WARNING: SEASON FOUR FINALE SPOILERS AHEAD.
"Sons of Anarchy" wrapped its fourth and most successful season Tuesday night, and SAMCRO leader, well, now former leader, Clay (Ron Perlman) managed to end the season alive, but stripped of his SAMCRO president patch by new leader Jax.
This season took Clay to the dark side and made his death look like an inevitability at the hand of either Jax (whose father Clay killed) or Opie (whose father Clay killed) or Gemma or Unser or … well, let's suffice it to say Clay made a lot of enemies?
Death would have been too easy, "SOA" creator Kurt Sutter told reporters on a post-season conference call Wednesday.
"It would've been way too easy for Jax to have that reveal about his father that we've been playing with for four seasons now, and (then) have Jax kill Clay," Sutter said. "We get to play that out now with Jax and Clay, and I think that's great turf for potent storytelling. I want to see what that looks like for a season or two."
During his hour-long Q&A session, Sutter also addressed Tara's transformation into the new queen of SAMCRO, the return of Jax's ex-wife, how Netflix is partly responsible for the show's season four ratings success, and how it will all end.
On Tara becoming the new Gemma: "We've actually been playing with that idea since season two. We had conversations with wardrobe and hair about slowly, with Tara now in this world, having it sort of rub off on her. She couldn't help but become a part of it, and we're able to play that out with wardrobe and hair. And then obviously, towards the end, having some of the emotionality match it as well."
On season five, and how there will be tensions between Gemma and Tara: "It'll be an interesting season between the two of them (Tara and Gemma) … (Gemma) has ultimately created a little bit of a Frankenstein … I don't think Gemma will be usurped … (but) Tara is not Gemma. She's not there yet. Next season, not that I'm going to take a step back, and bring her back to the Tara, the wavering Tara that she's been to a certain extent, but I think she will have her struggles in that role."
On Otto, the jailed SAMCRO member he portrays on the show: "I'm clearly the only one who will hire me as an actor," he joked, while confirming viewers will see Otto again.
On Wendy (Drea de Matteo), Jax's ex-wife, in season four and five: "I like the character very much … I just think she will be, in a very general way, very interesting to throw into the mix with Gemma and Tara next season. You know, whether or not Gemma will try to use her as a wedge, I'm not quite sure what that looks like yet, but I do know that she will definitely factor in in some capacity with the Gemma and the Tara arc."
On the show's ratings jump for season four: "I think Netflix helped a great deal. I think people watching the first couple of seasons (on Netflix) really allowed them to plug into the show and get it … I can't tell you the number of tweets and comments on Facebook from the new fans we got as a result of Netflix, so I think that was important to the rise."
On the pace of season five: "My sense next season is that it will be a slower boil. It won't quite be as fast and kinetic as this season was with the cartel and Jax wanting to get out. This season, everyone was sort of out of breath with every episode."
On how Shakespearean his series finale might be: "Whether or not they all end up dead in a big puddle of blood at the end of the series is yet to be determined."