Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
And that is what Opie did in last night's episode of SOA. He died with a half smile on his face before the fatal blow with the pipe. I almost felt he gave up the fight and he could have taken out all three of the guys; but truth be told, I think he gave up a long time ago.
Starting from the very beginning of SOA, Opie has been dealt many bad hands for SAMCRO. In the first season, he was paroled from prison, for a botched arson attempt with another SAMCRO member. He tells his wife, Donna, that he is done with the biker life and attempts to reenter mainstream society. This doesn't last for long, as Jax pleads with him to give the club another chance as they are facing a threat from the ATF etc. The ATF ultimately sets him up as a rat in order to take down the Sons. As a result of this, Clay orders a hit on Opie. Tig botches the hit when he kills Donna instead of Opie. Strike 1 for poor Opie.
Season 2, Opie is still reeling from Donna's death. He takes more risks for the club and distances himself from his children. He does meet Lyla and they begin dating but he does not approve of her being an adult film star.
Season 3, Opie starts a fight and as a result of this, SAMCRO loses a lot of guns and money. The ATF storyline comes to a head, and Opie kills Agent Stahl like Donna was murdered. But is that revenge enough?
Season 4, Opie and Lyla get married. Yea!! The honeymoon does not last for long though. Lyla refuses to quit doing porn and Opie finds birth control pills. He leaves and hooks up with another porn star at the club. Lyla sees her co-worker at the club house and knows what has been going on. When things with the cartels get heated, Lyla escapes from one of the prospects while getting her things at her home. Things just go downhill on a fast moving train from there. Opie finds his father, Piney Winston, dead in his cabin. Unser tells him that Clay did it. Jax and Opie have a heated moment outside the crematorium and Opie accuses Jax of knowing Clay's role in Piney's death. Jax vehemently denies any knowledge of this and says he will handle it. Too late! Opie is on his bike, driving to kill Clay. He shoots Clay twice and Jax shoots Opie in wrist to stop him. Summing it all up, Jax asks Opie to be his VP, but still hasn't told him the truth about anything, and Opie walks away. At the end of Season 4, we see Jax at the head of table, but no Opie. Strikes 2 and 3 for Opie in one season. I'm quite surprised he didn't kill Clay after Clay was released from the hospital.
Season 5. *Insert curse words here* Opie sells Piney's bike but decides to come back to the club after Clay visits Opie and says that Jax needs someone at his left. You see Opie visit Lyla and hand her an envelope with a ton of money. He says he's going to be gone for a few weeks and asks if she will watch the kids. She questions him as to his whereabouts, but once again Opie doesn't divulge club secrets, and she finally agrees. This is where I get pissed and confused. Opie goes to the club house just as Jax and the others are being picked up for manslaughter charges. Opie assaults Sheriff Roosevelt and Gemma tells Tara, Opie is staying close. Jax STILL hasn't told Opie everything that is going on. At this point, I wonder if Opie really thought he was going to go to jail for a couple of weeks for assaulting the Sheriff or if he knew his fate would be sealed.
Pope has a long reach and talks to Jax in the warden's office. He says he wants Tig to stay in jail forever where he can make sure he is punished. Kicker is, he also wants a dead son for the cop and cleaner that Tig killed? Uhhh??? What??? That's like an eye for an eye and possibly a kidney; seeing how he already burned Tig's daughter alive. Jax gets back to his cell and FINALLY talks to Opie about all the secrets he's been keeping and that Pope has requested a dead son. Tig graciously volunteers, as he should, but Jax tells him Pope wants Tig alive and inside forever. The guard comes to the cell and asks Jax if he has made his choice on who will die. Jax says he won't choose and gets a baton to the leg. Long story short, the guys make it to the shower room and Jax steps up when asked. Opie jumps in front of Jax and head butts a guard, therefore sealing his fate. Opie gets a few offensive punches in while Jax, Tig and Chibs watch. He is grabbed by a big dude and loses the pipe. He gets slammed once and falls to his knees. He is facing Jax, blood frothing from his mouth, half smile on his face; almost seeming he's saying "I got this". One more violent hit to head with pipe and he falls, dead.
While it is true that we all are responsible for our own fates, there are other factors that guide our decisions and choices. While Opie didn't have to fight, he chose to do so. How much tragedy should a person have to suffer through? What if your death would save the lives of many others? Would you sacrifice yourself in battle to win the war? I wonder if any of these thoughts went through Opie's mind? I'm not sure if he loved his club anymore, but I'm sure he loved Jax, and that was one factor that may have guided his decision.
Anyways, it was a horrible and unexpected death, but it was time. What do have to live for when you have nothing left? We will never know Opie's motivation for his ultimate sacrifice, but as Jax said, he went out a warrior.
You can rest easy now, Opie. Your ride is over.