So I started off by writing a review of the Pilot episode of this show and wasn't really favorable of that particular episode. Here's was my review with and update: Sons of Anarchy Pilot Review.
I originally felt it was just a little too much with the drugs, violence, death and wasn't sure if it would ever really develop a story line. Since that first episode it did pick up and developed some pretty good storeys dealing with relationships, character development and second thoughts.
There were a couple of key stories going on the main was Gemma, played by Katay Sagal, tries to control just about everyone on the show. She wants to control her son Jax's life and who he has a relationship with. She plays Jax's ex-wife off against his girlfriend and even tries to kill his ex-wife with a needle full of drugs. She gets what she wants and she's one tough bitch. Sagal really does an awesome job in this role as a cold hearted wife of the president of Sam Crow who really is pulling the strings of a lot of people.
Jax is played by Charlie Hunnam, who played the thug brother in the movie Green Street Hooligans, which is a great film and well worth seeing. It's funny seeing a Brit play a biker from the Sacramento area town of Charming, CA. Jax starts to question a lot of what's going on as his son is born to his drugged up wife. He lives and is in intensive care. The wife is sent off to rehab and Jax will be resonsible for raising his son. He goes to storage to get some stuff and finds a box of stuff that was his fathers. There was a book that his father wrote about how Sam Crow lost its way and he had a different vision of what he wanted it to be. Jax starts to question things and challenges Clay, the president of Sam Crow, who is also his step father. This continues to get at him through the series. Jax's dad is John Teller who along with Piney Joe started the motorcycle gang. Teller died when Jax was young and Clay Morrow stepped in to raise him.
Ron Perlman plays Clay, the president of the Club and is the mastermind behind all the gun running. He sells to the 9ers, a black gang out of Oakland and he's always at odds with the Mayans, a Mexican rival gang. He controls his arms from the IRA and even deals with the Chinese mafia. He's into a whole bunch of stuff as long as it happens outside the borders of Charming, it's fair game. He has the police chief and the sheriff department on his payroll.
All seems to be going well until the Mayans blow up the gun storage and revenge comes. From there the whole season is a balance of power and struggle to keep the violence out of Charming, CA. There's a local Police officer who is working against the Chief and trying to nail the Sons, but he always seems to come out on the wrong end. The Feds even get involved and in the end after they think they have a great case, it all goes away.
The show had a little violence, but it for the most part dealt with a wide variety of situations and struggles of individuals. Jax isn't sure what he feels is right and Opie wants back in, but doesn't want to got to jail again and in the end he comes back in and his wife ends up getting killed. Gemma plays Jax's ex-wife off the doctor who comes back to hide and be with Jax. She doesn't want the Doctor helping screw with Jax's mind.
These guys really know how to work the system and more connections than anyone I know. In the end they keep rolling, but it's time for some change.
If you missed it, pick it up on DVD when it's released. After my little rant on the first episode, I really think it came on strong and was well written. This one will be around for at least another season to see where Jax goes and if there's an uprising.
There's a lot more stories going on that I might have forgotten, but watch it and Enjoy!