'Sons of Anarchy' Season 6 Opens With a Shock
Charlie Hunnam as Jax in "Sons of Anarchy."
Warning: This recap for the "Straw" episode of "Sons of Anarchy" contains storyline and character spoilers as well as a detailed description of a violent scene.
Less than a year has passed since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut, and "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter is aware that the storyline of the sixth-season premiere tonight — in which a tween-aged boy takes a KG-9 into a school full of children and opens fire — is shocking and disturbing.
"I've wanted to do [this] story for about three years, and I knew, obviously, that it would be somewhat controversial," Sutter told reporters at a Television Critics Association panel in Los Angeles this summer. "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."
The school shooting occurs toward the end of the episode, titled "Straw," with the sweet-faced boy arriving at his school, rolling up his uniform sleeve to reveal a series of scars, and laying down his notebook, which is filled with drawings of beheadings and other violent imagery, as well as phrases like "God hates bullies."
He removes a KG-9 from his backpack, walks calmly into his school, and starts shooting. The screen shows a set of classroom windows lit up by gunfire as children scream, an adult yells out, and blood splatters onto the glass.
Shortly thereafter, Leonard Cohen's haunting "Come Healing" begins playing as ambulances and police arrive, and children are ushered out of the building.
"There's not really a statement that I'm trying to make within the story," Sutter said of the shooting. "I guess, if you look at the story as a whole and organically, the causes of what happened are many — meaning, you're dealing with a child that clearly has some sort of mental illness. You're dealing with some sort of neglected family life. You're dealing with the substructure of, not that I'm trying to make a big religious statement, but the potential violence that is done, you know, always, sort of in the name of God.
"You're looking at illegal handguns. You're looking at the lack of potential law enforcement to shut that down. So you're looking at the responsibility of a great deal of people that led to that, which, if I have a point of view about any of that, that is my point of view. My point of view is that there is no singular responsible party for anything that has happened as a result of those shootings."
The face of the blond-haired boy, unnamed in the premiere, opens the episode as he's drawing in a notebook while SAMCRO leader Jax (Charlie Hunnam) reads a letter to his sons via voice-over. Later, Jax and the boy (who looks like a younger version of Jax) meet up, sort of, when the boy sits alone outside a café and locks eyes with Jax when he gets on his motorcycle.