Sons of Anarchy: An Ode To Opie

by on September 26, 2012

in Entertainment

Ryan Hurst in Sons of Anarchy

Kurt Sutter, the mastermind behind Sons of Anarchy, has done the unimaginable and twisted it up so badly in such a great, creative fashion, that he’s struck a chord with the fans.

If you haven’t seen the Sons of Anarchy episode titled “Laying Pipe” that aired on 9/26 yet, then step aside brutha & sista and come back after you’ve caught your time-shifted viewing of this powerfully emotional episode. (Episode recap)

Onward, with my spoiler-like homage to the big guy, Ryan Hurst‘s Opie.

In “Laying Pipe,” viewers were treated to a huge range of emotions. Juice (Theo Rossi) provided some of the best light-hearted moments that pulled surprising fits of mirth from viewers on multiple occasions.

But in the background, four Sons of the club went into prison and while there, Pope (Harold Perrineau) put down an ultimatum that put Jax (Charlie Hunnam) in a critical position. Offer up a Son for retribution for the death of his man and the cop, or suffer the consequences of staying in jail.

Ryan Hurst in Sons of Anarchy

Jax could not decide and while in a cell with Opie, they had a serious heart-to-heart, where Jax told Opie everything. He told him about the letters, the rico act hovering over the club, the CIA having infiltrated the Cartel. (Shh, don’t tell anyone that one.)

And during the entire conversation, the tension in Jax’s face told it all, the pressure of needing to choose a Son for sacrifice.

When the Sargent comes for them, did you catch that Jax started to step up? But Opie intervened and nominated himself with a solid head-butt to the Sargent’s nose.

And you saw this coming. During this conversation with Jax, he seemed very immersed in some deep inner thoughts. And those thoughts, I felt, were of his dead wife, his dead father and I suspect, his realization that he could not be a good father to his two kids in this state of mind he’s found himself in.

Ryan Hurst as Opie in Sons of Anarchy

I was scared for him as I was any of the Sons in prison, but as Opie said, “I got this one.” And that line, upon reflection, pulls you into this realm of emotional content that the Sons of Anarchy continually surprises you with. (Ha… that’s my long winded version of saying “brings tears to your eyes” after the fact.)

The title of the episode is just another collective of words until the moment comes, and suddenly you’re world zooms in on the pipe that the prison Sargent slides across the floor to Opie. And the viewer’s entire world is focused on that one second scene of the pipe sitting on the floor in front of Opie.

I was hoping Opie would have put up a better fight, one that those four effs would remember. But alas, like in life, nothing goes as hoped or planned.

As if the moment wasn’t powerful enough, we were looking in Opie’s eyes when he tells Jax “I got this one” and dies from the pipe impact.

This is on Pope, and I’m counting every second until he goes down. In the meantime, I’d love to see Jax be able to pull off his promise to the Sargent and to find or have that inmate who delivered that final blow, shanked properly.

Yea, I get like that sometimes.

Remembering The Harry ‘Opie’ Winston That Ryan Hurst Gave Us

Ryan Hurst as Opie in Sons of Anarchy

Opie, played by Ryan Hurst, will be sorely missed by many a fan. He was by far, one of my tragically favorite characters in Sons of Anarchy.

From when we first met Op, working his day job and hating it, to being lured back into the club to do what he loves, was laced with the stress of his wife Donna (Sprague Grayden) being unhappy about it.

To watch Opie do his given tasks in the motorcycle club and be at odds with the wishes of the love of his life was always an underpinning to the emotional content of the story to come in future seasons of the show.

This emotional angst was a herald of what was to come for future stories in the series.

And then the crap hit the fan as Clay (Ron Perlman), being tricked by that insidious little b* fed, June Stahl (played exceptionally well by Ally Walker) put out a hit on Opie and Tig (Kim Coates) ended up killing Donna.

I wasn’t sure how Opie was going to hold it together, except for his two little ones forcing the issue. He had to keep it together.

Yet once he discovered the truth behind the hit, for what was better for the club, he held back from killing Clay. Which for me, well, that would have been an ulcer in my stomach or one of my infamous moments of “honesty.”

And then on top of the manuscript, the Jax letters from his dad were boiling up and Opie’s father, Piney (William Lucking), wanted to honor the intent of Jax’s father, and make the club a more peaceful one, but they held an insidious secret in them.

That secret drove Clay to kill Piney, again, putting Opie up against the need for revenge and what was good for the club.

Opie’s Loyalty Betrayed Him From The Start

Ryan Hurst in Sons of Anarchy

Opie’s loyalty and love of the club was his undoing. Donna knew it was trouble, but leading the dull, day-to-day life was not in the cards for Opie.

His love of the club and what was best for it unraveled everything else he loved. But then again, everything else he loved, was outside the club.

Duty and loyalty has an ugly price sometimes, as I’m sure we’ve all learned at one time or another. And sometimes we learn that the hard way. Other times, it’s rewarded. In this case, the loyalty to both his club and his life-long best friend, Jax, brought the ultimate price one pays. Of sacrifice and what was good for the club.

Once again, Kurt Sutter hit it out of the park with another heart-wrenching episode of Sons of Anarchy. In an interview with the press the next day, he said that this needed to happen to force other things, or events to happen. That Jax needed the one huge motivator to change the game for him. This trauma fans were put through is Sutter looking at the end-game of the series, somewhere down the road.

But social media also had another thing to say, as some folks were so upset that they promised to never watch the show again. That alone, is the testament to the writing of the show.

I want to say thanks to Sutter and writers Kem Nunn and Liz Sagal (Yes, Katey’s younger sister) for this episode.

At the moment, I’m too sad to do so legitimately, but for the good of the fans and the franchise, I tip my hat and say thank you for making TV worthwhile with Sons of Anarchy Kurt.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Allison Dayle May 4, 2015 at 10:16 pm

I NEVER watch TV/MOVIES…..as i am extremely ADHD,with a (university& several doctors/phsyciatrists diagnosed)3-8 second attention span.Since i can remember i have NEVER been able to sit still long enuff to watch cartoons(as a kid)or tv shows/movies from toddler to adulthood…i dont even own a T.V. for this reason,as i only have ever had one around for guests and generally cover it with a funky patterned material and use it as a candle stand.FOR REAL!It takes something of EXTREME interest to hold my focus….Sons of Anarchy saturated me,with such a reality based script and acting/actors to play it out.WOW!!! this series blew my mind!!! it captured my attn like no show has ever.i still find myself mad at Jemma for so selfishly screwing everything up soooo bad that she ultimatly is the reason the show had to end….i feel like some characters were my close family,and i refer to it all the time…eg)my friend was hurt…i said “if tara was here,shed fix him up good,sew him right back to health”..LOL….or/and i feel that people hurt/injured that CANT go to hospital (eg)weed trimmers,gangsters,criminals,people with warrants/illegal immigrants,etc sure could use someone like Tara,in that moment of need/crisis/emergency…..lol-ish.ouch….soooo sad this show has ended….but theres no possible better last episode that could have been written!!!! S.O.A.will allways hold the place it captured in my heart,and im soooo glad it cought my attention enuff one day to go back and watch every episode from the start!!! HIGH FIVES to the writer,cast and crew who created and delivered it with emmaculate EXCELLENCE!!!!! TWAS BREATHTAKING,CAPTIVATING AND PURELY AMAZING& UNIQUE OF ITS KIND.NO ONE CAN EVER CREATE A NEW BIKER SHOW THAT COULD EVER “ONE UP” THE SONS OF ANARCHY…In my opinion…and most others!!!word up!!! fullest respect and thanks for such grand entertainment!!

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