After a tense opening season, Sons of Anarchy continues its Shakespearean biker drama by increasing the danger, betrayals, and most of all, the violence. With secrets still hanging over most of the members of SAMCRO, the club begins to fracture, even with new, volatile threats staring them down. Plus, this had Henry Rollins.
The sophomore slump can make or break a production. More often than not, projects come out swinging, nailing their first attempt. It’s their second go that solidifies the output as more than just lucky. Creator/showrunner Kurt Sutter nailed the second season, keeping the pacing tight as new threats were introduced to the group, both within and without. White separatists came to Charming, attempting to force SAMCRO out of town. Their leader, Ethan Zobelle (Adam Arkin) wore his power suit with ferocity, while his right hand man, A.J. Weston (Henry Rollins), was beyond intimidating.
Both Arkin and Rollins were wonderful additions to the show, each portraying their characters effectively. Arkin embodied Zobelle’s underhanded businessman nature, while Rollins’ Weston was chilling. The premier kicked things of quickly, establishing each character with one particularly horrifying act that’s easily on par with last season’s level of violence.
Multiple subplots were introduced as well, including the porn studio, Agent Stahl investigating, and the deals to inform on the IRA. Luckily, Sutter is able to balance all these elements, using them to effectively fuel and motivate Jax (Charlie Hunnam) and co. without losing the main thread, or becoming too jumbled. The only part that rang untrue was Opie (Ryan Hurst) learning about his wife’s death at Tig’s (Kim Coates) hand. The woman is not only the mother of his children, but stayed with him during his incarceration. This guy must practically be a saint if he could look past that.
The second season of Sons of Anarchy introduced a cavalcade of threats to the M.C. while balancing characters. Every episode upped the quota of violence and shock while imploring you to continue. Each guest star was perfectly utilized, including rival pornographer Georgie Caruso (Tom Arnold). Sutter simultaneously provided closer to many plots while setting up the next season and solidified Sons as a much watch show.
Shocked by the opening? Think Opie was unbelievably forgiving? Comment below!
Loved Rollins’ exit too.