The Ultimate Guide To Sons of Anarchy
Created by American screenwriter, producer, director and actor Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy is a crime drama TV show that airs on the cable network FX. Whether you're a fan of the genre or not, there's no denying the fact that it's an engrossing show that keeps you hooked until the next episode. Unfortunately, though, there aren't too many “new” episodes left, as the series (not season) finale is set to air on December 8.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Let me go ahead and give fair warning to those who haven't seen Sons of Anarchy: there are spoilers (and lots of them) ahead.
SOA: Season Synopsis
The first season of Sons of Anarchy originally aired on September 3, 2008, centering around the personal life of Jax Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam) and his family. The show kicks off with a bang, as the rival gang Mayans set the SAMCRO warehouse ablaze after stealing their guns. Jax's drug-addicted wife Wendy has an emergency C-section performed, bringing their child Abel into this world. But Wendy doesn't make it far, as Jax's mother Gemma supplies her with methamphetamine, on which she overdoses.
Later, Jax discovers a manifesto left by his late father, which describes his vision for SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original). Throughout the first season (and subsequent seasons), he's forced to make some tough choices regarding the future of the club. This ultimately lays the groundwork for the SAMCRO club and what's it about.
When the Sons' warehouse was torched, two illegal immigrants were found dead inside by the San Joaquin County Sheriff Vic Trammel. Since the Sons paid Sheriff Trammel, however, he didn't attempt to arrest nor charge the Sons with any crimes, turning a blind eye to the deceased immigrants. Deputy Chief Hale, however, also discovered the corpses, forcing the Sons to move the bodies before they could be examined.
Sons of Anarchy season 2 begins with a white separatist group known as the League Of American Nationalists (LOAN) entering Charming. Their leader, Ethan Zobelle, is hell-bent on driving the Sons out of town. Zobelle orders his men to kidnap and rape Gemma, and plant a car bomb under the SON's vehicle. Although some of the Sons get locked up for a while, they are eventually released and pursue Zobelle who is forced to take a plane back to Budapest. The second season ends with Edmond Hayes' father, Cameron, breaking into Jax's home, stabbing Half Sack and kidnapping Abel. Jax and the Sons chase Cameron to the docks, where Cameron gets on a boat with Abel by his side.
Season 3 opens with Jax sitting in his son's nursery, drinking a bottle of liquor and smoking a cigarette. Tara is nearby, who is also motionless and disconnected due to the loss of Abel. As the Sons set off to locate Cameron and Abel, they discover he's sold all of his belongings and fled the country. After hiring a bounty hunter, the Sons locate Abel. Jax is eventually reunited with his daughter after Ashby trades himself in exchange for the baby.
Season 4 was arguably the most successful season in the Sons of Anarchy franchise. The first episode, S4E1, aired on September 6, 2011, attracting a jaw-dropping 4.93 million U.S. viewers. It begins with the imprisoned SAMCRO members being released from the state penitentiary, at which point they are greeted by Charming's new law enforcement, Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt of the San Joaquin Sheriffs' Department. Roosevelt lays down some new ground rules that don't sit well with the Sons, such as prohibiting paroled SAMCRO members from wearing club kuttles, which he believes are “gang colors.” After being released prison, the Sons arrange a gun deal with the Russians. Because the Russians attacked Jax in prison, however, the Sons betray them during the deal, killing several of its members in addition to an undercover federal agent.
During the season 4 finale, it's revealed that Laroy's girlfriend is the daughter of a powerful gang leader in Oakland. Deputy Chief Cane hints that a possible retaliation is in the works. Jax and Opie discuss how to deal with this possible threat, agreeing that they need to capture Clay alive. Just as season 4 comes to an end, Jax declares himself President of SAMCRO, with his first act being the appointment of Chibs as the group's new Sargent-at-Arms.
Season 5 begins with the Oakland-based gang, the Niners, attacking a SAMCRO cargo shipment. The first episode paints a distributing picture of the heated battle between these two rival gangs, as several SAMCRO members are targeted while in their homes. Surprisingly, however, Jax meets with the Pope and the two come to an agreement to halt their attacks. But the cease-fire is only temporary, and the Niners start attacking yet again.
Towards the end of season 5, Jax arranges another meeting with Pope, during which he kills Pope's henchman using a silenced pistol and allows Tig to take revenge on Pope by shooting him in the head. After Jax discovers that Clay was involved in the home invasions, he contacts Roosevelt, who has Clay arrested thanks to a false statement made by Gemma. As Jax and Tara discuss the possibility of Wendy becoming a guardian for their sons, Roosevelt arrives at their home and arrests Wendy for her involvement in the murder of a nurse.
In season 6, we see Jax struggle to keep SAMCRO together after Tara's arrest. The Sons also get caught up in business dealing with an Iranian porn company. After agreeing that the Iranians must go, the Sons eventually drive them out of Charming. The season 6 premiere ends with a young boy who pulls out a machine gun from his backpack while walking towards a school. As he enters, the machine gun fires and screams are heard.
The seventh and final season of Sons of Anarchy began on September 9, 2014, attracting a record-breaking 6.2 million viewers. It picks up just weeks after the death of Tara. With Jax in jail, he begins to forge new alliances in an effort to avenge his wife's death. Gemma reveals some information to Jax regarding who's responsible for Tara's death, further enticing the SAMCRO president to continue to his path for righteous vengeance.
Like previous SOA seasons, season 7 received mostly positive reviews from critics. It currently boasts an 83% critic score and 86% user score at Rotten Tomatoes, although Metacritic gave it a slightly lower score of 68%.
Forever Sam Crow
Here's a fun fact that may surprise SOA fans: FX originally chose the name Forever Sam Crow. The motorcycle club at the center of the show is Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club (SAMCRO), which of course is short for Sam Crow. Sound a bit confusing? Well, apparently the show's producers thought it was confusing as well, so they went with Sons of Anarchy.
Sons of Anarchy Spinoff?
Sons of Anarchy might be wrapping up with its final season, but there's hope on the horizon for millions of fans who wish to see the franchise return. There's a rumor circulating that a Sons of Anarchy spinoff is in the works. Granted, it will likely feature new cast, but it will still bring fans the joy of seeing SAMCRO back in action.
“I've had discussions with the network about it, and I think they are open to it," said Kurt Sutter during the 2013 Sons for Sandy Relief event in Asbury Park, N.J. "I think there is something really interesting about the origins of the club. And to do a period piece set in the '60s, post-Vietnam could be kind of cool. I don't think we would dovetail and start right after the series ended, but it's something I'm potentially excited about it."
This isn't an official confirmation of a SOA spinoff, but it's certainly a delightful ray of hope for fans of the franchise. AMC recently gave the green light for a Breaking Bad spinoff, titled Better Call Saul, so it's a very real possibility that we may see more of SAMCRO in the years to come.
Sons of Anarchy Main Cast:
- Jackson "Jax" Teller – Charlie Hunnam
- Clarence "Clay" Morrow – Ron Perlman
- Gemma Teller Morrow – Katey Sagal
- Tara Knowles-Teller – Maggie Siff
- Alex "Tig" Trager – Kim Coates
- Filip "Chibs" Telford – Tommy Flanagan
- Robert "Bobby Elvis" Munson – Mark Boone
- Junior Kip "Half-Sack" Epps – Johnny Lewis
- Juan Carlos "Juice" Ortiz – Theo Rossi
- Harry "Opie" Winston – Ryan Hurst
- Piermont "Piney" Winston – William Lucking
- Wayne Unser – Dayton Callie
- Nero Padilla – Jimmy Smits
- Happy Lowman – David LaBrava
- Wendy Case – Drea de Matteo
- George "Ratboy" Skogstrom – Niko Nicotera
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