Tonight brings the end of Sons of Anarchy‘s wild fourth season (FX, 10 p.m. ET), and there’s at least one person who’s happy to see Clay in a hospital bed — Ron Perlman. “It’s the first time I actually felt rested the whole season,” Perlman jokes to EW. “You think it’s easy putting contracts out on all those people? That’s very stressful. And you know, a man my age, in my condition, it’s more excitement than I could ever need.”
Now fans wait to see if SOA creator Kurt Sutter lets Clay live to see season 5. Opie put two bullets in him after finding out Clay killed his father, Piney. Jax now knows that Clay set his dad’s death in motion and ordered the hit on Tara (in addition to beating up Gemma). Tara’s given Jax a blood thinner that he can inject into Clays’ IV so he’ll bleed into his lungs and drown when Jax makes it look like Clay accidentally pulled out his own tube. Even before Clay was shot, only 19 percent of readers in a PopWatch poll could imagine a way for him to survive. ”Every time I would get another script, I would go, ‘Holy s—, there’s no way I’m ever gonna make it out of this. There’s no way.’ I was very much reflective of what the audience is going through now,” Perlman says. “I don’t read blogs, I don’t follow tweets and all the rest of it, but I saw one little thing over the weekend where this poor fellow on the Internet was putting out a plea to everyone else in cyberspace: ‘Does anyone know whether Clay makes it or not? Because I’ve checked everywhere, and I still can’t tell.’ So whatever Kurt did worked, right down to the very, very end. Not that I can say which way it goes… “
For more from Perlman (including when his own mother told him Clay went too far this season), and an in-depth Q&A with Sutter, come back to Inside TV tonight after the finale airs.
Get caught up: Ken Tucker’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode reviews
Where it all began: Kurt Sutter and Paris Barclay take us inside the ‘SOA’ Season 4 premiere killer end montage