- "There you go, finding a hidden advantage in an unfortunate circumstance. Using pain to take it to the next level. Those are the things that turn players into kings."
- ―Damon Pope
Damon Pope was a drug kingpin and the most dangerous and powerful gangster in Oakland, California, on the FX original series Sons of Anarchy. Played by American actor Harold Perrineau, Damon makes his debut on the episode "Sovereign" in the series' fifth season. Playing a recurring role through the same season, Damon was the overseer of many criminal organizations and gangs including the One-Niners, was one of the two main antagonists of Season 5 (the other being Romeo Parada), and met his demise in the Season 5 episode "J'ai Obtenu Cette".
Personality and Appearance
Being the most powerful gangster in Oakland, Damon Pope was an incredibly confident individual which granted him the comfort to always conduct his business, no matter how violent, with a layer of calm and ease. He rarely allowed himself to raise his voice and didn't seem frustrated or concerned, never really having cause to be. However, once he fell for Jax Teller's trick and being at the mercy of Tig Trager, Pope finally lost his reserved attitude; shooting, spewing insults, and using the threat of the five million dollar bounty on his murderer.
Pope was an incredibly wealthy individual and was always seen wearing finely tailored suits. Despite his small size and stature, he made up for it with the power he held in the criminal underworld.
Damon Pope is probably based on real life Oakland drug lord Felix Mitchell. Felix Mitchell controlled African-American organized crime in Oakland, oversaw smaller gangs and during his era he was the most powerful gangster in Oakland.
Alex 'Tig' Trager, in retaliation to an apparent attempt on Clay Morrow's life, attempts to run down and kill One-Niner Leader Laroy Wayne, while he is having lunch together with his girlfriend at a restaurant under heavy One-Niner protection. Tig fails to kill Laroy, but his girlfriend is killed by this attack.
Veronica's death and the attempted killing of Laroy sparked a war between SAMCRO and the One-Niners. When a group of One-Niners hit and blew up one of the Sons' weapons trucks, as a sign of retaliation. Later, at an empty rail-yard, two of Laroy's lieutenants; Darnell and Tyler, met with August Marks, Pope's muscled and ruthless right hand man, and Pope himself. Pope, furiously calm and collected, reminded the two nervous men that he had specifically told them to lay low in the face of attention from the authorities after Veronica's death, Pope knowing that any reprisals would be believed to come from him, but they nervously explaind they were acting on orders from Laroy, appealing to Pope to understand. Pope ended the meeting by instructing them to meet with the Sons and work things out - as he walked away, Pope told August that he feels too close to it and he wanted "no loose ends." Pope then departed while August revealed to Tyler and Darnell that he had horrifically butchered Laroy on Pope's orders and then named a reluctant Darnell as new leader of the One-Niners.
Later the same night, after being told that his daughter, Dawn Trager, had been arrested in Oakland, Tig showed up at an empty railyard to retrieve her. However, an Oakland police officer on Pope's payroll pulled a gun on Tig and chained him to a pipe. His trap placed, Pope arrived with Tig realizing that he was about to be killed for accidentally killing Veronica. Pope simply stated that killing Tig would be too easy, showing him a pit where Darnell and Laroy's bodies were along with an unconscious Dawn, much to Tig's horror. Pope's men started splashing gasoline on Dawn, who began waking up, scared out of her wits. Tig, screaming and wailing, apologized for Veronica, and begged Pope to kill him instead, but Pope was determined for Tig to know his pain. With a haunting calm, Pope flicked his cigar in the hole, and Tig, chained and helpless, watched his daughter burn alive.
After Dawn burned to death, Pope explained that he hd already arranged for him, Jax and Filip 'Chibs' Telford to be blamed for Veronica's murder and that the detective will be taking him into custody, but he should keep the "vivid" memory to himself or the same thing will happen to his other daughter. Tig vowed to cut Pope's head off but was beaten in response while Pope departed. Later, Pope, celebrating his vengeance on Tig, enjoyed an evening of benevolence; buying ice cream for local children.
The next day, August came to Pope's luxurious corporate office to report that Tig had escaped being taken into custody. Pope was angered by the news but as usual, kept a reserved appearance. Having bought off a couple of civilians to claim that they were witnesses to the Sons' killing of Veronica, he reminded August that he wanted the Sons in custody but August informed him that the Sons members that he was trying to get into custody had gone AWOL. Pope respected their resourcefulness but August assured him they would be found, telling him that the Niners, East Dub, and few other crews under their control had their eyes open. Later, Pope looked over Jax's rap sheet when August reported that Jax, Chibs, and Tig would be in county within the hour.
Thanks to his considerable power, Pope waited for Jax Teller in the office of one of the commanders of the prison. Upon first meeting, Jax is hostile but Pope quickly diffuses him, revealing that he knows the Galindo Cartel is protecting the Sons inside. After asking Jax how much the club makes running coke for the cartel, he informs him that half of his earnings will now be his. Jax refuses but Pope remains unwavering, saying that he's not negotiating and that this is all part of a muli-part retaliation for his daughter's death. He wants Tig to suffer, wanting to keep him in prison for the rest of his life and that he needs a dead SAMCRO club member after the death of the Niner on the highway and the cop Tig killed, to "maintain his relationships". He didn't care who but he had already made the necessary arrangements. Once the SAMCRO member was dead, he'd have his paid witnesses recant their statements and let the remaining living Sons besides Trager out. Jax still tried to refuse, saying that he didn't want war but Pope reminded him that he was already in one.
After the next guard shift change, where Opie had ended up being the Son to be killed, Jax was bought back to meet Pope again. Jax told Pope about a new plan of his that involves using Tig against Clay Morrow and that he needed him until he overcame Clay's attempts at a coup. Pope agreed on the promise that Jax would hand Tig over once his matters were settled. Pope was impressed with Jax for finding the hidden advantage in an unfortunate circumstance, telling him that those were the types of decisions that turned players into kings. When Jax questioned him on the recent home invasions in Charming, Pope denied his or the One-Niners' involvement and said he'd look into it. With that, Pope lets Jax call his wife, allowing Jax, Chibs, and Tig to go free, knowing that Jax will hand over Tig soon so Pope can finally enact his retribution for Veronica's death.
Jax meets with Damon Pope about the invasions he says his guys aren't responsible for the attacks. Jax wants his help finding out who it is, so he can stop them. Jax turns over their $50K, half of their last coke run. "You're an impressive young man. I've got a proposal for you and Samcro". Pope says. "Does it involve children & bonfires?" Jax asks. Damon suggests Jax double their coke haul to 60 keys, and he will move half of it to Reno. Pope promises to pay another $100K on top of what the cartel pays them & he won't take any of their cut. Jax knows the Sons want out of the drug game. Pope will set a meet with the Mayans, Lin & Niners & the club can pass if they want. He'll also give Jax 2% of his own profits, "a gentleman's agreement" between them. Jax wonders why Pope takes the risk. "I've learned to do it the right way with the right people, there is no risk. Pope says. Jax meets with Pope, saying he settled his score. Jax is trying to believe Pope isn't behind the attacks. He tells Pope the deal went through. Pope suggests inside on the attacks. Pope explains how he stays safe. If he gets killed , independent security for the $5 million bounty on whoever kills him. "You don't need money, just the ability to see the inevitable". Pope tells him.
Jax, Happy, & Chibs go to the train yard to meet Pope,who brags about buying the property to build multi-family units. Pope dindn't appreciate the severed hand. "He's black what was I supposed to think"? Jax says. That someone wants you dead & hired a black guy to do it. Pope says, matter-of facility". Jax tells Pope the attack were coming from inside. Pope quickly tells Jax the shooter's name is Charles Turner & They give hme the brother in law's address.
Jax meets with Damon Pope with the information on Charming Heights, a 3--phrase residential community . Pope is impressed with Jax that the Mayor owe's him & he's thinking beyond the street. Jax tells Pope he found out Clay was behind the attacks. Jax promises when he brings Clay down, Pope can have Tig. He promises it'll be soon. Pope knows they're looking for Hightower & tells Jax where to find him.
Jax meets up with Damon Pope. Pope looks over the plans, Jax tells him he needs 20 more keys from him for Reno to offset the gun costs. Pope again is impressed with his business savvy. Jax asks him for advice, asking of if he ever goes against the advice of everyone else. Pope guesses it's about Clay. "Democracy's overrated. Revenge is never about the greater good. It's a visceral need that has to be satisfied or the strong lose focus". Jax asks How do I scratch that visceral itch without tearing my club apart? "You can do both, you just have to step away from the need of to feel it', Pope says. "Payback by Proxy". Jax says. Pope says it's time for Tig to go. Jax wants to wrap up the deal with Lin first & promises to deliver Tig tomorrow, Pope warns him of the severe consequences to his family of not delivering. Jax says he'll always see Tig as Clay's right hand man, so he'll have no problem turning him over.
Jax rides to Pope's construction site, where he questions whether Pope will remain committed to Charming Heights.
He wants a letter of intent locking down the maintenance contracts, subsidized housing & SAMCRO's cut of the deal. August says he's met with the lawyer and can make it happen today. Pope tells Jax where to bring Tig at 2 p.m. They shake on it. When Jax leaves, August turns to Pope: "Almost done, my friend".
Jax rides with Tig to a warehouse out in the middle of nowhere. Tig notices it's quiet, Jax pulls a gun on him. Tig realizes what's going on when Pope and all his men pull up. Pope notes that Jax made it on time, but asks his men to take Jax's gun as a precaution. Tig can't belive Jax is betraying him.
Pope hands the letter of intent to Jax. They also sent one to Hale's lawyer. Jax suggests Pope take Tig into the garage so no one hears the shots. He asks for Tig's kutte first and they hand over his jacket. As Tig is led into the garage, Jax quietly opens his bike's container and takes out a gun with a silencer on it. He quickly shoots Pope's guy watching him, then he runs into the garage and takes out the two men with Pope.
Tig sees what's happening and knocks Pope off his feet so he drops his gun, Jax makes it to Pope before he can get to his gun. Jax unties Tig and hands him the gun. "You kill the man who burned your kid alive," Jax tells Tig.
"You Stupid Cracker Bitch, you know what happens to whoever kills me right?" Pope says. "I'm counting on it", Jax replies, knowing the gun in Tig's hands belongs to Clay. Tig shoots Pope dead.
|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"|