

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  1. PunkyMomma says:

    I’m gonna miss Charlie’s hip action. JS.

    • Z says:

      Me too….I never watched the show until all the hoopla regarding Charlie and FSOG crap. I started to take an interest in Charlie and became impress with his acting. I watched all 6 seasons on Netflix and was really blown away with SOA. He also appear to be a very lovely man in person as well so I understand why so many woman think he is HOT!………..He really is FIRE!

  2. Nics says:

    She must have been such a fun character to play, I think they have all been amazing on the show.
    I was not as shocked by Jax killing Gemma and Unser as I thought I would be, it has been building. Although why the limp Jax? I did giggle at one last chance to show off his bum though at the end! wooooooooo!
    Poor Juice … man he had a tough last show too :/ agh! So much to tie up in the last episode.

    • Meghan says:

      I was surprised that Kurt Sutter really killed her off. I was leaning towards her seeing Jax meet Mr. Mayhem, and watching Wendy and Nero take the boys to the farm, and Gemma being alone… which would be true torture for her.

      When Jax started limping I was like “WHAT DID I MISS?!” but they never said, did they?

      • Nics says:

        I’m glad it wasn’t just me thinking I missed something there. I do hope Nero takes Wendy and the kids to the farm and off into the sunset.
        oooo that would have been a good end for Gemma too hahaha

    • Coco says:

      I’ve been seriously hate watching this show all season, it’s been such a bloated mess! Funny enough, I thought LAST season was their final season and the pacing was much better. They’ve just gone in circle all season, elongating pointless episodes. The only reason I’ve continuted to watch it is to read the glorious episode reviews and reader comments over at The A.V. Club. Makes it all worth it!

  3. @Biting Panda says:

    I am not emotionally prepared for this show to end.

    But they stopped being good guys doing bad things, to be being bad guys doing positively evil things, several seasons ago. Jax has paved his way to Hell, and I think next week he’ll die with the same resigned dignity that Clay and Gemma did.

    Also, I know this show has always been snubbed, but these last few episodes could (and should) win them a shelf full of Emmy’s.

    • kennedy says:

      Agreed. Hunnam, Sagal and Smits are firing on all cylinders. I thought Siff was SO fantastic in Season 6 – I wish she had gotten an Emmy nod. That park scene in the Season 6 finale was AMAZING. I still remember it – “I’ve sacrificed everything for you. All I see are the lies and the violence and how it has changed you, turned you into a monster.” – SO great.

      I was so happy that Jax killed Gemma. It’s crazy to think that he killed his own mother but she brutally murdered the love of his life. Justice for Tara, ya’ll! I only wish she hadn’t somewhat manipulated him into shooting her. I know he was going to anyway but OF COURSE Gemma had to have the last word. I really loved how he looked up at the sky afterwards, like he was looking towards Heaven at Tara. It was so beautiful.

      One thing I hated? Him banging Wendy. First of all, Wendy looks like she’s 50 years old and has permanent bronzer dripping from her hairline. She’s so haggard and disgusting. I hate her. I don’t care if she’s some reformed junkie. Get your sh-t together, girl! You’re suppose to NOT want to sleep with the man who called your marriage a sad time out and then SHOT you up with drugs! How pathetic can she be. She’s such a weak character and the actress who plays her is so monotone in this role. I really miss Tara/Maggie Siff. I hate that Wendy might get the happy ending that Tara wanted – minus Jax since he is most definitely on a suicide run to join his departed bride six feet under. Ah, love. <3

      • sweetpea says:

        Ok so I’m not the only one who hates Wendy! And watching them get it on at the end made me want to scream! Arrgghh!

    • Lucinda says:

      I watched the show through season 5. I loved it at the beginning when they were, like you said, good guys doing bad things. But then it shifted in season 5 to just being bad guys doing bad things and then awful things and I couldn’t stomach it anymore. I may power through the last few seasons eventually but I don’t know….

  4. FingerBinger says:

    I was surprised that Jax killed Gemma and Unser. I never thought that he would do it. I get that Jax had to avenge Tara’s death ,but Gemma should have killed herself or just disappeared? Why put the burden of killing her on him? I don’t get why Michael Chiklis and Charisma Carpenter were in that episode either.

    • Raised Brow says:

      ‘Chiki’ is a friend and colleague of Kurt Sutter’s from ‘The Shield’, another FX AMAZING gritty drama. I personally enjoyed seeing him in this small role, having missed him immensely as Bad Cop Vic Macky. #RIPJuice #RIPUnser #RIPGemma

  5. Meghan says:

    I also feel like Jax is going to meet Mr. Mayhem, but I am usually always wrong about these things.

    I generally like to be spoiled, and even when I know what is coming (i.e- everything with Bobby), I was still on the edge of my seat.

    Juice broke my heart, I loved him so much, but I mean he was a rat on several occasions. Nero is what got to me, though. “It’s not about saving Gemma, it’s about saving Jax” and when he was sitting on Gemma’s bed crying? Jimmy Smits always does such a great job.

    These past few episodes have really redeemed this whole crazy season for me. It has gotten back to the SOA that I love.

  6. Abby_J says:

    Greatest moment of the entire show. I have been wishing that character would die for a few seasons now, and the pay off was perfect. Honestly, like a cockroach, I fully expected her to be the last person standing. Of course, what makes this show so amazing is that I hated her so much and hoped for her to die every episode, but it still broke my heart and made me cry.

    Now, someone PLEASE give Katey Segal a well deserved award for her amazing acting. I have haven’t hated a character so much since Kate from Lost, and I wasn’t supposed to hate HER.

  7. Dawn says:

    It was an amazing episode from beginning to end. I can’t wait for next Tuesday’s last episode and yet I find myself wondering just what the talented Mr. Sutter will bring us next. Did everyone catch the fact that the truck driver was the guy who played Vic Macky on the Shield? And Juice with the “just let me finish my pie” line was so sad. What a great show with great characters. I am going to miss them all.

  8. Mimi says:

    Bow down to the queen of Charming. Katey Sagal was everything on SOA. She played Gemma like a boss and peaced out accordingly. This show wouldn’t have been what it is without Gemma. And no one could have pulled that sh*t off Like Katey. I have been on pins and needles just hoping Gemma would get hers but when the time finally came, I actually didn’t want Jax to do it. Amazing work by an amazing actress.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Katey Segal is 60. Katey Segal is 60. That’s it.

  10. Fatty Magoo says:

    I’m in a glass case of emotion!! 😭 I’m not ready for this show to end. It’s been a part of me for 7 years. What is up with Jax’s leg? Does it have something to do with the show? Or was he injured and they found a subtle way to work it into the episode? I’m so sad Jax will meet mayhem but at this rate no one is going to survive.

  11. Hey, hey, my, my says:

    I hated it. Gemma didn’t deserve to die on her own terms, Jax wouldn’t have killed her if she wasn’t manipulating him into it. He was hesitating but she as always gets her way. And she died in her rose garden a fast death while Tara and all the other characters who died because of her couldn’t choose the moment and the way of their death. The entire episode was an awful redeeming fest for Gemma.
    Jax could never stand up to her even though she screwed him up more than anyone.

    Also the sex scene was so tacky and unnecessery and with Wendy of all people. I love Charlie and his body is insane but that was so wrong and to end the episode with that absolutely shitty stroy telling.

    • rahrahrooey says:

      Wow, I didn’t look at it that way. You are so right! She did die on her terms.

    • @Biting Panda says:

      Excellent points.

      I’ve always felt this show was more about her reign over them all, more so than the President at the head of the table. You’re right, though, she controlled it to the bitter end. No surprise there, this has been Sutter’s love letter to his actress wife for 7 seasons, it’s just not the traditional romantic gesture.

    • LN says:

      I agree with every word you said Hey, hey.

  12. Cindy says:

    I am way behind watching SOA on netflix- still on season 2, but I don’t mind the spoilers. Honestly, I am glad to hear the characters get darker because as they are early in the show is a bit sappy (except Gemma of coarse, she’s pretty scary). Hunter S Thompson wrote a book about spending a year (or 6months?) don’t remember, with The Hells Angels, and they are BAD DUDES. I mean really scary, dark depraved stuff. Even Hunter Thompson thought they were amoral, frightening guys, and said as much. So in a way I am glad to hear these characters get worse-I was actually ready to stop watching because, no matter how much I love Charlie’s sexy walk, the show seemed to romanticize these characters a little too much.

  13. lizzie says:

    i have ALWAYS thought Gemma would be the last one standing…I kind of wish that was the case. i have envisioned since season 1 that she would end up having to chose between herself and Jax and she would choose herself/grandkids.