Sons of Anarchy–or, Why Nooks Can Be Evil. (Also, Spoilers!)

So, my latest obsession is Sons of Anarchy. My VP last year told me that I would like it, since I love Justified. I put off watching it, but then saw Pacific Rim, which stars Charlie Hunnam from SoA and started last Saturday.

I’ve watched the first two seasons in a week. I’m on the third season now. Would have been more if a) I was home more or b) I’d watch with Fred. But I know he’ll call me on my Charlie Hunnam crush, so I watch when he’s not around, and on my Nook in the back room in the morning before school. Sometimes before my nap, instead of reading.

The premise is following an outlaw motorcycle gang in Northern CA. The main character–at least, purportedly–is Jax, the Vice President of the “club.” He’s the son of one of the founding members, the step-son of the current president. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know father/son relationships fascinate me. In the pilot episode, Jax finds his dead father’s writings, about how he founded the club, how the club lost its way. Jax is determined to get the club to turn away from gun-running, but he’s not above kicking some ass.

So these are bad people, but the writing…damn. I love Opie, the big biker who’s just out of jail, trying to appease his wife and the mother of his kids. She’s outside of the club–she’s not one of the “old ladies” who hangs out in the clubhouse. She wants him out of the club, but it’s not so easy. Opie’s dad Piney is a founding member, and his best friend is Jax. Opie feels torn between his club family and his real family.

I like the sheriff, who’s in the club’s pocket. He looks the other way, but he’s got a thing for the president’s wife Gemma, who’s been his friend since high school. And he’s dying of cancer. He wants to retire, but the president won’t let him.

I like the deputy, Hale, who loves Jax’s high school sweetheart Tara, who’s a straight cop and hates that the sheriff is letting the club get away with everything.

I find Jax sympathetic, most of the time. In the pilot, his junkie ex-wife overdoses and goes into labor. He won’t go see his son because he’s afraid the baby will die. But he bonds with the baby, and his high school sweetheart Tara, a doctor now, as he tries to change the club from the inside. Also, damn. Just saying.

But my favorite character is Gemma, the matriarch, the wife of the president (who I loathe), Jax’s mother. She’s tough and vulnerable, and Katey Sagal plays her in a way that takes my breath away. She’s a “fierce mother,” who does anything her family, including the club, needs. She stays at the hospital with the baby, is ready to raise him if her son can’t. When she’s attacked and keeps it a secret from her husband and son, it’s to protect them. When she reveals the truth, it’s to bring them together, and she had me sobbing.

I about died when Stephen King guest-starred. How cool would it be to be such a famous author that you can ask to be on your favorite show?

I love this show like crazy, but there have been a few questions, like why Opie never questioned who killed his wife. Like why the club would put everyone associated with the club on lockdown to protect them when the club fought against another club, but let Gemma and Tara leave with the baby. It seems to me they would be the most vulnerable. And then Gemma makes a choice that I didn’t understand.

Usually the writing is tight, a study in cause and effect. If you pull this string, that happens, and everything’s connected. Brilliant, most of the time. My husband won’t watch. He says he doesn’t need to watch shows with so much tension. No one at work watches, either. My former vice principal was the one who wanted me to watch it, but he’s moved to another school. Do any of you watch it?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah N.
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 07:41:27

    I’ve been meaning to. It’s on Netflix streaming.


  2. Natalie J. Damschroder
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 19:40:24

    I confess I haven’t, though I’ve read about it and know how brilliant its fans think it is. Too much anti-heroism for me. But I do get why you’d be hooked.

    I think for a show like that (or any show, really), errors and inconsistencies are inevitable. Sometimes they’re intentional, because a careless bit of world-building in the past blocks a really great story development later. Sometimes it’s a matter of being unable to keep track of the mass amount of detail. And of course, binging makes those things far more obvious than watching on a regular schedule does. So my philosophy is to acknowledge it, detail how we’d fix it/make it better (we are writers, after all), and then let it go. LOL


  3. MJ Fredrick
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 05:41:42

    Deborah, that’s how I’m watching. Almost done with season 3! Natalie, yes, lots of anti-heroism, which doesn’t usually appeal. But BOY, do they know how to ramp up tension. You’re right about noticing the inconsistencies because I’m watching them back-to-back rather than waiting. But dang, I love Gemma, and they have her doing some DUMB things!

    I will say, now I’m listening to Stephanie Tyler’s Defiance, a post-apoc biker gang book, and I’m loving it! Clearly she was inspired by SoA!


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