Praised for its family-themed melodrama infused with biker culture, Sons of Anarchy began as Hamlet on wheels. The FX series told the harrowing tale of Jax Teller, a young man born into violence whose hatred for his step-father and MC President Clay Morrow threatened to unravel the very life he grew up loving. Running for 92 episodes and spanning seven seasons, Sons of Anarchy was a rollercoaster ride of betrayal, deceit, and family feuds set within the small town of Charming, California.
Created by Kurt Sutter and starring Charlie Hunnam, Katy Sagal, and Perlman, the show boasted some serious talent in its vast, ever-changing cast. Over the course of its seven-year run, the Sons of Anarchy dealt with a truckload of adversaries, from rival gangs to traitorous former memebers. Along the way, they also had they their fair share of authority figures to deal with, including local police officers, ATF agents, and attorneys. Still, despite the overwhelming odds, the Sons of Anarchy always managed to come out mostly unscathed, with only a tarnished reputation to worry about.
For all its gang-on-gang rivalries, territorial disputes, and racketeering charges, it’s easy to get lost in all the criminal activities coming in and out of Charming. Not all the storylines in Sons of Anarchy managed to be wrapped up nicely by series’ end. While not every story left us with a gratifying conclusion, they all left us with something to talk about.
Join us as we recap 20 Sons of Anarchy Storylines That Were Completely Abandoned.
20 Juice’s Computer-Hacking Skills
In the first three seasons of Sons, the character of Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz is depicted as a tech-savvy computer-hacker who oversees the club’s surveillance while also managing some of its intelligence and communications. Although perceived by Clay Morrow as unreliable in field operations, he was an extremely likable and comically pleasing member whose skill set made him valuable for the group.
In season four, his storyline took a drastic change when Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt approached him with evidence of his father’s African-American heritage, threatening to expose the revelation to the Sons. Afraid of the consequences of an antiquated club rule which prohibited black members from joining the club, Juice turned into a informant for the police. He gave up intel on the club’s criminal activities and completely neglected all signs of his intelligence shown in earlier episodes.
19 Jax’s Irish Sister
For all its machismo, the Sons MC is about family first and foremost, which makes this abandoned subplot all the more baffling. During their time hiding from the police in Northern Ireland, Jax meets a young red-haired woman named Trinity Ashby who works in Beflast.
The two hit if off, until Gemma hits Jax with a cringe-inducing revelation: Trinity and Jax share a father.
Unbeknownst to Jax, Trinity’s mother Maureen had an affair with John Teller in their younger days, making Trinity his sister. Shortly after leaving SAMBEL, Jax spends a year in prison and later has to deal with the Galindo Cartel, but despite the extra workload, he still should have found time to reconnect with his long lost sister.
The fact that she is never mentioned again is particularly confusing given Jax’s devotion to blood relatives.
18 Chibs and Jarry’s Relationship
Arriving in season seven, Lieutenant Althea Jarry begins a working relationship with SAMCRO after taking over the investigation of Tara Knowles and Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt’s demises. Taking money from the club, she begins working with the Sons and develops feelings for Chibs after they begin bonding over their scars.
Although the relationship between Chibs and Jarry has been criticized for making little sense, perhaps the biggest blunder is how the steamy romance goes nowhere. Forgiving the fact that Chibs jumps in front of Jarry when the Lin Triad throws a grenade into a local ice cream shop, both of them sacrifice their reputations by sharing a very intimate moment in a parking lot.
Unfortunately, there is no finality to either character’s story and the direction of their affair is left up in the air.
17 Clay’s Retirement Funds
Monetarily motivated to the point of betrayal, Clay Morrow was the ruthlessly unforgiving President of the Sons who brokered many of the club’s morally corrupt deals. Suffering from arthritis, he’s forced to work his way toward a retirement plan before he’s kicked out of the club for his inability to ride.
In season four, Clay offers the Sons’ services to the Galindo Cartel to distribute illegal subtances, adding money to the Sons’ already lucrative gun-running deals. Although Clay’s motivations are clear, there are moments where he’s so consumed with money that he fails to remember his long term goal.
He never seems to have enough cash, although he should have enough to live comfortably for life.
The fact that he still has monetary issues by series’ end is a clear sign of forgetfulness from the writers.
16 Tara’s Career
In her youth, Tara Knowles was Jax Teller’s high school sweetheart before moving away from the influences of the club. At UC San Diego, she graduated with honors before attending medical school in Chicago, returning to Charming shortly before the events of season one.
After spending eight years in and out of school, she begins her pediatric residency at St. Thomas hospital, but immediately puts her career in jeopardy after offering to patch up gunshots wounds for Sons members. As her relationship with Jax intensifies, Tara’s career is repeatedly jeopardized.
Eventually, Tara’s criminal affiliations take over her story as she is shown working less and less. To many viewers’ dismay, she is never fired for her association with the club and her standing with the hospital is rarely addressed.
15 The Consequences of Donna’s Demise
As the Sons’ Sergeant-in-Arms, Tig Trager has made his fair share of boneheaded mistakes, including pulling the trigger on Opie Winston’s wife.
Donna Winston tried to sway Opie away from the club, though she eventually accepted him after ATF Agent June Stahl set him up to appear like an informant.
Falling for Agent Stahl’s deception, Clay orders Tig to shoot Opie. Later that night, Tig follows Opie’s truck, but unbeknownst to him, Donna is driving, leading to her demise. Donna’s end leads Opie down a dark road of rage and despondency.
Tig later feels great remorse for Donna and admits his crime to Opie, but rather than placing any blame on Tig, he forgives him.
Instead, Opie places all the blame on Clay and seemingly lets go of any hatred he would’ve felt for Tig.
14 August Marks’ Church Land Deal
Throughout its seven seasons, SoA has had its fair share of disputes over tracts of land, but none were more confusing than August Mark’s church land.
In season seven, the Sons agree to track down the person responsible for the demise of three members of another MC, leading them to a pastor named Jonathan Haddem. After ending Haddem’s life, they use video footage of Haddem’s affair with Venus Van Dam as leverage against Marks, who hoped to buy Haddem’s church to receive federal loans for a low income housing project.
The Sons’ plans for Haddem’s land turn out differently. Instead, they set Marks up for Haddem’s demise, sending him to prison and later ending his life upon his release. The church land, however, is left untouched with nobody mentioning or claiming ownership, leaving many to wonder what happened to it.
13 Nero’s Motivations
Introduced in season five, Nero Padilla is an ally of the Sons who formed his own street crew in his youth before spending his 30s in Chino Prison. After his release, he started up Diosa before meeting Gemma and beginning a tumultuous relationship which threatened to drag him back into the criminal lifestyle.
In season seven, Nero is last seen escaping Charming with Abel, Thomas, and Wendy to fulfill his dream of buying a family farm. While Nero’s kind-heartedness is unmistakably a part of his good nature, his motivations are confusing.
Because of Jax, Diosa’s employees are eliminated and Gemma is fatally shot, yet Nero is seen giving Jax a tearful goodbye.
Why would Nero still act sympathetic toward Jax, given all his wrongdoings against him?
12 Lincoln Potter
Arriving with a joint task force charged with targeting the Sons on a RICO case, Lincoln Potter was unlike any enemy the club was forced to deal with. Cold and strategic, he operated outside the limits of the law.
In season four, he blackmails Juice with his African-American ancestry to recruit him as an informant and builds his case until agents working undercover for the Galindo Cartel force him to drop everything.
With the revelation behind the Galindo Cartel investigation, Potter packs his bags and leaves Charming with a whimper, never to be heard again. Given his strong-minded personality and unrelenting determination, the fact that he gives up so easily leaves a lingering question mark about his character and proves to be a waste for someone the show took a full season to develop.
11 The Consequences of Damon Pope’s Demise
In season four, Tig sparks a gang war when he attempts a drive-by shooting on One-Niner Leader Laroy Wayne. While Laroy is having lunch, Tig unsuccessfully performs the drive-by, failing to hit Laroy but fatally striking Laroy’s girlfriend in the process.
In season five, the Sons must deal with Tig’s actions after discovering his victim was the daughter of Oakland kingpin Damon Pope.
In retaliation for his daughter’s demise, Pope burns Tig’s daughter alive. Later Pope asks Jax for Tig’s life, but upon delivering Tig to Pope, Jax pulls out a gun last second, ending Pope’s life instead.
In time, the Sons settle all disputes with Pope’s successor August Marks and spare the club any consequences from Pope’s demise and Tig seemingly forgets Jax’s betrayal which almost cost him his life.
10 Unser’s Diagnosis
A native of Northern California and a former United States Marine Corps member, former Police Chief Wayne Unser was a corrupt officer whose admiration for Charming drove him to do whatever necessary to keep his small town in the best standing.
Diagnosed with bladder cancer in season one, Unser steps down from his police responsibilities early into the series, though he still retains his loyalty to SAMCRO. Despite his bladder diagnosis, he remains active through all seven seasons, ironically meeting his end when Jax fatally shoots him.
As actor Dayton Callie has pointed out, the show’s time-span of less than 3 years makes it possible for Unser to survive the series, though it doesn’t explain why his cancer diagnosis seemed to fade into the background later on in the series.
9 Opie’s Children
When we first meet Opie in season one, he’s a recently paroled felon who has just finished a five year sentence. Despite his surprisingly gentle nature, he’s roped back into SAMCRO following the end of his wife’s life.
In season two, Opie strikes up his first meaningful relationship since his wife’s passing when he begins dating Lyla, an adult film star employed by the Sons. After marrying in season four, Opie separates from Lyla but asks her to care for his two kids before being incarcerated and ultimately sacrificing his life to save Jax.
After his demise, Opie’s son Kenny and daughter Ellie are rarely mentioned again.
Although Jax mentions brokering a deal for Lyla and the kids to live in Charming Heights, it’s never mentioned how Opie’s children are doing after their father’s passing.
8 The Meaning of the Homeless Woman
AKurt Sutter scattered instances of symbolism throughout the show’s seven seasons, but nothing has caught the eyes of fans more than the homeless woman who first appeared in the pilot episode. Appearing randomly on the streets, often when Gemma or Jax are faced with difficult decisions, many have theorized that she is the ghost of Emily Putner, a woman who passed away as a consequence of John Teller’s bike crash.
Another popular theory, though still not proven, is that the homeless woman may be the reaper who follows the Sons in case any of them meet their end. Sutter has also mentioned on at least one occasion that the woman is Jesus Christ.
Either way, no explanation is given about the homeless woman’s many appearances and that’s the way Sutter always intended it to be.
7 Missy the Dog
As a former member of the United States Marine Corps, Herman Kozik proved himself to be a capable member of the Sons after transferring from the club’s Tacoma chapter. Upon his arrival, he fought unarmed against the League of American Nationalists. It was also revealed that there was tension between Kozik and Tig which seemingly involved a shared love interest.
After vetoing a vote to transfer Kozik into the Charming chapter, Tig finally admitted his distrust for Kozik began with his dog, Missy.
Although the backstory is never completely revealed, it is known that Kozik became the dog’s caretaker at some point, at which time something happened which led to Missy passing away.
Before Kozik can make amends, he accidentally steps on a landmine, ending his life and leaving fans wondering what really happened to Missy.
6 Ethan Zobelle’s Whereabouts
In season two, Ethan Zobelle became an adversary of the Sons after moving to Charming to open a fifth location for his chain of Impeccable Smokes cigar shops.
As the leader of a powerful racist group, he became a wealthy businessman who aligned himself with the town’s most influential business people as well as the Aryan Brotherhood to drive the Sons out of town.
After it is revealed that Zobelle is working with the law, he manages to hold himself up inside his shop with the protection of the Mayans before fleeing to Sacramento. Without another word spoken, Zobelle is never heard from again.
While a popular theory believes Zobelle was involved in a plane crash mentioned in the season three premiere, there is no clear evidence of what happened to the character.
5 The School Shooting
Returning to television in 2013, the season six premiere of SoA rocked viewers and critics alike when the episode ended with an eleven year old boy opening fire on a Catholic school with a gun supplied by SAMCRO.
It was a shocking moment which addressed the consequences of the MC’s criminal activities and followed shortly after the real world tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary only a few months earlier.
Although controversial and emotionally resonating, the Sons would eventually work themselves out of trouble once again, managing to escape any prison time from the shooting.
Despite Jax turning himself in for the distribution of the gun, he’s released soon afterward, as no evidence can link him to the crime.
Sadly, what began as a powerful statement on gun control felt like a random subplot that ultimately went nowhere.
4 Unser’s Successor
Born in Charming, Deputy Chief David Hale was the product of a well-respected family. He was nicknamed Captain America by Wayne Unser for his squeaky clean reputation.
In season three, Hale meets his end when members of the Calaveras MC attempt a drive-by shooting on the Sons, resulting in Hale being fatally struck by a fleeing van, ending his short career as Charming’s Chief of Police.
As Unser’s successor, actor Taylor Sheridan was originally going to survive past season three, but an alternative storyline was conceived in case Sheridan’s contract negotiations fell through. In writing the character’s demise, Sutter fell in love with the end of Hale’s story, opting him to choose Plan B instead of keeping Sheridan around.
3 Abel’s Future
Undergoing a series of traumatic experiences, Abel Teller is understandably damaged by the events of SoA.
In season seven, his mental trauma slowly becomes more evident when he’s depicted eavesdropping on conversations and poking himself with a fork.
In the series finale, Abel finally leaves Charming with Nero and his mother Wendy, but before departing he is handed his father’s ring by Gemma, hinting at a future as a Sons member.
While his future is left to viewers’ imaginations, the psychological effects from the club are only touched upon.
It leaves viewers wondering how damaged Abel really was in the end.
2 Lee Toric’s Huntington’s Diagnosis
A former U.S. Marshal, Special Forces soldier and decorated agent, Lee Toric arrives to Charming with a vengeance after placing the blame of his sister’s demise on the club. Seeking retaliation, he uses brutal force to make Otto Delaney’s life a disaster while in Stockton State Prison. Meanwhile, he uses his resources to wage a one-man war against the Sons, until he meets his end in season six.
Singled out for his idiosyncratic tendencies, Toric is shown twitching on several occasions while also using opiates. In an audio commentary for the episode “Straw”, Kurt Sutter explains that Toric’s odd mannerisms are due to his affliction with Huntington’s Disease, which was intended to be addressed later in the series.
However, Sutter was forced to cut Toric’s storyline short, writing him off early and leaving much of his character unexplained.
1 The Maureen Ashby Letters
During the club’s trip to Ireland in season three, revelations about the Sons’ Irish origins were revealed, but the largest moment of truth came out when Jax discovered Maureen Ashby, the wife of SOMBEL President Keith McGee, had an affair with his father John Teller.
Before leaving Belfast, Maureen stashed letters written by John into Jax’s bag, revealing details about John’s demise.
In season four, Tara stumbles upon the letters and makes copies, which Unser burns. Gemma is later able to convince Tara to give her the real letters so that she may remove anything implicating her in John’s demise and the letters are rarely mentioned again, leaving many questions still in the air.
Just how much did John know about the plans for his demise? And if Tara was so careful, shouldn’t other copies of the letters exist somewhere?
What other abandoned storylines from Sons of Anarchy bug you? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on ScreenRant?
Get Your Free Access Now!