(If you have yet to see season 3 of ‘Sons of Anarchy’, this article contains spoilers. Read on at your own risk.)
Kurt Sutter revealed recently that he was in the midst of editing the first episode of Sons of Anarchy season 4, which means we can expect FX to announce a premiere date any day now. In addition to casting Danny Trejo in a supporting role and bringing a new sheriff to Charming, what other surprises does the series’ creator have up his sleeve for the boys of SAMCRO?
Strange as it may sound, season 4 will be both a return to normal, and a new beginning for the band of bikers that once ruled Charming. After the events of season 3, which saw many of the club incarcerated, the series will make a leap in time (around 14 months).
The jump may seem risky – offering loyal viewers little explanation as to what happened while Jax (Charlie Hunnam), Clay (Ron Perlman) and the others were guests of the state, and how the world around them has changed. Instead (for viewers new and old alike), it will serve as a chance to get acclimated – just like the Sons.
According to Sutter, that was exactly his plan all along. The benefit to the jail time is two-fold: 1) it legitimizes the characters of Sons of Anarchy. As Sutter puts it: “Most of the bikers I’ve met in the outlaw life have done prison time.” And 2) the passage of time allows Sutter and his team of writers a chance to “reboot the narrative and prevent the mythology from folding into itself too soon.”
In terms of the immediate impact on season 4’s storyline, Sutter has said he feels the events of this upcoming season will be driven by the characters – instead of the other way around, like in season 3. “This season, I'm trying to approach the room with a looser grip on story.”
Like the newly released Sons of Anarchy poster (see below), there is a strong sense of history and character in season 4 – that the series is back to being about the club and its members. To hear it from Sutter, the new season is already off to a great start.
“So far, the new season feels very potent. We're back in Charming, we're out of jail and we're making money. With that upswing, comes all the complications that success and power bring. Season four is all about the club. The personalities, the history, the alliances, the conflicts -- the inside dynamics of an organized outlaw enterprise. Ego, greed, violence and fear reign supreme.”
Take a look at the poster below:
As teased, season 4 will have two significant additions to the cast: guest star Danny Trejo and Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break, The Chicago Code) and each will offer up characters on either side of the law. Fan-favorite Trejo joins the M.C. as former Mexican commando Romero ‘Romeo’ Parada. While it's unclear how long Trejo’s arc will be, having him on the show will undoubtedly bring in some new viewers and attention.
Meanwhile, there’s a new sheriff in town (yeah, it had to be said) in Dunbar, who plays the newly elected Eli Roosevelt. Not only does Roosevelt present a threat to the club in terms of the law, but he also represents the changing attitude of Charming as a whole.
Described as a formidable, confident and forthright lawman, Roosevelt is the antithesis of Chief Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie). While Unser was, for all intents and purposes, owned by SAMCRO, Roosevelt is made of sterner stuff – going so far as to prohibit the club’s colors be worn in public. Needless to say, that is not going to sit well with the Sons.
Roosevelt will serve to usher in a new world, according to Sutter:
“…Charming really has been Mayberry—it's been an anachronism, and in my mind, we'll start to see that shift, and how do they handle that shift. Do they try to throw the brakes on it? Do they embrace it? What happens to the big fish when the pond starts to get bigger?”
It’s nice to see a television series takes the kind of leap that Sons of Anarchy will with its fourth season. Watching how this ‘reboot’ plays out should at least make for some interesting television.
Here’s a brief promo to further whet your appetite for some anarchy:
Sons of Anarchy season 4 premieres in September on FX.