Throughout its seven-season run, the violence on Sons of Anarchy was as consistent as the motorcycles. The show's eponymous biker gang, from the fictional town of Charming, California, ran guns, dealt drugs and dealt with a host of nefarious characters, with confrontations often ending in deadly shootouts.
The show's creator, Kurt Sutter, has always defended his method of SoA storytelling. At the TCAs back in August of 2019, Deadline noted that addressed the issue directly, pointing out that "every superhero movie is loaded top to bottom with violence, but because it's done with lasers by f—ing pretty folks in tights, somehow that's more palatable." While SoA is a violent show set in a violent world, he points out that "within those stories, we saw the ramifications of that." These ramifications included "f—ing people shattered," as well as "families shattered," and the pain that's often left behind in the wake.
Of course, Sutter was rarely subtle in his approach to SoA, either. While such acts of violence carried an emotional weight, there was no shortage of them during the show's run. Here's a look at some of the biggest, most devastating and most explosive shootouts.
One of the shows many large-scale shootouts starts during a meeting between the Sons and Galen (Timothy V. Murphy), their connection to the IRA. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) asks him for one last shipment of guns to the Mexican cartel before they sever their ties and go back to their old arrangement with the Irish. Just as Galen is about to agree, Romeo (Danny Trejo) bursts in quite a few members of the Galinda cartel to help "supervise" the buy.
As one of the cartel members go to unload the guns, Galen shoots him, leading to a massive gunfight breaking out. In the bloody aftermath, Romeo takes the firearms and tells Jax the buy is on SAMCRO, while Galen promises they will feel the repercussions for this "on both continents."prevnext
"To Thine Own Self"
Throughout Season 5, tensions are running high between SAMCRO and the Galinda cartel. As a result, they attempt to ambush Jax, Tig (Kim Coates), Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) and Happy (David Labrava) by surrounding them with their cars. Sensing the danger they're in the Sons to jump in their station wagon where Jax then proceeds to pull donuts around the rival gang and shooting in all directions as the Mexicans shoot at them. Quite a few members of the Galinda cartel end up going down, but Jax and company end up making it out alive. Just with a badly damaged station wagon.prevnext
"Faith and Despondency"
Near the end of the show's final season, Jax, Tig, Chibs and Happy once again gather with Otis (Luke Massy) and his gang of white supremacists in anticipation of a meetup with Leland Gruen (Brad Porter). Before his arrival, one of his crew calls Trig a "tranny humper," a reference to his relationship with Venus Van Dam (Walton Goggins). Tig then asks the man to apologize, and when he doesn't get one, Tig shoots him in the crotch.
After everyone around them draws their guns, Otis orders his men to stand down. Although, things don't exactly end peacefully right then and there. Immediately after, Jax sees one of Leland's crew staring at him, which results in him being shot. While viscerally violent, it also had a touch of that dark humor that Sutter is famous for.prevnext
"Call of Duty"
It's fitting that with an episode titled "Call of Duty," the club banded together as an almost highly-trained outfit to take out rival club The Lobos. It was mostly a success, save for the part where Herman Kozik (Kenny Johnson) stepped on one of their landmines, resulting in his death. Afterward, Jax and Chibs avenged Kozik but was never mentioned in SoA again.prevnext
One of the biggest turning points in SoA was the death of longtime club president Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) at the hands of Jax himself. In the penultimate episode of Season Six, Clay had become a disgrace to himself and the club, and his killing was, in all likelihood, the best possible outcome he could've hoped for.prevnext
"The Sleep of Babies"0comments
This moment is less a large-scale shootout and more of an example of how deep the violence caused by SAMCRO could spread among the people close to them. During Season 1, Opie (Ryan Hurst) was falsely set up to look like he was of feeding information to the Feds, so Clay ordered Tig (Kim Coates) to kill him.
However, Opie and his wife, Donna (Sprague Grayden), switched cars at the last minute, and as the episode drew to a close, she took the bullet meant for her husband. In the years that followed, Donna's death would loom large, and forever impact Opie's relationship with the club, not to mention the bloody legacy of SAMCO.prev