Big Otto Delaney Has Nothing More to Say on Sons Of Anarchy
“Sons of Anarchy” season 5 was an OK season. It didn’t soar like the latter half of season 1 and the spectacular season 2, nor did it fall flat like the ill-conceived season 3, set mostly in Ireland.
It didn’t go off the rails, but it also didn’t do much to really change the repetitive game we’ve been watching for five seasons now.
If you were to hear that Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Tara (Maggie Siff) are cat-fighting (again), Jax and Tara’s relationship has gone south, and that Jax wants Clay dead, would you consider any of that as anything but SAMCRO business as usual?
The entire premise for the series Sons of Anarchy–a motorcycle gang who are drug-running, women-abusing, law-breakers, as tragic heroes we root for, is essentially absurd. When the show isn’t running on all cylinders, it becomes downright ludicrous.
…Jax is fated not to struggle free and pursue what his father sought (redemption), but doomed to carry out the hopelessly evil hubris of his stepfather, enmeshed with his mother as loving enabler. SOURCE: Ken Tucker
In this finale episode, Tara (Maggie Siff) uttered words (many of us have) longed to hear — that she wants to take leave of Charming–“this goddam cesspool.” The pediatric surgeon, who also refers to herself as Jax’s “old lady”… is finally again reacting as the sane person she once seemed to be. That she is now arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder sets up a season next year that is sure to find Charlie Hunnam stretched to the limits of his abilities to convey Jax’s agony.
And speaking of agony: no one in this series gets to experience its opposite, ecstasy. It’s showrunner Kurt Sutter’s most bitter joke, and one he plays on the characters — and us — every season. This was a particularly exemplary one. SOURCE: Ken Tucker
About that tongue…
That was quite a special effect when you — as Otto the incarcerated — bit off your tongue and spit it at the window.
Yeah, we worked with a prosthetics house on that! My tongue was modeled in a full-on prosthetic. We made a bunch of them so I could do it a few times. I was literally gnawing my teeth to break it. It’s a rubber tongue but the material is hard enough so you have something to chew through. I’ve been saying I don’t want any more arcs for Otto. This way, I won’t have any more lines. He’ll probably still be part of the Tara arc in the new season. He’ll just be scribbling sh– on pads…
Who knew that you would end season five with some fans actually feeling sorry for Clay!
In doing research on these guys… you find if they don’t get killed off or end up in jail…they sort of burn out. They can’t do another round of the game. I wanted to get Clay to that place… but… He just couldn’t do it anymore… (but) Clay is a survivor. He wants a piece of the pie, which is why he was setting up the gun business. But the only (person he needs) is Gemma. He is sincere with that. You kind of wish Jax was like that. All he should (need) is Tara, to get out. But he’s adopting some of character traits (that Clay used to have).
When will season six pick up?
… My guess is that it will probably start weeks later.
Seems like the door is open for a Jimmy Smits’ comeback.
I would love Jimmy to come back. I wrote it open-ended. We’re in the process of trying to make that happen. It depends on his availability.
Talk about what you accomplished this season.
I love the idea that Jax executed this plan as an outlaw masterfully, almost without a hitch…but (in doing so) his family unraveled …in regards to the promise he couldn’t keep to Tara. The club has all these external pressures removed … they are out of drugs, guns, RICO has been lifted, they have new business opportunities. And yet… the club is more fractured than it’s ever been…
For a straight ahead recap without commentary read: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ recap: Jax got this?
Memorable (?) Moments from SOA’s season 5 finale:
- Gemma’s gut-punching Tara (who had Gemma by the throat), adding, “I hope you’re not pregnant.”
- Dumpsters brim-full of dog corpses.
- “Men need to be loved. Women need to be wanted” — Gemma (I would phrase it, “Women need to be needed.”)
- Tig (Kim Coates) did not die (!) though he was long ago emotionally destroyed (think season 1, his inadvertent murder of Opie’s wife).
- Juice is (sort of) alive as well but after two extremely rough seasons is now reduced to a ‘puddle of sad.’ Indeed, as a fellow SOA fan pointed out, why has Juice stopped hacking computers and what happened to his heath food operation? Juice is so not cut out to be an outlaw. Not emotionally equipped.
- Adult males, outlaws or not, should not be drinking out of a milk carton! It’s unhygienic, gross, lazy and stupid because you’re gonna dribble down your front. Great outlaw look you’ll be sporting then!
I’m not sure if we’re supposed to respect Jax … or be horrified by his cold-bloodymindedness, but there are at least two strong reasons to believe the latter. The most obvious is his conversation with Bobby after Bobby finds out Clay’s been picked up for Pope’s murder. “It wasn’t about being smart enough to hurt him,” Bobby tells Jax. “It was about being smart enough not to hurt him. You had a chance to be different.” Jax’s response: “Maybe I’m not so different.”
We only have to go back to last week’s episode for the other example of the monster Jax now is. His rape-like attack on mother of his child, ex-wife, ex-junkie Wendy (Drea DeMatteo) was loathsome and indefensible. That reverberates this week as Wendy visits Tara’s office to explain everything that Jax did to her (held her down and shoved a speedball in her arm and threatened to report the now-clean drug counselor as high). Tara, of course, is horrified…”Trying is never gonna get you out! Go to Oregon now, before something awful happens to you and your sons!” Wendy screams. Tara gets the message. But of course, it’s too late. Tara’s fate was sealed the moment she returned to Charming, the place she once had the sense to escape from.
Over five seasons, we’ve seen how Jax’s inability to get over his hatred and anger has wreaked havoc in his life. He can’t let go of the club in the exact same way he can’t let go of his hatred for Clay or anger at Wendy. He may dress it up in noble talk about protecting his friends and protecting his family, but Jax is driven by wrath. He probably wouldn’t even recognize himself without it.
And this is the Jax we’re left with at the close of Season 5, with only his scheming mother there to back him up. Tara is going to jail and will be charged with conspiracy to commit murder (maybe because of Gemma). Clay is on his way to jail too, where it won’t be easy to survive with Pope’s henchmen after him. Bobby has turned in his VP patch, Juice is a broken man after betraying Clay, Tig remains both a good soldier and an irreparably damaged human being.
That’s a lot of collateral damage in helping Jax get to the top.
So then, how much is too much? It’s a question worth asking after watching Otto bite off his own tongue instead of giving his statement (“Way to commit, Otto,” Donal Logue‘s Toric notes) and seeing the garbage cans full of dog corpses that disgust even Tig. (NOTE to SOA writers: There’s a way to be dark and edgy without getting stupid and repulsive.)
Speaking of unnecessary nastiness, Gemma wishing Tara gets “fist-raped” in prison was pretty vicious, even for her. It sounded really ‘off’ coming from a middle-aged woman; I could hear Sutter’s words coming out of Sagal’s mouth and it took me out of the moment.
I’m really glad Jimmy Smits‘ Nero survived the finale. It was my one wish in the ‘who lives and who dies?” department. In a Wednesday group interview, Kurt Sutter states that negotiations are in place to bring him back. Seeing what the writers do with the Nero character and what Jimmy Smits does with him, is easily the second biggest reason that I’ll resume watching the show next September, as I no longer care what happens to the club and Charming’s other denizens. The biggest reason to return? Maggie Siff as Tara. As much as I love Katey Sagal as an actress, it is Siff that brings the biggest acting chops and it is her character’s potential to possibly be redeemed (whereas Gemma has none) that is the most compelling aspect of committing to a 6th season of Sons Of Anarchy.
After the jump: Sutter’s Wednesday Interview:
In a telephone news conference with reporters on Wednesday, Sutter insisted that it wasn’t his intention to shock viewers with the bloody tongue-biting (not that he minds shocking them), but it was a device for Otto to communicate that he won’t be talking anytime soon. And while most of us would figure out some less painful way to make that point, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that a guy like Otto would make this choice, Sutter said.
“I thought that for a guy who was as damaged as Otto was, what a better way of saying, ‘I’m not talking,’ literally removing the organ that articulates speech,” Sutter explained.
It was unclear from the finale whether Gemma’s relationship with the Latino gang leader Nero Padilla would continue next season. Sutter said he doesn’t know yet whether Jimmy Smits, who played Nero, would be available to return next season.
“I would love to bring him back,” Sutter said of Smits. “We left it sort of open-ended because I wasn’t sure about his availability. I feel like there’s enough emotional weight on the table, there’s enough relationship weight on the table for us to continue that storyline. And yet, I was careful not to pin any major story arc to his character,” just in case Smits could not return, Sutter said.
As for two of the other guest-stars seen this past season, Donal Logue will be back, and Drea De Matteo is, like Smits, uncertain, Sutter said. De Matteo plays Wendy, a drug addict who is the mother of one of Jax’s sons.
Logue’s character, who is retired after a career in law enforcement, appeared in several episodes this season. His sister was the nurse Otto stabbed to death with a crucifix Tara gave him in a prison hospital room. As a result, the Logue character wants the gang to pay for the murder.
“The [Logue] character will be a big character next season,” Sutter said, “and probably the most dangerous threat that the club’s ever had.”