I didn't want to post on Opie's death until I made sure he was actually gone. Please bear with me while I go back to last week.
I am so pissed they killed off the best, most likeable, most endearing character on the show. The death scene was disturbing, beautiful, deep, and grotesque all at the same time. I may not have had a problem with it if there were only a few episodes to go, but there is the better part of 2 seasons to go (at least). I was so psyched in episode 2 and Opie was back in the fold. I said to myself "Ope's back" and was really looking forward to his development. It seems like they rushed killing him off to me.
Opie represented to me the one guy you want to see make it out in some form in the end. Over 5 seasons the story of the Opie character has become-at least to me- more believable, more interesting, just more endearing then Jax's story of his rise. I understand the story is based on Hamlet so certain things have to go certain ways, but the Opie character (and the way Ryan Hurst played him) was lightening in a bottle. I have never had a character death affect me like Opie's did. And it wasn't the feeling of a brother died( as I have seen some people say) , or the shock of it. It was "Damn this is the one guy I could honestly root for because his story is genuine and natural". I know in my opinion if Opie's story became central to the story line along with Jax's and not just a background story line hell if his story started to become the main story line- I would have been OK with it.
This is how I look at it. Jax's story hinges on him fulfilling his dead fathers dream. It is a nice story that was an adequate basis for when the series started. But his story wasn't powerful to me. It was the already crowned prince thinking the king is running the kingdom wrong. I get it. I get Jax doesn't know the whole story of Gemma's involvement. But the problem is the damage was already done when the series started. There was no chance at redemption for Jax other then to rule the club.
Opie we saw the pain happen to. Opie was a soldier whose life was changed by the club. The people that wanted Opie and not the club were the ones who suffered. Opie's arch was very very similar to the movie Gladiator, except in this story he had a chance at redemption. He had Layla and his kids. He was a family man at heart.
I also have seen people say that there was no place for Opie to go in this story. I don't believe that. I could have seen an arch where Opie gave in to his darkness and started to become like Tig where life didn't matter while Jax kept to his values, reversing the roles they played with Jax keeping Opie grounded instead of the other way around with perhaps a final showdown to end the series where only one of them could survive it.
Another story arch they could have pulled is Jax and Opie against the old guard. Kind of like the civil war that was teased a few seasons ago when Jax wanted to go Nomad because he had enough but to the next level with a full on revolt of Clay, Tig, Happy, Juice against Jax, Opie, Bobby, and Chibbs.
My favorite storyline they could have went with is Jax spiraling out of control descending into Clay's darkeness while Opie tries to keep him right. Opie's own father aligned with Jax, and it aligns with Opie's morals so it makes sense. In the end, in true Shakespearean tragedy fashion Jax is killed by Opie in a final showdown, where right before he dies Jax returns to his honorable roots and Opie is left to helm the club that took so much from him. Hell, I would have been OK with Opie dying in the last episode in the exact same fashion as a way to make Jax see what he became and to truly change him.
I read Kurt Sutter's reasons for killing Opie and I am calling BS. Opie did not need to die, it was just written that way. Chibs-maybe my second favorite character- has been hanging around for how many seasons in the background as an uncle figure to Jax. Chibs had wrapped up his family problems and assured them protection at the end of the Irish storyline. I think that is a character with nowhere to go. I am not saying this is what happened, but I think Opie's story was getting more powerful, more emotional, and connected with the audience more
In all after watching this episode it really does feel like a new show to me. I was one of those guys that was saying I'm done, but I decided to give it a chance. After last night's episode I got to say I am still not sure. It seemed a lot like episode 1 and 2 of this would have been with no Opie.
Sorry for the rant but I had a full week to digest.
~You can not run from who you are. Your destiny chooses you~