Saturday, September 12, 2009

What I’m Watching: Sons of Anarchy (Season Premiere)

Sons of Anarchy: Season 2, Episode 1 “Albification” (B+)

This is quite the premiere for the second season of the show that now pretty much defines FX’s “outside the box” brand now that “The Shield” is off the air and “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me” are headed that way soon. I caught up on the show’s first season recently and was generally pretty stunned by the quality of the writing and the terrific ensemble. This is a great start to the show’s second season, semi-resolving season one plotlines like Donna’s murder and Bobby’s imprisonment. More importantly, however, it’s clear that this show is headed in a new direction, and that’s a far darker place than where the already morally-bankrupt Sons of Anarchy currently reside. The domineering duo of Adam Arkin and Henry Rollins presents an incredible balance between diplomatic business sense and pure muscle that the Sons of Anarchy don’t quite have, at least not to the same extent. Arkin is very impressive as the stoically calm businessman, and Rollins is deathly terrifying as the iron fist behind his cool threats. The end of the episode is entirely shocking and gripping as the cautious and protective Gemma unexpectedly gets taken and savagely abused. It’s a line that the Sons of Anarchy wouldn’t likely cross (though it’s hard to tell), and the fact that this new group in town does go over it right away might them even more of a horrific force to be reckoned with that will likely shake the Sons of Anarchy to their core. This is going to be a fascinating season, I can tell. The bar has definitely been set pretty high, and I have a feeling this season is going to be even better than the first.

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