SPILLED BLOOD – GUNRUNNING – DRUG TRADE – CORRUPT COPS – CORPORATE DEVELOPERS.
The little central northern California town of Charming has seen its better days. What was once a sleepy little town in its day has evolved into something quite different since the end of the Vietnam War. The returning vets get a different reception than those of earlier wars and create a motorcycle club, Sons of Anarchy, and form their own close “family” amongst themselves. Ride their Harleys, drink beer, chase girls and have a good time was the plan. But with the accidental (?) death of the founder and leader of the club, and now run by its remaining original members, the club has strayed from its original path. They have become bad, dangerous people, adding gunrunning to the club’s “day job” of an automotive repair shop in town. The motorcycle club is so successful in fact, 28 chapters have spread across the country and Europe. Charming is now largely run by the benign but authoritarian club that literally gets away with murder. But as bad-ass as they are, they’re also in the cross hairs of surrounding rival clubs, like white supremacy group The Nords, which wants to expand their meth-dealing business into Charming, and the Hispanic group The Mayans. To add heat to the simmering pot, the new deputy chief wants to commercialize Charming, and thus oust Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Originals (SAMCRO).
Charming now is faced with drug dealers, overreaching tin stars, corporate developers, all while trying to protect their small town familial lifestyle. The colliding juxtaposition can only result in an explosion of blood, power, and money.
Thus begins the new hit drama on FX: Sons of Anarchy. John Linson, one of the executive producers and a long time rider himself, had the notion that the outlaw biker world might be an interesting arena for TV. He approached Kurt Sutter with that concept. Sutter, impressed with Linson’s enthusiasm and love of the subculture, immersed himself in the world and created Sons of Anarchy.
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, SOA explores themes of treachery, revenge, greed and moral corruption. At the same time, being a west coast version of an old-world gangster genre, we see the genuine bonding of the close knit “family” of SAMCRO, and the lengths taken to protect it.
“TREAT ME GOOD, I TREAT YOU BETTER – TREAT ME BAD, I TREAT YOU WORSE”
Our saga revolves around “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the son of now deceased club founder John Teller, and the club’s vice-president. Now in his early 30’s, Jax has known only the life of SAMCRO. He’s bright, thoughtful, introspective, yet steely-eyed with a short fuse. Cross him and you’ll know it in a cold second. Jax is being groomed for the center seat, and is beginning to stretch his will to reign in the more outlaw ways of SOA. Jax rides a black Harley-Davidson Dyna with an airbrushed Reaper on the tank.
New President of SOA and Jax’s stepfather is “Clay” Morrow (Hellboy’s Ron Perlman). Clay is one of the founding members of the club, the “Redwood First 9”. His bike also has the Reaper on the tank, but as President of the club, is the only one with the SOA rocker above and California rocker below. He is figuratively and literally losing his grip as he suffers from degenerative arthritis so is doggedly determined to exert ruthless control over his domain.
Club Secretary is Bobby Munsun (Mark Boone Jr.). Bobby is big, burly, vociferous, and damned good with explosives. He rides a unique bobber – high bars, blacked out dual pipes, old school. He is also SAMCRO’s only Jewish member.
Sergeant-At-Arms is “Tig” Trager, played with slimy delight by Kim Coates. Tig has a cold-eyed stare that reaches down to his ice-cold heart. He is a man without fear. He loves to hurt things, and it’s reflected in his bike – lots of spikes where they count, and skulls on the levers. This is the fellow we’re going to love to hate.
Chibs Telford (Tommy Flanagan) was born in the ghettos of Glasgow. Raised on the streets of Belfast, Chibs is street smart and ready for a scrap. (“Chib” is Scottish slang for “blade”). Chib’s bike has the Scottish flag on the back of his seat and a solo anarchy symbol on his tank.
Kip “Half-sack” Epps (Johnny Lewis) is the clubs Prospect, and thus still rides a plain vanilla Harley. Kip got his knick-name because his right testicle was blown off in the Iraq war.
“Juice” Ortiz (Theo Rossi) is SAMCRO’s Intelligence Officer. He’s the tech guy – and his bike shows it – an ipod holder on the dash, and dual speakers in the fairing. He has lightening bolts on his shaved skull and enjoys chemicals of all kind.
The hard as nails men of SOA pale next to the most threatening member of SAMCRO. Scratch the surface – a vitriolic viper awaits. Jax’s mother and club matriarch is Gemma Teller-Morrow, played with bone-chilling exactitude by Katey Sagal. Gemma is now married to club President Clay. She wants the best for her men and extended family, and will do whatever it takes to protect them, regardless of how ruthless she must be to that end. A key objective is to have Clay keep Jax on the path they have set out for the club. A wise old sage (it may well have been I) once said women could rule the world from their pillow if they only knew it. Gemma knows it.