‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 4 years ago by

sons of anarchy season 4 premiere Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

With masterful handling by series creator Kurt Sutter, FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy begins its fourth season brilliantly by not only presenting an intriguing, precise direction of focus for its familiar characters, but also overcoming many of television’s contrivances that have served as the downfall of far lesser series.

As the Sons of Anarchy season 4 premiere beings, we jump fourteen months ahead from what transpired in the wonderfully chaotic season 3 finale. The once-incarcerated majority of SAMCRO are released from prison and they journey back to their familiar surroundings of Charming – although, as it soon becomes apparent, familiarity is something that has been all but lost to those returning to the “free” world.

The often-used saying of “duck out of water” couldn’t apply more than it does to what’s presented in this Sons of Anarchy season 4 premiere. The one-time controller of all things Charming, Clay (and through him, SAMCRO), are thrust into a proverbial new world, with new rules and new players – some of whom may be even more dangerous than ones previously seen in past season.

This brilliant story arc, combined with the masterful handling of television’s often misused time jump, establishes a wonderfully poignant foundation to unseat the series’ dedicated fans by presenting a familiar, yet somehow still unfamiliar setting that the characters must not only come to terms with, but also attempt to overcome.

sons of anarchy season 4 jax gemma Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

The sentiment that SAMCRO can and will do what they like is still present, but the notion that everything will work out for them in the end has vanished. With the familiar Police Chief Wayne Unser now living surviving in a trailer with a single marijuana plant to keep him company while cancer slowly eats away at him, SAMCRO’s last remaining connection to the presumed “law” of Charming has vanished. In his place now sits one of San Joaquin’s finest officers, Sherriff Eli Roosevelt – a man with enough morals and tenacity to not only be seen as a threat to SAMCRO, but one that doesn’t even show a hint of fear from what repercussions may follow his ever-brazen actions.

If that’s not enough, Jacob Hale has also become the new mayor of Charming, and has continued with his plans to build new developments within the city. Of course, the most apparent (and capable) antagonist to everyone’s favorite motorcycle gang is the mild-mannered, though brilliantly-minded Assistant United States Attorney Lincoln Potter. Potter, for all intents and purposes, will come to be the master of all these newly presented domains – though it’s going to take some time before we see exactly how that’s going to happen.

Echoing elements from the favorite Sons of Anarchy season 2, the masterfully planned SAMCRO is once again up against enemies who are not only their intellectual equals, but who are also able to unfurl their plans without Clay, Jax or the rest of the motorcycle club catching wind of it.

sons of anarchy season 4 clay Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Premiere Review & Discussion

Often when a television series reaches a certain age, elements that once intently drew audiences to it in the first place are replaced by the notion that the producers simply want to revel in its presumed awesomeness, catering to the familiarity of its fan base and lackadaisically allowing its characters to proverbially sit and rot without any type of logically progressing character arcs or story development.

With the Sons of Anarchy season 4 premiere, not only has Kurt Sutter brilliantly transitioned the series into a new season of episodes, but he has done so with such calculated grace that it quickly becomes apparent that many producers of other television series – television series that receive much higher ratings than Sons of Anarchy – are simply not doing their job as well as Sutter. In a world where the landscape of television is shifting to honor the creative and shun the generic, Sutter has undoubtedly made it clear into which category he falls (as if there was ever a question).

While familiar scenes of SAMCRO gunning down rival gangs and out-smarting the local law enforcement are still present in the season 4 premiere, everyone watching knows that such familiarity will soon come to an end. With a team of calculated masterminds behind the impending “take down” of SAMCRO making their plans more and more clear, it won’t be long before SAMCRO, like the town of Charming (or the series itself), will need to either evolve or cease to exist.

If that’s not a brilliant way to kick off the fall television season, I don’t know what is.

Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays @10pm on FX.

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. This episode had me beyond amp. The previews had me on the edge of my seat. I already know this is going to be wayyyy better than season 3.

  2. i love this show i realy thought that jax was f’d up

  3. Sutter has given us So Much More than we asked for and more than any could have anticipated, that along with the new characters and their attitude for the SOA has Sutters artistic stroke already has me drooling for a S5 … {the 1st episode of S4 not even an over for an hour yet…} come next tueday

  4. Yup, I’m really excited to see what Sutter can do with this season. Last season was amazing and based on what you’ve said here, it looks as though S4 will be equally great.

  5. Can’t wait to see this season, but gotta say it’s a let down to dive right back in to Jax wanting to leave Samcro again from the first episode. I felt like so much had changed at the end of season 3 to now just be right back where we started tension between Jax and Clay and Jax trying to get out of the club. It really would of been nice to see something more fresh or at least seem them build up to that point rather than just dive in to it right away. Almost feels like Season 3 didn’t even happen.

  6. Daniel! I thought you didn’t like SoA? Is it me, or does Opie seem mmore hard-nosed this season, I know it’s really too early to tell for sure, but it it just my own observation.

    • I like it now I hadn’t seen it before. It’s not that I didn’t like it I was uneasy about the concept but it works really well.

      Opie has been more hard nosed since he found out about what happened to Donna IMO. Just look at how he handled the ATF B-word lol.

  7. I thought that it was a brilliant season opener. Let’s hope that it continues its forward momentum, and not make the same mistake that Breaking Bad has made with a promising (and shocking) opening episode and then descend into tedious character analysis.

    • Mistakes Breaking bad has made are you kidding me? Breaking Bad has been fantastic this season as always. It’s the smartest show on television and this season has more than proved that.

  8. Does anyone else think that the NEW US ATTORNEY is some how going to be connected with the Crew? I think he could be related to Jax…. Very familiar looking to John Teller… HMMM! What do yall think?

    • I think he is Original 9

  9. Although I am a big fan of the show, I have to disagree with this article’s shining review of the Season 4 premiere. The redundancy in themes has this feeling remarkably like the beginning of season 2. Jax once again suffers an internal struggle with his future in the club. There’s a new adversary in town seeking the demise of SAMCRO. Instead of Zobelle and Stahl, it’s Potter and Roosevelt serving as the antagonists. The only change in theme is that these new characters will certainly take a more legal and ethical approach to bringing down the club than did their former counterparts. Hale is still lurking around with his attempts to create a more ‘progressive’ Charming. I failed to see any of the brilliant creativity cited in the above article. It’s still a great show, and I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns in the upcoming season, but I was fairly disappointed with the opener. One might argue that a feud with the Russians, that is sure to ensue following the boys’ exacting vengeance on their would-be business partners is new and exciting, but at the core of it, how are they any different than say the Mayans, the Nords or the Irish when it comes to disrupting the club’s weapons dealing enterprise? The season 4 premiere is filled with the same ideas that have been seen in previous episodes with new characters playing the familiar old roles of previous characters. I have to ask, is anything TRULY new happening here?

    • haaa did you miss what was going on in the episode? the town is now run by the sheriffs. hale is the official mayor of charming. he’s got the land samcro wanted and is putting in houses. they have an fbi agent embedded w/ in the russian gang who will probably take over now that they were exposed of. jax is the main character so of course they are going to show his emotions more and he wants better for his family. he’s been turning for the past few seasons and jail made him realize he doesn’t want that life anymore. of course they are going to be going head to head w/ different gangs because they want to control and bank off of gun running and stuff like that. they’ve been away for 14 months and a lot has changed so they need to take back what’s theirs. i guess i’m confused as to what you were looking for exactly. do you want them to be taking out aliens or something like that? did you have the same complaint about the sopranos when they were constantly taking out different mob bosses? it’s about a biker gang doing a lot of shady crap and takin people out, what more could you ask for?

      • ok dumb remark on my part, they killed the fed agent. at least now they don’t have a guy leaking info back. i laughed when they dropped the bodies off on hale’s land tho. they guy from deadwood is a great addition to the cast so i’m sure it will be great. just as long as they slow up on the commercials ;D

  10. anyone else rooting for the cops now?

  11. Realist, BRILLIANT response to a well written article! Now be BRILLIANT and go get a life, thanks :)

    • @anthony
      get a life? look at yourself. nice picture.i dont need to tell you what that looks like.

      • realist the funny thing about your now deleted comment was that you insulted the writers writing and produced the biggest eye sore on the site writing wise. You forgot to capitalize after periods your sentence structure was horrible and you had little to no format on your entire post. I don’t normally care about any of these things when it comes from a random comment on a site I don’t expect perfection, but if you are going to insult the writer of this article for simply using a word to much at least learn how to write at the level of a 5th grader.

      • You don’t need to tell him what it looks like ? Your right it’s obvious that it looks like a character from the movie Space Balls.

  12. I’m lost. Did I miss something. Why the hell would SAMCRO kill the Russians when Jax and Clay are interested in big payouts that would allow them to live out their days as expatriated MC outlaws? Do they not thing other Russians are going to take this lying down? I mean, this may be setting up the plot for the demise of Clay as leader of SAMCRO but to me, it seems like if you are going to get revenge, you do it after you’ve made your dough.

    • SAMCRO killed the Russians because Jax got stabbed while in prison. They also didn’t need the Russians anymore as the IRA were selling SAMCRO guns. The only thing the Russians were doing was distributing SAMCROS guns which now that they are out of jail, they can do themselves

  13. Also a fan of this premiere. Gotta admit after last seasons strange – if predictable story arcs I was about to hang up my colors and give back the SAMCRO belt buckle 😉 but alas, they came through with an opener that made me want to jump and scream “hell yes, My show is back!!”

    SPOILER ALERT: All us die hard fans don’t have much to worry about with the US attorney. From what I hear a few episodes in he’ll get a blood clot in his brain and start having seizures and get really sick. Eventually Al Swarengen will guest star and kill him in a moment of mercy. (kidding!!)

  14. I must admit as excited as I was to see the season 4 premier, I did have my doubts. I just didn’t believe that SOA or Kurt and his staff of writers could pull a genie out of the hat. Usually around the fourth season of any show (True Blood) the story lines begin to fall by the waist side, but not this show. I was pleasantly surprised to see the show hit the ground running so early on with a continuity about it. The season 4 premier did not disappoint A+.

  15. I loved the premiere but I read before hand it was going to be a 90 minute premier, when I watched it, was only 60 minute. Can’t find anyother different longer versions? Anyone know what happened with that? Wasn’t Danny trejo supposed to be in the premiere??

  16. I thought it was a good episode and I’m looking forward to a great season. I loving that their using the guy who played Reverend Smith from season 1 of Deadwood for the new RUB AUSA.

    Otto with the scalpel in the Med Ward!

    I got one question maybe you might know, Where’d Squiggy come from? Is he one of the prospects from season 3?

  17. Thanks for all the great analysis from everyone. I simply enjoyed SOA being back. The storyline was predictable but very enjoyable. The writers have to play on Jax desire to get legit. Clay can’t go on forever. This is classic SAMCRO and SOA we’e all come to love. I do need to reach out to y’all regarding the significance of the wrist slashing to kill the guy in the infirmary? I missed something and need help understanding the significance. Please enlighten me!!!

    • The victim I assume was Jax’s attacker. Having watched the episode twice now, I’m still not sure if Otto was in the know. He sure had a quisical expression on his face when he discovered the razor blade in the hard boiled egg. He’s supposed to be on death row, right? As for the CO that unstrapped him and gave him the scalpel, I figure he’s one of the corrupt COs involved with the heroin drug trade Alvarez and the Mayans have going on they talk about in previous seasons. Maybe he was on loan. /shrug

      Did anyone notice that Unser’s disassembled bike’s tank had a Red & White paint scheme? LOLz.

      • There is a deleted scene on the season 3 dvd that shows jax getting stabbed in prison by the russian that otto killed… I don’t know if the scene is available anywhere else though. But yes otto knew exactly what happened. It was part of their calculated (and awesome) retribution.

    • I think he slit is wrist (Otto) so he coulg get next to the guy in the infirmary.

  18. I agree that the Premiere was awesome. I was confused with the killings at the end, but you guys cleared it up. This show is so gritty and fun. I wonder if the one member, forget his name will ever find out that Clay and the mean one killed his wife–by accident, I love Katey Sagal and why there were no Emmy nods for this show is beyond me. Kurt Sutter is awesome, The Shield was a great show and so is SOA.

    • Opie already knows they killed his wife by accident he found out in season 2.

  19. Wizard of OZ

  20. tonights season finalie the members of the sons will encage in a ful on gang war between the 40s- myanans
    may take sides of sons of anarchy but its a wailt and see how things play out with opie after he learns
    that clay killed his father who keept some the letters that jax real father worte as diary on how he
    form the sons of anarchy in the 70s as a social mortor cycle club that was the frist 9 members of
    samcro. season 5 me as viewer of sons of anarchy would to see how sons of anarchy was formed
    and how clay became the clubs new prisdent of the sons and how jax became the vp of the sons
    that would be a great show of sons of anarchy

  21. when will season 4 be released on dvd?

  22. I just want to know what date season 4 of SOA comes out on dvd

  23. Why is Unser living in a trailer ? Last I remember he was in his house, what did I miss ??

  24. Robert I’m pretty upset about all this. Just switched 4 months ago and it’s hard enough not getting to watch Supernatural because they don’t offer CW in my area but it’s a crummy network with one good show so I let it slide. However, I watch at least 4 shows on FX and typically a new one is added on a regular basis the network is so good.