Friday, September 9, 2011
I love an oxymoron, don't you?
Anyway, welcome to my anarchy club. I'm filling a need--there aren't a lot of blogs covering this show and while I'm not really the type, I'm a big fan of SOA, so I'll do my best. To those of you not into grimy, violent, gritty biker gang living, don't fret. I'll be back to my regular programming the rest of the time--gardens and Team Testosterone and thinking happy thoughts and the occasional Muttonchop Monday. Except for while I cover this season's 13 episodes.
Because I know some of you fans are deep into season 2 or 3, I'll dish about season 4 episodes without spoiling much (I hope--I'll do my best).
Some of you aren't fans yet, but trust me when I tell you that an FX show about a motorcycle gang in Charming, California makes for some FABULOUS TV viewing. To bring newbies up to speed: Clay is the head honcho of the gang, his stepson Jax is second in command. Jax is conflicted, his father was a founding member, his mother, Gemma, is the Ultimate Old Lady, loyal to her man, her club, her son. SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) protects the town while the FBI is hot on their tail, the gang runs guns for the IRA, fights against another gang for turf, dabbles in illegal activity. Other key characters include Jax's girlfriend, Tara who is a surgeon, the local law enforcement (which changes over the course of 4 seasons) and lead gang members Opie, Bobby, Tig, Chibs and Piney. For those of you who stayed up late Tuesday night drinking whiskey, smoking Marlboro Reds and wearing leather, let's ride!
Season 4, Episode 1:
The boys leave prison and their women and the rest of the gang waits back in Charming. This is played out dramatically against SOA's classically awesome soundtrack music. Where do they find these songs? Whoever does it is genius. Before reuniting, the new sheriff in town meets them at the city limits with a warning. At the clubhouse everyone hugs and then we cut to a meeting where they hash out profits during their prison time, what the club's been doing and what they'll do next--mainly continue to run guns with the Russians.
Post-lock-up passion ensues with Gemma & Clay, Tara & Jax, Opie & Lila(?). Good humor in all scenes and they're all touching in their own way, too. We learn that Clay's days are numbered--something's wrong with his hands. Tara & Jax have a heart to heart which I won't spoil, except to say Jax wants out of the club, but not until he's made enough money. Tara's scared, but game.
Back at the sheriff's office we learn that Hale is still running the town and the new sheriff seems like a great character. We also meet the new U.S. District Attorney (USDA?) who has moved into an office in the same law enforcement building. He's one of the most fascinatingly weird characters I've ever seen--tell me if you think he's almost overacted--I'm not sure. But he invites the sheriff upstairs, reveals he's highly connected and has a BIG PLAN to take SAMCRO down. Pictures of everyone are lined up on bulletin boards--including the Russians, IRA, and even Wayne! Sheriff agrees to help. You can't help but root for the sheriff a little, honestly.
A little motorcycle/cop car chase and then Jax, Clay, Opie and Chibs meet up with the Russians to negotiate. They agree to do business and get together for a Weapons Show & Tell. Gemma visits Wayne and makes me love her a little more for her deep compassion and loyalty.
The next big scene is Opie's wedding--I warn you there is not a tastefully dressed woman in the mix. The wedding vows are a particular riot and then the partying starts with the guests, who include the Russians and the Mayans, on an Indian Reservation--law enforcement waits at the border for something to happen.
The episode ends in a vicious and (to me) unexpected bloodbath. (Was it just me or did you all see that coming?) And then something else: in prison a guy gets whacked in a horrific fashion--"For Jax." Now, I get these tattooed gang members all confused, they look alike except for the big players, like the skinhead in Season 2. It took me a while and I'll have to go back to Season 3 to double-check but I have a theory. Who did you think it was?