Comic-Con closed out its show in 2012 with a panel celebrating the fifth season of outlaw biker series Sons of Anarchy, and although five years is a long time in TV, the series looks very far from jumping the proverbial shark.
The panel kicked off with a look at several minutes of footage from season five, a Comic-Con exclusive, in which the season is set up, at a glance. Jax is now the head of the Sons, and Clay has been reduced to something like a biker file clerk. He’s lost everything: His power, his wife, and his leadership of the club. Jax, having finally assumed the leadership role, will be put to the test by having to run the club. Now that Jax has what he wants, what will he do with it?
After the video, the cast and creator of Sons took the stage. Series creator Kurt Sutter, Katey Sagal, Charlie Hunnam, Maggie Siff, Kim Coates, Ryan Hurst, Tommy Flanagan, Mark Boone Jr., Dayton Callie, Theo Rossi and Comic-Con legend, Ron Perlman all were reppin’ SAMCRO at the Con-- there was a lot of testosterone and denim in Hall H.
In setting up the next season of the show, Sutter gave a very interesting read on the plot: In spite of the hyper-masculinity of the rebel biker club, at its heart, Sons of Anarchy is story about the relationship between a mother and daughter, who are pulling the strings behind-the-scenes of the gang.
Perlman offered his own look ahead at the next season, warning Jax not to get too comfortable in his seat at the head of the gang.
“Clay only knows of one way: To be on top,” Perlman explained. “He takes orders from no one...At the beginning of season five, everything he's worked for for his entire life has been taken from him... but he has to wonder, ‘Why the f*ck would you leave me alive? You have to know I'm coming back.’ Unless I'm dead, I'm not stopping."
The crowd-question portion of the panel was a free-for-all, with the fates of favorite characters discussed, at least in general terms. Ryan “Opie” Hurst was asked if his tough guy character is a softy at heart, and said, “Opie has a strong desire to have a normal family. He is a softy at heart, but that heart is getting ripped out and trampled on all the time."
Fan favorite (well, female fans, anyway) Juice will be coming back next season, after having hung himself for the Sons in season four, and actor Theo Rossi had some thoughts on how Juice’s story might go. “The greatest thing Curt does, is that there are all these secrets these characters have, and by taking a character like Juice, and putting him in that extreme situation he was in last season, reveals more about him.... It [the suicide attempt] was a cry for help.”
On a more lighthearted note, we learned that Ron Perlman, as an actor, is the worst real-life motorcycle rider. “Maybe it’s an inner-ear thing,” Perlman explained.
In response to a question from a fan about a possible flashback on the show to the death of Jax’s father, John Teller, series creator Sutter said he likes the idea of exploring Teller’s death, but probably won’t do it as a flashback on Sons of Anarchy itself.
“I'd love to do a period piece about the formation of the club,” Sutter said. “Flashbacks aren't really a component in the show, but I've talked about this before about potentially doing a prequel of the First Nine, where we would see the formation of the club.”
Sons of Anarchy season 5 will begin on FX on Tuesday, September 11.