Tara surprised everyone, including her usually unflappable mother-in-law Gemma, during last week's "Sons of Anarchy," and she appears to have driven a permanent wedge between her motorcycle club president husband Jax and his controlling mama. But Gemma's portrayer, Katey Sagal, says we shouldn't count her character out yet.
"You will find out. Just keep watching… this was a very serious line that she has crossed. She's accusing Gemma of murder, basically," Sagal told the audience at the "An Evening with 'Sons of Anarchy'" panel, held Oct. 25 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood.
Tara's betrayal of Gemma — and her husband, who doesn't know she framed her mother-in-law to make it look like she beat Tara up and caused her to have a miscarriage — continues to play out in this week's new "SoA," in which Tara (Maggie Siff) has gotten Gemma out of her family's life, but has a difficult time dealing with the fact that she has become the kind of person who would carry out actions so, well, Gemma-like.
Watch Maggie Siff talk about Tara's Season 6 arc right here:
Sagal joked that, in any other situation, Gemma would likely be proud of Tara's machinations.
"Throughout the seasons, Gemma has taken her under her wing, shown her the ropes, shown her how to be a good old lady, and then she does something that's so Gemma-like," Sagal said. "I think there's always a part of [Gemma] that's like, 'Wow. Well done.'"
Series creator Kurt Sutter (also Sagal's real-life husband) added that with Tuesday's "Los Fantasmas" putting the series just past the halfway point of Season 6, Tara's plan to get her sons away from Gemma, SAMCRO, and Charming is only halfway completed, too. "We've been doing this whole trajectory with Tara, and Maggie and I have had conversations since the pilot in terms of who this character is… There's definitely more to her plan."
Friday's panel opened with a nearly half-hour-long video recalling the major events of Season 6 so far, and led right into a Q&A session with Sutter, director/producer Paris Barclay, and cast members Sagal, Siff, Jimmy Smits (Nero), and Dayton Callie (Unser).
The outspoken creator and showrunner shared with the audience that he found humor in the fact that he and his cast were invited to sit for a panel at the Television Academy, which has mostly ignored the series every year at Emmy time.
"It's a little odd. We've all been through this process and… there's a disappointment that happens every year at a certain point, but the expectations are very low now. The disappointment is incrementally lower each year," he laughed. But he also admitted he's "pulled back" recently on expressing his frustrations with the lack of Emmy love for the show, "not because I don't feel the same way, but mainly because I realize that being out in front of a show… the things I say don't just necessarily impact me, they impact everything and everyone else on the show. And if it means that I could be responsible for somebody I love and care about not getting something they deserve, then I didn't want to do that.
"The truth is, I'm really grateful we got a chance to come here and do this tonight," Sutter said. "As I said on my Twitter feed tonight, 'It's just a panel, but I'll take it.'"
Other highlights from the Q&A:
Most. Emotional. Scene. Ever.
Barclay, the Emmy-winning director who won one of his Emmys for directing "Hearts and Souls," the 1998 episode of "NYPD Blue" in which Smits's Bobby Simone was famously killed off, said what he considers to be the most emotional scene of the entire series is coming up later this season. It's "deeper, darker, [and] broke my heart more than my heart has been stomped in 'Sons of Anarchy' history," he said.
Watch Paris Barclay talk about the "Sons of Anarchy" creative process right here:
The School Shooting
Sutter and Barclay also addressed the controversial school shooting from the Season 6 premiere. Sutter reiterated that it was not a gratuitous storyline, and that, as he hopes viewers see now, it's a plot that will continue to reverberate throughout the season. "Everybody uses that event to their own end, including Jax, who uses it to motivate the club" to get out of the gun business, he said.
Meanwhile, Barclay said the storyline was initially one of the two scariest he's ever tackled on TV. "I got acclimated to what it was really about, which is, all these seasons, the Sons deal guns, and there are very few consequences," he said. "And now we're in Season 6, and something really has to happen. Something has to really land on them that sticks after all this time. And it has to be compelling, and it has to be compelling to Jax as a father."
Smits, who said he was a huge fan of the show before he joined the cast and deemed Season 6 binge-watch-worthy, gave this ambiguous hint about what his Nero will be up to for the rest of the season: "[Nero] is still trying to find [the] exit strategy."
Watch Jimmy Smits talk about being a "Sons of Anarchy" fan right here:
Callie, on whether Unser will ultimately prove to be loyal to Gemma or Tara: "I'm just trying to stay alive," he joked. "I'll go with anybody."
Fifty Shades of Red
When asked if we've seen all the aspects, or shades, of his Nero, Smits unintentionally stumbled into the recent "Fifty Shades of Grey" hubbub surrounding co-star Charlie Hunnam (Jax).
"Oh no, no… [we haven't seen] all shades of any of these characters," Smits said. "You have black and white, and then you have many shades of gray that go in between."
Teased Callie, "You got it in, you got it in… we were wondering who was going to get that in."
It took Smits a minute to catch on. "Oh, s--t! I swear to God, I wasn't even thinking about that," he said. "I'm turning red now."
Check out the full panel at Emmys.com, where Sutter jokes about an "SoA" spinoff ("Gemma running a bird shop with Unser"), biting off Otto's tongue so he didn't have to memorize as much dialogue, and how "fun" it is to watch his wife and Smits hook up on screen.
"Sons of Anarchy" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.