"Sons of Anarchy" features a character named Happy, but it is not a happy show. It is a dark show, bleaker than bleak, pitch-black as midnight, with blood-red streaks of gore for good measure.
Indeed, the FX biker drama features acts of violence that are so gruesome, over-the-line and downright absurd, that it makes "The Walking Dead" look like a walk in the park, and "Game of Thrones" like a Disney World attraction. Just when you think creator Kurt Sutter can't top his own methods of mayhem, he goes ahead and proves everyone wrong — horribly, disgustingly wrong.
With "Sons" about to embark on its final season, join us for a road-trip down memory lane, stopping to acknowledge 31 of the show's most f---ed up moments of mayhem.
1. Original Sin (Pre-Premiere)
Many years before the series begins, Clay Morrow and Gemma Morrow-Teller kill SAMCRO founder John Teller, father of "Sons" "hero" Jax Teller. It sets the stage for all the mayhem that happens next.
2. Mayhem Takes Balls (Season 1, Episode 3)
In "Fun Town," Clay proves his worth to local businessman Elliot Oswald by neutering the man who sexually assaulted his daughter. Clay keeps the testicles as a souvenir. Just another day in Charming.
3. The Long Kohn (Season 1, Episode 8)
In "The Pull," Jax shoots and kills FBI agent Josh Kohn, after Kohn's infatuation with Jax's childhood sweetheart, Doctor Tara Knowles, goes too far. Jax and Tara proceed to have sex feet away from Kohn's fresh corpse. Ladies and gentlemen, "Sons of Anarchy."
4. Donna the Dead (Season 1, Episode 12)
In "The Sleep of Babies," Clay orders henchman Tig Trager to kill fellow club member Opie Winston, on suspicion that he's ratted out the club. Tig screws up the hit and kills Opie's wife Donna instead. Also, Opie wasn't going to rat. It's bad news all around.
5. Unspeakable Horror (Season 2, Episode 1)
In "Albification," a group of white supremacists come to Charming and attempt to force the Sons out of business with their black and Latino partners. When their attempt fails, the Nazis try another tactic: raping Clay's wife and Jax's mother, Gemma, and threatening to repeat the offense if the Sons don't accept their demands. Ladies and gentlemen, "Sons of Anarchy."
6. Mayhem Takes Sack (Season 2, Episode 13)
In "Na Trioblóidí," the first series regular dies: Kip "Half-Sack" Epps, a Sons prospect who dies trying to protect Jax's son from getting kidnapped. It's a brutal, abrupt end to a promising character, but significantly less brutal and abrupt than how Half-Sack's actor died in real life.
7. Hale to the Chief (Season 3, Episode 1)
In "SO," at Half-Sack's wake, a bunch of masked gunmen commit a drive-by shooting, running over and killing Charming police officer David Hale in the process. It's a brutal, abrupt end to a promising character. The end.
8. June Heat (Season 3, Episode 12)
In "June Wedding," corrupt ATF agent June Stahl proves there's nothing she isn't willing to do to advance her career and position in life. To that end, she shoots and kills her own partner (in more ways than one) to cover up her own crimes and keep moving forward.
9. Bye June (Season 3, Episode 13)
In "NS," June's scheming catches up with her, double-crossed by the Sons moments after she double-crossed them. (So, it's a triple-cross? A quadruple-cross? It's a lot of crossing.) Opie, seeking vengeance for June's role in his wife Donna's death, shoots June in the back of the head, just as Donna died.
10. The Glasgow Smile (Season 3, Episode 13)
Also in "NS," just as Opie murders June, club member Chibs gets some vengeance of his own. He kills Irish gangster Jimmy O., best known to "Lost" fans as the Man in Black, by carving a "Glasgow smile" into his cheeks, then stabbing him in the chest.
11. Miles Ahead (Season 4, Episode 6)
In "With an X," Juice Ortiz, forced to turn rat on the club after he's blackmailed by cop Eli Roosevelt, gets discovered by fellow SAMCRO brother Eric Miles. So Juice shoots Miles in the face. A lot. Like, every "previously on" for the rest of the season showed Juice shooting Miles in the face, over and over, forever and ever.
12. Head Chili (Season 4, Episode 10)
In "Family Recipe," Chuck, a fingerless friend of the club, has precious little time to hide a severed head before cops enter the clubhouse. So he hides the head in a vat of chili. This is one of the episode's lighter moments.
13. R.I.P., Piney (Season 4, Episode 8)
Later in "Family Recipe," Clay kills Opie's father and SAMCRO co-founder Piney Winston because Piney is about to tell Jax how Clay killed Jax's father and SAMCRO co-founder John Teller all those years ago. Yeah, it's complicated.
14. Domestic Violence (Season 4, Episode 10)
In "Hands," Clay beats up Gemma, because ... well, because he's a horrible person.
15. Opie is P.O.-ed (Season 4, Episode 12)
In "Burnt and Purged Away," Opie finds out that Clay killed his father. He responds by shooting Clay. Clay, miraculously, does not die.
16. Jax is P.O.-ed (Season 4, Episode 14)
In "To Be – Act 2," Jax finds out that Clay killed his father. He responds by putting a knife to Clay's throat. Clay, miraculously, does not die.
17. The Girl on Fire (Season 5, Episode 1)
In "Sovereign," the club's new enemy Damon Pope seeks vengeance against Tig for killing his daughter. So Pope kills Tig's daughter, by setting her on fire. While she's still alive. Right. In. Front. Of. Tig. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, "SONS OF ANARCHY."
18. R.I.P., Opie (Season 5, Episode 3)
In "Laying Pipe," Opie meets his maker, clubbed to death inside prison, as part of a sacrifice play to make sure none of the other Sons have to die. It's very sad, and very messed up.
19. Excommunicating the Pope (Season 5, Episode 13)
In "J'ai Obtenu Cette," Jax and Tig get vengeance for Opie and Tig's daughter by double-crossing and murdering Pope. They also frame Clay for the murder. This is the "Sons of Anarchy" equivalent of a happy ending.
20. Shoot 'Em Up (Season 5, Episode 12)
Before that, in "Darthy," Jax shoots up Wendy, his recovering drug addict of an ex-wife, with an armful of drugs, to get her to stop pursuing custody of their child. Ladies and gentlemen, the hero of "Sons of Anarchy."
21. The Legend of Otto, Part 1 (Season 2, Episode 5)
Wow, we didn't even mention Otto, did we? He's the character played by show creator Kurt Sutter, an O.G. member of SAMCRO serving a life sentence in prison. No character partakes in graphic violence more frequently than Otto. In "Smite," he loses his one good eye in jail.
22. The Legend of Otto, Part 2 (Season 5, Episode 10)
In "Crucifixed," Otto murders a prison nurse by stabbing her to death with a crucifix.
23. The Legend of Otto, Part 3 (Season 5, Episode 13)
In "J'ai Obtenu Cette," rather than rat on SAMCRO or confess to killing the nurse, Otto bites his own tongue off.
24. The Legend of Otto: The Final Chapter (Season 6, Episode 4)
In "Wolfsangel," Otto kills the corrupt ex-cop brother of the nurse he killed, just before he himself is killed by a bunch of prison guards. It's a bloody end to the show's by-far bloodiest character.
25. No Class (Season 6, Episode 1)
At the start of season six, in "Straw," a young boy gets his hands on an automatic weapon, linked to the club. He uses it to shoot up his school. Ladies and gentlemen… you get the picture by now.
26. Cleaning Up Filth (Season 6, Episode 4)
Once again in "Wolfsangel," the IRA refuse to allow SAMCRO to withdraw their business as gun runners. To punctuate the point, the IRA brutally betray and butcher Filthy Phil, one of the club's newest and jolliest members.
27. Luck of the Irish (Season 6, Episode 11)
In "Aon Rud Pearsanta," Jax and the club fix their IRA problem by — how else? — brutally betraying and butchering top-level members of the organization.
28. Cleaning Up Clay (Season 6, Episode 11)
Minutes later in "Aon Rud Pearsanta," Jax finally kills Clay by shooting him in the throat and framing him for killing the Irish. Clay's demise is well-earned and long overdue, but the oozing black blood pouring out of his neck is just a touch much.
29. Stick a Fork in It (Season 6, Episode 13)
In "A Mother's Work," proving that there really are no happy endings on "Sons," Jax's mother Gemma stabs Tara, Jax's wife and mother of his children, in the back of the head with a carving fork, numerous times, in a misguided attempt to stop her from ratting out SAMCRO, even though Tara decided not to rat out the club. So, that's great.
30. An Eye for an Eli (Season 6, Episode 13)
Seconds later in "A Mother's Work," Juice shoots and kills Charming cop Eli Roosevelt to help Gemma cover up her murder of Tara. So, that's extra great.
31. Mayhem Takes Teeth (Season 7, Episode 1)
In "Black Widower," an imprisoned and vengeful Jax Teller will, for some reason we do not yet understand, beat a fellow prisoner senseless, carve markings into the man's stomach, and remove several of his teeth. This is how "Sons" begins its final season. And guess what? It's not the grossest thing that happens in the premiere.
Ladies and gentlemen, one more time, with feeling: "Sons of Anarchy." Time to ride.
"Sons of Anarchy" returns on Tuesday, September 9.