Filip Chibs Telford portrayed by Tommy Flanagan
Filip “Chibs” Telford is a fictional character on the FX television series Sons of Anarchy (SOA or SAMCRO), played by Tommy Flanagan. He is the current President of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club’s Charming, California mother charter. Before that, he was the Sergeant-at-Arms and later the Vice President.
Nickname and Offices Held
He is nicknamed “Chibs” because of his facial scars (“chib” is Scots slang for “street blade” or a stabbing weapon). (Flanagan’s scars are real, received in a bar scuffle where his attackers branded him with “the Glasgow smile”.)
He is the only known club member to have held the most positions in the club. On his colors, he wore the following patches: “Sgt. at Arms”, “V. President” (now currently replaced with “President”), “Sons of Anarchy” and like Jax, the “In Memory of Opie” patch. Chibs is extremely loyal to Jax Teller and the club. He also has a good relationship with Tig Trager, with Half-Sack Epps (a prospect he sponsored), and Juice Ortiz. He has a fatherlike relationship with Juice, which ends after Juice’s eventual betrayal of the club.
Chibs is SAMCRO’s connection with the Real IRA, which sells guns to organized crime groups within the United States. Chibs is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, but grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is heard speaking both Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Telford tells Real IRA member Cameron Hayes that he served as a medic with the British Army for five months before being court-martialed. He patches Cameron up after he is shot.
Chibs was excommunicated from the Real IRA by the group’s leader, Jimmy O’Phelan, who out of jealousy scarred his face. Jimmy told him never to return to Ireland. He stole Chibs wife Fiona Larkin. Fiona remains married to Chibs and still loves him. He also raises Chibs and Fiona’s daughter, Kerrianne. Chibs then joined SAMBEL in Ireland, until he transferred to SAMCRO in the United States. The Charming charter has Real IRA links via the club’s Belfast charter.
Season 1 begins with the Sons of Anarchy finding their weapon storage warehouse being burned down. When they arrive at the scene, police are already investigating. Gun parts and the corpses of two illegal immigrants are found inside. Later that night, all of the chapter’s members attend a meeting (“church” or “chapel”) where they are informed it was the Mayans, a rival biker gang, who destroyed the warehouse, and who is now storing the guns in San Leandro.
Mayans & Nords
The Sons decide to ride out to San Leandro the next night and steal the weapons back. Clay Morrow, Jax Teller, Tig Trager, and Chibs all go to the industrial storage warehouse in San Leandro and locate the guns. They are interrupted by four men who turn up in a car outside. Clay and Tig take care of the men, three of whom are Mayans. The other man, Whistler, is a Nord; Whistler shoots Jax, twice, in his bulletproof vest, and Jax then shoots Whistler dead. SAMCRO then takes the weapons, bombs the warehouse, and flees.
The police begin to investigate the club when they discover the burned-down warehouse belonged to the Sons of Anarchy. The Sons decide to distract the police to keep them off their case. Chibs, Jax, Juice Ortiz, and Half-Sack Epps steal a car owned by Ernest Darby, the leader of the Nordics. The Nordics are a neo-Nazi gang. They also steal two dead bodies from the local morgue. They then stage the Mexican and white corpses in a fake shoot-out made to look like a racist murder involving the Nordics.
Convenience Store Murder
On the way back to town, the Sons are cut off by a man driving a red muscle car. They later catch up with this man at a convenience store/petrol station, and Jax beats him up. The man then pulls out a pistol and attempts to shoot Jax. Jax wrestles him to the ground, and then the Pakistani shopkeeper kills the man with a fire axe. Chibs then steals the store’s CCTV tapes, and the Sons flee the scene. Later on he attends the “funeral” of the two Mexican prostitutes killed in the warehouse fire.
The Sons and Gemma receive a cold reception from local businessman Elliot Oswald and his family at a nearby traveling carnival. Nonetheless, Oswald soon goes to Clay and asks the Sons to find the man who raped his 13-year-old daughter. The Sons quickly agree. When the gang discovers the rapist is one of the carnies, they return to the carnival. After a brief fight with the carnies, the Sons retrieve the rapist. They then torture and murder him. Later on, when Michael McKeavey of the Real IRA comes to Charming to sell weapons, Chibs travels “up north” with him.
The club enters Half-Sack into a bare-knuckle boxing competition to raise funds to buy weapons. He is trained by Chibs, who enforces Clay’s order that Half-Sack have “no booze, no weed, and no pussy”. At the competition, Half-Sack wins every bout up to the final round. Then Chibs and Tig tell him to take a dive because they bet on the opponent. Half-Sack reluctantly agrees. However, he then sees Cherry cheek-kiss and hug Clay at ring-side, which incites a sudden surge of rage. Half-Sack knocks his opponent out.
Chibs and Jax have to go into a One-Niners bar in Oakland to retrieve Piney Winston. It seems that Piney barged in, took a hostage, and demanded to know who killed his daughter-in-law, Donna. That night, he goes with Tig and Happy to San Joaquin to kill the witness who has identified Bobby and Opie as Brenan Hefner murderers.
The safe house is being guarded by two sheriffs and a female ATF agent, but Tig, Chibs, and Happy manage to knock all three unconscious and gain entry to the house. When they see the witness is a teenage girl, the Sons initially have doubts about killing her. However, Tig steps up, and just before he shoots her, Jax stops him at gunpoint from doing so. Jax then tells Chibs and Happy to leave and beats Tig up for killing Donna. Season One ends with Donna’s funeral, which is attended by SAMCRO and other numerous other Sons from other SOA chapters.
Chibs narrowly escapes death from a car bomb explosion set up by Zobell to end the life of a SAMCRO member. This causes him to spend about half of the season at St. Thomas Hospital. Tara tells Jax Chibs’ condition is critical, but stable; the explosion slammed Chibs’ head into the ground and caused cranial bleeding.
In the episode “Potlatch”, Chibs’ wife Fiona has returned to Charming and checks on Chibs. She gives him a kiss on the cheek and says the kiss is from Kerrianne. She then calls him “My Love”, in Irish Gaelic. Gemma tells Tara that Fiona is one of the only three women who scare her. She tells Tara that he and Fiona have been separated a long time and just never got a divorce. She tells Tara that they need to keep him in this hospital so Fiona can never be alone with him.
In the episode “Fa Guan”, Jax visits Chibs and updates him on what’s going on. Chibs says Jimmy O would never let Fiona travel alone, so Jimmy O has to be here as well. Tara informs Chibs he will be moved to a different hospital for the rest of his recovery. This news upsets him; he says he needs to be in a place where there is protection.
Later on, Chibs follows Tara’s advice to pretend to have a severe head pain and claims he cannot see through his right eye, in order to stay in critical care. In the episode “Balm”, Chibs is released from the hospital.
Chib’s Family Background
En route to the clubhouse, he tells Half-Sack they should stop by CaraCara. Half-Sack informs Chibs that CaraCara burned down, and Jax is going Nomad. Agent Stahl attempts to use this history to get Chibs to inform on the Real IRA. Chibs initially refuses this offer. Jimmy O then insinuates that he will begin a sexual relationship with Chibs’ daughter if Chibs does not cooperate with his attempts to repair the IRA’s relationship with SAMCRO. Chibs turns to Stahl. He offers information in exchange for his wife and daughter’s safety. Stahl says she will put them in witness protection. Also, the ATF promises to keep SAMCRO out of their investigation into the Irish.
In the episode “Service”, Chibs meets with Stahl to sign the deal he proposed. When he realizes Stahl altered their agreement, he refuses to sign any documents. Stahl threatens to reveal Chibs’ betrayal to the Real IRA. This would mean certain death for his wife and abducted daughter. Opie accidentally sees Chibs and Stahl exiting the same building. Feeling helpless and ashamed for both dealing behind SAMCRO’s back and for his plan’s backfiring, Chibs sits alone in the auto shop, where Gemma sees him.
Gemma gives Chibs advice and encourages him to tell the truth to Clay and the others, which he does. Clay tells him he did not sign anything, so he is not a rat. Chibs is later picked as one of SAMCRO’s 10 best fighters against L.O.A.N. When A.J. Weston is arrested and released, Chibs, Jax, and Opie corner him in a tattoo parlor bathroom, and Jax shoots him to death. Chibs later comforts Jax over Abel’s kidnapping.
Chibs is one of the Sons who accompanies Jax to Belfast to look for Abel. There, Chibs is reunited with his estranged wife and his daughter. Although Kerrianne’s display of affection is initially hesitant, she and Chibs eventually hug, and she calls him “Da”. In “Firinne”, Chibs is involved in the capture of McGee and the shootout between Jimmy’s men and SAMCRO.
Chibs also loses his nephew Padraic in a truck explosion set up by SAMBEL’s then sergeant-at-arms Liam O’Niell, which deeply upsets Chibs. In the Season 3 finale, Chibs finally gets his revenge on Jimmy O by giving him the same Glasgow Smile Jimmy gave him and subsequently stabbing him to death. He then uses Jimmy’s own blood to paint a Real IRA symbol on the rear windshield of Stahl’s cruiser, to make it look like the Real IRA committed the hit.
Along with Opie, Piney, and Kozik, Chibs coordinates the day-to-day operations of the club while the others are in prison, and organizes the setup of increased IRA “hardware” traffic. Chibs is at Stockton welcoming Clay, Jax, Bobby, Juice, Happy, and Tig after they are released from prison, and later attends Opie’s wedding. He, Bobby, Happy, and Juice sneak away from the meeting to handle the Russian hardware, and eventually double-cross and murder the Russians, as well as an undercover FBI agent.
Along with the rest of the club, he is reluctant to enter into a deal with the drug cartel, but he points out that the high volume of guns being moved will keep the IRA happy. However, he votes against the deal when it comes to a final decision, stating he doesn’t trust the cartel. In the season finale, following Clay’s unraveling secrets and Jax’s taking the gavel, Jax appoints Chibs Sergeant-at-Arms, and he thereby takes Tig’s seat at the table.
Chibs is shown to be sticking closer to Jax than ever in his new position as Sergeant-at-Arms. When the Sons are attacked by Niners during a muling run, Tig tries to kill Laroy Wayne and accidentally kills Wayne’s girlfriend Veronica Pope. Chibs attends a meeting of the Sons, the Niners, and powerful gangster Damon Pope (Veronica’s father) to cease hostilities. Chibs and Jax are charged with the highway shooting of one of the Niners, and Tig with running down Veronica, when they are identified by witnesses bought by Pope, who wants them inside so the black prison gangs he controls can kill them.
The three Sons are arrested. Opie assaults Roosevelt in order to be sent to prison with them. They are sent to Stockton. They are initially protected by Mexicans, thanks to the cartel. But, Pope demands a dead Son for the Niner and cop they killed. He also demands that Tig to stay inside for life. Opie takes the fall, and Chibs screams in horror as he watches Opie beaten to death.
When they get out, Jax makes a new deal with Pope to cut his gang in on the muling business for a bigger payment. Pope also gives Jax the identity and address of the prison sergeant who had Opie killed. The Sons track the guard down, and Jax beats him past death with a snow globe, until he pulls Jax off.
When it’s revealed the three Nomads Gogo, Greg, and Frankie are behind the Charming break-ins, the Sons try to track them down. Unser and Clay kill Gogo and Greg, when they try to assassinate Unser. The Sons later find Frankie, who robs Nero of watches and $130,000 in cash, and kidnaps and injures Chibs. Later, Jax and Bobby tell him about the RICO case facing SOA and the rat who helped the Feds set it up: Juice. He is enraged at the betrayal and embarrassed at the leverage; Juice’s dad is black.
Vengance for Opie
When the Sons find the man who beat Opie to death, he is revealed to be the cousin of the Grim Bastard’s President T.O. Jax promises not to kill him, but after questioning him about the others, he shoots him in the head with a silenced pistol. He states they did what they had to do. Since Bobby disagrees, and it could come to a head, Jax asks Chibs if he is in his corner. He replies, “I’ve always been there, and I always will. I love you, kid. You understand?”, and then goes to clean up from the shooting.
Following Bobby’s resignation, Chibs takes over as Vice President of SAMCRO. Chibs is originally less vocally opposed to Jax’s decisions as President as his predecessor. However, he nevertheless grows frustrated when Jax angrily tells the Irish that he is getting SAMCRO out of guns without consulting him first. This announcement leads to a straining of the Club’s relationship with the IRA.
Following an altercation between Jax and Galen O’Shay, the Irish kill full-patch member Phil and prospect V-Lin, igniting a war between the Sons and the Irish. When Jax offers the gun trade to August Marks without consulting either him or the Club as a whole, Chibs grows furious that Jax once again made a critical decision without bringing it to the table for a vote.
Club House Explosion
Despite his grievances with Jax’s conduct, he nevertheless stays loyal to his President and aids him in their plans to move SAMCRO out of guns. When the Club goes into lockdown to avoid further casualties at the hands of the Irish, Jax and Chibs are the first to discover that the IRA have planted bombs beneath the Clubhouse that are set to explode at the time when all the Club members would be at the table.
Jax and Chibs order an evacuation of the Clubhouse, with Jax running back inside when he discovers that Abel is still sleeping in the guest room. He follows Jax in, making sure Jax and Abel escape before he, too, leaves just as the Clubhouse explodes behind them.
Mayhem for Clay
Following the explosion, Chibs reassured Jax that “we are going to fix this”. When the Club decides to vote on Clay “meeting Mr Mayhem”, he supports Jax’s decision. Clay assists Jax in killing Galen. Jax and Tig kill Galen’s guards to make the scene look like a deal gone wrong. After first checking to make sure Jax is good with killing Clay himself, he stands back and watches silently as Jax shoots Clay through the neck, killing him instantly.
Later, Jax decides that the only way to save Tara, himself and the Club is to hand himself in as the supplier of the guns used in the school shooting. Chibs and Bobby argue against this decision. Jax insists that there is no other way. He suggests that Chibs take his position as VP when Bobby steps in as acting President. He reluctantly agrees and tearfully bids goodbye to Jax. Jax then heads home to hand himself in to Eli Roosevelt, not knowing that he and Tara have just been murdered by Gemma.
When Jax is released from a brief stay in prison following Tara’s murder, for possession of firearms, Chibs is one of the first to comfort Jax upon his return. Bobby steps down as acting President, but Chibs retains his position as Vice President to Jax.
When Gemma falsely identifies one of Henry Lin’s soldiers as Tara’s murder, he assists Jax in capturing him but watches in silent disgust as Jax tortures the (unbeknown to them) innocent man to death. Contacting President Jury White for help in an attack against the Lin Triad, he accompanies Bobby and Jax to the home of two men who helped Jury in the attack. The trio kill the men, making it look like a murder-suicide, not knowing that one of the men they killed is in fact Jury’s son.
When Juice returns to Charming, having been on the run for betraying the Club, Unser sets up a meeting between him and Chibs. Chibs angrily tells Juice that he should have killed himself when he had the chance, but decides not to tell Jax about Juice’s return. Meanwhile, He strikes up a romantic relationship with Althea Jarry of the San Joaquin Police Department, much to the amusement of the Club.
When Bobby is captured and tortured by August Marks, Chibs is visibly distraught when Marks sends Jax a Tupperware box containing Bobby’s eye and later his severed fingers. Meanwhile, Jax begins to suspect that Jury is the one who ratted to the Chinese. When Jax fights and kills Jury, Jury’s VP Gaines tells Jax that he is unfit to be President and tries to attack him, only to be restrained by Chibs who angrily states that “my boy ain’t going nowhere”. He later warns Jax that killing Jury will bring a lot of heat down on him and the Club, and that he should be prepared to defend himself.
Avenging Bobby’s Murder
After Bobby’s murder at Marks’ hands, Chibs is present when SAMCRO, the One-Niners and the Aryan Brotherhood ambush Bobby’s torturer Moses and a gang of Mark’s men. Having killed Mark’s men, and with Moses at their mercy, Chibs uses a knife to cut off Moses’ fingers. He also watches with satisfaction as Jax takes out his eye. Jax then shoots Moses through the back of the head.
Later, Jax travels north to confront Gemma over Tara’s murder. He leaves Chibs to handle the situation with the Chinese. He and several other SAMCRO members burst into a Chinese gambling hall and massacre Lin’s remaining men. Lin dies in Stockton at Juice’s hands. This ultimately brings an end to SAMCRO’s war against the Chinese.
Jax Steps Down
Jax agrees to step down as President over his killing of Jury, who was in fact innocent in ratting out the Club to the Chinese, but asks that the Club remove its written bylaw against having black members. Chibs nominates T.O. Cross, and it passes unanimously.
Afterwards, Jax talks privately with Chibs, telling him that he came clean about Jury’s murder to the other Presidents and recommended the Mayhem vote. Though distraught, Chibs promises Jax that he’ll do as he’s asked. Afterwards, Chibs meets with Jarry, who breaks off their relationship. Chibs tells her it’s a mistake, because cops who land on the wrong side of the Club “tend to go away.”.
Back at the new Clubhouse in Red Woody, Chibs tells the Sons they can’t let their hearts be louder than their reason. He chokes back tears as he calls for Jax’s mayhem vote. They solemnly vote unanimously in favor. Jax then arrives at a warehouse and meets the surviving SAMCRO members. He presents Chibs with his President patch and lets Chibs choose his VP. He chooses Tig, which Jax remarks is a “good choice”.
As Jax prepares for Chibs to shoot him, he instead shoots Happy in the arm and tells Jax that they’ll lie to the other Presidents. He says they will tell them that Jax lay down some fire and got away. Jax bids goodbye to each of his SAMCRO brothers. He leaves Chibs for last and the two share a long embrace. He watches as Jax rides away on J.T.’s bike towards his death. As he pulls away he tells them all “I’ve got this.” Chibs is last seen sat at the head of the table, holding the President’s patch in his hands.
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