Warning: Major spoilers below.
“Sons of Anarchy” kicked off its sixth season last night with a shocking ending that may have left many unsettled.
If you haven’t watched the premiere of the FX series, don’t read any farther.
After an already surprising opening that included rape and a man drowning in urine, during the end of last night’s premiere, an 11-year-old boy walked inside a middle school gun drawn, and began firing.
The actual violence was not seen on screen. Instead, the camera panned on the outside of the school, through imagery in the child’s notebook. A final scene showed the aftermath of the event.
The storyline comes after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. that took 27 lives in December 2012.
This is far from the first time a school shooting has been on television or film. The most recent airing of a similar instance occurred on an April episode of “Glee.”
Multiple outlets including THR, EW, and TVGuide.com all spoke with creator Kurt Sutter behind his decision to include the shooting in last night’s episode.
It’s a storyline creator Sutter has wanted to do for some time.
Rather, after the recent shootings occurred, Sutter told TVGuide.com that while he wasn’t aiming to just grab views, he didn’t want to simply back down from telling the story the way he wanted.
“I also felt like, ‘I’m not going to not tell this story because I’m afraid that I’m going to get some blowback,'” said Sutter. “The best thing I could do as a storyteller was try to do it in the most organic way.”
Ultimately, what could be gathered from the episode is that the gun will be linked back to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club (SAMCRO) who have been illegally selling guns and will affect the crew’s relationships in the town of Charming, that up until now, they have ruled.
The fallout will also have a profound effect upon character Jax (Charlie Hunnam).
“We have a father who’s deeply troubled with this sense of, ‘Can I be an outlaw and still be a good father?'” Sutter says of Jax. “He’s very concerned with where his kids are going to go and ultimately how they’re going to be impacted by his lifestyle … how do you not tell that story?”
However, Sutter made sure to get permission from FX before he began writing the entire season, something which FX Networks CEO John Landgraf supported.
“My only point of view, and fortunately Kurt shared it, was … we just didn’t want to see anything on-camera,” Landgraf told TVGuide.com. “It was understood from the get-go that he was going to find a way of portraying it that was respectful, that was non-explicit.”
“I believe very strongly we did it the right way,” Landgraf added. “I can’t honestly worry about people who are going to take things out of context. I believe in context; that’s why I’m in the business of telling stories.”
As for why Sutter waited until season 6 to air this scene, he tells EW it was not only because of the emotional pull of the story, but also because he knew it would help tie together the series’ end. Sutter plans for “SOA” to end after season 7 according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I waited because I knew that ultimately the emotional and social impact would be great, that it would be hard to have that story happen and then move on to a couple seasons where these guys are selling guns and just livin’ their life. I knew if we did it, it would really have to be at the end and, ultimately, I realised it was a good way to take us to the end.”
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