Comic-Con 2012 Live-Blog: FX's 'Sons of Anarchy'
SAN DIEGO - This is it, folks. After four days of frenzied live-blogging, this is the conclusion of Comic-Con 2012, both for me and, I believe, for Hall H.
And what better way to end Comic-Con with one of the least Comic-Con-y panels imaginable... FX's "Sons of Anarchy," which goes under the same "Smart people attend Comic-Con and smart people watch 'Sons of Anarchy' [kinda]" banner that I used to justify why "Breaking Bad" was so well received on Friday.
Click through to see how long it takes Kurt Sutter, Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam and company to notice that the placards with their names also warn them that some members of the audience are under 18...
3:06 p.m. This panel is starting a solid 20 minutes late, because with nothing coming afterwards, Comic-Con ceases to care about punctuality. The hall is half-empty at least, which is probably a factor of the late start time and the "Cleveland Show" lead-in as much as anything else. Comic-Con Sunday scheduling is still an inexact science. "Fringe" and "Supernatural" and "Doctor Who" filled Hall H with absolute ease, but it's harder than those three shows made it look.
3:09 p.m. Woo! John Solberg from FX!!!!
3:10 p.m. The new season of "Sons of Anarchy" will premiere on Tuesday, September 11 at 10 p.m. Guest stars will include Harold Perrineau, Ashley Tisdale and, as was newly announced this week, Joel McHale.
3:11 p.m. We begin with a recap reel, which we've been told will be followed by new clips.
3:18 p.m. The clips: Jax is writing in a diary, or maybe just letters for his son. Clay is looking worse for wear. A blacked out sex scene. Maggie Siff in a bathtub smoking pot with a gun next to her! Jax's hear appears to be shorter and his facial hair seems to be more closely trimmed. Lost of nighttime biking. A pickup runs a SAMCRO truck off the road. And they open fire on the trup. And set it on fire. Uh-oh! Gunfight on the freeway! Lots of flames. Jax looks pissed.
3:19 p.m. Our panel (each sexually harassed individually by the drooling moderator... SIGH): Dayton Callie, Theo Rossi, Ryan Hurst, Mark Boone Jr, Tommy Flanagan, Kim Coates, Maggie Siff, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam and, of course, Kurt Sutter.
3:24 p.m. First question to Kurt. What was up with the blacked out sex scene? "That scene that was blacked out was basically my wife getting f***ed from behind with Jimmy Smits," Sutter explains. Oh.
3:25 p.m. "It's really the push and pull of mother-daughter relationships," Sutter teases of the Gemma/Tara conflict moving forward. "It's not a linear arc this season for them in terms of that struggle. It really changes episode to episode," Sutter says, comparing it to his own life living with Sagal and a teenage daughter. "I think she loves Tara very, very much, but at the same time, she's threatened by her position," Sagal says, protesting the dynamic isn't exactly the same at home.
3:30 p.m. What was Charlie's favorite moment in the finale? Hunnam salutes Kurt for his annual directing of the finale. "All of it seemed really, really satisfying," Hunnam says in his native "Undeclared" accent. He decides, thought, that the most fun moment was when he sat down at the table and became President. "Don't get used to that chair," Perlman says. "I feel pretty comfortable in it," Hunnam responds. But what's up with Clay going forward? "Clay only knows of one way and that is to be on-top. He takes the back seat to no one. He takes orders from no one. He lets no one else set the agenda," Perlman says, noting that the character has lost everything in his life except for his life. "What's amazing to me is that I'm getting to play the exact same human being in a completely different set of circumstances," Perlman says. He adds, "Unless I'm dead, I'm not stopping."
3:31 p.m. What does Tara see in Jax? "He's hot," several people yell. "I think it's great abs and an eight-inch cock. That's good enough, right?" Hunnam says. And there... The first reading of the back of the placard. "Who gives a f***?" Hunnam asks. "She can't walk away from him and that's the truth. It's also where she comes from. She's such an orphan character and in a way, this is the only family she has."
3:33 p.m. Did Kim Coates get to do the driving when he plowed into the coffee shop? "Yeah? Why does Tig always kill the wrong girl?" Coates says. And it was, indeed, him in the car. "I think this season, Tig's really off the leash," he says. Wow. More than usual? "He's totally a wild card now and the way Kurt has set it up for this character, it's really, really intense," Coates says.
3:35 p.m. The moderator asks Tommy if he's Team Clay? "Is there such a thing as Team Clay?" Flanagan asks. "I've always been Team Clay. In the backstory, Clay saved me from whatever in Ireland," he adds. He says he has some loyalties to Clay, "but not a lot."
3:36 p.m. Is Opie a big softie? Ryan Hurst looks like his hair is nicely washed. That's nice. "I think you start to see a lot of Piney shining through," Hurst says, though Opie still wants to have a normal family. "He is a softie at heart, but the heart is getting ripped out and trampled on," Hurst says, comparing Opie to Job.
3:37 p.m. And what's Bobby's role going to be? "I guess Bobby has always been seemingly the level-headed member of this idiot band. I guess that's destined to continue. I guess. Unless he starts to go off the rails," Boone says. "He's always standing in for what the Club needs, I guess. So that's still his job."
3:38 p.m. How was it for Rossi to hang himself? Or at least to hang Juice? "That scene, it was pretty cool. It was 25 feet up in the air with the cable attached and it was just this beautiful moment for the character. I know that sounds strange," Rossi says, calling it a moment of self-sacrifice. Juice just wants a father, Rossi explains.
3:40 p.m. And why is Unser so loyal to these people? "Basically, they're his family. He's seen them all come and go," Callie says. This show is all about family, just in case you haven't actually watched "Sons of Anarchy" before. Sutter explains that he gets a lot of humor out of Unser, because things that come out of Dayton's mouth are funny, "even when it's not supposed to be."
3:42 p.m. Who's the worst motorcycle rider? Everybody points at Perlman, who raises his own hand. "He just falls off a lot," Hunnam says. "He tried," Sagal says. "No I didn't," Perlman says. "I think it's an inner-ear thing," Perlman says. Charlie Hunnam takes his biking very seriously and he rode his bike here.
3:44 p.m. Our first audience question comes from... Death of some sort. He thinks Kurt Sutter is a genius. He loves all of the men in a platonic way and Maggie and Katey in a non-platonic way. He wants to know Opie's character arc for the season? Kurt says he wanted Opie at the table at the end of last season, but that would be too neat. So this season, he'll be "in the wind" a little with the club trying to gain Opie's respect back. Sutter says Opie will have a big episode in with Ep. 2. Sutter has swag for people and he gives some to Death.
3:46 p.m. Sutter wants to do trivia for more swag. First question: Did Half-Sack lose is right or left nut? Left apparently? I can't hear the answer.
3:47 p.m. An Australian fan calls "Sons of Anarchy" the best written show ever. She wants to know if Juice is going to go through more heavy s*** this season. Rossi says that the characters on the show are interesting because of their secrets and he calls the way the secrets play out "fascinating." "I think he's trying to act as if everything's OK," Rossi says, but he's got too much going on.
3:50 p.m. The next trivia question: What was the name of Tigg's dog who Kozik killed? "Missy." More swag.
3:51 p.m. Another Australian. And another question for Theo. "He's beautiful," the male questioner says. Theo blushes. "I'm moving to Australia," Theo says. The questioner asks for Theo's comic book recommendation. "Graphic novels right now are just so fantastic," Theo says, he likes "The Punisher" and anything with Batman. "Anything by Warren Ellis," Ryan adds. Theo likes reading comics on his iPad.
3:53 p.m. What was the name of Maureen Ashby's shop in Belfast? Ashby's Provisions.
3:53 p.m. Will we see a more multi-ethnic cast this season? And will Juice's race be called into question? "My show about white bikers probably has more color in the cast than most network shows," Sutter says, mentioning Perrineau and Smits. And he adds that there will be more with Juice's background in an arc.
3:55 p.m. Next trivia: What was the name of the mausoleum that Jax slept next to in one finale? Sutter doesn't think anybody's going to know this one. Indeed. Whoa. Somebody does know. "Pattmose" or something?
3:56 p.m. How many of them really do ride motorcycles? Everybody other than Perlman rides. "Do say what Dayton does on a motorcycle is a stretch," Hunnam says. "Me, Charlie and Boone, we ride all the time together," Flanagan says.
3:57 p.m. Last trivia question: What ailment does Tigg suffer from? A fear of dolls.
3:58 p.m. Will they do a John Teller flashback episode and what actor would play him? "Flashbacks aren't really a flashback in the show, so we don't really do them," Sutter says. He's had conversations with FX about potentially doing a First Nine prequel about the formation of the club. "As far as actors, we really don't know," Sutter says. "At some point, I would love to do a period piece about the formation of the club," he says.
3:59 p.m. Last question? That was fast. First, we salute Perlman's Make-a-Wish appearance as Hellboy. "Ron showed up there thinking it was the sequel," somebody on the panel says. The questioner's father was a drug-dealer to bikers and her mother was similar to Gemma. Hmmm... She wants to know where Sutter got his inspiration. "Obviously some of it's research on the life and talking to these guys and some of it was pulled from my fantastic alcoholic upbringing as well. So rock on, drunk moms," Sutter says.
4:01 p.m. Did the people on the panel expect such a big female following and have any of them received marriage proposals? "I just saw that opening and I want to marry Charlie," Theo says. Gemma says the show doesn't have women playing victims and she salutes her husband's "fond respect for women." "We do tend to sign various parts of female anatomy. Some asses and some breasts. That happens a lot," Flanagan says. "There's more male ass than you could possibly..." Sutter teases. "He's not joking. The buttocks are out these year," Flanagan says.
4:03 p.m. "Ashley Tisdale will be completely naked... NO!" Sutter says, teasing falsely. "For me, this is really the season of Jax at the head of the table and what kind of leader he will become," Sutter says. Can you be the leader without become Clay? And can you avoid becoming Clay without being viewed as weak. "I've been feeling a little empathy for Clay, starting to realize that it's not as easy as it looked to turn this club around and to rule without compromising one's integrity," Hunnam says. Sutter says that the empathy informs the relationship, but isn't necessarily a story point.
And that's all for Comic-Con...