Seeing how Gemma is married to the director of the show, I highly doubt she gets wrote off. As pissed as I was when it happened, and still am since Opie was my favorite character as well, from a real life perspective it made since.
Opie has lost everything in his life. He lost his wife and dad to Samcro, and the only other people that meant anything to him we're his kids and Jax. Maybe he felt being able to protect Jax meant he was able to do something that he wasn't able to do for his wife and dad.
Still pissed, but would not stop watching the show, since I think all hell will break loose now.
"If beer has never touched your lips, if you never dropped the mitts or packed a lip, you are not a hockey player, and if you are, chances are your not a very good one"