Along with offing one of its original cast members, Sons of Anarchy's Dec. 11 finale also killed a ratings record. (Too soon for death-related puns?)
The first telecast of the season six finale brought in 5.2 million viewers and when combined with its encore showing, that number rises to 6.4 million viewers. And in the all-important adults 18-49 demo, SOA brought in 3.5 million viewers (4.3 million with the encore telecast factored in), a record for the series when it comes to its finales.
That makes "A Mother's Work" the most-watched finale in the FX drama's six-year history, and its most-watched episode ever, just behind the season six premiere (which happened to be the network' highest-rated telecast ever, by the way).
Sons of Anarchy's sixth season has averaged 7.3 million viewers, according to FX, making it the series' highest-rated season ever.
In the episode, creator Kurt Sutter made the bold move of killing Jax's (Charlie Hunnam) wife Tara (Maggie Siff), arguable the show's biggest death ever.
"I wanted to remove [Jax's] ‘True North,' because I feel like there needs to be this major psychic and emotional shift that has to happen," he explained of his decision. "What direction it will push him in we will see next season. But what happens to a guy like that now that he's lost both of the people he loves the most, who were able to be his moral compass, with Opie and now Tara. It really is Jax completely untethered and on his own in the final season."
Sons of Anarchy's seventh and final season kicks off in the fall of 2014.
What did you think of SOA's season six finale? Sound off in the comments!