- "It ain't easy being king."
- ―Jax, to Clay
Clarence 'Clay' Morrow (1949-2013) was the former President of the Sons of Anarchy, California Redwood Originals MC on the FX original series' Sons of Anarchy. Played by American actor Ron Perlman, Clay makes his debut in the series' premiere episode, "Pilot", in the series' first season. Playing a recurring role through the series' first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons, Clay initially appeared as a main character and protagonist in the first three seasons, gradually became the primary antagonist of Season 4, the secondary antagonist of Season 5 and a secondary antagonist-turned-anti-hero of Season 6, and, due to his actions in the later seasons and previously unknown involvement with Gemma in the death of John Teller, the secondary antagonist of the entire series. He was the youngest of the First 9, married to Gemma Teller Morrow, was stripped of his patch following a unanimous vote from the club in the penultimate episode of Season 5, and met his demise in the Season 6 "Aon Rud Persanta".
Once a feared and dangerous man with many powerful allies at his side as he sat at the head of the Son's table; Clay's power and reach diminished continuously over his club and those around him as the series continued. Clay eventually died alone, at the hands of his own club after his years of betrayals and vicious acts finally caught up to him.
Morrow was born on February 14, 1949 (whereabouts unknown, although as of season 4, he had been a resident of Charming, California for "31 years"). In 1968, he was one of nine members who were invited to join the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. He was the youngest of the first nine, and one of only three who were not war veterans. He did later go on to serve in the military, however, joining the Army Airborne in 1969 and serving in Vietnam until 1972. He commemorates his service with a tattoo on his left arm and by displaying the parachutist badge on his vest.
When he returned from Vietnam, he reconnected with the club and was patched in. He and John Teller, the club President, opened the Teller-Morrow auto shop. He went to N. Ireland, along with JT and Keith, in the mid-80's, because of IRA trouble in Keith's home town, of Shortstrand, a suburb of Belfast. He was the one who pushed for the gun running business back in the U.S., while JT was more opposed, than for it. He was responsible for a number of murders during the SAMCRO-Mayan War, that started in the early 90's. One of his victims was Lowell Harland, Sr., a mechanic at the auto shop who became an ATF informant.
John Teller died in 1993, and Clay succeeded him as President of the club's Mother Chapter, based in Charming, due to Piney's ailing health and inability to take over as President. He married John's widow Gemma Teller in the mid-1990's. She took his name, becoming Gemma Teller Morrow, and he adopted their son Jackson 'Jax' Teller. Jax grew up to become Clay's Vice President. Under Morrow, SAMCRO have become more of a criminal enterprise than before, to Jax's dissatisfaction.
On his cut, he wears patches reading "President", "First 9", "Unholy Ones" and "Men of Mayhem". He has formerly served an unspecified prison term. His last criminal conviction prior to the series beginning, was at least seven years. He states to Agent Stahl, that he hasn't been charged with anything gun related, or otherwise for that long. It could be assumed that his prior conviction was gun related, as other members had similar convictions around the same time. Clay had proven to be a skilled fighter, being able to take on younger opponents and even hold his own against Jax several times but lost due to his old age slowing him down.
The Sons of Anarchy find their weapon storage warehouse burned down. They rush to the scene, where local police officers are already investigating. The club's stash of guns has been stolen from the warehouse. Clay talks to Sheriff Vic Trammel about the blaze. Trammel claims that propane tanks inside the building blew up, and suspects arson due to finding boot prints inside. Trammel shows Clay the burned corpses of illegal immigrants who were hiding beneath the building. These women were Mexican prostitutes "owned" by the club's Sergeant-at-Arms, Tig.
Clay goes to meet Laroy, the leader of the One-Niners, in the East Bay. He was due to deliver guns to the gang and explains what happened. Laroy needs the guns to protect his cargo from another motorcycle club, the Mayans. He agrees to give Clay more time to procure replacement weapons. The Sons of Anarchy determine that it was the Mayans who raided the warehouse, and decide to get some payback. Juice, the club's intelligence officer, finds out that the Mayans have stored the guns in San Leandro. Clay, Tig, Jax and Chibs, a Scotsman and the club's medic, head out to retrieve them. They find their guns at an industrial storage warehouse. As they are inside, three Mayans arrive in a car outside. Clay and Chibs shoot and kill the Mayans and another man, who has a number of Nazi and White supremacist tattoos. They identify him as Whistler, a member of the Nordics, a local skinhead gang led by Ernest Darby, who are allied with the Mayans. They escape with the weapons and blow up the building.
Wayne Unser, the Chief of the Charming Police Department, has a cordial relationship with the Sons of Anarchy, and has even employed them as protection for his trucking company at times. However, he is recently diagnosed with bladder cancer and will retire at the end of the month, handing power over to his Deputy, David Hale. Hale is overtly suspicious of the SOA and they fear that he will begin an investigation into the club. To warn Unser to keep Hale off their case Clay, Bobby (the club's Treasurer) and Opie hijack one of Unser's trucks that they were hired to protect, and threaten to hijack more. As a good will gesture, Clay gives the contents of the truck to the Cacuzza Crime Family as their guns were also late to be delivered.
Tig admits that he had been having sex with both of the women found at the warehouse and that his DNA is in the police database. Clay orders Tig and Bobby to get rid of the bodies. The pair retrieve the corpses from the police site and burn them in a furnace. Hale is enraged when he discovers that the bodies are missing, and he threatens Clay with shutting down the club.
Local businessman Elliott Oswald approaches Clay when his 13-year-old daughter is raped at a carnival. He asks the club to hunt the rapist down and kill him, in exchange for money. Clay refuses the money and insists that if they catch him, Oswald must carry out the punishment himself. Juice and Gemma find out that the rapist is one of the carnies. The gang capture him and bring him to Oswald, who tries to castrate him but can't bring himself to do it. Clay carries out the punishment, wearing gloves. He blackmails Oswald with the crime, as only his fingerprints are on the knife. Oswald was about to sell off much of the land around Charming to big business and housing, which would challenge the club's reign over the town. Clay holds the incriminating blade over Oswald to ensure that the town remains in the club's control. Jax is unhappy that Clay did not tell him about the plan, and tells him to always inform him on his future motives.
A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent arrives in Charming to investigate the club. Clay decides to move their weapons to Indian Hills, Nevada, where their brother club, the Devil's Tribe, are based. He sends Bobby and Jax to inform the Devil's Tribe that the Sons of Anarchy would be patching them over. Tig and Juice steal a truck to transport the guns. Clay travelled to Indian Hills to perform the patch-over ceremony. He brings backup from SOA Washington as protection in case the Mayans retaliate for an altercation involving Jax, Bobby and five Mayans. At the patch-over party, Clay has sex with Cherry. He chooses her because club prospect Half-Sack likes her, as revenge for Half-Sack calling Gemma a MILF earlier. The Mayans retaliate as predicted, attacking the Devil's Tribe clubhouse. A large shoot-out ensues with no significant casualties.
Otto and other imprisoned SAMCRO members have been protecting Chuck Marstein in Stockton State Prison. Chuck is wanted by the Lin Triad for stealing money from them and informing on them when he was arrested. Clay and Jax visit Otto in prison and he tells them that Chuck will inform them where the Triads keep their money in exchange for their continuing protection after his release. They agree and pick him up from prison, bringing him to the clubhouse. They plan to wait until the restaurant where the money is stored, closes. However Chuck's frequent unconscious masturbating is unbearable and they decide to raid the restaurant straight away. However, just as they steal the money and counterfeiting plates, the Triads arrive. Instead of starting a war, Clay decided to negotiate; SAMCRO exchange Chuck and the plates for $60,000.
Kyle Hobart, a disgraced former SAMCRO member, approaches Jax to ask if he can watch his son's band play at a carnival the club is hosting. Jax accepts and invites him to the clubhouse that night. This is a set-up to punish him for not having his SOA tattoo removed after being disowned by the club. At the clubhouse, they tie him up and Tig uses a blowtorch to burn off the tattoo.
Jax and Piney sell five AK-47s to Nate Meineke and his right-wing state militia. They use these guns to ambush a prison convoy and free one of their members, Frank Cison. Three police officers are killed during the assault. Meineke drops his cell phone at the scene, and his last calls are to Teller-Morrow. The ATF find the phone, arrest Clay and raid the clubhouse. Clay is released due to lack of evidence. Jax, Piney and Opie decide to kill Meineke and his gang to keep them from "snitching" if they are apprehended. They pretend to sell them more weapons but fill the boxes with explosives. The militia unwittingly load the bombs onto their own trucks and are all killed when they detonate.
Workmen from the Water and Power Board dig up three skeletons near the highway into Charming. Two are Mayans killed in the war of 1992 and the other is Lowell Harland, Sr., a mechanic from Teller-Morrow who was killed by Clay for being a "junkie rat". In an attempt to curtail the investigation, Clay, Jax and Tig break into the local morgue to steal the bones. However, the corpses have already been identified. Clay tells Lowell Harland, Jr. about his father's death, and he runs away. Clay tracks him down and brings him back to town.
Clay is almost killed by the Mayans attacking during a deal with Cameron Hayes of the True IRA. Two Mayan soldiers are gunned down by Tig and the shotgun-toting barman. Clay summons the SOA State Presidents and Vice Presidents from Washington, Utah and Nevada, in a bid to wipe out the Mayans. After the shooting, he questions Jax's commitment to the club and whether Jax is willing to kill.
Clay is brought in for questioning about the recent shootings by Unser. Ernest Darby is also being held at the Charming Police Department. Clay instructs Unser to bring Marcus Alvarez in, planning to hold a meeting and, hopefully, halt any more bloodshed. Clay meets with Darby first, and warns him not to retaliate because it will start a war on the streets of Charming. He then meets with Alvarez and brokers a deal; the Sons will sell guns to the Mayans, and all Mayan-SOA disputes (over turf, businesses, etc.) end in the SOA's favor. Alvarez also gives the Sons permission to kill his son Esai Alvarez, as revenge for the botched hit on Clay.
The clubhouse is raided and Bobby is arrested for the murder of Brenan Hefner. Clay and Tig incorrectly suspect Opie of being the witness that identified Bobby. While Opie is at the clubhouse, Tig checks his car for bugs and discovers a microphone. He also finds a recording device in his mobile phone. Both were planted by the ATF without Opie's knowledge. Clay and Tig decide to kill him.
They meet with One-Niners leader Laroy, and discuss taking out the Mayans. They agree that the Sons will meet the Mayans for an arms deal, leave and then the Niners will eliminate the Mayans and take the guns as payment.
Clay, Tig, Opie, and Jax meet Alvarez and his crew at a warehouse in Oakland. The Niners strike earlier than agreed and shoot at the Mayans and SOA. The Sons escape, but a number of Mayans and Niners are killed in the shoot-out. Tig attempts to kill Opie during the havoc, but found himself unable to do so.
After a homecoming party for Jax's son Abel Teller, Tig follows Opie's car home and shoots the driver dead. However, Opie's wife, Donna Winston is behind the wheel. Just after Tig leaves, Clay is approached by Wayne Unser and told that Opie is not an informant and was set up by the ATF. Clay tries to phone Tig to tell him, but Tig was not carrying his phone.
Rosen, the club's lawyer, meets with Clay to tell him that the ATF have put an arrest warrant out for Opie and that he is likely to be convicted of Hefner's murder because of the witness. Clay, Tig and Juice meet with Sheriff Trammel and offer him money to reveal the location of the witness. Trammell doesn't know, so they approach Elliot Oswald. They again blackmail him with the knife, this time to get his friends in the US Attorney's office to tell him the witness' case number and location. Clay sends Chibs, Happy, and Tig to kill the witness at a safe house in San Joaquin. Jax goes to the safe house to stop them, instead threatening the witness into leaving the state. At Church, Jax confronts Clay and asks if he killed Donna and Clay denies it. Donna's funeral is attended by Sons from all over the country. Jax and Clay's baleful stares made it clear that the club was coming apart from inside.
In the first episode of Season Two we see that Clay still has no remorse for what he did to Donna and that he's going head to head with Jax over the death of Donna. We see him giving Opie a fake story of how a Mayan MC member killed Donna and he throws a welcome back party for Bobby. When Ethan Zobelle and the L.O.A.N. start threatening members of SAMCRO, Clay is all for immediate retaliation, but he is at odds with Jax who feels the club may be walking into a trap.
He has recently learned of his wife Gemma's rape at the hands of L.O.AN. and settled his differences with Jax, so the two could work together to get revenge. Clay is now shown to be a lot more in tune with Jax's method of operation, opting to do more recon work before entering potentially lethal situations.
In the season two finale, Clay neglected to inform Marcus Alvarez that Ethan Zobelle was an F.B.I. informant, knowing the Mayan leader would kill Zobelle himself forfeiting Clay the opportunity to do the deed. Later in the episode, the Sons ambushed the Mayan convoy containing Zobelle and Clay spared Alvarez's life. Clay and the others cornered Zobelle in a deli, but Clay decided to abandon the scene when he learned of his grandson's kidnapping. He was last seen consoling his distraught stepson Jax, whose son Abel was kidnapped by IRA gun dealer Cameron Hayes.
In the first episodes we see that Clay is still saddened by the loss of Abel, and is willing to help Jax at all cost. Also his arthritis continues to worsen as shown in the episode "Home" that it got so bad that Jax had to tie Clays hands to the handlebars. In the episode "Turas", when SAMCRO are nearly killed by a bomb hidden in a gun shipment put there by the SAMBEL Vice President, Jax has a shell-shocked vision of his biological father speaking to him but it turns out to actually be Clay.
In the episode "Fírinne", Clay kills Keith McGee, member of the First 9 and President of the Belfast Chapter for his treachery against the club by pushing him off a roof after taking his cut. He later burns the cut after expressing remorse for the killing. In the Season 3 finale when Clay learns of Jax's betrayal he appears enraged and saying Jax will die. In the end it is revealed that he knew of Jax's deal with Stahl and that it was part of a plan to execute Jimmy O and Stahl. When the plan is done Clay and the others share a laugh, much to the confusion of the ATF agents. Also in the end of the episode, as Tara is reading John Teller's letters to Maureen Ashby, John Teller says he fears that Clay and Gemma will kill him, leading to much speculation that Clay and Gemma killed John Teller.
Clay is seen as one of the many SAMCRO members released from prison. He later escapes their sheriff tail and accompanies Jax and Opie's meeting with the Russians and settles their differences and form a partnership with them. He attends Opie's wedding and goes to test a new gun given to them by Putlova. As he's firing the gun he turns and shoots Putlova's bodyguards and Jax stabs Putlova to death as revenge for trying to kill him in prison. He also tells Gemma that his arthritis has gotten worse and that he has only 1 or 2 years left before he has to step down as President of SAMCRO.
While in prison, he set up a deal to run cocaine for the Galindo Cartel but this does not sit well with the other members of the club. When the club goes to Arizona and meets the Tucson charter, SAMTAZ, he demands that the charter stop dealing meth. This request is denied.
Otto wants Luann's murderer dead, and the issue is raised in the chapel.
Clay is then confronted by Piney, who threatens Clay that if Clay does not kill the cocaine deal with the Galindo Cartel, Piney will distribute letters to the club about John Teller's murder. Clay discusses the threat with Gemma, revealing that Clay did kill Teller.
Clay later meets Unser and obtains the letters from him, unaware that Gemma has the same plan. After Unser gets a copy of the letters, he confronts Clay. Clay replies he does not regret doing what he did because it protected the Club and Charming.
When he visits a tied Georgie Caruso, he claims that he has connections with millionaire Japanese people. Clay immediately sees an opportunity to make Jacob Hale believe he has investors in time. His idea is that he will have the investors pull out at the last minute, which will put an end to Charming Heights.
Clay's sponsor was Piney, who was the one that let Clay patch SAMCRO. After discussing trust issues and differences in the cabin, Clay leaves only to break down the door knocking Piney off his feet. Piney begs Clay not to get Tara involved in the letters from JT. Clay shoots Piney in the chest with a shotgun killing him. This makes Piney the 3rd member of the First 9, and the 2nd and final co-founding member of the Sons of Anarchy to be killed at the hands of Clay (as Piney and John Teller co-founded the club, which were both ultimately killed by Clay). He leaves the markings of the cartel to make it seem like they were responsible for the murder.
Given the difficult circumstances of the club, Clay calls to the Irish Kings for a meeting to set a new deal that lets them survive the war against Lobos Sonora. He later finds out that the One Niners have been dealing with the Sonora and the Sons plan an attack using the Niners to lure them, this fails however as Sonora's men were equipped with grenade launchers.
Luis, Romero's right hand man gives Clay a cellphone with his contact to kill Tara.
Clay is confronted by Jax when he hears from Bobby that Clay wanted Bobby instead of Opie as president as was the deal, and says it is Tara's fault that Jax changed, but Jax warns him to never insult her again.
Gemma tells him that Tara will not reveal the letters to Jax out of fear that he will get deeper into the club out of guilt and promises to Gemma he won't hurt Tara. However, he uses the cellphone given by Luis, and the next morning pays the contact 25,000 dollars for the Volkswagen Beetle. Not knowing that Jax and the babies were with her, he desperately tries to stop the hit, but is unsuccessful and Tara has her left hand broken during a fight. Clay meets Romeo and gets a refund, with Romeo taking the matter on his hands personally, and Clay reluctantly agrees that Tara is best dead.
Gemma confronts Clay about the hit and a violent fight ensues between the two, with Clay getting injured but severely beating Gemma's face. That night he decides to sleep in the clubhouse,in the next episode Call of Duty Jax confronts Clay about about Gemma's beating he tells him it's between him & her & to keep his nose out of his business, Jax responds by saying that this is not over.
After Tig sees Gemma's bruised face and knew it was Clay he then turns in his Sergeant at Arms patch to Clay. In the episode Burnt and Purged Away, Opie later finds out that Clay was behind the death of Piney and seeks out revenge ending the episode by shooting Clay twice in the chest.
In "To Be, Act 1", Clay survives the shooting as he is rushed to the hospital and is in critical condition and goes into surgery, Clay is then hooked up to an intensive care unit after coming out of surgery, Gemma then reveals the truth to Jax except her involvement in how John Teller really died, and he finds out that Clay had Teller killed and that he killed Piney and he also finds out that Clay put out a hit on Tara.
After Jax reads the letter he vows to kill Clay. Tara then gives him a syringe full of blood thinner to inject into Clay's I.V., which will end his life. The episode ends with Clay still in the hospital and still in intensive care.
In "To Be, Act 2", Jax visits Clay in the hospital. He holds a knife to Clay's throat and tells him he read the letters and he knows he put the hit on Tara. Jax does not kill Clay, because he needs him alive for the I.R.A. deal to go down. Clay is about to tell Jax something but Jax tells Clay he is done telling him anything. Jax then tells Clay that he (Clay) is stepping down as President. He'll be allowed to sit at the table and get a vote, but that's all. Jax tells Clay to keep the Irish happy and to stay out of his way or he will show the club the letters and let Opie tell everyone he killed Piney. Jax also warns him to stay away from Tara and Gemma. He then cuts the President's patch off of Clay's cut. Clay suggests Jax kill him, but he tells him he is already dead and spits in his face.
Clay is shown to have gotten out of the hospital, but requires an oxygen tank due to his lung injury. He is shown trying to make amends with Gemma, but she coldly brushes him off. He later reveals to the club that he murdered Piney, but states that Piney was drunk and tried to kill him first, and Opie found out, and shot him. The club's rules (due to having him killed a member) means they must vote on kicking him out. When Jax questions him on his motives for telling the club, he denies any. His arthritis is shown to have reached the point to when he can't ride his bike at all.
He later goes to his and Gemma's burglarized house, where he expresses concern over his safe being stolen. He then visits Opie, and convinces him not to walk away from the club because of him, seeing as though he's "half dead already". He later finds out where Gemma has been going from Juice. He goes to the brothel and confronts Nero, the owner, and Gemma's new suitor. He then makes it seem like he had sex with a young prostitute to anger Gemma, however it was later revealed that Clay only asked her to rub his neck. She then attacks the girl, causing her to leave. When Nero's operation is later shut down, and he and Gemma are arrested, it's likely Clay was behind it.
The next episode, "Small World", shows Clay having recovered to the point of no longer needing his oxygen tank, though he continues to wear it (either for sympathy or to keep people off guard). He later helps Gemma take care of a dead body (Nero's half sister Carla), and the two seem to be on better terms. At the end of the episode, he confronts the three Nomads for responsible for the Charming burglaries, and the death of Sheriff Roosevelt's wife Rita. He punches one in the face exclaiming "Idiots! You weren't supposed to kill her!" This shows Clay to have been pulling the strings behind the home invasions.
The next episode, Toad's Wild Ride, reveals the Nomads (GoGo, Greg and Frankie) made a deal with Clay to get back at the head of the table in exchange for Clay's share of the guns and cocaine money. The break-ins were Clay's way of turning Charming against Jax. When Unser (who has been investigating the break-ins) comes close to discovering the truth, GoGo and Greg meet with Clay to discuss killing him, when Frankie goes underground. Clay meets with Unser in his trailer to talk about the friendship between them. When GoGo and Greg break in Unser's door, Unser shoots GoGo with his double barreled shotgun, and Clay betrays them, shooting Greg in the head with his pistol. When Juice (who saw GoGo and Greg go to Unser's trailer) asks Clay what is happening, Clay denies involvement. Jax and the rest of the club find out about their attack on Unser, and Jax privately accuses Clay of using the Nomads to undermine his leadership. Clay states that Damon Pope is the one who hired the Nomads. Jax claims they'll find Frankie & learn the truth.
In "Ablation", Clay visits Gemma, Abel, and Thomas in the hospital after a marijuana induced car crash. He tells Jax that a truck ran her off the road to protect her. When Jax learns about the lie, he tells Clay why he lied, and that Gemma is dead to his family, and that he wants to take care of her.
In "Andare Pescare", the club is shown discovering that Frankie is hiding with a Mafia family, paying them money stolen from Nero. They take a unanimous vote after extracting the information they need. When Clay leans from Jimmy Cacuzza the location of the Mafia safehouse in which Frankie is hiding, Clay and Juice go there to kill him to keep him from outing Clay (Juice acting under the pretense scouting it out), when Frankie barricades himself in the house and shoots at the two. Clay drives the van into the tank, blowing up the house. Just as Clay is about to kill Frankie, Jax and the others show up, having seen the explosion. However, Frankie is quickly gunned down by the enraged Mafia Don for killing one of his men before he can tell them anything he wants to tell them. Bobby later asks Clay if there's anything he wants to tell him (implying he also knows about his dealings with the Nomads). When Clay claims his conscience is clear, Bobby states "I hope you're as smart as you think you are, cause I'm sick of burning friends". The episode ends with Gemma helping Clay with his cortisone shots.
In Crucifixed, Clay is seen negotiating with Romeo and Luis for protection, as once the RICO case is gone, he will no longer need Clay, and will most likely kill him. Romeo suggests getting rid of Jax, and putting Clay back at the head of the table. Clay does not agree to the deal, to which Romeo states, "Yes you will". Later, Gemma and Clay draw closer at Clay's place, where Gemma insists they return home. They are lasting seen sitting on their bed, where Clay confesses he can't bear losing her again. Gemma kisses him passionately, and they sink into bed.
The next episode, To Thine Own Self, shows Clay learning of Otto's murder of a nurse, ending the RICO case. He is shown, for unknowns reasons, trying to save Jax from Romeo, and warns him to work with the Cartel long enough to make the club legitimate and leave. He refuses stating "I'm done bowing down to greedy men who have nothing to believe in". When Jax reveals a new deal to the Club, which would allow the Mayans and the Triads to take over mulling the cocaine and selling big guns (respectively), Clay votes yes along with everyone else. He is later shown moving legal documents given to him by the Nomads to another location, to protect himself from the Club finding out the important evidence of his betrayal. The end of the episode shows Bobby going to Clay and Gemma's house to talk to him about "Trying to keep you alive".
In the next episode, Darthy, Clay has been voted out of the club after revealing all that he had done to them. After this, Jax beats him badly. He is last seen with Happy, removing his SAMCRO tattoos on his back and arm by smudging them over with ink.
In the season finale, J'ai Obtenu Cette, Clay is shown in his home sipping coffee with his blacked out SOA tattoos and his handgun. At TM, Juice is eyeing Clay warily as he packs up his stuff. Juice hovers near a bike, putting something in the storage compartment. After Gemma sends Chuckie off to run some errands, Clay tells Gemma he's leaving with Galen for Ireland at 4:30 P.M. Gemma tells him her suitcase is in the car. He promises her a fresh start in Belfast. She'll meet him at 3 P.M.
At TM, Clay tells Juice he knows he's the one who found the legal stuff in the vent. Juice apologizes, but Clay says it didn't end up mattering. "I love you Brother," Clay says hugging him. Juice's guilt eats at him. He pulls away, and tells Clay he should leave now. There's a knock at the door, and it's Roosevelt with Clay's silver .45 ACP pistol in an evidence bag. He tells him it was used to kill Pope and three of his associates. He asks for Clay's alibi. Clay says Gemma can confirm it. Gemma says nothing for a long time. "He went out for a few hours, took the gun. Said he had to settle up some accounts before he left. I didn't think he'd kill anyone," she says. Clay says nothing as he realizes he's been betrayed. Juice crumbles as Clay is arrested. After they leave, Gemma lets out a deep breath. Clay is transported to jail, broken and alone, surrounded by threats.
At the beginning of the season, Clay is being held in protective custody after his arrest for Damon Pope's murder. Clay is visited by retired U.S. Marshall Lee Toric, the brother of the nurse Otto Delaney killed. Toric who has sworn revenge against the motorcycle club, tells Clay he can only remain in protective custody if he cooperates in building a case against SAMCRO. Clay initially refuses, but after being transferred to general population and realizing he is certain to be murdered in retaliation for two deaths, he agrees to help Toric. He is returned to protective custody. He later demands a sit-down with Gemma and Jax before he signs the deal. He meets with Gemma and seems apologetic, although Gemma suspects he has ulterior motives. He meets Jax and tells him he will not work for Toric, and apologies. In response to this, he is shipped to Stockton where he is attacked by three black inmates, but they spare him and offer him a shank. He later uses it to kill a member of the Neo-Nazi group and to get protection from the black gang. He is visited once more by Toric, who shows him the brutalized Otto. Clay sneaks Otto a shank and leaves him. Despite threats that he will meet the same fate, Clay refuses to sign Toric's papers. Toric is later killed by Otto with the shank Clay gave him and Otto is killed by the guards in response.
Following the fallout between Jax and the IRA, Clay is contacted by Galen O'Shay with the opportunity to continue as the main weapon distributor for their main North California territory. The IRA will arrange to have Clay escape from the prison transport on his way to his hearing. He will retreat to Belfast and build his own crew. Clay requests a visit with Gemma, so that he can have her relay this information to Jax. He pays off two guards to allow him to chat with Gemma, but when the visit is over the guards demand to watch Clay and Gemma have sex while they masturbate. They threaten to have Clay killed and Gemma grudgingly agrees to do it. In Aon Rud Persanta Clay's transport date is moved up. Galen enlists SANCRO to assist in attacking his transport truck to free him. During the attack Bobby is shot by the transport officer. After arriving at the warehouse with the rest of SAMCRO, Clay approaches Juice and thanks him for his help with a warm embrace. After meeting up with the Irish, Galen greets Clay, remarking that they have a lot of work ahead of them. After being thanked by Galen for delivering Clay, Jax promptly shoots him in the head and kills him as the rest of SAMCRO slaughters his crew.
Although initially shocked, Clay follows Jax and the rest of the crew out of the office after being informed that the club had voted to kill Galen and his men. Gemma, Nero and Tara arrive shortly after. Remarking to a bitter and indifferent Gemma that he didn't expect to see her so soon, Gemma asks Clay if they're sending him to Belfast, which Clay denies and informs his wife that the plans had changed. Clay then asks Jax what his next move is, who tells Clay that they plan to settle with the Irish.
Sceptical, Clay asks Jax how he intends to do that with three dead bodies in the other room, as Jax asks Clay what he'd do. Clay tells Jax that the smart thing to do would be to make it look like Galen got into a skirmish with someone he had history with, which is a situation that couldn't be helped, which Jax coldly agrees with. Noticing the solemn expressions of everybody around him, Clay quickly realizes that the club intends to kill him, and asks Jax if they had another vote he was unaware of. Jax confirms this, and Clay accepts his fate. Following them into the office where the bodies of Galen and his crew were, Clay cooperates and braces himself for death, briefly looking out the window at Gemma one last time. Jax then shoots Clay in the throat - much to Gemma's horror, which causes him to bleed out and fall to the floor while everyone sorrowfully looks on. Jax finishes off Clay by shooting him multiple times in the chest. He and the rest of the crew later arrange the bodies to make it look like Clay had a falling out with the Irish and they all died in a shoot out.
Clay was later buried in Stockton Prison by two unnamed prisoners, presumably because his remains were never claimed by his family. Besides Wayne Unser, nobody close to Clay had attended the burial.
Clay was 64 years old.
- Lowell Harland, Sr. - Shot prior to the start of the series. ("Old Bones")
- Unnamed Mayan - Shot in the throat. ("Pilot")
- Unnamed Mayan - Shot in the back. ("Pilot")
- Fat Clown - Castrated. ("Fun Town")
- Rhys - Shot in head (Issue 25)
- Unnamed IRA member - Set on fire. ("Fírinne")
- 2 Unnamed IRA members - Shot in the chest. ("Fírinne")
- Keith McGee - Pushed off a roof. ("Fírinne")
- Unnamed Russian - Shot in the head. ("Out")
- Head Russian - Suffocated. ("Dorylus")
- Piney Winston - Shot in the chest. ("Family Recipe")
- Greg the Peg - Shot in the head. ("Toad's Wild Ride")
- Carson - Stabbed in the neck. ("Poenitentia")
Clay's motorcycle is a 2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide with a forward facing canon air filter, taped thunder header exhaust and a 96 cubic inch twin cam motor. On his fuel tank is the reaper and both the top and bottom rockers of his charter. Clay's reaper design is similar to the one on Jax's bike. Clay has custom T-Bars and high risers for his handlebars. Like most of the SAMCRO motorbikes he has the drag fairing on the front.
- Clay is the fourth main character to die in the series.
- Clay appeared in all episodes of the series until Sweet and Vaded, in which he did not appear. He would be absent for the following episode as well, finally reappearing in the episode after that, John 8:32. He would appear in the next two episodes, with his last appearance being Aon Rud Persanta. Due to his death, he has been absent from every episode since then, although his grave was seen being filled in during the beginning of A Mother's Work, with the only attendants being a priest, the two convicts burying him and Wayne Unser.
- Clay has appeared in 75 episodes of the series.
- Clay's grave was seen in the final episode of the sixth season. He was buried in a prison cemetery, indicating that his body went unclaimed. The inscription only included his name, which was erroneously listed as "Clay" instead of "Clarence", and his inmate number: SSCF 396784.
- Originally, actor Scott Glenn was cast as Clay.
|Season 1 appearances|
|"Pilot"||"Seeds"||"Fun Town"||"Patch Over"||"Giving Back"|
|"AK-51"||"Old Bones"||"The Pull"||"Hell Followed"||"Better Half"|
|"Capybara"||"The Sleep of Babies"||"The Revelator"|
|Season 2 appearances|
|"Falx Cerebri"||"Gilead"||"Potlatch"||"Fa Guan"||"Balm"|
|"Service"||"The Culling"||"Na Trioblóidí"|
|Season 3 appearances|
|"SO"||"Oiled"||"Caregiver"||"Home"||"Turning and Turning"|
|"The Push"||"Widening Gyre"||"Lochán Mór"||"Turas"||"Fírinne"|
|Season 4 appearances|
|"With An X"||"Fruit For The Crows"||"Family Recipe"||"Kiss"||"Hands"|
|"Call of Duty"||"Burnt and Purged Away"||"To Be, Act 1"||"To Be, Act 2"|
|Season 5 appearances|
|"Sovereign"||"Authority Vested"||"Laying Pipe"||"Stolen Huffy"||"Orca Shrugged"|
|"Small World"||"Toad's Wild Ride"||"Ablation"||"Andare Pescare"||"Crucifixed"|
|"To Thine Own Self"||"Darthy"||"J'ai Obtenu Cette"|
|Season 6 appearances|
|"Straw"||"One One Six"||"Poenitentia"||"Wolfsangel"||"The Mad King"|
|"Salvage"||"Sweet and Vaded"||"Los Fantasmas"||"John 8:32"||"Huang Wu"|
|"Aon Rud Persanta"||"You Are My Sunshine"||"A Mother's Work"|
- In Season 4, Episode 8, Clay says "My wife grew up in this town, it became my home 31 years ago..."