|First appearance||"Seeds" (episode 1.02)|
|Last appearance||"Red Rose" (episode 7.12)|
|Created by||Kurt Sutter|
|Portrayed by||Dayton Callie|
|Occupation||Former Chief of the Charming Police Department, former Marine, Associate of Sons of Anarchy M.C., San Joaquin Sheriffs Department Investigative unit.|
|Spouse(s)||Della Unser (divorced)|
|Children||Two unnamed daughters|
Chief Wayne Unser is a fictional character on the FX television series Sons of Anarchy, played by Dayton Callie. He was the Chief of the fictional Charming, California Police Department and was also a known associate of SAMCRO. Chief Unser sees SAMCRO as a benefit to the town, because the Sons aim to keep drugs and violence out of Charming and protect the population from threats even less desirable than the club (such as ruthless developer Jacob Hale, Jr.). Unser plans to retire, surrendering his post to Deputy Chief David Hale, but is forced to continue at his post as chief of Charming police when Hale is killed in a hit and run/drive-by at the wake of SAMCRO prospect "Half-Sack" (Season 3, Episode 1). Unser's ties to SAMCRO tighten over the course of the series, and he is often seen helping the Teller family with day-to-day tasks, as well as occasionally helping with some of the club's dirty work (this is never more apparent than when Wayne helps the club to kill ATF Agent June Stahl and club nemesis James O'Phalen [Season 3, Episode 12]). After retiring, Wayne eventually rejoins law enforcement as an investigator for Lt. Althea Jarry, who with the District Attorney, hires him to help solve the murders of Tara Knowles and former San Jaoqin Lieutenant Sheriff Eli Roosevelt. In the penultimate episode of the series, Jax Teller kills Wayne while he is trying to arrest Gemma Teller-Morrow (to prevent her son Jax from killing her).
Unser is a native of the small Northern Californian town of Charming and is in his 50s. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. When he returned Stateside, he joined the police force and became Chief of the Charming Police Department. He also owned Unser Shipping, a trucking company, though he later sold it. He was "married to a dark-skinned woman" named Della, and they have two daughters. He is suffering from bladder cancer and smokes marijuana for pain relief. He is corrupt in that he is an ally of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, a local biker gang. However, most of the illegal activity he partakes in is beneficial for the town, whose residents he greatly cares for.
Unser has always gotten on well with SAMCRO during his administration and even employed them as muscle at times. However, he is retiring at the end of the month, because of the cancer, and is handing the reins over to his Deputy, David Hale, who is overtly suspicious of the SOA and will almost definitely begin an investigation into the club. Unser hires the SOA to protect one of his company's shipments on its way to Mexico. However, they hijack it to send Unser a warning. Clay Morrow, their leader, threatens Unser to stay on for a short time longer and keep Hale off their case. If not, they will hijack any of his trucks that try to leave town. Unser decides to stay on for another six months.
In response to a number of recent gang killings, Unser arrests Clay Morrow, Ernest Darby, and Marcus Álvarez. Unser asks Darby, who leads the White supremacist Nordics gang, if he knows that Unser is married to a dark-skinned woman. When Darby gives him a snotty degrading reply, Unser hits him. He lets the gang leaders have a meeting in their cell in order to end the violence.
Unser is angry at ATF for prioritizing their investigation above the safety of the town residents. He convinces Hale to reveal that SOA member Opie Winston is innocent and that Agent Stahl is setting him up to be killed, because she is angry. However the info comes too late to help Donna, Opie's wife, who is accidentally killed in Opie's stead.
Unser gives Jax and Opie the keys to the cells and lets them break into his police station to free two of the gang's women who had been arrested.
In Season Two we see the more heroic side of Unser. He finds Gemma after she has been brutally gang raped. Initially, he and Tara are the only people Gemma had trusted with this information. He covered for Gemma, with Tara's help, by pretending Gemma's injuries resulted from a car wreck. Unser showed his deep fatherly affection for Gemma, whom he has known since she was 12. Unser seems shocked and saddened when he learns Hale may have been working with the Aryans. Unser personally delivers a message to Ethan Zobelle: "Charming is a special place. It chooses its occupants. That the people that are wrong for the town disappear." When Ethan asks if that is a threat, Unser doesn't answer.
Unser eventually confides Gemma's secret to Deputy Hale, to convince Hale to not side with the L.O.A.N. and Zobelle. He also confesses to Gemma that his wife left him. He continues to smoke medical marijuana and take medication for his cancer.
As season two progresses, Unser becomes increasingly involved with SAMCRO, wanting to get rid of the L.O.A.N. just as much as the bikers do. He provides a lot of vital information to Clay which allows the Sons to plan ambushes and conduct surveillance on the Aryans. In the episode "The Culling", Unser officially makes David Hale the acting police chief and begins minimizing his own duties. In the season finale, Unser provides SAMCRO with vital details about Zobelle's release and allows the bikers to use one of his trucks to ambush Zobelle's convoy.
After Gemma is framed for the murder of Edmond Hayes, she calls Wayne for help. The two are last seen fleeing Charming in Unser's police cruiser, destination unknown.
With Gemma in hiding, Unser returns to Charming with a plan to retire and turn the police department over to Deputy Chief David Hale. However, Hale's death at Half-Sack's funeral forces Unser to stay on as Charming's Chief of Police. The actions at Half-Sack's funeral plant seeds of doubt in Unser's mind regarding the SOA and their place in Charming. Having seized upon these doubts, Hale then approaches Unser, telling him SAMCRO can no longer keep violence out of Charming, and he would support Charming Police if Unser would support Hale in Charming's mayoral race. Unser later confronts Clay Morrow about his fears and doubts, advising that knowing Charming would be protected allowed Unser to sleep at night, despite knowing he had been overlooking SAMCRO's illegal activities; however, Unser is no longer sure SAMCRO can keep up their end of the deal. Clay assures Unser that the MC could keep peace in Charming, but when Earnst Darby informs Hale that he'd witnessed SAMCRO selling illegal medication at a clinic near Charming, a raid on SAMCRO's headquarters is quickly organized, and Unser does not tip off the club (Darby told Hale he believed that SAMCRO was probably stashing OxyContin at their headquarters, although what he actually witnessed was HIV medication being sold to the clinic).
Following the raid, Clay announces that Unser is "dead" to him. Unser is able to catch Gemma when she breaks out of police custody, but she calls his bluff, knowing he could never hurt her, which ultimately leads to Gemma, Clay, Jax, and Tig's escaping from St. Thomas hospital.
Unser's relationship with SAMCRO continues to fall apart. In later episodes he shows more anger towards the club.
When Hale hires Salazar to scare Lumpy into selling his gym, Salazar gets carried away and nearly kills Lumpy. Unser believes it is Mayan retaliation, because of the message Salazar left. SAMCRO learns of this and tries to tell Unser it wasn't the Mayans and to investigate Jacob Hale, but Unser ignores this. When Oswald tells Unser the SOA and the Mayans are good with each other, Unser still has doubts. When Oswald tells Unser to see what investors are buying up land on the block of Lumpy's Gym, Unser finds something he doesn't like, confirming what SAMCRO told him about Hale in the first place.
After he learns of a unanimous vote to let the County Sheriff's Office take over in Charming, Unser confronts Jacob Hale, and Hale shows that he does not care about the local police department. The next day, Unser tells SAMCRO they were right about Hale, and he decides to work with them to get Salazar, who has kidnapped Tara, because it is the only way to prove that Hale is dirty.
In the finale, Unser (no longer Chief of Police) participates in the Jimmy O/June Stahl murder by leading Stahl's backup away from the scene with a false tip that Jimmy's men are waiting in ambush up the highway, while SAMCRO carries out the deed. Kozik then punches Unser to cover up Unser's involvement.
In the beginning of Season Four Unser is down on his luck after his wife has divorced him and he has sold his trucking business. He is seen living in a trailer on the outskirts of town, mulling over his former life and drinking heavily. He is later shown attending Opie's wedding. He is later contacted by both Clay and Gemma, separately, who tell him that Tara has letters from John Teller, and each asks for Unser's help to get them without involving the other party. Gemma is successful in peeking at few of them with some of Unser's help, but she does not read the whole contents. After this, Unser manages to steal copies Tara made and read them. This greatly angers Unser, who is shocked about the truth Clay hid even from him, not knowing that John Teller wanted the club to go legit and get out of gunrunning. When Gemma visits Unser later, he lies to her regarding the letters.
Knowing Clay would be looking for the letters and by extension, Tara, Unser reports to Roosevelt an anonymous threat against Tara, about which he doesn't go into detail. To make things seem real, he writes a death threat and leaves it in Tara's car, thus putting her into constant survillance by the club, possibly as a way to ensure Clay cannot kill her. Unser later reports to Tara's supervisor, Margaret, and has Tara removed from the Hospital. Gemma calls Unser after she finds Piney's dead body. Unser, knowing Clay is out of control, wants to report Clay but is convinced to help frame Sonora. However, after Clay badly beats Gemma, Unser has a change of mind, confronts both Clay, and tells a devastated Opie that Clay killed Opie's father, Piney.
Unser is seen at the beginning of the season watching over Gemma and her house in the immediate aftermath of her and Clay's separation. At the end of the premiere episode, he is ambushed and beaten by three disguised men, who break in and burglarize the house. Unser later meets with Roosevelt, stating that he doesn't think the break-ins in Charming are black retaliation, as the beating didn't "feel black" but like inexperienced white. He states he will be doing his own personal investigation of the break-ins and is later seen questioning the victims. Unser is seen again apologizing for the death of Roosevelt's wife Rita and gets angry at Gemma for only using people when she needs them, and states she has no friends. In "Toad's Wild Ride" Unser is visited by Jax and Bobby. It's revealed he lost his land and is parked on the premises of Unser Trucking in exchange for working security. Unser shows them all the evidence he has collected, and the three conclude the three Nomads recently patched into SAMCRO - Gogo, Greg, and Frankie - are responsible for the break-ins and Rita's death, and Clay most likely put them up to it. Unser visits Gogo and Greg, and notices the long scratches on Gogo's neck. He is later visited by Clay, and the two discuss their relationship and the ties between them, when Gogo and Greg break down the door. Unser shoots Gogo with a double-barreled shotgun, and Clay kills Greg with a shot to the head from his pistol. Unser covers up the killings to hide Clay's involvement and is visited by the police and Gemma, whom he makes amends with. Later, Unser is shown to have been kicked off the premises of Unser Trucking, as "double murder is bad for business", and he resorts to parking his Airstream on Teller Morrow grounds. He is later asked by Jax to research a former U.S. Marshal investigating Tara.
Unser is still living on the Teller Morrow grounds. He is jokingly known as "Uncle Touchy", as he willingly helps Jax and Gemma with the boys. When Clay kills a member of a Neo-Nazi group, Unser is attacked by Neo-Nazis who carve a swastika into his chest. He is treated by Tara and worries about what would have happened if he had the boys. He visits Tara at St. Thomas and finds her in a meeting with Wendy and Lowen. He knows what Tara is doing involves the boys and offers to help. She takes him up on the favor by asking him to get a restraining order from a city clerk, which Tara then files against Gemma, making it seem Gemma caused Tara to have a miscarriage. Unser, shocked by this, states: "it breaks my heart you had to become something so bad to do what you thought was right". He states he won't tell Gemma, but he can't help Tara anymore. He later helps Jax find the truth of the matter by questioning Lowen, but makes him promise no one will get hurt. In the season finale, Unser is the only one attendee at Clay's burial. Unser reveals to Gemma, falsely, that Tara has taken the children and will testify against SOA, inadvertently causing Gemma to attack and kill Tara.
Unser is distraught over Tara's death. He joined the San Joaquin Sheriff's Department, working with the new sheriff Althea Jarry under the title "Consulting Investigator", in an attempt to help find Tara and Eli's killer. Juice, who is on the run from the Club and hiding in Wendy's apartment, kidnaps Unser when he finds him snooping in Wendy's apartment. Juice frees Unser and tells him Gemma has been helping him hide. Unser attempts to help him get in touch with SAMCRO, to see if there's a chance the club will take him back. When this fails, Wayne, Gemma, and Wendy attempt to smuggle Juice down south, but he takes off after Gemma attempts to kill him.
When a deal goes wrong between SAMCRO and the Aryan Brotherhood, one of Unser's former officers, Candy Eglee, is ambushed seriously injured by gunshot wounds. Unser visits Eglee daily at the hospital and later kills an AB member, named Leland, in Eglee's hospital room, who was sent to finish her off in order to keep her silent.
Later in the season, Unser tells Jax and Gemma the Chinese man Gemma fingered for Tara's murder wasn't even in the state at the time. Jax asks Unser to help get the truth about Tara's killer by getting him a visit with Juice, inside Stockton, and Unser can listen to the tape of their conversation. Unser agrees but warns Jax he will lose his loyalty if he burns him on this. Jarry later tells Unser that Lin was killed in Stockton that day, and there is no videotape, as the room was "bought". When Jax then asks Unser to help find Gemma, who has gone MIA, Unser repeats that he is done helping the club. He even goes as far to tell Jax about Tara's death: "if you really give a shit about Tara, you would spend less time being a thug and more time being a dad". This prompts Jax to punch him in the face. Unser then has Jarry put out an APB on Jax for assault, to make sure no one else gets hurt in the quest for the truth about Tara's death. Eventually, Jax catches up to Unser and reveals he discovered it wasn't the Chinese who killed Tara; it was Gemma. When Unser learns from Nero that Gemma is at her dad's house, in Oregon, Unser drives there to arrest Gemma, to save her from Jax. Unfortunately, Jax arrives shortly after Wayne and tells him to leave. Unser pulls out his gun, prompting Jax to do the same. When Jax asks him again to go, Unser explains he can't; "this is all I got left" (meaning his love for Gemma). Jax then shoots Unser in the chest, killing him instantly.
Link to Gemma Teller Morrow
Unser knew Gemma since she was 12. He often refers to Gemma as "leaving Charming when she was 16 and showing up 10 years later with a baby and a biker gang". The show hints at a relationship between Unser and Gemma that runs deeper than typical small community familiarity. In the season two finale, Unser picks Gemma up after she has killed Polly, is shown holding Gemma's hand, and asks: "where are we going?" Gemma replies, "I don't know", and the two then drive out of the Charming in Unser's police cruiser. In season 6, Unser reveals to Gemma that he is in love with her.