SPOILER ALERT: Storyline and character spoilers ahead for the "Wolfsangel" episode of "Sons of Anarchy."
Huge sigh of relief: Tig lives! Last week's cliffhanger left that as a big question, but when SAMCRO leader Jax opened his front door at the top of "Wolfsangel," Tig (Kim Coates), alive and in one piece, was standing there.
"I got an early morning visit from a guy I never expected to see again," Jax told August Marks, the man who has had an itch to kill Tig since the Season 5 finale.
But, in keeping with a season that is headed, at a furious pace, towards what is likely to be the show's final season next year, there were casualties. Former U.S. marshal Lee Toric (guest star Donal Logue) had spiraled deeper and deeper into his crazy rabbit hole this season, and his obsession with vengeance against the MC and Otto (series creator Kurt Sutter) hit a high and a low in "Wolfsangel"; Toric got the ultimate revenge against Otto, as the beleaguered SAMCRO member was shot and killed during a fight with Toric in the prison hospital. Score one for Toric and his quest to get comeuppance for his murdered (by Otto) sister.
Otto didn't go out alone, however. The drug-addicted, violence-prone Toric was also dead at the episode's end, becoming another Toric family member stabbed to death by Otto (who also slit Toric's throat just to make sure the job was complete).
While we're mourning Otto (and feeling some relief that he's no longer going to be SAMCRO and Toric's whipping boy), we're also going to miss Toric, a complicated character who made some of the Sons' adventures look almost tame compared to his cold pursuit of brutal justice. Toric's portrayer, the kinder, gentler, but still as hard-working, Donal Logue talked to Yahoo TV about the emotional challenges of playing Toric, his crazy year of cable TV ubiquity, and how he juggles acting with writing a novel and owning a trucking company (yeah, really).
Was Lee a difficult character to play, or to stop playing? He just really went out of control the last few episodes …
I did the darkest stuff I've ever done. Just the kind of stuff that, it throws you after you leave work, you can't shake it, you're just disturbed by it. And so, that was amazing. I love Kurt Sutter to death. He's just a great guy, he's a great friend. He juggles this incredible world in this creative tour de force, and he's an amazing actor as well. And so, I don't know, it's been a really great experience, "Sons of Anarchy." I owe him a lot. I owe him a lot as well because he had to allow me to do "Copper" with the scheduling difficulties, and that was a huge pain in his butt, and he didn't have to do it. But he said, 'Is this a good role?' And I said, yes, you know, Kurt, Brendan Donovan's a great role. I just was fortunate.
What was the toughest scene for you, as Lee Toric?
The hotel room scene [in "Poenitentia"] was particularly shocking to participate in, and was just really wild. I just remember my headspace was really wild, too. The whole arc of that character was fascinating. I was definitely disturbed by Lee Toric. I went to some weird places [playing him], and you feel weird. You can't shake it driving home from the job.
Watch the promo for "Poenitentia":
Do you think he will have played a role, along with the school shooting, in SAMCRO's ultimate fate?
Underneath this Shakespearean drama, there is a moral lesson. Crime doesn't pay. The sins of the fathers are coming home to the sons. The school shooting and Toric were part of that, I think. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
"Copper," "Vikings," "Sons of Anarchy" … you have been the go-to guy for playing these complicated guys this year.
It's been incredibly fun. It's like I'm so gluttonous right now. You know, they're all Machiavellian, incredibly interesting, multilayered, dark mofos. It felt like all these characters were fueled by the same V-8 engine. And it's been a blast. I'm benefitting from this golden age of television. As an actor it was intriguing, it was incredibly thrilling and fun. That kind of stuff where you literally get off a plane, and you run to one place, and you have a lot of intense scenes. I just had to make sure I just worked hard and was really prepared. I hired this person who's really awesome, this young acting coach in Toronto, to run lines with me all the time, between the different shows, so I wouldn't show up and be the one guy that dropped the ball. And you have to kind of do the work before you do the work. I remember that introductory, that Brendan Donovan speech [in "Copper"], and it was like, all that dialect, and making sure you dial stuff in and you have it prepared, so when you show up you're ready to roll. There's always some homework involved. But it's been the most exciting time I've had as an actor, for sure.
Logue talks about his character, General Donovan, on "Copper":
You must have racked up the frequent flyer miles, too. You were shooting "Sons" in Los Angeles and "Copper" in Toronto at the same time, right? And now you're in Dublin for "Vikings" …
Yeah, I have 1.6 million (miles) or something like that.
See Logue as King Horik in "Vikings":
You've definitely have earned a vacation between the miles and all the work.
It's funny. Kasey, the mother of my two boys, Finn and Arlo, she deserves the vacation. She's taking care of the kids all the time.
In between all these acting gigs, you also run your own trucking company, Aisling Trucking, in Oregon. How often do you go out on the road with the trucking company?
I haven't done anything since late January, when "Copper" started for me. So since then, I've just been doing, bam, episode after episode of TV. But I had a lot of free time last year, and I was with it a lot. We'll see. For me, trucking's interesting and fascinating, and I do have a huge respect for it. And most importantly, I have these partners, Bud and Cathy Williams, who I thought, together, I can help make their dream of having a company, their own company, a reality. Either way, I'm backing their play, and I can help out a little bit. But I helped them financially in a way that they probably couldn't have gotten started, but I can't do what they do. I could drive a truck for the rest of my life, and I couldn't drive like Bud and Cathy. They're brilliant at it. And they're incredibly … they're such good people.
The story behind Aisling Trucking:
I have this big community up in Oregon. I think they have a blast feeling like they have a little bit of an inside scoop on this [Hollywood] world that all of us enjoy watching. But it's a weird world. When I was growing up in El Centro, "BJ and the Bear" came through town. I remember standing across the road, by my friend, and I was so tripped out by the fact that I was looking at the dude that I saw on the box. You know what I mean? You think no normal person can go from their small town to the world of the box. The world of the box is a weird world, reserved for other people. I even felt that way through college. None of us had any idea about that stuff. It's fun to be kind of like a little bit of a tour guide between the worlds.
You're also publishing a novel next year, right? What's it about?
It's a young adult novel, about this 13-year-old kid on the Mexican border who is a fish out of water. He's just moved there a couple of years before and doesn't quite fit in. He's very introspective, and his dad works in Mexico, and the kid finds this body in the canal. It opens up into this broader conspiracy about water in the future. It's called "Agua." When I was a little kid on the border, I used to skateboard at night really late, and I ran into this old homeless guy … he was one of those people who [provided] a big life lesson, like, don't judge a book by its cover. Really smart guy. Really interesting. So he [inspired a character who] becomes the main ally of this kid in the book.
It's been fun to work on, and frustrating … exercising muscles I hadn't really thought about for a long time. But I just love the fact that you can do it from anywhere. It's so fun to think "Oh, I'm spending the night working on my book. I'm not memorizing other people's stuff and fitting into this other world." You get to invent all the weird stuff in the world that you want.
Would you want to do a series yourself, star in another cable drama?
Yeah, absolutely. I'm really open to everything. I want to do something. I have this really good friend named Gilles Marini. He and I became friends when our kids were in kindergarten together, and our children are really good friends. It's been kind of fascinating to watch a friend who had no traction in this world kind of get traction. He's incredibly perceptive and smart and talented, and we have something that we just started kind of cooking up, that involves trucks, too. I would love to do something with ["Terriers" co-star] Michael Raymond James again, too, or a bunch of my friends. And every time you do something new, you make new friends, and you have new experiences.
To me, the only thing is … I'm aware that it's a tough world. There are times where I'm like, "Why the hell would anyone want to watch me in anything for five minutes? Who would I be to expect a network or someone to invest money in a project starring me?" It felt very personal when things like "Terriers" did poorly, not because FX didn't believe in me enough or because FX didn't put the money into it. Everyone believed in the show and believed in me doing the show. That's why they got behind it. But when it doesn't do well for them, it feels … personally, it hurts. I feel just a little bit shy or strange, thinking why would I have the audacity to think that I had the right to run that kind of ship again? So maybe part of me was really happy this last year to just kind of jump into ensembles, where I could add a little bit of color to something, but you don't feel like you're up on the hill taking all the shock if it's not great.
Is it true you were in talks for a role on "The Walking Dead"?
I talked to one of the directors at one point about doing something. I was unavailable, but what a blast it would be to run amok in that world. Never say never … if I would only be so fortunate. And they seem like really great people. Michael Raymond‑James [had a guest role on it], and he loved the experience. You know, it's a competitive environment, but a high tide floats all boats, and there's just so much good stuff going on in TV right now. I think it just pushes everybody in this good environment to be better and better.
"Sons of Anarchy" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.