Characters are constantly changing on “Sons of Anarchy,” likely none more so than Tara (Maggie Siff), who began Season 1 with a bright future as a surgeon ahead of her and starts Season 6 in jail due to her connection to a murder. In a conference call, Siff talked about her character’s dark turn, as well as her relationship with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and the school shooting that capped off the premiere episode.
“I’ve been joking that Tara is the place people go to to see their dreams die,” Maggie says. “What surprises me is the darker and darker progression of the things that she sees fall away.” She’s not kidding. Not only is Tara separated from her children, whom she loves above all others, but she’s also pulling away from Jax.
“They’re in such a disconnected place from each other right now,” she says. “At the end of Season 5 we saw this incredible disillusionment, on both of their parts, for the other person.” She cites the betrayal Jax felt about Tara attempting to make sure Wendy (Drea de Matteo) got custody of their children should something happen. Likewise, Tara feels betrayed by Jax who isn’t making much of an effort to follow through on leaving Charming.
As for refusing to see Jax while locked up, Siff says Tara is using that time to collect her thoughts and come up with a plan to protect herself, because she doesn’t think even Jax will do that.
Still, she understand why fans want the couple to end up together, even if they’re relationship is going off the rails. “I think the thing about the show that really pulls people in is that no matter how awful things get between people,” Maggie explains, “there is this deep and violently passionate love between the characters.” “It’s hard not to, on the basest level, root for that,” she concludes.
That isn’t what Tara wants in her life, though. Siff says that creator Kurt Sutter “always wanted Tara to progress towards Gemma (Katey Sagal) and towards considering the role of matriarch,” but the character is actually becoming the opposite, organically. Instead, Tara has become something of a moral compass for the show and “the window through which the audience could see these people, because like the audience she loved this man but knew better.”
Instead, Siff thinks she “desperately doesn’t want to become Gemma.” To meet that end, she’ll be able to use tactics she learned from her mother-in-law to go after what she wants, which is a safe life for her children, away from the club and Charming.
The school shooting that occurred during the Season 6 premiere shows how destructive the club can be, and how necessary it is for Tara to remove herself from that life. Maggie says her character won’t be directly involved in that story, as she is more focused on getting out of her situation, however Tara will feel the impact.
“It does absolutely affect her in kind of a side fashion, the way everything is woven together thematically … She tries several tactics throughout the season, in terms of what she can do for herself to help her out of her legal problems, but also to help get her kids out of Charming.” While Maggie says her story does intersect with the shooting, she can’t give away how just yet. “Everybody is caught up in the ramifications of what that means.”
“Sons of Anarchy” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.