Sons of Anarchy, season two -- An early look
by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 4th 2009 3:01PM
The level that FX's Sons of Anarchy's second season has to reach to top their outrageous first might seem unfathomable. But the man helming this ship is writer, creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter - the man who helped steer The Shield through seven strange and unpredictable seasons of treacherous waters that were once deemed unchartable for the likes of basic cable.
It's tight control on what appears to be complete chaos. Sutter and company are a fleet of reckless Sledge Hammers who are willing to blow up whole buildings to get the job done. Trust him. He knows what he's doing.
FX's white hot biker drama kicks off Tuesday and it brings all of the blood, guts, bullets and glory that the first season did in buckets. And that's just in the first five episodes.
The biggest surprises have been the show's meticulous complexity. It's more than just meatheads on muscled-up motorcycles crushing in skulls with their bare hands to the soundtrack of Motorhead on speed. It's an intricate web of versus battles and in-fighting: alliances vs. enemies, tradition vs. common sense, good vs. evil. And each episode redraws the lines and boundaries and requires multiple viewings just to keep them all straight in your head. Your TiVo will rack up a lot of overtime come Tuesday.
The second season gets extra intricate when Adam Arkin and Henry Rollins show up in Charming to battle SAMCRO...and they're on the same side! That may sound like a royally f-ed up tag team match from hell, but Arkin's straight-laced coolness and Rollins' fiery dramatic approach make a perfect enemy for the boys in black. You couldn't cook up a stranger team in better sync without some kind of genetic mutant splicer.
In short, it does what every great series should aspire for: grabs you from the beginning and never lets you go. It keeps you itching for action from episode to episode and sweating for unreserved plot points during the commercials. It's very complex and moves faster than most shows, but just pop a Ritalin, slap on a brain bucket and hold on for dear life. It's worth the ride.