Where did last night's gripping Sons of Anarchy season-ender leave our favorite motorcycle club, and what can we expect from one of our favorite shows going forward?
If you haven't read it, here's our take on the Sons of Anarchy season three finale. Read it and leave us comments with your thoughts. Now, let's look ahead to next year.
In a lengthy Q&A with E! Online, creator and show-runner Kurt Sutter talked about the changes the finale sets up for season four. Here are some notable excerpts ...
On how Jax is now going to operate differently than John did: "Jax was finding out that John's whole life was essentially a lie and that he was going to bail on it."
"His dad was going to bail on Gemma and had this kid with this other woman, and ultimately that he wasn't as strong a man as Jax had envisioned him to be."
"Jax is not running away, and he is committed to Tara, and he's not looking for something outside of the life. Obviously, the decisions that he makes put him deeper into the machinations of the club. He's distanced himself from the notion of trying to change things."
"Really, in a lot of ways, he's becoming more like his mother.On when season four will pick up: "There will be a gap in time. I haven't decided if we'll start with them in jail and getting out or if we'll begin with them already out of jail, but we're not going to spend half a season or a season in jail. Sons is not going to become Oz."
On what Charming will look like in 14 months: "It'll be a different Charming. There will be a new mayor and a new sheriff. The 21st century is going to land at SAMCRO's doorstep. It'll be interesting, because the 21st century will also bleed into their lives."
"The gun business will be exponentially bigger as a result of the Irish deal, so they themselves will be upgrading, but everything else around them will also be changing."
"Not that I'm thematically trying to make a big point in terms of all that, but Charming really has been Mayberry—it's been an anachronism, and in my mind, we'll start to see that shift, and how do they handle that shift. Do they try to throw the brakes on it?"
"Do they embrace it? What happens to the big fish when the pond gets bigger?"
On the club's struggling finances: "They've had a tough run, ever since Abel was born, between legal fees and everything else, but I do think that, as Clay said to Gemma, this is an opportunity for them to finish big. We'll see that start to happen."
On whether Kozik will stick around: "I love Kenny Johnson and I love the character, but I didn't vote him in was because I wanted to leave it up in the air a little bit. I thought it would have been too neat if they had all this conflict and then it just went away."
"Because we did spend so much time away from our core guys this season, next season I really want to find some great storylines for our guys. Kenny is such a great actor that I don't want to waste that on some little three-episode arc."
"If I can use him, then I really want to find a way to use him rather than have him reduced to one of the guys riding up on a bike.
On Happy's place in the cast: "I say this not in a judgmental or flip way, but really in a character way, that a little Happy goes a long way. Do you know what I mean?"
"Too much Happy storyline is overwhelming. The moment he had in the torture scene where everyone is appalled and he's smiling like a four-year-old, that's all you need."
"Happy is a little bit of the sociopath, and you don't like it to get too stereotyped or clichéd. But D.L. will definitely be around. I think he'll be in 9-10 episodes next season."
On the new prospects sticking around as well: "They're so unlikely in terms of this club! It's my experience that the more time I spend with the guys in this world, that actually it's the guys that never fit in that are the guys that are pledging clubs."
"That's why I love those two actors. They're funny without having to do much with them, and I imagine they'll be back ... we'll wait to have that play out."
On adding new gangs: "I don't know if we'll do any more MCs next year, but on The Shield every couple of seasons we would get bored with our clubs and gangs, and we'd introduce new ones, but I think some that we've introduced will come back."
On Lenny the Pimp: "Lenny was part of the First Nine; I think we talk about it in the iPad app - we have a whole thing coming out on the First Nine. The only ones still living are Clay (Ron Perlman), Piney (William Lucking) and Lenny."
On whether Tara is having a boy or not: "Uh ... I haven't decided on that, but I'll say this: It is the Sons of Anarchy."
On Trinity's role: "I don't know if it will be next season, but I think that at some point, perhaps, as the mythology continues to unfold, I think there might be an opportunity to bring her back. She was so much fun, and I thought Zoe did a great job."
On more Jax-Tara backstory: "We're not going to do flashbacks, but if there's a way to get out that information, like we did in season one with Stahl, in a way that makes sense and moves the story along whether it's narrative or just character, then yeah, I'm always hoping to reveal some of the mythology, I just don't know off-hand what that might mean in terms of season four."
Well? What do you think? Weigh in on all these Sons of Anarchy spoilers and share your own predictions for Season Four by leaving a comment below.