After a tragedy hits the club, the bonds of brotherhood are called into question and Jax must take a stand.After a tragedy hits the club, the bonds of brotherhood are called into question and Jax must take a stand.After a tragedy hits the club, the bonds of brotherhood are called into question and Jax must take a stand.
Club president Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) and his stepson vice-president Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) attempt to remain focused and organized whilst brutal maintaining footholds in multiple illegal enterprises and defending against incursions by outside criminal groups - specifically the "Mayans" an Hispanic biker outfit they have been at war with.
Sons of Anarchy entices viewers by offering a window on the outlaw subculture. But it strikes its greatest chord of profundity by finding a commonality in human experience and exploring universal truths as they relate to interpersonal relations, family, friendship, individual responsibility, business, government and justice.
The juxtaposition of those themes with the shocking violence and unique rituals of a biker gang make for a superior example of scripted episodic television buttressed by superior writing, exceptional acting and inventive staging.
We have all seen crazy soap opera families feuding with shocking fierocity over vast wealth and generational legacies. What most of us haven't seen are families like that operating in milieu where such fierocity would not be out of place. The fight over legacy and dark family secrets was a big part of those shows.
The "hero" Jax Teller - crown prince of Bikerland, does the bare minimum which shows that he belongs in a violent criminal organization. We can ascertain with reasonable certitude that he did not become second-in-command of this group by flower-arranging but he is seldom presented in the same light as his brothers in SAMCRO.
Early in the series Jax was shown enthusiastically bashing a guys head in just for sitting on his bike and murdering a federal agent. His reasons qualify his actions somewhat but this is still one bad dude capable of the gravest severity when crossed.
The image of a cerebral biker is a contradiction that is not easy to square. Indeed that figures heavily into the plot. The vision that Jax comes to have for SAMCRO is one his father J.T. had i.e. less of a gang and more of a commune. His father's death fifteen years earlier is evidently tied in with the man's resistance to SAMCRO involvement in heavy criminal activity.
That Jax's mother Gemma (Katey Sagal) and his stepfather know more about it than they are saying suggests this is a biker version of Hamlet - a characterization the show's producers resist. The clash between competing visions does however continually result in a Shakespearian kind of tragedy.
In this episode which closes out Season 1 Jax has discovered that the feds duped SAMCRO into thinking his best friend Opie (Ryan Hurst) was an informant resulting in a botched hit by Tig (Kim Coates) enforcer-in-chief of SAMCRO that instead claimed the life of Opie's wife Donna (Sprague Grayden).
Attending her funeral Jax has to decide what he will do. His loyalties conflict and could tear SAMCRO apart.
- Oct 23, 2012