Sons of Anarchy finished its fifth season last Tuesday on FX. To discuss the season in general, as well as offer hints as to what season six will entail, Kurt Sutter, the creator/showrunner who also plays inmate Otto on the show, participated in a conference call last week with reporters.

Here are the highlights. If you haven’t seen through the season finale, you may want to turn away now:

On killing Opie this season: “I didn’t want to drag it out, sort of have people, not see it coming because of bad execution, but see it coming because of the natural progression of the world. I really wanted it to be shocking, come as a complete surprise, and kind of knock the wind out of not only the audience, but the club as well.”

On whether Donal Logue will return next season: “I can definitely tell you that Donal will be back. We’ve made a deal with Donal. We’ve made it for a total of 10 episodes so far. I think he was in two or three this year. We definitely have him locked up for seven or eight next season, and most likely it will be more than that.”

On whether Jimmy Smits will also return next season: “We left it sort of open-ended because I wasn’t sure on his availability. I feel like there’s enough emotional weight on the table, there’s enough relationship weight on the table for us to continue that storyline, and yet I was careful not to pin any major story arch to his character just in case that couldn’t happen. I think we’re in the process right now of trying to figure out Jimmy’s availability and trying to make that work.”

On whether Drea de Matteo will return next season: “Yes, I’d love to bring back Drea. I think Drea has a show. She got a pilot, and that will remain to be seen whether or not that gets picked up. That’s always a tricky thing. Sometimes networks and shows are open to have the actor step out and do a few episodes, some aren’t. I definitely think there is more story to be told with that character. I love where we went with it this season. The timing felt right. It felt really organic. I think Drea had a lot of fun to sort of have some bones and some meat to chew on again with that character like she did early on. I would definitely love to bring her back. I definitely have more story I want to tell there, and again it’s really her availability, which I guess we’ll find out as we get into next season.”

On Gemma’s journey this season: “Gemma, and I mean this in the most flattering way, Gemma is just a … cockroach. She’s just hard to kill. She was really adrift at the beginning of the season. She was … up. She hit a bottom. She crawled her way back up, and she made some really very defining decisions. I think at the end ─ my intent for her was at the end of the season for her to sort of have her balls back. I think we got there at the end of the finale.”

On what happens to Clay next season: “Whether or not Clay will make it through Season 6, I’m not sure. There’s definitely some more story to tell in terms of the mythology. What I don’t want to do is get into another situation where it’s another almost death of Clay. That I think is very unsatisfying. I’m not quite sure where Clay’s end date will be, but I do think that ultimately it has to be near, but there is some more story to tell.”

On whether he still plans to end the show after season seven: “I don’t want to just extend the show for another season for the sake of doing an eighth season. What I don’t want to do is pad and fluff and drag … out that really should be happening in seven seasons for the sake of just doing another season. Even though I’m sure the fans would love another season, I know I don’t want to do that. My sense is if I get halfway through the storytelling in Season 6, I’ll have a pretty good sense of whether or not I can tie it all up in seven.”