Even though I haven’t written about it, I have been continuing with Sons of Anarchy and wanted to share my thoughts. This was a show that snuck up on me, one I didn’t see coming. I don’t tend to love crime shows and have no affinity for motorcycles, but this is the type of storytelling that surpasses interests. It just does everything right. I still think the first season was the best but the whole of it has been incredible.
The second continued the strong presence the first one held. The white power assholes were a great villain and both Henry Rollins and Adam Arkin (Weston and Zobelle respectively) do a fantastic job of at once being altogether wholesome and despicable at the same time. Weston’s character is repugnant, a maelstrom of cold, efficient hatred. A pure hatred that considers nothing else and the way that hatred encompasses his kids is both a fantastic character trait and story arc and one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. Zobelle is just a businessman, using these people to further his own deals, but for a long time he had me going.
The second season also sees strong, powerful moments with Opie and Tig. I always felt like Tig deeply regretted killing Opie’s wife and for that whole moment to come to a head so suddenly, with no warning, was one of my favorite moments in the series.
The part with Gemma was…wow. Didn’t think they could do that on TV. It was an excellent use of violence and savagery to flesh out several aspects of the characters and in the end bring them all together toward a common enemy.
The third season I enjoyed less. It wasn’t bad by any means, just up and down. As much as I like them going to Belfast, it really irritated me how long Able was gone. Coupled with Jacks almost giving him up, the whole arc was really frustrating and took a bit to long to finalize. That said, the ending (with Stahl biting the bullet) was one of the best season finales (and overall moments) I’ve seen in television.
There were two things I really didn’t like. One, Hale just got ran over and died. Like he wasn’t an important character or anything. Just gone. And then, almost no one seems to acknowledge it. They’re just like “sorry” and then Unser was just like “Yeah…but what ya gonna do?” and they move on. Really??? I understand the actor left, but he was such a great character that I hated to see that happen.
And then Agent Stahl’s partner. Where in the hell did she come from? Had we ever seen that character? Ever? For Stahl to be a lesbian, totally. Fits with everything we’ve seen about her character and personality and adds a dynamic that really worked. For that woman to somehow take the blame for her shooting the Irish kid, totally out of left field. Was she even there? It felt like they retconned that in, and considering it was so essential to so many plot points, it felt rough and haphazard.
I think the fourth season was my least favorite though. Even I’m tired of Jacks promising to get out of the club. We know that’s not going to happen, and so does Tara. The whole story just wandered a bit more, had less of a story arc. Juice’s story was the most put together and I really, really hated to see him decline like that. Season five just came out on Netflix and I haven’t started it yet to find out, but I have no idea how you bring that character back from killing a friend and nearly destroying the whole club. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, I did, it just hurt. I didn’t just feel like he betrayed the club, he betrayed me!
That said, even with all the negative comments, a bad season of SoA is still better than most whole series. The club dynamics, the characters, the anarchy, just works so well.
So, overall, I have been loving Sons of Anarchy. I am sure the fifth season will be great and I’ve been recording six, so that’ll give me a few weeks of TV time.