Jax Teller is out for blood, and no one is safe from his warpath — especially your teeth.
The final season of “Sons of Anarchy” bows in less than two months, and in anticipation of that one last ride, the cast and crew of the FX biker drama showed up to San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday with a first look at footage from the seventh and final season.
When season seven begins, almost two weeks have elapsed since the brutal murder of Tara Knowles-Teller (Maggie Siff), Jax’s wife and the mother of his two young sons. Since then, Jax (Hunnam) has been arrested and placed behind bars, left with only a handful of people he still trusts — including his mother, Gemma (Sagal). Little does Jax know that Gemma was the one who repeatedly stabbed Tara with a fork (not a euphemism) — in fact, only one person knows: Juice (Theo Rossi), the troubled member of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, who helped cover up Gemma’s misguided killing of Tara by executing a police officer and disposing of the evidence.
As if Jax’s personal life wasn’t bad enough, his professional life is on the brink of explosion as well. His trusted ally and father figure, Nero Padilla (Jimmy Smits), who is also Gemma’s lover, is saddling up alongside the Mayans and other motorcycle clubs preparing to move against the Sons.
With all-out war on the horizon, both within and outside of SAMCRO, the final stretch of “Anarchy” promises to be its most anarchic yet. And the footage revealed at Comic-Con made all of that bloody mayhem crystal clear.
It begins with Jax, in prison, punching a man repeatedly in the face on the floor of a bathroom. Jax’s allies help hold the man down. They gag him while Jax carves a swastika into the man’s stomach. The man passes out, and Jax proceeds to pull his teeth out; as he walks away, it’s clear that he’s more violent and ruthless than he’s ever been.
Jax isn’t the only one in prison, it seems. We see Juice in isolation, butt naked, his signature hair shaved down, doing push ups, looking more alone than ever. If he’s not in prison, it seems he’s on the run. At the very least, he’s in the darkest place imaginable — which says something, considering the depths of despair Juice has already visited.
Outside of prison, we see Gemma taking care of Jax’s children (no shortage of irony there), Wendy (Drea de Matteo) packing a bag, Nero hanging out and drinking beers with the Mayans, and retired police chief Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie) bringing flowers to Tara’s grave — a sparse, unflattering resting place, with nothing more than her name, dates of birth and death, and prison numbers on the headstone.
It’s a cold look at one of the most cold-blooded shows on television. And while all roads seem to be leading to a bloodbath for every single character on the show, creator Kurt Sutter says he still doesn’t know exactly how the series will end for Jax and “friends.”
“I would say that I know where I want our hero to be emotionally and thematically at the end of the season,” he said. “I’m writing episode seven as we speak, and I’m in post on episode four, so I’m really allowed to see what these guys do with characters and relationships. It allows me to infuse their collaboration into the series. I get to this place where it ends up in the direction and close to where I want it to land, but I can never tell what it looks like and how we’ll get there until it’s done.”
One character unlikely to land at a happy destination is Gemma, even if Sagal thinks Gemma’s heart is in the right place — big words coming from the woman who just stabbed her son’s wife to death.
“She’s going to be even more multilayered this season as she tries to hold it together, in the name of protecting her family one last time,” she said. “As you’ll see as the season progresses, what transpires from that somewhat pure motivation just goes awry. But you’ll see a lot of different colors. She’s more dimensional than ever before.”
However the journey ends, it’ll be a tough road to travel, for the cast and crew who are ending a journey they began seven years ago. Sutter received a standing ovation from the Hall H crowd, bringing him to tears.
“Sit the f— down,” he joked, wiping his eyes. “I have an image to protect.”
“We’re all one big f—ed up family,” he continued, still fighting back tears. “This is such a bittersweet experience. I prefer living in denial, so I hate sh– like this. It makes it difficult. I love everyone at this table and we have an amazing crew. The thing I’m most grateful for is that I walk through our set and I know that everybody wants to be there. Everyone’s really grateful. Everyone likes to show up to work. That’s the gift for me.”
Even though “Sons” is about to embark on its final season, there will be more “Anarchy” in the future. Sutter promised that conversations are ongoing about a prequel series set before the days of Jax Teller.
“The prequel will be about the origins of John Teller and Piney Winston,” he said. “I don’t know if it’ll be a full-on series. It might just be a miniseries. But our hope is to let the mythology rest for a couple of seasons, and then we’ll come back and do the prequel. We’re having conversations about that.”
Beyond the prequel series, Sutter promoted a “Sons” prose novel featuring Jax and other SAMCRO members, called “Sons of Anarchy: Bravta” — which goes to show that no matter what happens at the end of the series, Mr. Mayhem will always be just around the bend.
The final season of “Sons of Anarchy” hits the road on September 9.