It’s time to saddle up as tonight’s season 3 premiere of Sons of Anarchy not only marks the beginning of an all new set of adventures with SAMCRO and company, but also serves as the official start of the 2010 fall television season.
Kicking things off early, FX is setting the return of their hit drama ahead of the bunch, in order to separate themselves from the barrage of over 40 new and returning television series, while also giving Sons of Anarchy fans some resolution to the shocking events that occurred in the season two finale.
The last time we saw the Sons of Anarchy, they had almost beaten Ethan Zobelle (both figuratively and literally), but before finishing him off, SAMCRO had to leave because Jax’s son, Abel, was kidnapped by Cameron Hayes – their IRA connection. The kidnapping of Abel, and subsequent murder of “The Prospect,” was the result of Agent Stahl, once again, framing an innocent person (this time it’s Gemma) for a crime that they didn’t commit (murdering Hayes’ son) - a crime that currently has Gemma on the run from the law and separated from her family.
Of course, if Sons of Anarchy has taught us anything (hopefully nothing criminal), it’s that family sticks together and there’s no bigger family than the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original Charter. Since SAMCRO has yet to be beaten by their previous adversaries, it’s only a matter of time before things return to normal - but after the events in the season 3 premier, will Charming ever be the same?
The season premiere, entitled “SO,” is an empathetic and poetic title for this episode. Following the events in the season two finale, SAMCRO and company are still trying to recover from what occurred. With the killing of “the prospect,” Abel being kidnapped, Gemma on the run and Ethan Zobelle fleeing the country, the notion of “SO...What’s next?” or “SO…What do we do now?” couldn’t be a more appropriate theme.
While watching SAMCRO on top, in control and “handling” their opposition is always entertaining, it's these moments of reflection and struggle that truly represent how much care and thought gets put into the execution of Sons of Anarchy. On top of that, it also serves to demonstrate why the brutish, troglodyte-esque moniker given to the series, by those unfamiliar with it, is sorely misguided.
With the loss of Abel, Jax is but a shell of his former self - something that serves to drastically impact his relationship with Tara. Surprisingly, while Jax’s personal life is headed down-hill, his relationship with SAMCRO, and particularly Clay, couldn’t be better. Jax’s motivation to find his son, mixed with his newly found cool, calm and collected attitude (minus a couple heads getting beaten in) allows SAMCRO to supersede the need for any extraneous violence, as all they really want is help finding Abel.
Unlike the season two premiere, there is no introduction of a new antagonist. Instead, the focus is on trying to get Abel back, keeping Gemma safe and restoring some sense of peace back into the town of Charming. That being said, those familiar with Sons of Anarchy will understand that each of those elements is easier said than done… especially when Gemma has a knife and has no problem getting “stabby.”
Aside from the elements listed above, it appears, from the episodes I’ve seen (four, to be exact), that SAMCRO’s focus this season will be trying to put an end to Ethan Zobelle’s previous prospects. While Zobelle may be out of the country, his plans are still in full swing - plans that will not only put SAMCRO at risk, but also the town of Charming.
Even though this is a much more introspective episode of Sons of Anarchy, make no mistake… this is an amazing installment and fans of the series will truly enjoy it. The motorcycle chase sequences are elegant, beautiful and wonderfully shot, the character moments, while always amazing, are even more so (given what previously occurred). At the end of the episode, there is a twist so shocking that it will leave viewers with their mouths wide open - as the town of Charming will changed forever.
The third season premier of Sons of Anarchy is an amazing start to the new fall season. While the episode may be slow in parts for some fans of the series, there’s no doubt that, in the end, everyone will be standing up in their seats.
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays @10pm, on FX.
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