Stuff’s going down on Sons of Anarchy tonight. That’s the PG-13 description for tonight’s ”Burnt and Purged Away.” Opie is a big part of that and for good reason, considering what he discovered at the end of last week’s episode.
I won’t give much away about tonight’s episode, other than to say that Opie’s reaction to learning that Clay killed his father continues and the excellent momentum of the season only intensifies even more. TV Line spoke with actor Ryan Hurst about his character, who’s been through the ringer before and is roaring through it once again in the wake of his father’s sudden death. Last week, he found his father Piney’s body in the cabin and learn that it was Clay that was responsible for the shotgun blast through his father’s chest. Where does Opie go from here? It’s fair to suspect that his feelings about the club will be affected. From the start of the series, Opie was on the fence about staying with SAMCRO. Much in the way Jax is trying to put his family above the club, Opie’s been in the same position and look how things have turned out for him. His wife is dead, thanks to the club, and now his father is dead, also courtesy of SAMCRO.
One of the things Hurst talked about was Opie’s relationship with Jax and how this situation will affect it going forward.
A few seasons back when Opie sat down with Clay and the club when they thought he was a rat, he said, “It looks this way, but it’s not this way,” and he was led to believe everything was cool. And then Clay turned around, tried to kill him and ended up offing his wife [Donna]. There’s a similar thing brewing now between Jax and Opie. He feels betrayed [because] Jax convinced Opie to sign off on the [drug cartel deal] without telling him he was planning on leaving the club, which is lying by omission. That, plus his trust being broken with Lyla, his trust in people in general has really been broken down and torn apart. For the foreseeable future of Jax and Opie, Jax is really going to have to prove himself in a way that can salvage their relationship.
Is it possible that Opie is being used as an alternate example of how to handle things and the kind of repercussions he’ll face for his reactions? If that’s the case, maybe this season will have Opie walking away. Maybe he’ll be the character that ultimately picks up and leaves and Jax will be the one that stays.
Hurst compares Opie to the biblical Job in discussing all of the bad things that keep happening to him, saying:
I’ve made fun of Charlie about it, too. So much of this show revolves around Jax not finding out what happened to John [Teller], as well as Gemma and Clay’s possible involvement in his death, and Opie, meanwhile, has been dealing with that stuff since the end of the first season! He knew Clay killed his wife and now he knows Clay killed his father, and it’s kind of like he runs interference on a lot of the issues Jax is being protected from. But by the end of this season, all of that stuff can’t be controlled anymore. It bubbles to the surface and he realizes the life-and-death nature of what he’s become and what he’s a part of. There’s an old saying that if you live a violent life, you die a violent death, and he’s reaching a point where [he's asking himself] if he’s willing to accept that one of these guys is probably going to kill him in his bed. And is he OK with dedicating his life to that? In true Kurt form, you’re not going to get an answer this season. It’s unavoidable anymore for Opie, and that becomes clear, but a firm answer [to that question] really won’t be handed out this season.
Job may have been tested repeatedly, but things worked out ok for him in the end. Hopefully Opie will get his happy ending as well.
Read Hurst’s full interview with TV Line here.
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. Et on FX.
Watch the preview here.