Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter discusses the controversial event that kicked off season 6 of his show on Tuesday…
The season debut of Sons of Anarchy brought in record ratings, but the buzz 24-hours later remains about the shocking final scenes in the 90-minute episode.
From the very first scenes of the show, a young boy is shown kissing his mother goodbye before walking through the streets running into the members of SAMCRO on numerous occasions.
This twisting and turning journey eventually leads the little boy to his school, where he rolls up his sleeves, showing off some kind of physical abuse he’s suffered on one of his arms and then proceeds to pull out a semi-automatic weapon. The boy walks into his school and a few seconds later gunshots ring out as screams echo throughout the building.
It was by far one of the most shocking and troubling scenes ever portrayed on television, but Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter says that the school shooting was something he’s been thinking about putting on the show for the past couple of seasons but it felt organically right to do it now.
“I’ve had some discussion about this — I’ve wanted to do this story for a couple of years now,” Sutter explained when speaking on Anarchy Afterword on Tuesday. “I sort of explain it a little bit this way that I have a hero on this show or an anti-hero on this show who is a father of two little boys trying to figure out how to keep those boys safe in what is a rather dangerous subculture and he deals guns for a living.
“So to me it would almost be irresponsible not to tell that story or not to suggest the ramifications of those life choices couldn’t bleed into that area of his life. Quite honestly I felt like that set up with the school shooting was kind of the way to tell that story.”
Making the call to include a school shooting in what is already a fairly violent and turbulent world circling around outlaw bikers wasn’t an easy decision for Sutter to make. Ultimately, he felt that the way it plays into the bigger picture for the show it just made sense.
He also believes that this one event will be the beginning of the end for his series, which he plans to wrap up next year with season 7.
“It was a difficult choice. I had a lot of conversations about John Landgraf about it and we do a big pitch at the beginning of the season where we talk about what we’re going to do and I think there was enough trust that we would do it the right way,” Sutter said. “Also, I feel like it’s easy for me to say this at this point because it’s the first episode, but I will promise the fans and all those others who might be concerned about the use of it is that it really is the catalyst that takes us into the final act of this series.
“It is not doing gratuitously, it is not just a shock moment in one episode. It really is, for me, hence the name of the episode, it is perhaps the last straw for Jax in terms of his push to get out of this life or at least his struggle to do so.”
The ramifications of the school shooting will begin to unfold in next week’s episode of Sons of Anarchy when they realize that the gun used by the young boy was one they sold illegally on the streets.
Sons of Anarchy returns next Tuesday night at 10pm ET on FX.