Ready to hit the road on your hog, riding into the wind at 90 MPH+, on the lookout for the ghosts of old friends? Then you might be ready for this look back at an aspect of Sons of Anarchy which fans may have overlooked.
The much-beloved FX biker saga ran for 92 episodes over seven years with an almost modern-day Shakespearean pedigree. There’s the Hamlet relationship between Clay and Jax, the Lady Macbeth-like Gemma, and plenty of Montagues and Capulets wearing leather, club patches, and lots of tattoos.
Over seven seasons, the story of Jax Teller took us from the fictional town of Charming, California to the border of Mexico and even Northern Ireland, always into some serious drama. Incredibly complex storylines were explored from outlaw activities to family honor debts and all out war with rival motorcycle gangs. In that time, we met a bike-load of rough and tumble characters, lived through terrible danger and loss.
While many of the character arcs came to a fulfilling conclusion one way or another, there are a whole bunch of loose ends for a great many secondary players who nonetheless were impactful as they appeared in the overall tale of SAMCRO. What happened to these folks? Did their last appearances make any sense? Did the writers just forget about them? Will we maybe see them in the upcoming sequel series Mayans MC?
Only time will tell, but for now, here are 20 Sons Of Anarchy Characters Who Were Completely Abandoned.
Ratboy Skogstrom was a relative latecomer to the series, making his debut in season 4. Constantly bucking to earn a patch, this prospect is relentlessly hazed by SAMCRO members before being falsely accused of stealing from the club. \
Pushed to almost paying the ultimate price for a betrayal he did not commit, he is finally exonerated by his brothers and becomes an official member. Pretty dramatic, right? In time, he gains Jax’s respect, and even has a say in their leader’s final fate.
Why did he never really rise above background player? How come we don’t spend quality time with his personal life? Sure, he was “there” but it feels like this character played too many pivotal roles in the overall story to have lacked significant development.
Right in the very first season, we meet Kyle Hobart, an excommunicated Son of Anarchy who is allowed to return to Charming, CA to visit with family. He was kicked out for abandoning fellow club member Opie during a criminal operation. As a result, Opie ended up in jail.
In the one and only episode we see him, Hobart tries to make amends, offering a piece of his own business as a token of redemption.
Instead, Jax and his brothers uncover that he has not blacked out his SAMCRO tattoos – a major faux-pas for an ex-member. The club retaliates by removing the ink in brutal fashion involving a blowtorch. Thereafter, he’s left in front of an emergency room, and we never see him again.
Herman Kozik was never much more than a joke. Played by Kenny Johnson, an alum of the breakthrough police series The Shield – as is Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutton – Lozik is written as having an important role in the club’s past.
An old conflict with Tig over a “girl” plays big part, but we eventually learn she was actually a pet dog! Is this guy just here for a gag?
Keeping this spoiler-free, his final fate also feels like it’s meant as comic relief. Echoing his character in The Shield, in what was possibly an in-joke between writer and actor, his last words make it seem as if his character had impossibly been through this before. If this guy’s story arc was just for gags, it feels like he was never given true life by the creators.
There are times when characters feel like they ended their story arc in a way too cruel fashion. Otto Delaney, played by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is basically a study in misery.
When we meet him, he’s already doing time in prison. Sure, he wasn’t exactly an angel, but man oh man, the things he goes through in the joint are tough to watch. It’s a steady crescendo of suffering for the poor guy until the audience must watch him bear one final indignity.
Yes, there are people who go through a lot in this world, but it feels like the writers needed a punching bag, making Otto too one-dimensional.
Perhaps Sutter was too shy about developing his own character as an actor?
As already discussed, there are a lot of characters on Sons of Anarchy, and far too few of them get the quality screen time they deserve before being written off abruptly. Another prospect, Filthy Phil Russell, fell to this pattern.
Sticking out like a sore thumb due to his large figure, Phil had a minor subplot as a budding godfather of sorts for Jax Teller’s son Abel, but really, we never knew the guy.
Then, in one of the many violent plot twists, well, you can guess what happens. It gets a little old to see a compelling character get somewhat developed before we never get to see him again. Filthy Phil was done dirty.
One of the remarkable things about the modest Charming, CA motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy is how far they reach out there. There’s charters branching out all over California, into other states, and even into Belfast, Northern Ireland.
We get to see a whole bunch of members from those satellite franchises, but for Needles, VP of the Indian Hills Chapter, we get to see him for just one episode. It’s in the first season, and he shows up for a very important reason. Here’s the thing: we never see him again. We never hear of him again.
In the final season, we hear he’s been replaced. He seems like an important figure to just forget about.
Maybe his bike broke down and he’s hitchhiking somewhere...
Avid watchers of Sons of Anarchy no doubt have a soft spot for Chucky Marstein. Acquired by SAMCRO after being maimed by rival gang the Triads, he became a gopher for the club, and the butt of many jokes.
Loyal to his biker saviors who give him a new purpose after getting him released from the folks who caused him harm, he becomes a low-level confidant for many members of the Sons.
As time dragged on, Chuck was pushed into the background, only occasionally appearing to speak his signature line, “I accept that.” In a way, his true character was abandoned by the writers as he became a caricature of himself instead.
Season three of Sons of Anarchy saw a lot of drama. Jax’s son Abel got kidnapped, and there was a whole lot of betrayal from the Real IRA and some members of SAMBEL, the Belfast charter of the Sons.
In the end, a lot of folks pay the ultimate price for messing with club business, requiring a new president for the Northern Ireland branch of Charming’s bikers. Lo and behold, Seamus Ryan becomes that man. We see him for a few episodes, and that’s that.
SAMBEL itself becomes all but a memory once this one season is over, and all the importance of Seamus Ryan dries up with it.
He’s not the only Belfast club member we could have used more of, but he may have been the most important.
Staying on the Emerald Isle a bit longer, let us turn now to another SAMBEL member: Luther Barkwill. He has an interesting background as a former member of the Newcastle, England charter, which makes us wonder about how far the Sons of Anarchy's reach really extends.
We only get a hint through Luther as he appears in two measly episodes. As the club’s chief mechanic, he is in the wrong place at the wrong time when a major explosion hits. What happens to him after that? What about those shady Britain connections? How did he play the bigger role in the SAMBEL sub-saga? We will probably never really know.
If there’s one thing that matters the most in an outlaw motorcycle club, it’s loyalty. In Sons of Anarchy, we see those who value loyalty to the gang more than anything.We also see a bunch of people who commit the ultimate betrayal.
In most cases, we get to see the brutal brand of justice such outsiders receive, fleshing out important story arcs in the process. Not so for “Huff.”
This guy did the worst thing possible to another member, yet he only get one episode of air time.
It seems like a quick in and out for a character who has committed an incredible offense. Why even introduce him in the first place?
One of the most compelling characters in Sons of Anarchy is the Scotsman known as Chibs Telford. The only foreigner in the Charming chapter, he is easily one of the most central figures in the show. We learn a lot about him, and get introduced to his estranged wife Fiona in season two.
Fiona plays a crucial role in his past, and is in fact one of the reasons he still feels tied to Northern Ireland. On top of that, she’s a brutal IRA member, one of the few women in the world Gemma Teller Morrow fears.
After appearing at strong moments like at Chibs’ bedside in the hospital, she starts to fade away and, by season three, disappears.
In many seasons of Sons of Anarchy, there is one central adversary making their lives hell. Most of those are written off the show in, shall we say – a very final way. Lincoln Potter, however, survives his stint as the bane of SAMCRO’s existence.
Spending all of season 4 as an Assistant District Attorney trying to nail the Sons on a RICO case, he proves to be a formidable foe.
At the end of the season, when Potter doesn’t get the results he wants, he simply leaves the series forever.
It seems out of character for a very tenacious hardball player like Potter to give up after a single failure. As such, he is perhaps overwritten as a giant who prematurely leaves a dwarf. We could have stood another season of him at least!
Swinging back to Belfast for a moment, there’s a little subplot for Jax Teller which is not only a huge deal, but verges on the unspeakable. Trinity Ashby is a young lady he meets when the Redwood Originals are hiding out in Northern Ireland to avoid the law back in California. They have a mutual attraction and almost become get together.
Gemma puts the nix on any potential relationship in a very powerful way when she reveals the truth: Trinity and Jax share a biological father. That’s right, the legendary and long-deceased John Teller was both their daddies by different moms. Pretty big deal, right?
Jax has a sibling, but she's quickly out of sight, out of mind.
Once SAMCRO leaves SAMBEL, the character is never even spoken of again. For such a family-focused dude, Jax dropped his sis quickly.
Ernest Darby played as a major antagonist for a big chunk of Sons of Anarchy. Competing against the club in several criminal ventures, he also leads the Nordics, a racist gang, allowing for an added dimension of social commentary to the series.
Darby was a great, well-rounded character (played by X-Files veteran actor Mitch Pileggi). His arc ends strongly in season 3 when he walks away from his activities in favor of his principles, but then we see him a single episode in season 6.
There we discover he’s given up on crime and married an immigrant worker, so this racist outlaw has gone straight and shacked up with a minority he spent his whole life hating. There’s no explanation or exploration of this remarkable transformation, just splat, there it is and bye. What a story we missed out on.
For those who need another reason to watch Sons of Anarchy, how about the show had freakin’ Machete on the show for two seasons? Danny Trejo, our favorite scary tough guy since at least From Dusk Till Dawn, had a recurring roll as Romeo Prada.
Prada is ex-military from Mexico who now runs a huge cartel running product into America. Jax and the club cross paths with Romeo and his very dangerous gang many times through seasons 4 and 5.
When last seen, his interactions cause SAMCRO to fall into conflict with the IRA, which brings all sorts of trouble.
Then we never see him again. There's no way he’s not still a major player, sohy would the Sons not go after some payback?
Who here remembers seeing none other than Marilyn Manson in Sons of Anarchy? The rock star turned actor played Ron Tully, an racist leader in prison who messes with SAMCRO brother Juice in some terrible, awful ways. All of this happens in the final season of the series.
After what he does, it’s odd that the motorcycle club wouldn’t seek retaliation against the brutal criminal. They should have at least tried, or at least mentioned why they couldn’t. That’s what happens sometimes when TV writers try to add on a lot of subplots all at the end: the audience ends up with a whole bunch of loose ends.
What would you do if your father was done wrong and you had all the rage of youth on your side? That’s a question which Sons of Anarchy set up but never answered. AJ Weston (played by punk legend Henry Rollins) went to war with SAMCRO in season two.
Not only is he a rival in their criminal enterprises, he’s also an avowed racist who doesn’t like some of the people the club deals with. In the season, he is a brutal antagonist to the club, causing great harm to Gemma in particular. Her husband Clay and son Jax eventually revenge themselves upon AJ., but that leaves his fierce sons Cliff and Duke.
In season 2, they are pretty young, but by season 7, they could have been old enough for some payback.
Yet, we never see either of them again. It would have been a fittingly Shakespearean turn of events.
Ethan Zobelle was a Hungarian leader of a local group of the AB, competing with SAMCRO’s criminal activities while also establishing himself as a legitimate businessman in Charming.
For the entirety of season 2, he was a true thorn in the club’s side. Eventually, he turns FBI informant when the law backs him into a corner. In his last appearance, he’s seen fleeing the country, stating he will have to adjust and adapt for his next move.
The thing is, we never get to see what exactly that means for the next five seasons. It felt like he was setting himself up for a comeback that never actually came.
Any good criminal gang with half a brain needs to have an attorney. We get to see SAMCRO’s personal lawyer, Rosen, in just three episodes. Naturally, he is giving them all sorts of legal advice on how to hide money, stay clear of the law, and watch out for cops on their tail. It's kind of an important and critical role, right?
A trusted consiglieri is tough to come by for outlaws, but Rosen gets replaced more than once by the end of the series.
It seems to us they missed a real Godfather moment leaving the “family attorney” out of the picture.
Speaking of disposable lawyers, let’s make the case for Ally Lowen. In season 3, she works as Gemma Teller Morrow’s personal attorney. For a time, she shepherds the club’s Queen Mother through a harrowing investigation.
Then we don’t see her until season 6, where she becomes downright heroic as protector of Jax’s wife Tara when things get out of control. Her story ends on the show when she flees Charming forever in fear.
She had already risked herself for two of SAMCRO’s women, but he’s never going to look back? Her impact on the show just ends there.
What other characters did Sons of Anarchy abandon? Let us know in the comments!