'Sons of Anarchy': Saying Goodbye to a 'Son' (Season Five, Episode Three)
There have been plenty of deaths on Sons of Anarchy over the years (see: Piney and Half-Sack), but none shocked fans more than the unexpected demise of Opie, played by Ryan Hurst. The brutal lead-pipe prison beating of the fan favorite left many asking, "Why?" But in the realm of SAMCRO, it was the only way to save Opie's best buddy, Jax, from a similar fate. The onscreen death was compounded by the grisly real-life murder-suicide involving Johnny Lewis, who played the aforementioned Half-Sack, that unfolded just hours after the episode aired. It was a sad example of life imitating art, in the worst possible way.