[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Tuesday's episode of Sons of Anarchy. Read at your own risk.]
If Sons of Anarchy has taught us anything, it's that club members who rat out their brothers to the authorities don't usually live to tell about it.
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On Tuesday's episode, this season's rat, Theo Rossi's Juice, took matters into his own hands. After providing Sheriff Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) with a sample of the cocaine SAMCRO is now moving for the Galindo cartel — an effort that had already required Juice to shoot and kill one of his fellow members to protect his secret — Juice climbed a tree, made a noose with a chain and leapt to his apparent death.
"There was just no other way," Rossi tells TVGuide.com. "Running is not an option. He couldn't live with himself anyway. So, there's no other option for him and that's where it all just crumples for him."
Although savvy viewers heard what sounded like a tree branch giving way as the episode faded to black, for now Juice's life hangs in the balance. But this tragic turn of events was first set in motion when Roosevelt, acting on the orders of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon), blackmailed Juice into informing on his club by threatening to reveal that Juice's father was black — a fact that would prohibit Juice's membership based on the club's racist bylaws.
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Rossi says Juice had no choice but to go along. "Juice is this loner, who was looking for a family," Rossi says. "The club is literally everything for him. He doesn't have the wife and the kids or a family at all. It is just him and the club. ... He doesn't want to see the big picture of it, which could be the end of the club — the end of his life as he knows it."
Furthermore, Rossi says Juice doesn't necessarily believe he is being a rat. After all, Potter and Roosevelt already knew about the cocaine without any help from Juice. "He rationalizes [his actions] by thinking, 'If I just get this guy a half gram of coke, he's going to leave me alone,'" Rossi says. "Juice is so brilliant with computers and technology, but he's an idiot socially.
"It's almost like someone who has a cheating girlfriend and all your friends are saying, 'You know your girlfriend is cheating on you,'" he continues. "And you're like, 'No, she goes for yogurt every night.' He wants to believe that this is going to end with just doing this one thing. But doing that one thing turns into an utter nightmare for him."
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The nightmare only got worse in Tuesday episode when club president Clay (Ron Perlman) gave Juice a coveted "Men of Mayhem" patch reserved for the most dedicated SAMCRO members.
"It is the acceptance from a father that he never had," Rossi says. "This is the reason he got into this, to get this patch, to have this guy tell him, 'good job,' which he never hears. It breaks him and makes him realize that ultimately, he can't go on like that. He can't bare that burden. He's finally gotten the acceptance he has tried for forever, but he's been accepted under a falsehood, under a lie. And that kills him."
Rossi of course can't say whether or not his character lives or dies, but he does hope that the cliff-hanger gets people buzzing. And he warns that viewers haven't seen anything yet.
"I want people to be throwing things at their television," Rossi says. "I want people to rewind or call somebody or immediately get on Twitter. I want people to ask what the f--- just happened. Do I think they're going to be even more shocked next week? Yes. On Episode 9? Yes. We haven't even scratched the surface yet. This is definitely not the climax."
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.