Much was made in the first season of the bikie drama Sons of Anarchy of creator Kurt Sutter's intention to model the show on Shakespeare's great tragedy, Hamlet.
The analogy looked clear: Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) suspects his stepfather Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) of having murdered his father so that he can step into his shoes as leader of the Sons and marry Jax's mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal).
But as the years went on and the club got involved in bloody struggles with the Irish, Mexican gangs and white supremacists that premise got lost in the gunfire.
Now with season six screening on pay-TV channel Showcase and the next series to be the last, fans are starting to get nervous.
At the end of Hamlet, all the main characters with the exception of the scholar Horatio are dead.
Key gang member Opie was killed in the last season and this year stalwart Tig looked certain to die at the end of episode three a few weeks ago, producing a squall of complaint online from followers of the show.
Kim Coates, who plays Tig, said in a phone interview from Los Angeles that he believes almost all the leads will be gone by the end of the show but he has no idea how.
"Part of Kurt Sutter's genius is he has always said that he knew how to begin the show and he knows how it is going to end but he is not really sure how he is going to get there," Coates said.
"I think Kurt has a very loose umbrella in his head of who is who but I don't think he is going to stick to anyone else's mantra, even William Shakespeare's, he is going to stick to his own.
"I think things are going to end very badly between Gemma and Jax, and for Clay. I think things will go badly for the entire club. It is not going to be a gentle letdown for this club where they deal in guns, that is going to come back and haunt them."
If that is so, could Tig, who has come close to death many times, be who Sutter sees as Horatio, the last man left standing? "Could be, everyone thought that Horatio in the play, the only one who really lives at the end, was Opie but Kurt sort of squelched that last year," Coates said. "Charlie (Jax) is Hamlet obviously, but who knows who the Ghost is and (Hamlet's love) Ophelia, is it Wendy or is it Tara?"
Coates, a Canadian actor who has been in more than 50 movies, admits that initially he had reservations about taking on the role of Tig.
"When they shot the pilot, they liked it but they had to recast Clay and they did not have Tig, the sergeant-of-arms, so literally Ron Perlman and I were cast at the 11th hour.
"I said to Sutter I have no interest in playing a sociopath and he said: 'Listen to me, this guy is going to be tough and yes, he is going to be a bit psycho, but he has a heart and he will cry and he will be warm. He has issues for sure, but trust me, he is loyal like a dog'.
"I trusted him and you know I am glad I did because I think it is some of the best stuff I have ever filmed and I'm pretty lucky to be playing this guy."
But Coates admits that some of the scenes he has had to play have pushed him to his limits both as an actor and as a human being. One of those was at the beginning of series five, when gangster Damon Pope catches Tig and makes him watch as his daughter, Dawn, is burnt alive.
"When Kurt Sutter told me I had to do that I started to cry," Coates said. "I didn't know how the hell I was going to do it, I have two daughters.
"I have this really close friend who is a therapist and he helped me a lot (to cope with) the kind of internal emotions that you or I or any normal person would never go through."It took two nights to film that scene and one take I did 27 times. I did not go home, I stayed in a motel, I did not have a shower, I literally stayed out in that train yard. It was a very lonely feeling and at the end of the day it was something I will never forget."