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It's the mother of all episodes for 'Sons of Anarchy'

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
updated 8:16 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
TV can be a cruel, cruel place, and we're not even talking about the writers' rooms. Here are some of the small-screen deaths that shocked us the most (stop here if spoilers aren't your thing). TV can be a cruel, cruel place, and we're not even talking about the writers' rooms. Here are some of the small-screen deaths that shocked us the most (stop here if spoilers aren't your thing).
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Shocking character deaths
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Shocking character deaths
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Shocking character deaths
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Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
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Shocking character deaths
Shocking character deaths
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A major character died on Tuesday night's episode
  • The series is wrapping up next week, after seven seasons
  • Critic says the show's creator is going for broke

Editor's note: Spoilers for the most recent episode of "Sons of Anarchy" are below, so stop reading if you're not caught up!

(CNN) -- It looks like "Sons of Anarchy" has decided to go out with a bang.

As the series nears its finale after seven seasons, Tuesday's episode featured a major plot twist.

The show's protagonist, Jackson "Jax" Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam), gunned down his mother, Gemma (played by Katey Sagal), after discovering she was responsible for the brutal murder of his wife.

The FX series about a close-knit outlaw biker gang in a fictitious central California town is one of the network's most popular ever, and the next-to-last episode did not disappoint fans or critics.

"Say what you will about 'Sons of Anarchy,' but series creator Kurt Sutter clearly doesn't want to cross the finish line with an ounce of gas left in the tank," wrote Variety's TV critic Brian Lowry. "So the program's penultimate episode featured a number of major events, leaving behind only the upcoming finale, which, given the length of these last few chapters, will begin on a Tuesday and might not wrap up until some time Thursday."

"The penultimate episode of Sons of Anarchy was one hell of an episode," Entertainment Weekly's Natalie Abrams tweeted. "I'm scared/nervous/excited about the finale."

One fan summed it up: "#SonsOfAnarchy I wasn't ready."

Sagal told People magazine that filming her character's death scene was extremely emotional.

"Charlie and I cried a lot. It's how 'Sons of Anarchy' has always been. Everybody goes there," she said. "I remember right before I walk out of that living room and toward the rose garden, Charlie and I just hugged each other, really hugged each other, because it was also goodbye for Katey and Charlie after seven years."

Sagal -- who rose to fame playing Peg Bundy on "Married with Children" -- said she's moved on and is working on a movie. The actress, who is married to Sutter, said her husband has also moved ahead to his next project, a new series titled "The Bastard Executioner."

"In his way, that's his way of dealing with that door closing," Sagal said. "I think he feels very satisfied with this coming to an end. And I do, as well."

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