TV Review: ‘Sons of Anarchy’

Sons of Anarchy Review Season Six

Kurt Sutter's wild ride begins revving up for the show's planned next-season finale

Lest those “Fifty Shades of Grey” protestors forget Charlie Hunnam’s day job, “Sons of Anarchy” returns, so big and boisterous even the customary episodic length can’t contain it. Each of three previewed episodes runs long, one of the luxuries associated with producing for FX. As for the content, “Sons” remains bleak and grim as ever, as series creator Kurt Sutter plunges into a world of moral decay, where those ostensibly enforcing the law are every bit as nasty as the outlaws. Having resourcefully kept its wheels spinning this long, it’ll be interesting to see where this wild ride winds up.

For those keeping track, the SAMCRO motorcycle club is now under the stewardship of Jax (Hunnam), who conspired with his mother (Katey Sagal) to help put away his stepfather, Clay (Ron Perlman). Of course, Clay isn’t the only one in prison, with Jax’s wife (Maggie Siff) also locked up, as well as Sutter’s character of Otto, whose murder of a nurse has brought the wrath of a former U.S. Marshall (Donal Logue) down upon the club. (Otto’s conspicuous suffering, as Sutter has noted, not-so-subtly demonstrates his psyche regarding the lot of writers in Hollywood.)

Nobody is really good in “Sons’” grimy landscape of prostitution and gun running, and one chooses sides based on varying levels of badness. The unrelenting tone, in fact, is one of the program’s principal drawbacks, as well as the heft (or in places lack thereof) Hunnam brings to Jax, a role steeped in Shakespearean overtones.

That said, the series remains an immersive experience, and the cast has been gradually upgraded with the addition of players like Jimmy Smits as Sagal’s love interest and now CCH Pounder (like Sutter, a “The Shield” alum) as an ambitious district attorney and Peter Weller as a corrupt ex-cop. Plus, with Kim Dickens turning up as a Madam, the show’s informal “Deadwood” reunion (Dayton Callie, Robin Weigert) keeps growing.

This new batch of episodes also braves some intriguing moral terrain, including the collateral damage triggered by the club’s illicit business endeavors and questions regarding how far Jax and company will go in terms of silencing an inconvenient potential witness.

Like any show that traffics in violence and criminality, “Sons” has danced a delicate line through its five-season run, seeking to create worthy opponents and foster a sense of jeopardy without killing off central characters wholesale. A few well-placed casualties, however, have served as necessary reminders these guys aren’t playing beanbag. (A later episode also demonstrates another use for beer bottles that ought to prompt Budweiser to think twice about advertising here.)

Given that “Sons” has been a solid ratings performer, FX and Sutter deserve credit for recognizing the show was nearing the end of its shelf life and creating the opportunity to exit on its own terms, building toward a planned finale next season.

While that’s unlikely to yield a happy ending, given the perilous road the show has followed, even its most ardent admirers shouldn’t be sad about seeing it reach the finish line.

TV Review: 'Sons of Anarchy'

(Series; FX, Tue. Sept. 10, 10 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Sutter Ink in association with Fox 21 and FX Prods.

Crew

Executive producers, Kurt Sutter, John Linson, Art Linson, Paris Barclay, Chris Collins; co-executive producers, Charles Murray, Kem Nunn; supervising producer, Mike Daniels; producer, Jon Pare; director, Barclay; writer, Sutter; camera, Paul Maibaum; production designer, Anthony Medina; music, Bob Thiele; casting, Wendy O’Brien. 90 MIN.

Cast

Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Tommy Flanagan, Theo Rossi, Dayton Callie, Jimmy Smits. With: Rockmund Dunbar, Drea De Matteo, Kim Dickens, Donal Logue, CCH Pounder

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  1. I like the helpful information you provide to your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m moderately sure I will learn plenty of new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!

  2. tara hefner says:

    Luv this show. Can’t wait till next week.

  3. MargieRose says:

    Luv SOA my adult sons & I enjoy. Really wish it wasn’t ending. I’m enjoying Jimmy’s rear view!!!

  4. JOE S HILL says:

    I sure have to hand it to Kurt Sutter,because after “THE SHIELD” series,”SONS OF ANARCHY” has
    been so far,a Highway to Hell,paved with murders,betrayals,the most senseless violence imaginable,
    and a warped code of values that these “Hell’s Angels” wannabes have shown for one another! just
    when you think there’s some good coming from “Jax”Teller,he goes off on another bit of violence
    and death,all to the code of SAMCRO,,just incredible violence,in the life and times of these Bad Boy
    bikers! However Sutter concludes this series,it’ll be very spectacular,indeed! and using stars from
    “THE SHIELD” is also a great touch of irony! now if only “Vic Mackey” zooms on up on an Indian Bike,
    that’ll sure be a touch of the more ironic!

  5. Sutter has hinted at the possibility of a “prequel” of sorts after SOA ends. That would be interesting. I hope he gets the chance to do it.

  6. John Jones says:

    Sons of anarchy Fuckin rocks it takes me out of my everyday life for a hour of a wild ride every episode so no not looking forward to the final season so with all do respect fuck off

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