Are you all caught up on your family of gunrunning motorcyclists? You can catch up on all of Season 3, as the fourth season of Sons of Anarchy roars back onto FX today. The family’s peace is threatened by deaths and other violence in the end of the second season, and our antiheroes lack something to keep them grounded. Changes are on the horizon inside of the club and in the town of Charming, CA, that they call home, but first, there’s the not-so-simple matter of rescuing Jax’s son.
As the season opens, Gemma (Katey Sagal), “mother” of the SOA Club is on the run after being framed for murder by a corrupt ATF (Arms, Tobacco, and Firearms) agent; Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is struggling with the kidnapping of his eight-month-old son; Clay (Ron Perlman), the patriarch of the club, and the club itself are mourning the murder of club member Half Sack, who was taken out by the boy’s kidnapper. Unrest is everywhere, and while that seems to be par for the course with a gang of gunrunning motorcylists, the violence is only getting started.
If The Shield or The Sopranos captured your interest, then you’ll probably be down for a season’s worth of SOA. It doesn’t always make sense, but it’s passionate, violent, and ultimately, beneath the motorcycle gang elements, it’s the story of family system struggling to adapt and evolve in a changing world.
Some allusions are made throughout by writer/producer Keith Sutter about the connection to Hamlet. Whether you see the Bard writing a tale about a motorcycle gang or not, you can certainly see the truths and half-truths, the circumstances and betrayals, which lead to situations of self-doubt, trouble, and death. There are definitely marked consequences for the actions of the members of the gang and those who oppose them. We’re set up to see them differently than the others because they won’t deal in drugs or directly with prostitution, but the truth is that the consequences find them as well.
The high definition version proves to contain the sprawling action scenes like they’re straight off the movie screen, and special features allow us to see extended/deleted scenes as well as more from the mind of Sutter as we examine the show. There’s plenty more tension here for Jax as he works out his daddy issues, both as a father hellbent on saving his son, and as a son who struggles with the death of his father from years ago, his relationship with Clay, and a need to find grounding and mentoring in a man. Most of what unfolds is driven by the vengeance in Jax’s heart. We’re not led to be too critical of him, but his decisions threaten the increments of peace he’s experienced along the way.
Catch up now on where it stands before the next act rolls on through.