Monday, September 13, 2010

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

Sons of Anarchy: Season 3, Episode 1 “So” (B+)

It’s very good to have this show back. There isn’t much else on the air like it that can be found anywhere besides AMC and HBO, and this show has a particularly strong edge that can’t be matched by many others (“Breaking Bad” is the only one that comes to mind, and comparing the two is a compliment to both shows). What’s even more impressive about this particular premiere is that, after a slow, subtle start, this episode turns out to be even more shocking than last year’s. While the rape of Gemma was a horrifying and unsettling event, seeing masked gunmen open fire on a crowd full of women and children at Half-Sack’s funeral, shoot a child, and run over a police officer who also happens to be a main character on the show is even more disturbing and unexpected (it takes a lot for a show to off a regular player, not to mention two over the course of two successive episodes). Closing the episode on Jax losing it and smashing one gunman’s head into the curb repeatedly in front of citizens and cops makes a case for this as one of the most intense finishes to an episode of this show yet. It’s clear that SAMCRO’s problems aren’t limited to the recently departed Zobelle and the endlessly manipulative Stahl, and that’s going to put the whole crew on edge this season and on the defense. I’m very interested to see more of Hal Holbrook as Gemma’s father, and Gemma certainly hasn’t lost her edge after nearly neutering a guy whose car she was breaking into. This season is going to be intense.

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