Sons of Anarchy: Shots Fired

There are spoilers ahead, but you knew that already.

So, THAT happened during last night's Sons of Anarchy. We have to wait until next week to find out exactly what comes next, now that Opie has unloaded two slugs into Clay's chest. But the fact that Opie pulled the trigger twice—with Jax as a witness—speaks volumes about his state of mind (and show creator Kurt Sutter's ability to push his characters to their breaking point). This sets up a really awkward opening scene for next week's episode, whether Clay is dead or not. Can you believe Jax threatened Opie like that? I know things have gone to the toilet for everyone in the club, but seeing Jax and Opie pull guns on each other at different points in the same episode was THE WORST.

I don't know if Clay is dead, mortally wounded, or if he's just going to be awfully sore in the morning. Giving us the money shot we've all been waiting for in the third-to-last episode of the season is ballsy. If he's dead, how do we spend the next two hours? But there's a plan in place, and the more I think about it, the more I realize there's still plenty of interesting things left to wrap up, and I'm not seven sure two episodes is enough.

Sutter Tweeted today that in Part 1 of the two-part season finale, "we dig into the past," and in Part 2 "we lay track into the future." Sounds like, with Clay potentially out of the way, the truth can come out about John Teller, setting the stage for Jax to stay with SAMCRO and carry out his dad's legacy. It also sets up the possibility that Jax learns the truth about Gemma's involvement with his father's death, and I don't even want to speculate what that could lead to. (Okay, one tiny speculation: Jax ousts Gemma from the club and takes the throne with Tara.)

But all of this relies on whether they can avoid the feds. Otto signed his name on the dotted line, incriminating SAMCRO for a laundry list of felonies. The former member who wrote his own death warrant and gave up vital organs to protect the club finally turned after the truth was twisted against him—yet even in his time of treachery, he couldn't look Bobby in the eye when he bent him and the club over. It was the slightest hint of remorse and shows just how deep SAMCRO runs in its members' hearts. Fantastic scene, and a great reaction from Bobby. Sutter writes scenes where his real-life wife gets gang-raped and beaten to a pulp, then he casts himself as the one type of person that SAMCRO hates the most: a rat. Talk about taking one for the team.

Now we have to wait and see whether Linc will actually hold up his end of the deal he made with Juice, and let SAMCRO off easy while he takes down the cartel and the Irish. All of a sudden Juice's deal with Linc is looking pretty rock solid, isn't it? Of course, that's IF Linc stays with his word, and knowing that he literally likes to turn things upside-down (how perfect was it to find out that he uses an inversion table?), who wouldn't be surprised if he tried to put all three criminal organizations away and celebrate by doing interpretive dance in a bed of rose petals?

All these remaining questions remind us of Sutter's talent for staying several steps ahead of his viewers; we simply do not know where the series is headed, what will happen, or how far things will go. He's one of the best in the business, and he crafts his stories in a way that doesn't feel cheap or contrived, a rare feat accomplished by only the best television.

Interesting and awesome observation:
I watched the advanced press screener of "Burnt and Purged Away," which DEFINITELY didn't show the globs of blood splatter shooting out of Clay's chest after Opie shot him. It only had the faintest amount of blood, which I only saw because I looked for it frame by frame. There's a HUGE difference between showing blood and not showing blood when the murder of a major character is involved. Given the lack of blood, I naturally thought, "bulletproof vest." So did lots of other reviews out there. But blood does not fly out of bodies when one wears a vest. Given Sutter's rocky relationship with the media, it would not surprise me if this was an intentional "F You!" move to the "TV recappers" he loathes so much in an attempt to make them look stupider than we already are.

Notes:
– Once again, Ryan Hurst acted his ass off, and Opie has become this season's most sympathetic character. That's saying something, as feeling sorry for SAMCRO members has been as regular as opening credits. His opening scene with Gemma was such great calm-before-the-storm that even Gemma didn't suspect anything at the time, instead assuming the blank stare on his face (read: MURDERFACE) was a reaction to the fist prints left on Gemma's mug and not because he's setting out on a revenge ride to end all revenge rides. Flash forward to the crematorium, where Opie watched his father's body burn, the final moment of respite before it's all about spite. Moments later, it's Opie and Jax outside with Opie's mind made up, and then it's that killer scene to close the episode out. Since the last few minutes of last week's episode, Hurst has managed to show all millions stages of anger in just a handful of scenes. Phenomenal work, and I can't mention it enough.

– The scenes with Clay and Tara in the hospital room were tense! How'd you like to wake up helpless and see Clay staring at you? I loved the chess game going on between the two. Those letters from John have to be shown to Jax.

– Will the Irish baby factory have anything to do with the next few episodes? I'm not sure I see how it fits in.

– As Jax suggested, the next potential SAMCRO cabinet is Bobby as president, Chibs as vice president, and Happy as sergeant? That doesn't sound like a strong top three and would weaken the Sons irreparably.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Dec 01, 2011
" Will the Irish baby factory have anything to do with the next few episodes? I'm not sure I see how it fits in. "

Gives Jax a way of negotiating with AUSA for full immunity.



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Nov 30, 2011
Also Lenny the Pimp will be shanking Bobby Elvis. Hence the reason Otto wanted more yard time for him.
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Nov 30, 2011
Is it just me or does Otto look like he has alot more to say.

I know he wants his death sentence sped up and i think there will be some sort of big

reveal at that time. We know Clay and Gemma had some hand in J.T.s death. Unser owned the truck that hit him but who was behind the wheel? OTTO! Unser covered it up with his report. Clay put it all in motion but i got to believe it was Otto behind the wheel. He went to jail for something else, caught more time and death row for all he has done for SAMCRO and the whole Bobby/Luanne situation has pushed him over the edge.

If anyone deserves a team player badge its fricken Otto.
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Nov 30, 2011
Darn He should put those shots right through the middle of Clays nervous system.
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Nov 29, 2011
I can not believe season four is not playing here in New Zealand coz we kiwis are missing out on a down right awesome show
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Nov 29, 2011
Wow!! Kurt you are a force to be reckoned with.......you keep me guessing every week! This season is phenominal and I can't wait to see how everything gets tied up during the finale.
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Nov 29, 2011
I wonder if Clay has kevlar sewn into this colors? either way, Opies emotional shots were very off center so Clay had a good shot of surviving (pardon the pun). Opie needs a few more hours at the gun range to improve his aim.
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Nov 29, 2011
And give Ryan Hurst an Emmy. Please.
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Nov 28, 2011
I think Bobby could have been a good President, but I think he is staying in jail. However, for the first time, there hasn't been one episode this season I could have missed, they have all been so incredible. I think that we are in for a great ride, and I can't wait for the past...
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Nov 27, 2011
Finaly someone put's the "mad dog" down!
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Nov 26, 2011
BEST SHOW EVER on FX.
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Nov 26, 2011
What are you talking about ,Tim? Bobby and Chibs would be great. While Happy is no Tigs I still think he would be a good sergeant, he's mothereffin crazy
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Nov 25, 2011
Like I said last week....Opie becomes president, since he has paid the "highest price" for the club...his wife and father. And he just took out the soon-to-be-former corrupt ass leader of SAMCRO-Clay. Club will vote, Opie will become president with Bobby now locked up. Jax will stay with the club after this, since Tara probably won't ever do surgery again anyway. And the letters will change everything for Jax, he will stay with the club and try and set a new path for it with Opie.

My only question left is: who goes down in the Irish/mexican/samcro bust when the 5-0 shows up to arrest people.
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Nov 29, 2011
Well, the question seems to me to be how do they take AUSA Lincoln Potter down the same road they took Special Agent June Stahl?
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Nov 25, 2011
Why bring in Jax's ex girl? Are they trying to kill Tara so she can be replaced by his firstborn's real mom?



Awesome show. Always has me on edge. I dont want it to end, but I need a break so i can catch my damn breath. lol
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Nov 28, 2011
I think Jax's ex-wife is back to tie up any loose ends, and to throw a wrench in.
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Nov 25, 2011
Gemma needs to die, peroid. Even after all this she is still protecting her 'family' by hurting people around her, I am not sure I understand what is her definition of family nor do I understand why she is so protective of Clay even after all this. Also Jax, wow, you disappointed me big time!



I am with Opie all this way, ride like the wind!
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Nov 29, 2011
Well, I too don't find Gemma to be a likeable character, but who is in this drama? Basically Gemma has all the symptoms of Battered Wife Syndrome and was probalbly sexually abused by a male relative as a child. Sure she is outta control just as much as Clay is, but she is twisted, and that's sad.
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Nov 28, 2011
Gemma, I think, knew Clay had to die, she said it, and then the "kiss goodbye" almost seemed mafia-like. But she loves him. Sometimes, that defies logic. Let's be fair, Jax has dumped Tara a thousand times, cheated on her a few (once, almost with his sister) and she is still standing by his side.
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Nov 25, 2011
I could see Linc telling Juice that his testimony is no longer needed given what they got from Otto. What happens to Juice then?
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Nov 29, 2011
LOL! I'm hoping that there is more than just juice between his ears and he is coniving on his own how to blow the whole operation wide open at the last minute.
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Nov 25, 2011
I'd like to have someone like Sutter on The Walking Dead, please.

The man certainly knows how to derail his characters, and it's great.
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Nov 28, 2011
I don't know, after a slow start, last night's episode was phenomenal.
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Nov 25, 2011
I hope Clay dies he's pisses me of a lot! his charactor did its part and now its time to move on.. secrets cant be hidden forever, right? although I have a whole new respect for Opie (Ryan Hurts) and his amazing acting skills he's been showing this season, I still thought that Jax will be the one to pull the trigger on Clay!

The scene between Clay and Gemma as if she was saying goodbye?!!

Where did the ex-wife come from? will it have to do with whats gonna happen next season?

Im dying to see last episode! I hope they dont end it with a cliffhager!
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Nov 24, 2011
Why would you watch the trailer for the next episode? Is like reading the last page of a book when you're in the middle of it. Not knowing if Clay's dead or not it's gonna keep me up all week and that's the beauty of cliffhangers.

Even if Clay's dead I think the plan to kill Tara is in motion so she's still in danger =(

Great episode. Next week is going to be double finale?
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Nov 24, 2011
I just hope at the end Juice will be okay..Clay??he has burned all bridges with me!..
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Nov 24, 2011
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy SOA even if it defies logic. I just set my common sense aside and go with the flow. We've known eventually Jax is going to find out Clay and Gemma's part in his father's death. If Clay is dead, and I don't believe he is, where does the show go? Part of the perverse pleasure in watching SOA is knowing things the characters do not know. I'd hate to lose Clay and Gemma.
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Nov 28, 2011
The beauty of Kurt Sutter is keeping a story going. This reminds me a bit of "The SHield" in that, the main characters, they aren't heroes. They are murdering, drug dealing bikers. There are lots of places they can go with the story, but few have a "happy" ending.
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Nov 24, 2011
Ah, sweet revenge. For a slight second there, I thought Opie wouldn't go through with it, but hooray, he killed Clay. Well, at least he seemed to; I'd probably hate it if next episode comes around and we see that he's not dead yet.



I also had a thought, before this episode, that maybe Otto would find out about Georgie's death right before signing the papers, then back out. But I'm glad that it didn't work out that way, and that he actually turned rat. Poor Bobby.



Can't wait till next week. I'm really appreciative of the fact that the meat of this season is airing after Breaking Bad's season ended; it gives me a certain feeling of continuous awesomeness.
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Nov 29, 2011
Only compensation is that they can't call on Tara to do the surgery to fix Clay's gunshot wounds. At least that is some good instant karma. Doesn't it seem that if they want to keep Clay alive they have to take him to a real hospital where the GSW will have to be reported.
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Nov 24, 2011
Ryan Hurst had better get an Emmy nod for this season. When I'm watching him, I feel sorry for him, and fear him at the same time.
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Nov 28, 2011
I have been saying that for at least 2 weeks. I couldn't agree more. He has been amazing.
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Nov 24, 2011
If this season doesn't get nominated for anything I swear to god someone has a bug up their ass about this show!
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Nov 24, 2011
Am I the only one that thought they were going to kill Opie by bike wreck during that chase scene? Glad they didn't go that way.
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Nov 29, 2011
That was really a classic biker photo image of the side shot of Opie riding fast with his hair flowing!
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Nov 25, 2011
youre so clueless...
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Nov 24, 2011
A few thoughts on the next episode.



Clay is mortally wounded, and naturally they take him to Tara(who just got out, what a coincidence), as they always do when members get shot. Tara has to decide if she is going to save his life, like her character would do, or let the man who tried to kill her, and threatened her again - die. This cliffhanger is there for a reason, as with Juice`s suicide attempt, etc. etc. They would let one of the best characters on the show die like THAT.



Also, they never showed Juice saying or writing the correct time(or any time) for the big meeting, and the police/agents said it was going down tomorrow night. The meeting is at 3 pm, so maybe Sutter is going Season 3 ending on us.



Keep Linc around for another season, I think he keeps his word and only Bobby goes to jail and still remain on the show..



But, with Jax`s ex-wife, charming heights, the letters, Linc in a biker-cut, etc. etc., and all the tension between so many huge and small characters..I have no idea what`s coming next, and I can`t wait..
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Nov 29, 2011
Tara has the cast so I don't see how she has the ability to do the surgery even if they made her. I sure hope they don't try to force her to do the work on Clay. But these guys are crazy who who knows?
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Nov 24, 2011
I would like to ask you a question? how Tara could operate Clay, if the right hand is still a mess?
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Nov 24, 2011
I said this before, I will say it again One of the Best show's on television, network, cable of even premium it doesn't matter, with out a doubt top five if not the best, once again a brilliant episode!!
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Nov 24, 2011
I captured two images from the preview that were interesting.



1 - Clay very likely dead, being examined by Unser



2 - A picture of someone with a biker cut that looks a LOT like Linc Potter.



They are at: http://imageshack.us/g/809/capturadetela20111123s2.png/
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Nov 24, 2011
Thats not Linc Potter, that is in fact John Teller !
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Nov 24, 2011
is from the beginning that I had the impression that potter was a SOA or one of his parents was. it's just revenge
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Nov 28, 2011
Interesting theory. Maybe his parents were killed by a Son, and that is why the revenge. With Sutter saying they are going to examine the past, I am looking forward to seeing it all.
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Nov 24, 2011
watching the upcoming scenes it looks like Clay is dead. It looked like trying to move the body.
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Nov 24, 2011
I captured a screen from the preview showing that. Also a disturbing one with a biker who looks a lot like Linc Potter.
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Nov 24, 2011
the pictures are of JT
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Nov 24, 2011
You're right. But, man, does he look like Linc... :-)



http://sonsofanarchy.wikia.com/wiki/John_Teller
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Nov 24, 2011
again a beautiful episode.



This season we have seen many things happen ... but I must say that lately I don't understand Jax: so bound to that deal he made with Clay, that he doesn't understand anymore who are his friends and where is the truth.

I know that in the end everything will resolve for the better, but is mpressive how a TV series can make you think and bond with imaginary characters.



uuuu I love SOA
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Nov 24, 2011
"I know that in the end everything will resolve for the better" - Since the show is based on Hamlet, a "Kill'em all" ending is more likely, I think...
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Nov 24, 2011
well a ''Kill'em all'' ending is not necessarily a bad thing. What I meant is that at the end every pice of the puzzle will be at his place. I like Hamlet
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Nov 24, 2011
I agree that the body count will be rising.
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Nov 29, 2011
So true, something is rotten in the Town of Charming. Since it smells like dead bodies piling up, Horatio can only reply "The Grim Reaper will direct it"
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Nov 24, 2011
This season has been insane. I've always regarded Breaking Bad as the best TV has to offer, but the level of drama, suspense, acting and overall awesomeness in this season of sons of anarchy is just from another universe. Someone give Kurt Sutter a big hug!
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Nov 24, 2011
I still say Breaking Bad is "The best TV show EVER MADE", but SoA is "one of the best shows on tv".
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Nov 24, 2011
first scene with Opie and Jax at end:



Opie lighting fast pulls gun in left hand on Jax and as Jax steps back,Opie has it in his right hand and when it's back to Opie from front he has it in his left hand. Lighting fasst :D...try it :D( this is sarcasm)



Opie and Jax on bikes :

hahahaha...Jax looked like he was on some baby motorbike,because I got so used to "low rider"( I don't know what is right term here,so I apologize if I offend someone->I think he drives Harley?) bike and to see him on that bike was funny.

And Opies hair in wind looked like raccoons tail :D



DAMN...great episode and not even final one of season.

Yeah, when Clay and Tara were alone, I was sure Gemma would walk in with Clays hands on Tara.

Opie shot Clay.OPIE SHOT CLAY. Yes twice...but I think he'll live and maybe Opie will shot another two. I don't see Opie not finishing it,since he already shot him. Only if Jax quickly stops him and then saves Clay.



Juice was like a baby in cell. Holding tightly to his blanket :D



Bobby would be great president and Chibs great VP. I don't know what job would Happy had as sergeant.



Bring next two episodes
More+
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Nov 24, 2011
My jaw was on the floor the entire episode. I'm gonna guess that Clay isn't dead (yet) but thats the only thing I feel comfortable with guessing. I really really REALLYYYYYYYY hope Tara doesn't get killed. I'm trying to understand where Gemma is coming from when it comes to Clay but I don't really get it. I think by seasons end Jax & Gemma won't be tied at the hip anymore. Thats all I got.
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Nov 29, 2011
Gemma has Battered Wife Syndrome.
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