"Just another day."
That's what Kurt Sutter called the day he wrote arguably the most shocking death that has yet to happen on Sons of Anarchy. So you can only imagine our anxiety going into tonight's season six finale of the gritty FX drama.
Never accused of caring far too much for his characters to kill them, Sutter has offed plenty of characters throughout SOA's six-season ride. To commemorate the fallen (and to prepare for the deaths still to come), we're reliving Sons of Anarchy's six most shocking deaths ever.
6. Otto (Kurt Sutter): Hey, if you've gotta go you might as well take the big bad along with you, which is exactly what creator Kurt Sutter's character did when he died earlier this season. After slitting Toric's throat, the tongueless Otto, who refused to rat out Clay, was shot by the police.
Of course, Otto's death wasn't too surprising as Sutter once said, "Otto is my anti-Dorian Gray. That's a little bit of my own sort of meta joke. But...violence doesn't happen in a vacuum. If you do A, ultimately B is going to happen, and B for Otto is usually always very bad."
5. Donna Winston: In a truly tragic twist, Tig ended up killing Opie's wife when Clay sent him to kill Opie, who is wracked with guilt as Donna, the mother of his two children, pushed him to leave the Sons behind. Hindsight, it's such a you-know-what.
4. Kip "Half Sack" Epps (Johnny Lewis): Prospective SAMCRO member Half-Sack was stabbed in the stomach and killed while trying to protect Tara and Abel in the season-two finale. Sutter later revealed that Lewis asked to be written off the show, a strange prelude to the actor's own horrific death scene.
3. Piney Winston (William Lucking): One of SAMCRO's co-founders is killed by one of its other co-founders in one of the series' saddest deaths. Clay shot Piney and then marked the cabin wall with an "LS" written in the fallen's blood to make it look like the Lobos Sonora, a rival drug cartel, made the kill.
2. Opie Winston (Ryan Hurst): Like father, like son, the Club was ultimately the death of both Piney and Opie. The fan favorite died in particularly brutal fashion (a pipe to the back of the head) after volunteering to take one for the team, especially his best friend Jax while they are in prison.
It was violent. It was brutal. It was devastating. And it shocked an entire fanbase. "The death of Opie will color the rest of the episodes for the rest of the series," Sutter said at the time. "It's not a death that will happen in vain."
1. Clay (Ron Perlman): It was the death six seasons in the making and yet it still hurt like a, well, you know. Especially because it was Jax who offed Clay, shooting him six times in front of a shocked Gemma, Tara and Nero…two episodes before the season finale.
The lesson we learned? Never get too comfortable watching SOA as Sutter called writing Perlman, who has been with the show since it began, off "just another day" of work.
Sons of Anarchy's season six finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. on FX.