It’s three months after Donna’s death in Charming and the Sons Of Anarchy remain divided. With Vice President Jax Teller (Hunnam) knowing that his leader and father-in-law Clay Morrow (Perlman) was involved, the growing rift between them worsens and threatens to tear the club apart. As Jax tries to steer the club away from gun-running and towards his deceased father’s original vision, a white supremacist group led by a seemingly-respectable businessman (Arkin) takes root in Charming and tries to force the Sons out…
Even though FX’s Sons Of Anarchy doesn’t get the attention or hype so often afforded to the likes of Mad Men, True Blood or Boardwalk Empire, it’s quietly become one of the most compelling and addictive shows on the box. Better yet, creator Kurt Sutter raises the bar with the second season – even though it’s essentially the same pulpy, Shakespearean-tinted blend of family-drama and crime-thriller as the morish first – by expanding the Sons’ world and bringing in new threats. Admittedly, the melodrama occasionally borders on soap opera territory at times, yet all the shifting allegiances, internal politics and crafty power-plays provide consistently gripping viewing.
Whilst there are a number of plots, character arcs, sub-plots and sub-sub-plots all intertwining, there are two overriding threads which define the second season. The first sees Prince Jax (Charlie Hunnam, holding everything together with intensity, Kurt Cobain hair and a flawless accent) constantly questioning Clay (Ron Perlman, still the coolest guy on TV) and how their ongoing conflict begins to tear the club apart. The second, which is more underlying, touches on SAMCRO’s Faustian, better-the-devil-you-know relationship with the town of Charming. As a gang of outlaws, they might sell guns and bring some trouble, but they also keep drugs and the real ‘bad’ guys out. Are they a necessary evil? Discuss…
Again, the series is anchored by Hunnam, Perlman and Katey Sagal’s sexy matriarch (who suffers dark times here), yet the ensemble is full of likeable performances. From Elvis-impersonator Bobby (Mark Boone Jr.) to Clay’s right-hand Tig (Kim Coates) to scarred Scot Chibs (Tommy Flanagan). And, while the Sons face threats from Ally Walker’s returning ATF bitch, Tom Arnold’s sleazy porn rival (yes, the gang briefly get into the porn business), and the IRA (including Titus Welliver, playing Irish) it’s Alan Arkin’s connected, Neo-Nazi supremacist who’s the real menace.
More of the same but slightly better than the already-addictive first season, Sons Of Anarchy has quietly become one of the most addictive and compelling shows on TV.