The rise of popular serialized storytelling has been great for the most part, but if there's one outstanding drawback, it's the push-pull of a series that presents a story that must have a finite conclusion with real stakes and compromises honest storytelling in an effort to stretch the story (i.e. the show's longevity).
From Lost onward, the concept of executive producers publicly announcing their overall plans and intended run has become a popular way to keep viewers on-board and assure them the plot they've invested in is actually going somewhere. A couple of years ago, Sutter announced that he'd like for Sons of Anarchy to run a seven-season course. Since then its popularity has grown tenfold, becoming FX's flagship series, so we're pretty sure things are for sure running on Sutter's terms these days (which is not to say they weren't before).
With season 5 concluding this week, Sons of Anarchy is really in its homestretch. While some critics and fans alike have expressed complaints and concern over the show's alleged unwillingness to pull the trigger on certain series-altering events, anyone who watched The Shield—the classic FX dirty cop series on which Sutter was a lead writer (and also ran for seven seasons) and was similarly paced—knows that once Sutter and his writing team decide to firmly mash the gas, the payoff will be a ridiculously viewer-rewarding rush. We can't wait.