“Sons of Anarchy” killed off one of its top characters Tuesday night — Clay Morrow, the grizzled former president of the “SOA” motorcycle club played by Ron Perlman.
The killing of Morrow, shot six times by current president Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), brought Perlman’s run on the show to an end just shy of six complete seasons.
Clay’s execution-style murder — occurring about two-thirds into Tuesday night’s episode seen on FX — was not necessarily a surprise, although the way it came about was unexpected.
He had long been at odds with Jax and the remaining, active members of the MC (motorcycle club), guilty of various acts of treachery against the club.
However, his murder was not expected because an elaborate plan to liberate him from a prison transport truck did not include killing him, or so it seemed.
It turned out, though, that the plan’s details were known to Teller and the club, but not to those of us watching at home.
Thus, instead of simply freeing Morrow from the armored truck and delivering him to the Irish gang that wanted to employ him to manage their gun-running operations, the Sons of Anarchy showed up at the Irish gang’s airport hangar hideout, killed the three Irish who were there, and then gave Clay the bad news that he lost a unanimous vote in favor of executing him.
The execution was then carried out in the same hangar office where the Irish lay in their own pools of congealing blood.
As a matter of fact, as unexpected as the killing of Clay was, the sudden executions of the Irish were even more surprising and even less expected. They were not unwelcome, however — especially Jax suddenly blasting the gang leader Galen (Timothy V. Murphy) in the forehead. This was a guy who richly deserved the sendoff he received.
The killing of Clay was witnessed by Gemma (Katey Segal), Tara (Maggie Siff) and Nero (Jimmy Smits). Gemma later cried, Nero remained passive, and Tara, surprisingly, seemed OK with it, since she blamed Clay for many of the troubles that have beset her recently — including her hand injury that ended her career as a surgeon.
On the other hand, she employed those very skills to save the life of gang member Bobby Munson (Mark Boone Jr.), who was shot in the liberation assault on the armored truck. Tara removed the bullet and he apparently survived.
Tuesday night’s episode of “Sons of Anarchy” was the 11th in the ongoing sixth season. Following a preemption next Tuesday due to the shortened, Thanksgiving holiday week, the final two episodes of Season Six will air on Tuesday, Dec. 3 (episode 12), and Tuesday, Dec. 10 (episode 13).