Of course, we begin this “Sons of Anarchy” article with the biggest and boldest of warnings: Stop reading now if you haven’t seen Tuesday night’s episode yet. You will be completely depressed otherwise.
While this is a show that often does manage to shock you, there was something about seeing the end of Clay Morrow last night that was completely inevitable. This was a man who has done so many unspeakable things over the course of six years, and in order for Jax Teller to fully assume the metaphorical throne as the head of SAMCRO and the kingpin, the former king had to be in the ground. It’s almost a testament to Ron Perlman and his skill that he managed to survive this long, and you wanted to think that he was actually going to make it to the final season.
In try to look back at his time on the show to Entertainment Weekly, Perlman explained that he knew at the start of the season that Clay was going to die, but he did not know many of the circumstances around it until much later when he started to look through the script. All he wanted to see out of the moment was for the character to have some sort of redemption, and he feels that there was that during that final exchange with Katey Sagal’s Gemma. In the interview, Perlman tried to put herself into her head when talking about the very subject of repentance:
“She’s got to be harboring some feelings of guilt. She’s responsible for all of this. She’s the one who tagged Clay to kill John Teller. Everybody knows it. And he’s going out, looking at her going, I love you. I’m not mad at you. I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s the redemption. I’m not mad at you after all this. You’re the only thing that matters.”
This has been a rough and at times very complicated journey for Perlman, especially when you consider that he has famously said in the past that he struggled so much with some of the character’s actions that he had to speak with creator Kurt Sutter about it. It wasn’t a bad thing or a slight against the creator so much as Ron’s own need to feel something about the man that he related to. He was a very troubled character who somehow managed to get some sympathy in the end, and perhaps that is the biggest surprise of all.
You can read our full review of the stunning episode here, and we want to hear below who you think will be the next character to go. There are two episodes left this year, and that could lead to plenty of opportunities to say goodbye to other notable faces.