This review contains spoilers.
“I now pronounce you man and wife. Have at it!”
Sons Of Anarchy is back! Despite series three lacking direction in the middle, it gathered momentum towards the end, and Sons Of Anarchy still remains my favourite current show. Needless to say, I was excited about the premiere of series four, and after watching it, all I can say is well played, Mr Sutter, well played.
Following the events of the season three finale, Out begins with the Sons being released from prison after a 14 month stretch. The first thing you’ll notice is that Jax’s very early-90s greasy mop has disappeared, and he has now entered the 21st century with short hair – very spruce.
Upon riding into town, the Sons find that right-wing zealot Jacob Hale is now right-wing zealot Mayor Hale, and it’s quickly made apparent that Hale has a thing for gentrification, and plans on building a new housing development that no one in town will be able to afford, called Charming Heights. More importantly, it causes problems for the gun running that the Sons partake in.
Before even getting home, the Sons are greeted by the new man in charge of Charming, Eli Roosevelt. Sheriff Roosevelt seems like a different character than we are used to in Sons Of Anarchy, and he comes across as incorruptible, for one thing. He also knows not to underestimate the Sons, and comments on their being highly organised, after another police officer gets on the wrong side of them.
There is also another new character, an assistant US attorney called Lincoln Potter, who has a very complex operation going in order to build up a case against the Sons of Anarchy – he even has an agent working in deep cover with the Russians. He agrees to join forces with Roosevelt.There’s a lot of love in this episode, too.
Obviously, there’s the heartfelt reunion between Jax and Tara, and also Clay and Gemma. Over 14 months, Abel has grown up a little, and there’s also an introduction to Jax and Tara’s son, Thomas. Jax asks Tara to marry him in this episode, and while she doesn’t quite say yes, she doesn’t say no, either. Her reason harks back to issues that had been touched on in series three – mostly, that she doesn’t want her children to be growing up around a biker gang.
Jax tells Tara that he will leave the club, eventually. He wants to wait until Clay steps down, however, as he is aware of the intense fallout that will come of leaving the club.
There is also Opie and Lyla’s wedding, which is held on a Native American reservation. It seems that everyone is getting on really well, even Clay and Alvarez, and there is a lot of bonding between the Russians. It is revealed around the halfway point in the episode that Jax was shanked by a Russian in prison as revenge for his betrayal at the end of series three, but all seems to be forgotten.
However, as is often the case with Sons Of Anarchy, everything can turn on its head very quickly. The episode, as is the formula for the show, concludes with a montage. The end is surprisingly gory, and comes from nowhere; it starts with Otto in prison, stabbing the prisoner who shanked Jax in the ear. We are then shown some of the Sons given an opportunity to view some of the Russians’ wares, which they then use to kill the Russians, and also Potter’s undercover agent.
Back at the wedding, the remaining Sons take the Russian gang leader, Putalov, out to the woods, and execute his henchmen, before Jax stabs him, saying it is “Only business”, echoing what he was told when he was attacked in prison. The episode ends with Gemma discovering a piece of paper that Abel has been scribbling on, to find it was a letter that Maureen wrote to Gemma last series, telling her the truth behind John’s death.
It’s great to see such a strong start to the series, as I felt that the last one lacked cohesion, and sometimes felt directionless – and judging by a lot of the comments in our reviews for the last season, many of you thought so, too.
This, however, is the Sons Of Anarchy we all know and love, and I can’t wait to let it dig its hooks into me once again.
And you can find reviews of all the Sons Of Anarchy season 3 episodes here.