Damson - What we're watching... #7
You've had plenty of years to watch all of Sons Of Anarchy, so there will be no spoiler apologies from us. You have been warned...
SOA had such a large, revolving cast, it's hard to pin down your favourite characters. We had a try anyway. We don't mind if you don't agree. We know we're right.
It's a shame we had to leave some off, but what can you do. A special mention to Filthy Phil, Happy, Otto, Tara and of course Chucky...
10 - Wayne Unser
Was Unser corrupt? Probably...maybe a little. It doesn't matter though because he was one character that had a true heart of gold, so everything he did you had to believe was for the right reason. Friendly and extremely likable, Unser was the Charming "watcher". He saw everything that happened and could choose whether or not to get involved. His unrequited love for Gemma Teller was sweet, but at the same time made you cringe a little at just how easily she could wrap him around her finger. The very definition of Friendzoned, with added criminal practices thrown in.
9 - Juan Carlos "Juice" Ortiz
In a show stacked to the brim with tragic characters, there is a case to be made that Juice went through the hardest time. Introduced in season 1 as a smart, if unreliable club tech guy, he was often the butt of a lot of the other member's jokes. As the seasons went on, he became less of a running joke and more of a key member. With that though, came outside pressures and an internal struggle that lead to Juice making some pretty suspect decisions. Although never malicious, he was seen as a traitor to the club, and you knew it was only going to end one way. But at least he got to finish his pie.
8 - Alexander "Tig" Trager
Tig must be one of TV's most depraved characters, yet despite his liking for all things seedy and the constant stream of gallows humour coming out of his mouth, you can't help but love him. Part of this is the fact that he's loyal to a fault. The moment when he stepped down as Clays number two in protest to him beating Gemma, was played amazingly well by Kim Coates. Eventually, and surprisingly, he finds his soul mate with the Transgender, Venus (Who could have easily made this list). Loyal, crazy and one of the most unique characters in the show. The fact that he not only survived the whole series but also found such reason for existence, made him totally unforgettable.
7 - Robert "Bobby" Munson
Moral Compass, Treasury secretary, Elvis impersonator... There was a lot to Bobby Munson. He was the beating heart of the club. Painfully loyal to Jax, but also never afraid to call him out on his bull-shit. Plus the Elvis stuff was pretty funny. He would have done anything for the club, which was proven when he went through some pretty hardcore torture (We never want to see that eye gouge again), yet still never betrayed them. Bobby's seven series-long ark ended in a pretty heartbreaking way, but he went out the only way he knew how. Kicking, screaming, giving a big F-U to August Marks and not giving an inch. As sad as his death was, let's be honest, his goose was cooked as soon as they kidnapped him in the first place.
6 - Gemma Teller-Morrow
Considering Katey Sagal is married to SOA creator Kurt Sutter, it's not entirely surprising that she got such juicy storylines. This isn't just good old fashioned nepotism though, Sagal knocked it out of the park season after season. Yes, she's vicious, manipulative and selfish, but you can't help but root for her.Well, most of the time anyway. Her dedication to making hard choices just to keep her family together is admirable. As tough as she is, she is also a victim for a lot of the series, and some truly horrific things happen to her. Gemma is the very definition of a flawed character but was written as such a strong female, you couldn't stay mad at her for long. The purest form of a Matriarch on TV.
5 - Clarence "Clay" Morrow
Ron Perlman is incredible in anything he does, but my god, do you not just want to punch him in the face most of the time that Clay Morrow is on screen. One of the Redwood Original 9/SOA founders, he isn't anywhere close to being a good person, but every now and again there is a glimmer of humanity that creeps through. Selfish, abusive and a multiple murderer, in anyone else's hands this character would have been so black and white, but Perlman loves working in the grey areas. Despite the fact that clay doesn't make it to the very end, he is still the show's best antagonist in our opinion. His incredibly complicated relationship with Stepson Jax is the backbone of most of the show.
4 - Nero Padilla
Slight bias here because we will watch anything the great Jimmy Smits is in. When it was announced that he was joining SOA for series five, we were pretty pleased, but not sure what to expect. What we received was Nero, the "Pimp with a Heart". Introduced as a love interest for Gemma, you just knew he was going to get dragged into a whole world of shit. He was a genuinely caring character, always trying to do the best for those around him and especially his son. His relationship with Jax was very sweet, as he became the father figure John never was, and Clay never could have been. And Kurt Sutter let him survive the whole thing, result!
3 - Harry "Opie" Winston
If Opie had made it to the very end he would have probably been number one on this list. A big, hulking brute of a man but with a heart of gold. Opie perhaps lost more due to the actions of the club than anyone else. His freedom (for five years), his Wife, his Dad, and eventually his own life. Opie was a true fan favourite. He was one of the people who always tried to be Jax's voice of reason and protector and eventually that is what killed him. He sacrificed himself to protect Jax, Chibs and Tig, and was brutally beaten to death in an incredibly tough to watch scene, as was his funeral the next episode (I'm not crying, you're crying...). On top of all that, he influenced a whole generation of beard growing men. If that doesn't pump you up the list, nothing will.
2 - Filip "Chibs" Telford
The comeback kid. He hardly any lines in series one, was blown up in season two, and then became club president by the end of season seven. Tommy Flanagan's real-life facial scars certainly help give the impression that he's a bit of a hard bastard and his character work does the rest. It's his tragic back story that makes the link to the IRA so believable. The tragic story of his family leaving him for the man that disfigured him is great. It's made even better when he gets sweet, sweet revenge on the Jimmy "O" and is crimes against the Irish accent. Similar to Tig, he has some great, quotable lines, "I was raised Catholic. Everything's a worry for me" is a particular favorite. There can't have been a single SOA viewer that didn't want Chibs to come out of the other side with a (relatively) happy ending, and that's what we got, sort of, as happy as any of the characters can be anyway.
1 - Jackson "Jax" Teller
It's not really surprising that the show's main character is also it's best but it is what it is. He never had any say as to the sort of life he would lead when you're born into the club as he was. He never wanted to be a bad man, but his hand was forced into making the tough decisions, with repercussions that changed him in a way that he could never go back. He went from wanting to take his family away from Charming, to becoming Club President, having the power consume him, and eventually kill him. Opie's death changed him, Tara's death broke him. There was never any way it was going to end for him in a way other than it did, by committing suicide the same way his father did. An incredibly tragic, Shakespearean character. Charlie Hunnam is a great, great actor, but you can't imagine he will ever get a role like this again.
November 2, 2019