'Sons of Anarchy': Kurt Sutter talks Season 6, Jax, Clay and happy endings

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When it comes to "Sons of Anarchy," creator Kurt Sutter has an end in mind. He's been very open about the fact that his story for the show will be complete after the seventh season. With the Season 6 premiere closing in fast, the time for the show's home stretch is at hand.

However, looking back on the events of Season 5, the show's characters have never been in the middle of more turmoil and chaos. Zap2it had the chance to talk with Sutter about some of those characters, and the direction they are heading in Season 6. Be warned, the discussion contains spoilers through Season 5.

Zap2it: In his rise to power within the club, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) has become a great example of how corrupting absolute power can be in a person. Going into Season 6, where is his story heading?

Kurt Sutter: I think it's somewhat on that trajectory. There's a scene in episode 2 with Tara, where Jax talks about how the death of Opie is what's driving him and ultimately it's hard for him to step away now, because if he does, he sees that Opie's death was in vain. 

Opie set himself up, knowing where it was all going to a certain extent. And him sacrificing himself for the club, for Jax to walk away would be dishonoring his memory. That's what I'm talking about when I say the ghost of Opie is living in Jax, in at least the first half of the season, and is sort of motivating him to ... not necessarily go rogue, but perhaps pushing him down this path where he may be leaping before he looks.

We spoke with Ron Perlman at Comic-Con about Clay in Season 6. He says playing the character has become very uncomfortable, because he isolated and no longer a part of the SAMCRO world. Does that isolation reverberate through his character?

Yeah, you know it's interesting. Actors always sort of tend to experience what their characters are going through. When you've been part of something so long, and are so committed to it ... It's so ironic because I think a lot of what Ron is feeling, in terms of what's going on with Clay, is really what Clay is feeling. 

When you've been playing these characters so long, and I saw it on "The Shield" too, it's hard to distance yourself from it and not wear it. Not that they can't distinguish reality from fiction, but you just wear it for a certain amount of time. To be a sort of vital part of this environment for so long, then all of a sudden to do these things that have you exiled from it all, and now you're living this other life. It's as difficult, I think, for Ron as it is for Clay. And it's really interesting to see the impact that has on Ron. 

You know, it's been a difficult season for him, because Clay has had the wind taken out of him, and he's separated and has been betrayed by the woman he loves, and yet on some level knows he's responsible for that.

He's on this very different, and I think really interesting, trajectory. I think, for me, it's the most honest and real we've ever seen Clay. I think it's truly more who he is as a man than anything else we've seen to date.

When the show began, Tara (Maggie Siff) was a promising young surgeon who seemed to have her whole life ahead of her. While she now has a family, it seems everything in her life outside of the club has taken a complete nosedive.

You know, Maggie and I have conversations about who she is and where she's going all the time. But, I gotta tell you, and I've always said this whether it was conscious or unconscious, when Tara was being pursued by Agent Kohn (Season 1), she really felt like her life was in danger, because he was a federal agent and nobody was going to believe her and nobody was going to protect her. So she came back to the one guy she knew could do it. 

I think when that happens, when Jax kills Kohn in episode 7, to be okay with that and for them to consummate the relationship ... Once that happens, I think it's really about "Okay, I'm in." That was a decision she made, and I felt like at that point she could not be spared the consequences of the life. She's trying to, but ultimately once she made that decision that she  was part of it, she's subjected to the same circumstances as everybody else.

You've said you have an idea for the end of the show, the final shot. Without asking for specific names, is there a happy ending at the end of this journey for anyone?

You know, here's how I describe all this: It's a heavy world, it's a dark world but as heavy and violent as it is, I like to think that ultimately there is some sense of hope. So that it's sad and heavy, but there is always some sense of hope. 

Will it be a happy ending? No, but I do think that there will be something hopeful about the way it ends.

"Sons of Anarchy" Season 6 premieres on FX, September 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images