A good friend with an unbreaking loyalty to SAMCRO, Opie was a fan-favorite character in Sons of Anarchy. His typically calm demeanor made him a unique, steadying presence to the many hot-headed, violent characters around him.
This leads to the audience having complicated feelings towards him, sometimes hating the criminal activities the gang gets him involved in, and other times making fans feel bad for the gentle giant. Here are five times fans felt bad for Opie, and five times his actions made fans think he was truly the worst.
10 The Worst: Causes Conflict With Lin’s Clients
As part of building the relationship with the Chinese Triads, SAMCRO made a deal that involved the gang’s affiliated adult stars, including Opie’s girlfriend Lyla, “entertaining” some of the Triad members.
Apprehensive but accepting at first, Opie didn’t object, but upon witnessing Lyla in bed with one of the Triad members, he lost control, starting an all-out brawl that put the club’s dealings with the Triads at risk. It’s an out-of-character moment that made Opie look petty and jealous, instead of the loyal, gentleman he usually is.
9 Felt Bad: Finds Lyla’s Birth Control
When Opie finally married Lyla, he wanted her out of the porn business and for them to have a baby together. She, however, was apprehensive about the possibility of leaving her career, so she took birth control in secret. Upon finding out, Opie was heartbroken.
He wanted to continue his family and have more children. While his reaction to this news was unnecessary and an overreaction, the moment still made fans feel for Opie.
8 The Worst: Rejoins The Sons After Getting Out Of Jail
In the very first episode, Jackson found Opie working a legal lumber job at the behest of Donna, who wanted Opie to avoid criminal activities. In need of Opie’s arson experience, Jackson convinced Opie to leave the straight job and return to the gang.
This is a decision that showed Opie’s loyalty to his club, but it was to the detriment of his family’s wellbeing. Even though the family needed the money, it was a bad decision that allowed Opie to stay in the dangerous SAMCRO lifestyle.
7 Felt Bad: Finds Out Clay Killed His Father
This wasn’t the first time someone in the club betrayed Opie, and it definitely wasn’t the last. But finding out that, after months of conflict, Clay murdered Opie’s father Piney, Opie was quite understandably distraught. This was a club that he dedicated his entire life to, a group of riders whom he considered his brothers.
Finding out that their leader, a man who Opie had always looked up to, murdered his father was enough to make fans feel bad for him.
6 The Worst: Distances Himself From His Children
After Donna’s death, Opie’s children needed him more than ever. They just lost their mother, a life-changing event, and instead, Opie dove deeper into the SAMCRO life, leaving them alone.
Loyalty was one of Opie’s main traits, which he showed to those who mattered most to him, but this should have been his children.
5 Felt Bad: Jax Takes Clay’s Side
While dealing with the aftermath of Piney’s murder, Opie turned to his best friend for support. Opie wanted Clay dead as revenge, but Jax pushed back for what he believed to be the greater good of the club. Opie was obviously distraught yet again, seeing his best friend defend the man who murdered his own father.
The one man who was supposed to be Opie’s best friend and his support betrayed him yet again. At this point, the audience saw how he was sick of it.
4 The Worst: Cheats On Lyla
Although fans somewhat felt for Opie, being betrayed and denied the opportunity to have more children, his overreaction was completely unwarranted.
He ran to Layla’s fellow adult film actress, Ima, and had a one-night stand, further straining their relationship and Opie’s loyalty.
3 Felt Bad: Donna’s Death
How could one not feel bad for someone losing the love of their life? Opie had two children with Donna, and she was a force of good in his life. She was his main motivation to stay good and possibly leave the criminal life, and when he saw her dead body, fans could see his heart being ripped out from him.
Although it was an accident due to Agent June Stahl’s meddling, Donna’s death was the event that kicked off a long line of self-destructive behavior in Opie, and this scene made the audience understand why.
2 The Worst: Killed Agent Stahl
While somewhat justified, there was still a lot about Opie’s murder of Agent June Stahl that just didn’t sit right and made the viewers feel unsympathetic for Opie.
While he was never averse to violence, shooting Stahl in the back of the head, just as Donna was, although poetic, felt uncharacteristically cold-blooded for the usually lovable Opie.
1 Felt Bad: His Death
This was one of the most heartbreaking moments in the entire show. The crew was in prison and was forced to give up a member to be put to death.
In his very final moments, Opie stopped Jax from sacrificing himself and threw himself in harm’s way in Jax’s stead. It shows his true colors, his loyalty, and his immense caring for his closest friends. And the show wasn’t quite the same after his death.