After seven successful seasons and a legion of devoted fans even nine years after the final episode, it seems strange to imagine a time when Sons of Anarchy wasn’t considered one of the best TV series ever made.
However, the biker gang show’s creator Kurt Sutter has revealed that he doesn’t think his gritty crime thriller found its feet until part of the way through its first season. In fact, he doesn’t think the tone and feel of one of the best drama series settled until episode seven.
Entitled ‘Old Bones’, the episode featured the members of SAMCRO stealing the recently discovered bodies of rival gang members in order to avoid them being identified. For Sutter, this cemented his characters. The theft of dead bodies does tend to bond people together.
“It was trial and error: some ideas worked and some didn’t. I tried to surround myself with people who knew more than I did. I don’t think we found the rhythm of the show ’til halfway through the first season,” Sutter said to Variety of the series’ origins.
He added: “Serialized dramas were struggling and there was a mandate to do stand-alone episodes. All I knew how to do was a serialised drama. It was difficult. Then the serialisation got so deep by episode five or six, they took the handcuffs off and I got to do what I wanted to do.”
Sutter explained that “in episode seven, there was no turning back for Jax and Tara”, adding: “That’s the fairest estimation of when the show locked in.”
It certainly features more of Jax being manipulated by Ron Perlman’s Clay Morrow – something which would be a key narrative thread throughout the show. We’re glad all involved managed to stamp their vision on one of the best thriller series ever made.
For more about Sons of Anarchy, find out about how Charlie Hunnam based his character on a real person and why Charlie Hunnam got recognised in a prison. We’ve also got you covered on more great TV, including the best anime series and the best comedy series of all time.