Sons of Anarchy may be revving toward the finish line, but the show isn't out of gas.
The FX drama's upcoming Season 6 premiere features a climactic scene that will almost undoubtedly stir some debate. While creator Kurt Sutter hopes to keep the plot a secret, he insists that he's not just trying to grab eyeballs by tackling a hot-button issue.
Sons of Anarchy to kick off Season 6 with supersized episode
"I've wanted to do that story for about three years," Sutter told reporters at the Television Critics Association fall previews Friday. "I knew it would be somewhat controversial, but I feel like as much as I wouldn't do something [just] because it was controversial, I'm also not going to do something because it is controversial. ... There's a lot of blood and guts in my show — it's a signature of the show. But I feel like nothing is done gratuitously. ... I am not trying to make a statement. This is a story that's not being done to be sensational."
More importantly, Sutter said the potentially polarizing scene in question is a major turning point for the show as it kicks off its penultimate season. "It is truly the catalyst for the third act of our morality play," he said. "It sets everything in motion for this season that will ultimately lead to the end that then will bring us into the final season and what I see as the ultimate comeuppance of everything in terms of the series."
The weight of that comeuppance will most likely fall mostly on Jax (Charlie Hunnam), who will continue to wrestle with how he feels about leading an outlaw motorcycle club. "The conflict that has fueled the entire series and especially Charlie's character is the idea of: 'Can I do what I do and follow this path and still show up and be a caring and loving husband and a good and caring father?'" Sutter says. "Can I have all that and still be the leader of a criminal enterprise? Coming into Season 6, we have to decide whether the answer is yes or no."
Sons of Anarchy postmortem: How much of a "savage" has Jax become?
As such, Sutter believes Season 7 will indeed be the show's last, though he suggests that if he needs a few extra episodes, FX would oblige. (He also acknowledges that many episodes, including the 90-minute Season 6 premiere, will be "supersized.") So does he have a master plan? Does he know the final shot of the series?
"I have an idea of what the final shot is and, for some reason, it's Otto getting out of jail," Sutter joked about the character he plays on the show. But seriously, Sutter does have a plan but isn't locked into it.
"I have a loose blueprint I go into every season with," he said. "The looser I hold on to those ideas, the better the seasons are. ... I have a sense of what the final shot is, but I hold onto that loosely. I need that marker to go towards, and then I go the right place."
Sons of Anarchy's sixth season premieres Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 10/9c on FX.