Update: FX will debut the first teaser for Sons of Anarchy‘s seventh and final season tonight during Tyrant, but EW has an exclusive sneak peek now. The 20-second spot, titled “Hell Awaits,” shows Jax (Charlie Hunnam) riding solo at night…
His face fades to a skull and back again, begging the question, is he the Reaper or a man who’ll be dying? Both?
Fans who know creator Kurt Sutter’s Hamlet inspiration will find it especially poetic: The famous Gravediggers scene, when Hamlet eventually comes face-to-face with the skull of Yorick and contemplates man’s inevitable end, begins the play’s final act following the death of Ophelia.
It starts with the Gravediggers debating whether Ophelia deserves a Christian burial after committing suicide. Spoiler alert for anyone marathoning Sons of Anarchy before the final season this fall, Gemma’s murder of Tara (Maggie Siff)—Jax’s wife, who had been willing to die to save their boys from the kingdom they’d inherit and schemed against him before a reconciliation that EW named one of the 50 Best TV scenes of the year—left viewers mixed on how she should be mourned.
“I get everything from, ‘I can’t believe they killed you off. How could they do that? I’m done!’ to ‘You had to go,'” Siff told EW last month. “I saw Katey [Sagal] the other day, and she said she went to a fan gathering, and people were coming up to her with carving forks to sign. People have different investments in different characters, but people were definitely shocked and upset to some degree or other.”
Judging from this tease from a recent marketing shoot, the graveyard motif will be recurring.*
— Dominic Pagone (@Dom_Pagone) June 25, 2014
As Theo Rossi (jester-turned-killer Juice) admitted to EW before shooting began, no one in the cast really expects to make it out of the final season alive. “A lot of people say that because of the whole Hamlet [comparison], and let’s be honest, every year we lose major characters left and right. The season six finale, I think, was the most shocking episode we ever did in every way,” he said. “You have dreams of being the last guy standing, the one riding off, but you know,” he added, laughing at the understatement, “I’ve done a lot of bad things.”
At least he and his castmates appear to be handling the stress well.
— Kim Coates (@KimFCoates) June 20, 2014
* Thinking about it further, the graveyard motif is also apropos because the season 6 finale was digging up bones with Nero joining Alvarez’s meet with Lin after Jax gave the Irish distribution to Marks, which in their minds threatens to upset the balance in Stockton and Oakland and increase the body count. The series began with SAMCRO caught in a battle between Alvarez’s Mayans and the Niners (which now answer to Marks).