After the gut-wrenching attacks on the motorcycle club in season 2 -- including the finale's cliffhanger kidnapping -- they're picking right back up with Gemma and Clay, Jax and Tara and the gang, and the aftermath is sure to be emotional, explosive and incredibly violent.
I caught up with stars Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam and Maggie Siff to hear all about the characters being more proactive and where we'll find matriarch Gemma this season (premieres Tues., Sept. 7, 10PM ET on FX). They also talked about the amazing guest stars we'll see (including Titus Welliver, Hal Holbrook and Paula Malcomson) and how the IRA will give SAMCRO a run for their money.
I paid a visit to the show's sweltering North Hollywood set last week as series creator Kurt Sutter (The Shield) and his cast were putting the finishing touches on the show's second season.
In fact, the show's writers were so close to revealing its final secrets to the cast that my PA and FX PR tour guides slammed a door in my face lest I wander into the writer's conference room and see the white dry erase board full of plot points for season two's final episode.
Evidently, if I'd have seen the final, bottom-right panel on that wall-wide white board, I'd have been chained to show star Tommy Flanagan's motorcycle and taken for a drag around St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank.
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.
(S01E13) "... there's only one face I see." - Jax
Well that was pretty impressive. Sons of Anarchy went from a show that I really didn't care for (Kurt Sutter admits that the first two episodes were a bit "ambitious") to one of my favorite new dramas of the '08 fall season. I'm echoing just about every critic around the country by saying this, but Sons really did get better each week. As far as season finales go, last night's capper gave us the perfect amount of answers and questions as well as one of the most layered, metaphorical, and nuanced ending sequences I've seen in quite a while.
It's a rare occasion that I re-trace my steps and openly admit that I was wrong. Typically, I stick with my gut and I'll fight you until I'm blue in the face. But it takes a big man to recognize the error of his ways and it takes an even bigger one to admit it to others. So here goes...
Initially, I wasn't impressed with Sons of Anarchy. After watching the pilot (twice), I panned it. Nothing special, nothing new. The second episode didn't do much for me either. But I promised I'd stick with it since it was on FX (in today's TV landscape, that counts for something) and after last night's installment (S01E08, "The Pull"), I'm here to say something I didn't agree with eight weeks ago:
FX has done it again.
(S01E01) "Just pretend it's carve-your-own steak night at Sizzler." - Jax
FX is taking a fairly big gamble with Sons of Anarchy. With their trademark drama The Shield ending its seven season run this fall and their other two big hits (Damages and Rescue Me) pushed to 2009 because of the WGA Strike, the network is in dire need of some fresh buzz. The one thing they have going for them? Even FX's previous flops (Dirt, Starved, Over There, Thief) were better than a lot of other things on TV and Sons of Anarchy certainly fits that mold. Once the fall season is in full swing, the only network competition will be CSI: NY, as I don't see Lipstick Jungle or Dirty Sexy Money getting in the way. Sons has the potential to do well. It'll just rest on creator Kurt Sutter and how he plans to make the show appealing beyond this pilot episode.
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