“For Season 5, I know what my endgame is,” says “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter.
“The show is the prince’s journey, there is no show without Jax,” Sutter told TV reporters gathered for FX’s presentation at the TCA Summer Press Tour Saturday in Beverly Hills.
And the ultimate endgame is looming. Sutter revealed that his critically acclaimed FX series, which is about to begin its fifth season and has already been renewed for a sixth, is likely to end after Season 7.
“We have a sense of it playing out in seven [seasons],” Sutter said in a post-panel interview with reporters, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “At this point, which is not outside the realm of possibility, I think I’d really have to f— things up not to get seven seasons.”
“Where the show will end up includes Jax and perhaps Gemma and Clay,” he said earlier in the session. “I don’t think it continues without Jax because I believe in his journey. This season I have to write to that endgame…
“The stakes get higher, the circumstances get more dire, the wreckage gets deeper and as a result things will change. I know that sounds ridiculously cryptic, I don’t quite know how it will all fall apart — but eventually it will,” Sutter explained.
The season premiere picks up soon after the events of the Season 4 finale, in which Clay (Ron Perlman) was shot and dethroned as the president of SAMCRO — and replaced by Jax (Charlie Hunnam), just like Mama always wanted.
Viewers will see a different man from the Machiavellian character they know Clay to be: “Perhaps for the first time he has a deep sense of, ‘Wow, I really f—ed up’,” Sutter said. “What does Clay look like broken?” “What does his remorse look like?” This season explores the consequences of Clay’s actions, summed up by Jax in the finale, as he had a knife to his throat: “You killed my father and Piney, you tried to kill Tara… You’re done telling me anything, now I tell you.”
Not only has Clay lost his power in SAMCRO, he’s also lost Gemma, while “Gemma has lost everything that matters to her,” says Katey Sagal. “She’s falling apart.”
At least Gemma does find a hot new love interest this season in the arms of guest star Jimmy Smits, who joins the cast as outlaw gang member Nero Padillo.
“I’m just happy I don’t have to wear a suit,” Smits joked about his “SOA” character.
Sagal and Smits have “great chemistry” together, she says, and viewers can expect some explicit love scenes between the two.
So hot that Sutter (Sagal’s husband) got a bit bothered while editing the sex-scene footage in post-production.
“I was like, oh, that’s my wife,” Sutter said, but “any twinge [of jealousy] was supplanted by the fact that it was awesome casting.”
Another new character will wreak havoc this season. Harold Perrineau‘s bad guy Damon Pope, a former drug kingpin whose daughter was killed in the finale by Tig, will wage war against SAMCRO and cause major problems for Jax as the season progresses.
“Coming into this season, Tig has just killed someone’s daughter — there has be retaliation for that,” said Sutter, adding that we will meet Tig’s daughters Fawn and Dawn this season.
On casting the former “Lost” actor in the rampaging role, Sutter says: “Damon Pope was guy who had come from the streets and changed the perception of who he was. I wanted a guy who could show some vulnerability and I wanted an actor who could play all those levels.”
The Season 5 premiere of “Sons of Anarchy” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 11 on FX.