Sutter, a native of Clark, N.J, wrote, directed, executive produced and even acted in the 13th episode of the second season of “SOA,” as fans of the show refer to it.
The episode was called “Na Triobloidi,” Gaelic for “the troubles,” a term referring to the period of Protestant-Catholic conflict in Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the late 1990s.
We did the phone interview after Sutter — who in his bio said he was “raised in the soul-numbing, homogenous suburbs of Central New Jersey” — had just finished directing the “SOA” finale. We asked him how he thought viewers would respond to the season’s end of this tale about a motorcycle club in Charming, Calif.
“I think people will like it,” Sutter said. “The trick with the finale is often the same trick you have with the premiere episode: Honoring the arc that existed before you and to bring some closure to that, and enticing the audience and setting up something they potentially might want to continue on the ride with.”
He went on, “And I think I was able to that with last year’s finale and hopefully we’ll do the same with this year’s finale, so there is some conclusion to the arc that we played out and an introduction of something new – not so much as a cliffhanger so much as it is thematically where we might lead to if there’s a third season.”
In fact, the finale episode had lots of action and several cliffhangers.
Henry Rollins, the punk rocker who played the White Supremacist who raped the main character’s mother, Gemma, is shot to death by the son Jax, played by Charlie Hunnam. Motorcycle matriarch Gemma is played by Katey Sagal, who is married to Sutter.
In the episode, Gemma kills the daughter of the brains behind the White Supremacy movement — and instigator of the rape — Ethan Zobelle. The daughter had lured Gemma to the attack. As the show ends, Gemma is on the lam.
Zobelle, played by Adam Arkin, is about to be killed by the SOA when they have to take off because Jax’s baby son has been kidnapped by an IRA guy who the SOA has been gunrunning wth.
The villain escapes in a boat with the babe-in-peril as Jax and the gang watch helplessly on the dock. Meanwhile, Zobelle flees the U.S. in a chartered jet.
Showrunner Sutter, who started out his career as an actor, has appeared in several of the episodes this season, playing Big Otto, a SOA member who is in prison. He is beaten by White Supremacists, who stick a broomstick in his eye. But he gets his revenge at the end, when he stabs his attacker in the neck.
Sutter doesn’t have to do much physically to pass for a SOA member, with his long hair, tribal tattoos and rugged good looks.
And here’s another “SOA” tidbit for you: The evil AFT agent June Stahl is played by actress Ally Walker, who is married to FX president John Landgraf.
Here’s the blog we did about our experience with Sutter.
We’re going to miss “SOA” on Tuesday nights.