Sons of Anarchy (SOA to fans) is one of those shows that I’m embarrassed to admit I had not heard of until my cousin mentioned it to me last year. I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to identify with bikers as that culture is about the furthest thing from my culture as you can get. But I watched one episode and became addicted. And although I might never jump on a Harley unless I was in mortal danger (not because they are not fun but because I’ve seen someone on a motorcycle hit by a car and he almost died in front of me – and he was going slow, it was the car’s fault… which is reason enough for me to stay away), I’m more than happy to have a weekly date with SAMCRO and their violent bunch. I find the whole show very… cathartic.
SPOILER ALERT: In Season 4 the key members of SAMCRO are released from prison and head back to Charming. Things have changed a little in the 14 months they served in prison. For one, there is a new tract housing estate threatening to suburbanize Charming and it seems encroach on their territory. For another, there is a new brand of law enforcement in town. Those that are visible to SAMCRO (the Sheriffs) and those that aren’t, the various branches of law enforcement who have set up a secret special task force to bring down SAMCRO and the IRA, or whatever faction of the IRA they are dealing with since they tend to splinter. What SAMCRO doesn’t realize is that the Russians they are dealing with has an informant who is actually FBI. Once they revealed that, I *knew* what was going to happen this episode, especially since absolutely *nothing* happened for the hour and a half I sat waiting.
Yes, Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and Tara (Maggie Siff) get together. He asks Tara to marry him. She wants to but hesitates because she doesn’t want their son and Jax’s son to be stuck in the world of SAMCRO. He promises he’s going to get out in the next year. In the meantime, Gemma (Katey Sagal) tells Clay (Ron Perlman) that she can’t handle him being in prison again. He also promises to get out in the next year after a big payoff. Now, as anyone who watches film noir or gangster films knows, things never turn out when you are planning on getting out after one last big heist, deal, fill in the blank/your choice here. You might as well put a gun to your head and pull the trigger because the narrative is now going to work against your character for the rest of the season, but that’s what makes good drama. Can the character survive tempting fate (i.e. the writers)?
We do get to see a softer side of Gemma and Clay when they visit their old friend, Wayne (Dayton Callie) who is still somehow alive even though it seemed he would most likely be dead by the time everyone got out of prison. Gemma brings him weed for his pain. Clay tells him they need him. Let’s hope that Wayne comes back to town in some sort of “against the law” law enforcement capacity. He’s such a wonderfully corrupt cop. It’s kind of boring to watch all the cops be good. Who wants that? Then there is nothing compelling to watch. I might as well clean out the refrigerator while the police come on. I’m sure we will see someone corrupt very soon. You can’t live in Charming without becoming just a little bad.
SAMCRO has a meeting with the Russians. They have the arms that are being dealt but Clay and company doesn’t like dealing with them. They are invited to Opie’s wedding as a cover and two major events occur. First, Clay and Jax assassinate the leader of the Russians at the wedding pretending they have just gone off to do some sport shooting. Second, other SAMCRO members have gone to ‘check out’ the arms but really use them against the Russians guarding the arms and manage to kill the undercover FBI agent that has infiltrated the Russians. Oops. SAMCRO did it again. They are now royally screwed. What makes this screw up not as compelling for me is that usually when they kill people on the show, the deaths are very personal. And then we get to see character flaws come out and see how things are going to be handled once a killing has taken place. What I’m wondering is if and when SAMCRO will even find out they wasted a Fed. Then I’d like to see how they react. It’s just, we spent 90 minutes waiting for that to happen. And I love this show. I hope things will heat up now. Because, I, for one, am ready to see people die, bikers go on the run and Gemma and Tara be grade A bitches. Because that’s what Charming is all about.