If you’re watching Sons of Anarchy, and you’re caught up, check out my weekly recaps of the show over on Uproxx, including last night’s episode, particularly if you’re a fan of Jax Teller’s unfortunate nostril-flare condition. Seriously: I’m surprised he hasn’t permanently stretched out his nostrils.
To briefly bring you up to speed: It’s been a big year on “Sons of Anarchy” for character deaths. Opie Winston was taken out early on, Tig’s daughter was burned alive, Jax has killed two of the people responsible for the death of Opie (but not the one directly responsible, Damon Pope), and of course, Johnny Lewis — who plays Half Sack — died in real life, which I’m sure was arranged by Kurt Sutter to spike ratings in Sons of Anarchy.
The show is also infamous for killing off characters at the end of, or near the end of each season, including Half Sack, A.J. Weston, June Stahl, Piney Winston, and Jimmy Phelan. Last night’s penultimate episode came and went without anybody dying, so I’m assuming that someone HAS to die in the finale. Who? Let’s place some odds.
Clay (100-1) — At this point, if they haven’t killed him yet, they won’t until the bitter end. Clay is kind of like the reverse of “How I Met Your Mother,” as narrated by Jax to his son, Abel: “How I Killed Your Step-Grandfather.” He’ll die at the end of season seven. Period. Plus, they’re setting him up to start a rival gang for next season.
Tig (20-1) — If you’d asked me before last night’s episode, I’d have put even money on Tig dying, but now that Clay is forming his own club and has asked Tig to join him as his right-hand man, again, I’m guessing he’ll somehow escape Damon Pope’s death sentence, which brings us to:
Damon Pope (4-1) — In order to spare Tig, Damon Pope will probably need to die, and my guess is that — if it were to happen — Clay pulls the trigger in order to save Tig, reigniting a feud with the Niners for next season. Damon Pope has been a great, but sorely underused addition to the cast, and while I suspect he may die next week, it would be nice to see him stick around for another season, like Gus Fring, the character who is his obvious model. Unfortunately, if Pope does die — especially if Jax pulls the trigger — there’d be very little satisfaction in his death. If Jax had taken him out after he killed Tig’s daughter, or after Pope had Opie killed, we’d have had a large sense of justice. However, now that he and Jax are inexplicably buddy-buddy, his death would feel anti-climactic.
Nero (8-1) — I actually think that Jimmy Smits’ character will stick around another season, now that he’s been established a Jax’s new partner in a gun-running business separate from the Irish deal (which Clay will take over next season). Plus, Nero’s survival creates a Nero/Gemma/Clay love triangle going into season six. But then again, Clay may nip the love triangle in the bud now, take out Nero, and jettison to Belfast with Gemma.
Tara (7-1) — She’s the character many of us have wanted to die the longest, and she somehow escaped the hit Clay put out on her last year. This year, however, Sutter could possibly be setting the wheels in motion. Donal Logue’s new character, Lee Toric, possibly wants her dead, and he has an arsenal of weaponry sitting unused. Plus, Tara began the process of setting up a living will so that her kids can be taken care of in the event of her death or imprisonment (likewise, Opie set up his kids with Lyla before he was killed). My guess, however, is that it will be imprisonment, giving Sutter a new subplot to explore next year.
Lee Toric (7-1) — If Toric kills Tara, Jax will try to kill him. If Toric tries to kill Tara but fails, Jax will try to kill him. Toric, however, would be a great Big Bad for next season. Unfortunately, his involvement with SAMCRO seems too peripheral to establish him as next season’s major villain, but as an commenter over on Uproxx suggested, he has the credentials to take over as a cop in Charming, and he could stick around simply to make Jax and SAMCRO’s life hell.
Eli (7-1) — There’s no real reason to kill Eli at this point unless they plan to bring Toric aboard as the new Charming sheriff. No one really has anything against Eli (except, maybe Juice) but I could see him getting caught in crossfire.
Bobby (20-1) — He turned on Jax, sparing Clay’s life, and at one point in last night’s episode, Jax told Bobby he wanted to kill him. It seems unlikely, however; it’s more likely that Bobby will join Clay in his new operation.
Juice (10-1) — Poor Juice. Such an increasingly weak character. Juice didn’t really meet the terms of his deal with Jax to help provide proof against Clay on the home invasions front, but that also seems to have been mostly forgiven because Kurt Sutter picks up and drops deals without much thought. He doesn’t do much, anymore, except cry and get in the way, but Theo Rossi is great, and SAMCRO can’t really afford to lose anymore members.
Unser (2-1) — Unser is my favorite to die next week. He serves little purpose on the show now. He had a scene with Tara last week that, at least tried to create in us an emotional bond, a popular trick before characters are killed. He’s in chemo (FINALLY, after five seasons), and he’s looking into Toric, which is just the kind of thing that could get him killed.
Gemma (50-1) — There’d be no real reason for Gemma to die EXCEPT for two things: 1) Storywise, depending on who killed her, Jax/Nero/Clay would need to seek revenge, and 2) Sutter has a clown killer comedy in the works, and there was some talk that Katie Sagal might star in it.
Wendy (10-1) — Who cares? But they haven’t done it yet, and keeping her around gives Sutter episode filler in subsequent seasons, as needed.
Filthy Phil (10-1) — In cross-fire, maybe. New recruits have not fared well on the show through the years.
Romeo (15-1) — God, I hope so, not that I don’t love Danny Trejo, but the Galindo cartel is like the “Sons of Anarchy’s” MacGuffin. A lot of hubbub, but ultimately, the Galindo cartel serves no purpose other than to create the occasional Deus Ex Machina.
Otto (10-1) — The only way this is any fun at all is if Toric pulls off the feat, but with Otto in prison, that makes it very difficult. Plus, I think Sutter — who plays Otto — likes to show up in a few episodes each season.
Abel (15-1) — It’d be a cheap way to drum up an emotional wallop, and Kurt Sutter is obviously not above cheap stunts.