Sons Of Anarchy is back with its fourth season, kicking off things with a powerful first episode that shows you don’t mess with the boys from SAMCRO.
Last season left the boys from SAMCRO on a pretty even playing field. Just when Jax (Charlie Hunnam) seemed to have turned on his club to save his mother from prison, we learnt it was all a very well devised plan by the club to get Gemma (Katey Sagal) off her murder charge, and kill the clubs arch nemesis, angry bisexual ATF Agent Stahl. Also, one of our favourite Sons, Opie, found love again, getting engaged to his porn star girlfriend Lyla (Winter Ave Zoli).
All was left well with the Sons Of Anarchy, Gemma was free and Jax and step Daddy Clay (Ron Perlman) put their issues aside for the betterment of the club, at least for now.
Jax had his son back, and a new baby on the way with his childhood sweetheart, Tara (Maggie Siff). All that worried the boys was a measly 14 month reduced jail sentence for the majority of the club, and that their long time police Chief “buddy” Unser (Dayton Callie) deciding it was time to hang up his police chief badge, leaving the Sons with new law enforcement.
The season opened with some changes in Charming. The opening montage of the episode shows Jax sporting some new scars on his chest, that we soon learn were from the Russians, as they felt cheated by the Sons at the end of last season.
We also learn it’s a good day for the boys to be getting out, as it’s Opie’s wedding day. We are also introduced to Jax’s new son Thomas, and we see an interesting little snippet of Jax’s eldest son Abel stumbling onto a letter given by Maureen Ashby to Jax. It’s about his dead father. Meanwhile, our favourite blind son, Otto, receives a razor in his breakfast which he uses to slash his wrist, getting him sent to the hospital.
As the boys ride out of the prison and back to their home, they are introduced to some changes in Charming. First is the new developing Charming Heights, a capitalist development by the new mayor Hale. On top of this the new law, Sheriff Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar), someone we already hate after one meeting.
He introduces himself with a friendly three car road block, to let the Sons know that the San Joaquin sheriffs run Charming now, and they aren’t allowed to wear the club cuts in public.
Though this doesn’t sit well with the Sons, they are quickly reunited with their beloved club house and their “Old Ladies” who have done a fine job at holding down the fort in the absence of the majority of the club.
After seeing a shady biker hanging around the road block earlier, we are soon introduced to Lincoln “Linc” Potter (Ray McKinnon), an Assistant District Attorney whose men are working in the Charming police headquarters.
He requests a meeting at a latter point with the new Sheriff. Their meeting is cut short by the now Mayor Hale, who requests swift and vengeful action be taken against the Sons.
We quickly come back to the club house where it’s business as usual. Clay complains at the state of the town, and the governmental influence that is killing it. They then quickly set a meeting with the Russians, who they are now dealing guns with.
The boys then become privy to a tail on the club house and attempt to lose the police on the road, with Clay, Jax and Opie being allowed to go off to the Russian meeting, while the rest of the boys box in the tailing police cruiser. However, the cruiser, once boxed in, comes up with the bright idea of trying to take out some of the remaining Sons.
This results in a few near misses as the Sons retaliate by kicking the police cruiser, as bikes get pushed out of the way. The Sons are pulled over and cuffed, but quickly let go when the Sheriff informs the police driving the cruiser that trying to run them off the road would result in a lawsuit by the club.
Meanwhile, we are shown the truth behind the mysterious Assistant District Attorney Linc Potter. Potter informs the new Sheriff that he is part of a task force that includes the FBI and ATF, that have set up base in Charming to take down a section of the IRA that are linked to the Sons.
He lets us know that in the process of taking down the IRA, SAMCRO will fall too. When Roosevelt questions how he plans to do this, Potter informs him that they have a cop working for the Russians, who are dealing with the Sons.
The meeting with the Russians goes well for Jax, Clay and Opie. Percentages on the gun deal are made, and a meeting is set for a trial of the good at Opie’s wedding.
We are then brought back to exploring one of the nicest relationships in Sons Of Anarchy, the friendship between Gemma and Unser. Gemma travels to Unser’s out of town trailer, to find out why the ex-police chief, and good friend of the club, didn’t turn up to the coming home party.
One of the next scenes may be one of the most integral of the whole show. We open on the current King and Queen of SAMCRO, Clay and Gemma, laying in bed. Clay confesses that his days at the club are numbered with his arthritic hands getting worse by the day. He explains that he wishes to get enough money in the near future of this gun deal to retire from the club and live comfortably.
The next scene that follows completely juxtaposes the first. We see the future King and Queen of SAMCRO, Jax and Tara, sitting in bed. After Jax’s wedding proposal to his childhood sweetheart he confesses that he believes that this life, is not the right one to raise a child in. Jax explains that once Clay steps down, he is done with SAMCRO, and he also wants to set up a nest egg to live off, from the Russian gun deal.
Back at Unser’s, Clay, after speaking to Gemma, explains to Unser that he, the club and Charming need Unser to help save their town.
Then to the event of the year, Opie and Lyla’s wedding. We are given the delight of seeing a few criminal organizations out in support of one of our most loved Sons.
The episode ends with Chibs, Smily, Juicy and Booby going to pick up the Russian guns from a warehouse while Clay speaks to the head of the Russians at the wedding. After seeing the guns, Clay and the boys go off into the forest behind the wedding party to test them out. Clay executes the Russians handymen, and Jax gets his revenge, stabbing the Russian boss in the chest with his favourite bowie knife, telling him “its just good business”.
Meanwhile, Chibs, Smily, Juicy and Booby finish off the other Russians at the warehouse including the Linc’s “rat”, while Otto, our man still in jail, finishes off the assailant who stabbed Jax on the inside.
The last little piece that keeps us hanging from the edge of our seats is Gemma finding the letter from Moreen Ashby to Jax about his father, which is sure to keep her on her toes, as she always seems she has something to hide when it comes to Jax’s father.
The first episode for season four of Sons Of Anarchy shows that this masterpiece of a television show can keep going, with interesting and twisted story lines that leave the audience in the dark, right until the last second. You can already see where the season is leading to with the exit of Clay, and possibly Jax, but it will be intriguing to see if that’s where the show does end up, and just how it will get there.