"Sons Of Anarchy" and its creator, Kurt Sutter, have never shied away from controversial topics during five seasons on the air. As the sixth season opened, most fans expected to see something that would blow them away; what came, however, was so shocking that some took to Twitter to announce they were "done" with the show.
WARNING: The rest of this article contains spoilers about the new season. Don't worry, I'm just as upset about it as you are; I don't have cable.
Towards the end of the episode, a boy walks into school, takes a gun out of his backpack, and opens fire on a classroom full of children. While the camera cuts away from the violence, many think the imagery is too similar to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, and that it's too soon to use such a storyline on a television show.
But Sutter, who is keenly aware of the pain still being felt by the victims' families, also understands that this is not a new story. From the days of Pearl Jam and their video for "Jeremy" to the Columbine shootings, school violence is a very real and tragic thing, and the fact that the scene seems to be leading up to something big involving the club and their dealings with guns may play into a bigger storyline.
"I've wanted to do [this] story for about three years, and I knew, obviously, that it would be somewhat controversial," Sutter said. "But I feel like, you know, as much as I wouldn't do something because it was controversial, I'm also not going to not do something because it's controversial. I feel like it's an organic story to our world, in terms of, it's what these guys do. I feel like that will continue to play out, and that is the truth. There's a lot of blood and guts in my show, and it is a signature of the show, but I feel like I'm not lying to myself when I say that nothing is done gratuitously, that the events that happen in the premiere are really the catalyst for the third act of this morality play we're doing....Again, not that I'm trying to make that statement with this story, but I think organically, all those elements are within the structure of that story. And, again, this is a story that is not being done to be sensational... It sets everything in motion for this season, [which] will ultimately lead to the end that then will bring us into the final season and what I see as the ultimate comeuppance of everything in terms of the series."
Nevertheless, the show's fans are very divided on how appropriate the scene was and several have said they won't be coming back for the rest of the season.
I heard some of you say last night that you were done with SOA. Come on over to my new house and tell me why. http://t.co/5g966fltt3
— Joanna Robinson (@quityourjrob) September 11, 2013
I'm really pissed that they did that shooting at a school after sandy hook.... come on @SonsofAnarchy
— morgan✨ (@MorganHuntt) September 11, 2013
Too soon for another school shooting Sons of Anarchy...Too soon
— Jake Dever (@jakedever1) September 11, 2013
Heaven forbid a parent who lost a child to a school shooting be a fan of soa and have to relive their pain and anguish #imdonewithsoa
— Shannon Topper (@ShannonTopper) September 11, 2013