Sons of Anarchy
|Sons of Anarchy|
|Created by||Kurt Sutter|
Mark Boone Junior
Drea de Matteo
|Theme music composer||Bob Thiele
|Opening theme||"This Life" by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers|
|Composer(s)||Bob Thiele Jr.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||92 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Phil Laudicina
James D. Parriott
Etienne des Lauriers
|Location(s)||Occidental Studios, North Hollywood, California|
|Running time||39–83 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Linson The Company
|Original release||September 3, 2008– December 9, 2014|
Sons of Anarchy is an American crime drama television series created by Kurt Sutter. It follows the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California's Central Valley. The show stars Charlie Hunnam as Jackson "Jax" Teller, initially the vice president of the club, who begins questioning the club and himself.
Sons of Anarchy premiered on September 3, 2008, on cable network FX. The series' third season attracted an average of 4.9 million viewers per week, making it FX's highest rated series ever, surpassing FX's other hits The Shield, Nip/Tuck, and Rescue Me. The season 4 and 5 premieres were the two highest-rated telecasts in FX's history.
The sixth season aired from September 10, 2013, through December 10, 2013. The seventh and final season of the series premiered on September 9, 2014. The series finale premiered on December 9, 2014.
In November 2013, Sutter indicated he was in talks with FX to make a Sons of Anarchy prequel set in the 1960s. In February 2015, he said he would not work on the prequel, likely to be titled "The First 9", before 2017. As of May 11, 2016, A spinoff series is in the works.
- 1 Series overview
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Elements
- 4 Production
- 5 Episodes
- 6 Reception
- 7 Music
- 8 Other Media
- 9 Broadcast
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Each season involves two parallel plot lines that intertwine and overlap: the first centers on the personal life of Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and his immediate family while the second deals with SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original). SAMCRO is involved with gun-running throughout the western United States and deals with many rival gangs and politicians and authorities. As Vice-President and later President of SAMCRO, Jax struggles with the everyday dealings of the club and the legacy of his father, the founder of the club. SAMCRO is said to resemble the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, hence the appearances from David LaBrava (Happy), Chuck Zito (Frankie Diamonds), Rusty Coones (Quinn), and Sonny Barger (Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz) who are all real Hells Angels members.
Season 1 (2008)
Jax's heroin addicted ex-wife Wendy (Drea de Matteo) overdoses while pregnant with his child. An emergency C-section is performed, and a baby boy is delivered ten weeks prematurely. Jax names the child Abel. Jax visits a storage unit to collect some old baby clothes. There, he discovers a "manifesto" authored by his father, the deceased founder of SAMCRO, describing his hopes for the club. This document sends Jax into a dilemma, as he struggles with the direction the club is taking. Jax's mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal), visits Wendy in the hospital and tells her she will kill her if Wendy attempts to gain custody of Abel. Since Wendy took drugs during pregnancy, Gemma would see to it that the baby "will never call you mommy". A broken-hearted Wendy overdoses on crystal meth, given to her in a needle stashed in a bible, by Gemma when she visits her in the hospital after the birth.
Season 2 (2009)
White separatists called the League Of American Nationalists (LOAN) arrive in Charming. LOAN's leader and backer businessman Ethan Zobelle and Zobelle's enforcer, A.J. Weston, seek to drive the Sons of Anarchy from Charming. To send a message to SAMCRO, Zobelle has his daughter Polly lure Gemma into a trap where she is kidnapped and gang raped by Weston and two others. Fueled by SAMCRO’s role in Donna’s death, the rift between Clay and Jax continues to widen as Jax challenges most of Clay's decisions. When a lone car bomb nearly kills Chibs, Clay demands immediate retaliation (against Jax's advice) resulting in Clay, Jax, Bobby, Tig, Juice Ortiz, and Happy's being arrested by the San Joaquin deputies. Finally Gemma breaks the news about the rape to Clay and Jax.
Season 3 (2010)
Gemma has been hiding in Rogue River, Oregon with Tig at the home of Gemma's father, Nate (Hal Holbrook), who suffers from dementia. Gemma struggles when she takes Nate to his new assisted living home, and he pleads to be taken back to his house. She returns to Charming to reunite with her grandson, unaware he has been kidnapped. The return of A.T.F agent Stahl twists the facts about the murder of Donna, Stahl attempts to make a deal with Jax behind the club's back. Father Kellan Ashby's sister, Maureen, contacts Gemma at Ashby's request and tells her Abel is safe in Belfast. Upon learning of her grandson's abduction, Gemma suffers a cardiac arrhythmia and collapses in the Teller-Morrow lot. After the club returns from Ireland and brings home Abel, agent Stahl double crosses Jax and tells the club about the side deal Jax made with her, unaware that Jax and the club had it planned all along knowing Stahl would back out of the deal. Jax, Clay, Bobby, Tig, and Happy are hauled away to jail. While Opie, Chibbs, and the Prospects are all en-route following Stahl. Opie kills Stahl to avenge the death of his wife, Donna.
Season 4 (2011)
The imprisoned SAMCRO members leave the penitentiary after their 14-month stay and are met by Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt of the San Joaquin Sheriff's Department, the new law enforcement presence in Charming. They also discover Hale has become the mayor. US Attorney Lincoln Potter seeks Lieutenant Roosevelt's help to build a RICO case against SAMCRO.
Season 5 (2012)
In retaliation for the death of Veronica Pope (Laroy's girlfriend who was also the daughter of powerful Oakland kingpin Damon Pope), the Niners attack SAMCRO and ambush a cargo shipment. With the death of Opie Winston and the growing conflict between the Niners and SAMCRO, along with several home invasions targeting people linked to the Club, Jax is forced to meet with Damon Pope, to face a new threat unlike anything SAMCRO has ever faced.
Season 6 (2013)
Following the arrest of Tara and Clay, Jax struggles to hold SAMCRO together while Tara is imprisoned. Toric approaches both Tara and Clay and offers them deals in exchange for giving up SAMCRO; both initially refuse, but Clay later relents when confronted with being thrown into the prison's general population and assuredly being killed by inmates paid off by Damon Pope's men as a retaliation for Pope's murder. Juice returns to Charming after helping Bobby relocate after stepping down as VP, which angers Chibs, who doesn't believe Juice has been punished enough for talking to cops and later beats him. With the growing romance between Gemma and Nero, the death of Clay Morrow, and death of Tara. The tables get turned and take the club in a new darker direction.
Season 7 (2014)
Jax struggles with the death of Tara and turns himself in. While in jail Jax makes new alliances to further the club. Fighting against Damon Pope's right-hand man Marks. Gemma and Juice are on the run hiding from the club. Jax uses the club to exact revenge on the people he believes killed his wife. The death of Bobby Munson fuels the hate and lies made by Gemma and Juice. With Nero struggling to adapt to Gemma's lifestyle and SAMCRO falling apart, Jax is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his children.
Cast and characters
Sons of Anarchy is the story of the Teller-Morrow family of Charming, California, as well as the other members of Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO), their families, various Charming townspeople, allied and rival gangs, associates, and law agencies that undermine or support SAMCRO's legal and illegal enterprises.
|Jackson "Jax" Teller||Charlie Hunnam||Main|
|Gemma Teller Morrow||Katey Sagal||Main|
|Robert "Bobby Elvis" Munson||Mark Boone Junior||Main|
|Alexander "Tig" Trager||Kim Coates||Main|
|Filip "Chibs" Telford||Tommy Flanagan||Main|
|Kip "Half-Sack" Epps||Johnny Lewis||Main|
|Tara Knowles-Teller||Maggie Siff||Main|
|Clarence "Clay" Morrow||Ron Perlman||Main|
|Harry "Opie" Winston||Ryan Hurst||Recurring||Main|
|Piermont "Piney" Winston||William Lucking||Recurring||Main|
|Juan Carlos "Juice" Ortiz||Theo Rossi||Recurring||Main|
|Wayne Unser||Dayton Callie||Recurring||Main|
|Wendy Case||Drea de Matteo||Special Guest||Special Guest||Main|
|Happy Lowman||David LaBrava||Co-star||Recurring||Main|
|George "Ratboy" Skogstrom||Niko Nicotera||Recurring||Main|
|Neron "Nero" Padilla||Jimmy Smits||Special Guest||Main|
- Ally Walker as Agent June Stahl (seasons 1–3)
- Tom Everett Scott as Rosen (seasons 1–2)
- Brian Van Holt as Kyle Hobart (season 1)
- Adam Arkin as Ethan Zobelle (season 2)
- Henry Rollins as A.J. Weston (season 2)
- Mitch Pileggi as Ernest Darby (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2; guest season 6)
- Kenny Johnson as Herman Kozik (seasons 3–4; guest season 2)
- Sonny Barger as Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz (seasons 3–6)
- Paula Malcomson as Maureen Ashby (season 3)
- Stephen King as Bachman (season 3)
- Rockmond Dunbar as Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt (seasons 4–6)
- Danny Trejo as Romero "Romeo" Parada (seasons 4–5)
- David Hasselhoff as Dondo (season 4)
- Ray McKinnon as Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (season 4)
- Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Vivica (season 4)
- Benito Martinez as Luis Torres (season 5; recurring season 4)
- Walton Goggins as Venus Van Dam (seasons 5–7)
- Donal Logue as Lee Toric (seasons 5–6)
- Harold Perrineau as Damon Pope (season 5)
- Marshall Allman as Devin Price (season 5)
- CCH Pounder as Tyne Patterson (seasons 6–7)
- Peter Weller as Charles Barosky (seasons 6–7)
- Robert Patrick as Les Packer (seasons 6–7)
- Kenneth Choi as Henry Lin (guest season 1; recurring seasons 2–3 & 5–6; season 7)
- Annabeth Gish as Deputy Sheriff Althea Jarry (season 7)
- Courtney Love as Ms. Harrison (season 7)
- Michael Chiklis as Milo (season 7)
- Emilio Rivera as Marcus Alvarez (seasons 1–7)
- Tory Kittles as Laroy Wayne (seasons 1–4)
- Taylor Sheridan as Deputy Chief David Hale (seasons 1–3)
- Jamie McShane as Cameron Hayes (seasons 1–3)
- Dendrie Taylor as Luann Delaney (seasons 1–2)
- Glenn Plummer as Deputy Sheriff Vic Trammel (seasons 1–2)
- Julie Ariola as Mary Winston (seasons 1–2)
- Taryn Manning as Rita "Cherry" Zambell (seasons 1 & 3)
- Sprague Grayden as Donna Winston (season 1)
- Jay Karnes as Agent Joshua Kohn (season 1)
- Keir O'Donnell as Lowell Harland, Jr. (season 1)
- Michael Marisi Ornstein as Chuck Marstein (guest season 1; seasons 2–7)
- Kurt Sutter as "Big" Otto Delaney (guest season 1, uncredited; seasons 2–6, uncredited)
- Patrick St. Esprit as Elliott Oswald (guest seasons 1 & 6; seasons 2–4)
- Marcos de la Cruz as Estevez (guest season 1; seasons 2–3)
- Winter Ave Zoli as Lyla Winston (seasons 2–7)
- McNally Sagal as Margaret Murphy (seasons 2–6)
- Kristen Renton as Ima (seasons 2–6)
- Titus Welliver as Jimmy O'Phelan (seasons 2–3)
- Bellina Logan as Fiona Larkin (seasons 2–3)
- Henry Rollins as AJ Weston (season 2)
- Callard Harris as Edmond Hayes (season 2)
- Sarah Jones as Polly Zobelle (season 2)
- Jeff Kober as Jacob Hale, Jr. (seasons; guest season 2 3–6)
- Christopher Douglas Reed as Philip "Filthy Phil" Russell (seasons 3–6)
- Robin Weigert as Ally Lowen (seasons 3–6)
- Michael Beach as T.O. Cross (seasons 3 & 7; guest season 5)
- Hal Holbrook as Nate Madok (season 3; guest season 7)
- Jose Pablo Cantillo as Hector Salazar (season 3)
- James Cosmo as Father Kellen Ashby (season 3)
- Zoe Boyle as Trinity Ashby (season 3)
- Andrew McPhee as Keith McGee (season 3)
- Arie Verveen as Liam O'Neill (season 3)
- Pamela J. Gray as Agent Amy Tyler (season 3)
- Marcello Thedford as Lander Jackson (season 3)
- Joel Tobeck as Donny (season 3)
- Darin Heames as Seamus Ryan (season 3)
- Q'orianka Kilcher as Kerrianne Larkin-Telford (season 3)
- Monique Gabriela Curnen as Amelia Dominguez (season 3)
- Michael Fairman as Lumpy Feldstein (season 3)
- Bob McCracken as Brendan Roarke (guest season 3; seasons 4 & 6–7)
- Frank Potter as Eric Miles (co-star season 3; season 4)
- Walter Wong as Chris "V-Lin" Von Lin (seasons 4–6)
- Timothy V. Murphy as Gaelan O'Shay (seasons 4–6)
- Merle Dandridge as Rita Roosevelt (seasons 4–5)
- David Rees Snell as Agent Grad Nicholas (season 4)
- Billy Brown as August Marks (seasons 5–7)
- Reynaldo Gallegos as Fiasco (seasons 5–7)
- Chuck Zito as Frankie Diamonds (season 5)
- Chris Browning as GoGo (season 5)
- Kurt Yaeger as Greg "The Peg" (season 5)
- Wanda De Jesus as Carla (season 5)
- LaMonica Garrett as Deputy Sheriff Cane (co-star seasons 4–6; seasons 6–7)
- Rusty Coones as Rane Quinn (co-star seasons 5–6; seasons 6–7)
- Kim Dickens as Colette Jane (seasons 6–7)
- Douglas Bennett as Orlin West (seasons 6–7)
- Jacob Vargas as Allesandro Montez (seasons 6–7)
- Scott Anderson as Connor Malone (seasons 6–7)
- Steve Howey as Hopper (season 6)
- Michael Shamus Wiles as Jury White (guest seasons 1 & 6; season 7)
- Marya Delver as Officer Candy Eglee (co-star seasons 1–3 & 6–7; season 7)
- Mo McRae as Tyler (guest seasons 5–6; season 7)
- Hayley McFarland as Brooke Putner (season 7; guest season 6)
- Marilyn Manson as Ron Tully (season 7)
- Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Sticky (season 7)
- Ivo Nandi as Oscar "El Oso" Ramos (season 7)
- Ron Yuan as Ryu Tom (season 7)
- Brad Carter as Leland Gruen (season 7)
- April Grace as Loutreesha Haddem (season 7)
- Arjay Smith as Grant McQueen (season 7)
- Matthew St. Patrick as Moses Cartwright (season 7)
- Tony Curran as Gaines (season 7)
The Sons of Anarchy (SOA) is an outlaw motorcycle club with many charters in the United States as well as overseas. The show focuses on the original and founding ("mother") charter, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original, referred to by the acronym SAMCRO or Sam Crow/SAMCRO. This nickname is also reflected in the original title of the show, Forever Sam Crow. The Redwood charter is located in the fictional town of Charming, California, in a clubhouse adjacent to the Teller-Morrow auto mechanic shop. Led by President Clay Morrow, and later Jax Teller, the club protects and controls Charming through close community relationships, bribery, and violent intimidation. In early seasons they are particularly vehement about keeping "hard" drugs, and drug dealers, out of Charming.
John Teller and Piermont "Piney" Winston co-founded SAMCRO in 1967 following their return from the Vietnam War. The first charter, and main charter of the series, was called "Redwood Original", hence the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (S.A.M.C.R.O.). Prior to Gemma's, John's wife, becoming pregnant with their first son, Jackson (Jax), and settling in Gemma's hometown of Charming, John and Piney cruised the Northern California coast from Eureka to Big Sur, which is redwood country. Six of the "Redwood Original 9", or "First 9", members were Vietnam vets and only one remained alive by the final season of the series.
Club members wear vests known as kuttes. The SOA patch on the back is a Grim Reaper holding a crystal ball with the Anarchist circle-A symbol, and wielding the Reaper's traditional scythe, the handle of which has been replaced by the M16 rifle that the club's founders wielded in Vietnam. Only full members can wear the "patch". Other, smaller patches on the vest have specific meanings, such as "Men of Mayhem", which is worn by club members who have spilled blood on the club's behalf; "First 9", worn by all the original nine SOA members; and President/Vice President/SGT at Arms/Secretary patches. Kelli Jones was the costume designer for all seven seasons of this series.
The Sons ride customized Harley-Davidson Dyna motorcycles. Each rider customizes his own bike to his individual style; however, they all paint their bikes black and most sport T-bar style handlebars. A patchholder's bike usually sports the Sons of Anarchy letters on it somewhere, the club's Grim Reaper logo, or the circled "A" club logo. Prospects are not permitted to paint their bikes black until they get patched in. Jax is also seen driving a silver Dodge Ram 1500 throughout the show. His mother, Gemma Teller Morrow, is usually seen driving a Cadillac throughout the show, although later in Season 6 she is driving a Lincoln. Throughout season 7, Jax is seen refurbishing his father's motorcycle, a 1946 Harley Davidson Knucklehead, which he rides in the series finale's last scenes. In Season 7 Jimmy Smits, unfortunately, misidentifies his blue 1963 Impala SS as a 1964 model when he refers to the "lack of child safety features in 1964".
Club members have "day jobs" in local industries; most work at the Teller-Morrow garage as mechanics, but they primarily make money by illegally importing weapons, modifying and selling them to various gangs, and making protection runs for local businesses by defending valuable truck shipments against hijacking. During Season 4 they start to mule cocaine for the Galindo cartel in exchange for cash and protection.
In the series premiere, the Mayans torch the facility the SAMCRO used for storing and assembling guns, forcing the club to buy land for and build another facility. The clubhouse, described above, includes a living area with multiple rooms (where members sometimes crash for the night), a fully operational bar, a pool table, a kitchen, a workout room, and the "chapel", a room with an elaborate redwood conference table that has a reaper logo carved into the top, where the patched members meet to discuss club business and vote on major decisions. The club owns a secluded cabin in the woods and a warehouse outside of town (which was bought from but is still maintained by club associate Elliot Oswald), where they have stored weapons and cocaine for the Galindo Cartel. The club also rents an old candy shop that is used as the clubhouse in season 6 after the Teller/Morrow clubhouse was destroyed in an explosion.
SAMCRO keeps meth traffickers and drug dealers out of Charming, which puts them at odds with the meth-distributing white supremacist Nordics (AKA Nords), headed by Ernest Darby. This earns them respect and admiration from the townspeople, who believe the Sons do more to protect their town than its own police. SAMCRO also has to deal with a rival, Oakland-based motorcycle club (MC), the Mayans led by Marcus Alvarez (played by Emilio Rivera, who also appeared in The Shield as Mexican drug dealer Navarro Quintero). Other groups in SAMCRO's orbit include the San Francisco–based Chinese mafia Lin Triad, led by Henry Lin; the Italian American Cacuzza crime family; the Russian mob led by Viktor Putlova; the Real IRA (aka RIRA) of Ireland, which supplies them with illegal Russian-made guns; the "One-Niners", an African American street gang (which also appeared on The Shield, thus possibly putting the two in the same fictional universe) to whom SAMCRO sell weapons; and various affiliates in the state prison system, where many members of the club have been incarcerated at one time or another. These gangs serve important roles in either being enemies of the clubs or soon to be partners with the MC to bring in more money.
Sons of Anarchy has commonly been called "Hamlet on Harleys". Similar to Hamlet, Jax's father was usurped by his father's SAMCRO "brother", who then married Jax's mother. Jax's murder of the innocent Jury in season 7 mirrors Hamlet's murder of the innocent Polonius in that it ultimately leads to his downfall.
Sutter has said of the Shakespeare element, "I don't want to overplay that but it's there. It was Jax's father who started the club, so he's the ghost in the action. You wonder what he would have made of the way it turned out. It's not a version of Hamlet but it's definitely influenced by it." Ron Perlman believes "they’re going to stick to the structure of Hamlet all the way to the end (of the series)."
Numerous episode titles refer to Hamlet including:
- Season 1, Episode 9, "Hell Followed". This refers to Act 1, Scene 4 of Hamlet in which Hamlet follows his father's ghost, unsure of whether he comes from hell.
- Season 4, Episode 12, "Burnt and Purged Away". This quote is taken from Act I, Scene 5 of Hamlet, in which the ghost of Hamlet's father explains to Hamlet that he is doomed to suffer in Purgatory until he has paid for all of his sins.
- Season 4, Episodes 13-14, "To Be, Act 1" and "To Be, Act 2". These refer to the famous To be, or not to be soliloquy.
- Season 5, Episode 11, "To Thine Own Self". This quote references Polonius' advice to his son Laertes.
- Season 7, Episode 9, "What a Piece of Work Is Man". This refers to Hamlet's What a piece of work is a man speech in Act II, scene 2.
- Season 7, Episode 11, "Suits of Woe". This is from Act 1, Scene 2, "I have that within which passeth show, these but the trappings and the suits of woe."
In the Season 1 premiere, Gemma is shown cleaning Jax's house, and he notes that she is always cleaning. This behavior, combined with her ambitions and (sometimes murderous) machinations, have prompted some reviewers and commentators to liken her to Lady MacBeth.
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6||Season 7||After Season 7|
|President||Clarence "Clay" Morrow||Jackson "Jax" Teller||Filip "Chibs" Telford|
|Vice President||Jackson "Jax" Teller||Bobby "Elvis" Munson||Filip "Chibs" Telford||Alex "Tig" Trager|
|Sgt-at-Arms||Alex "Tig" Trager||Filip "Chibs" Telford||Happy Lowman|
The series was created by Kurt Sutter. Sutter was also the showrunner, the series' most prolific writer, and a regular director; he directed each season finale. Sutter had previously worked as an executive producer for the FX series The Shield. The Sons of Anarchy's' other executive producers are father and son team Art Linson and John Linson; Jim Parriott served as an executive producer and writer for the first season only.
Paris Barclay joined Sons of Anarchy as an executive producer in the fourth season, after directing episodes in the first and second season. In addition to serving as Executive Producer in the fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons, Barclay directed three episodes each season, including the season 4 and 5 premieres, the top two highest-rated telecasts in the history of FX.
Dave Erickson also worked as a consulting producer for the first and second seasons, and then took over as co-executive producer for the third season. The series' other regular writers are supervising producer Chris Collins and co-producer Regina Corrado. Shawn Rutherford joined as consulting producer for seasons 6 and 7.
Although Sons of Anarchy is set in Northern California's Central Valley (with some scenes in the Bay Area), it is filmed primarily at Occidental Studios Stage 5A in North Hollywood. Main sets located there include the clubhouse, St. Thomas Hospital, and Jax's house. The production rooms at the studio used by the writing staff doubles as the Charming police station. External scenes are often filmed nearby in Sun Valley and Tujunga. Interior and exterior scenes set in Northern Ireland during season 3 were also filmed at Occidental Studios and surrounding areas. A second unit shot footage in Northern Ireland used in the third season.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||September 3, 2008||November 26, 2008||2.21|
|2||13||September 8, 2009||December 1, 2009||3.67|
|3||13||September 7, 2010||November 30, 2010||N/A|
|4||14||September 6, 2011||December 6, 2011||5.45|
|5||13||September 11, 2012||December 4, 2012||N/A|
|6||13||September 10, 2013||December 10, 2013||7.48|
|7||13||September 9, 2014||December 9, 2014||4.60|
Sons of Anarchy has received very favorable reviews over the course of its run, with many singling out Katey Sagal's performance. On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the first season scored 68/100, the second season scored 86/100, the third season scored 84/100, the fourth season scored 81/100, the fifth season scored 72/100 and the 6th season scored 74/100.
In 2013, a collection of essays on the series was published.
The first season received positive reviews from industry critics. It scored a 68 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews" Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe said the first season had "real potential". The New York Times’ Gina Bellafante spoke highly of the cast's acting ability, particularly Sagal’s portrayal of Gemma. Brian Lowry of Variety gave a mixed review, admiring Sutter’s creation of the club and the town of Charming but observing the early episodes lacked direction.
The second season saw a substantial increase in positive reviews. Writing for Chicago Tribune, Maureen Ryan called the second season "engrossing". She elaborated that "the pacing is better [and] the plotting is tighter" and commends Sagal and Perlman for their performances. Variety’s Stuart Levine stated that the new season was "compelling"; he also complimented the acting skill of Perlman, Sagal, Hunnam and Siff. James Poniewozik of TIME called Sagal's performance "devastatingly powerful" and named the series on his list of Top 10 Shows of 2009.
Some critics felt the third season was dragged down by the previous season's cliffhanger. James Poniewozik of TIME called the season three premiere "breathtaking" and praised Sagal’s performance with Holbrook. He later stated that Abel's disappearance helped return the show to its central problem: Jax's allegiance to the club. Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker agreed that Holbrook and Sagal’s scenes were "beautiful". He also commented that the series handled themes of loyalty and family especially well. Maureen Ryan commented that the third season divided critics and fans alike, suggesting the expanded Belfast cast made it harder for the audience to invest in the characters' journeys. Ryan later questioned the credibility of Hector Salazar's story, noting that he was inferior to other villainous characters such as Stahl, Zobelle and Weston. However, she praised Ally Walker's performance, comparing her character to The Shield's Vic Mackey. Critic Alan Sepinwall said the season was "interesting but uneven", noting that the plot gained traction in later episodes. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter said "Sutter should be applauded for shaking things up", calling the slower pace a "creative necessity".
Alan Sepinwall stated that the fourth season risked predictability by returning to a successful formula of storytelling, but he nonetheless preferred those episodes to those of season three. Maureen Ryan reviewed the fourth season positively. She praised the addition of Lincoln Potter (played by Ray McKinnon), comparing the character's quality to that of Breaking Bad's antagonist, Gustavo Fring. The AV Club called the fourth season more "focused" and "operatic". AV Club reviewer Zack Handlen was fond of the season but felt disappointed with the finale, saying it featured a "lousy case of dictated convenience, of an arbitrary and unbelievable reveal used to shift characters around to where the writers want them to be for next season, as opposed to where they might land organically." However, the review did praise Charlie Hunnam's performance in the finale. TIME said the fourth season was the strongest since season two, but the show needed to end sooner rather than later. TIME also agreed that the finale's contrivances were sometimes too visible, stating "it’s the principle: you can only turn up alive at your own funeral so many times before it starts to lose its impact."
Season five received favorable reviews and has a rating of 72 on the review aggregator site Metacritic. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly praised the series by calling it a "richly detailed portrait of self-righteous villainy". The series had a rating of 8.6/10 on the review site IMDB.
Season six received generally favorable reviews and scored a 74 out of 100 on Metacritic.
Season seven received generally favorable reviews and scored a 68 out of 100 on Metacritic.
The seventh season's premiere on September 9, 2014 received the highest ratings in the series' history. The episode was watched by 6.20 million viewers.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiered||Ended||Average viewers
|Season 1||Wednesday 10:00 pm||13||September 3, 2008||November 26, 2008||2.21||2.2|
|Season 2||Tuesday 10:00 pm||13||September 8, 2009||4.29||December 1, 2009||4.33|
|Season 3||13||September 7, 2010||4.13||November 30, 2010||3.6||3.23|
|Season 4||14||September 6, 2011||4.94||December 6, 2011||4.24|
|Season 5||13||September 11, 2012||5.37||December 4, 2012||4.66||4.40|
|Season 6||13||September 10, 2013||5.87||December 10, 2013||5.17||4.60|
|Season 7||13||September 9, 2014||6.20||December 9, 2014||6.40||4.45|
Awards and nominations
Sons of Anarchy was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama at the 2010 TCA Awards. Katey Sagal received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series (Drama) at the 68th Golden Globe Awards for her role in the third season. She also received a nomination for a 2010 Satellite Award in the category of Best Actress – Television Series (Drama), as well as a TCA nomination for the Individual Achievement in Drama. Sons of Anarchy (Season 5) received a Screen Crush Award for having the best TV series in 2012. Also in 2012, Paris Barclay was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Direction in a Drama Series for his direction of the Season 4 Premiere "Out". In 2013, Rockmond Dunbar won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Sheriff Eli Roosevelt. For the 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards, Charlie Hunnam received a nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series and Walton Goggins received a nomination for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series for the seventh season.
Three EP soundtracks have been released by 20th Century Fox Records, on iTunes, featuring songs from each series. The first five-song EP, entitled Sons of Anarchy: North Country – EP, was released on September 8, 2009 and featured the full version of the Emmy Award nominated theme song "This Life". A second five-song EP, entitled Sons of Anarchy: Shelter – EP, was released on November 24, 2009 while a third six-song EP, entitled Sons of Anarchy: The King is Gone - EP, was released on November 23, 2010.
In November 2011, selected highlights from the EPs and new tracks were released in Songs of Anarchy: Music from Sons of Anarchy Seasons 1–4, followed up by Sons of Anarchy: Songs of Anarchy Vol. 2 released in November 2012, Sons of Anarchy: Songs of Anarchy Vol. 3 released in December 2013, and Sons of Anarchy: Songs of Anarchy Vol. 4 released in February 2015.
|Sons of Anarchy: North Country – EP|
|1.||"This Life"||Curtis Stigers, Dave Kushner, Bob Thiele Jr., Kurt Sutter||Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers||2:22|
|2.||"Slip Kid"||Pete Townshend||Anvil and Franky Perez||3:49|
|3.||"John the Revelator"||Traditional||Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers||5:34|
|4.||"Forever Young"||Bob Dylan||Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers||3:13|
|5.||"Girl from the North Country"||Dylan||Lions||4:11|
|Sons of Anarchy: Shelter – EP|
|1.||"Ruby Tuesday"||Jagger/Richards||Katey Sagal||3:23|
|2.||"Fortunate Son"||John Fogerty||Lyle Workman & The Forest Rangers||3:26|
|3.||"Someday Never Comes"||Fogerty||Billy Valentine & The Forest Rangers||4:06|
|4.||"Burn This Town"||Matt Drenik||Battleme||3:13|
|5.||"Gimme Shelter"||Jagger/Richards||Paul Brady & The Forest Rangers||4:53|
|Sons of Anarchy: The King is Gone - EP|
|1.||"No Milk Today"||Graham Gouldman||Joshua James & The Forest Rangers||4:01|
|2.||"Bird on the Wire"||Leonard Cohen||Katey Sagal & The Forest Rangers||5:05|
|3.||"Travelin' Band"||Fogerty||Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers||2:18|
|4.||"Miles Away"||Paul Taylor||The Forest Rangers feat. Battleme & Slash||4:49|
|5.||"Hey Hey, My My"||Neil Young, Jeff Blackburn||Battleme||2:52|
|6.||"This Life" (Celtic Remix)||Stigers, Kushner, Thiele Jr., Sutter||Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers||0:39|
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Other notable songs featured in the series include:
- "David" by Noah Gundersen[when?]
- "Writings on The Wall" by The Album Leaf (In Series Premiere)
- "Ålesund" by Sun Kil Moon[when?]
- Bobby's Elvis covers
- Katey Sagal cover version of "Son of a Preacher Man"[when?]
- "Hard Row" by the Black Keys (featured in the Pilot episode); the music of the Black Keys often features in the series
- "Plenty Strong and Plenty Wrong" by Maylene and the Sons of Disaster on the radio in the pilot episode
- "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Andy Williams[when?]
- a cover of "Forever Young" by Audra Mae[when?]
- "Mongoose" by Fu Manchu[when?]
- "Burn This Town" by Battleme[when?]
- "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya" by Dropkick Murphys[when?]
- "Comin Home" by Murder by Death[when?]
- "Hell" by The Upsidedown[when?]
- "Power Player" by Clutch[when?]
- "Railroad Cancellation" by Don Caballero[when?]
- "Dolphin Center" by The Donkeys[when?]
- "Stop" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club[when?]
- "Hands in the Sky" by Straylight Run[when?]
- "People, Turn Around" by Delta Spirit[when?]
- "Ashes to Ashes" by Tarbox Ramblers[when?]
- The blues song "John the Revelator" by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers[when?]
- Several Monster Magnet songs are used, including "Monolithic" by Monster Magnet (from Monolithic Baby!)[when?]
- Another notable song is a cover of Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" by a teenage band at the end of the episode "Giving Back"[when?]
The trailer for the 2009 season featured "Son's Gonna Rise" by Citizen Cope.
In Season 2:
- "Radiation Day" from Monolithic Baby![when?]
- "Slut Machine" from Monolithic Baby![when?]
- "Freeze and Pixelate" from 4-Way Diablo[when?]
- "Lot Lizard" by the band The Glasspack[when?]
In Season 3:
- "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" by Richard Thompson from Sweet Warrior used on the closing montage of Season Three Episode One.
- "100 Million Miles" (from Mastermind) appears late into season three[when?]
- In the final episode of season three, "Get It On" by Turbonegro was used during the Russian chase scene in the Season 3 finale
- "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers was used as a promo song for season 4
- Episodes 5 and 8 included music from the Belgian band The Black Box Revelation[which?]
- Episode 7 featured the song "Machine Gun Blues" by Social Distortion
- "I'm So Tired" by Boo Boo Davis, in November 22, 2011 episode
- "David" from Noah Gundersen's Family, in the confrontation between Opie and Clay, with the line "I want to kill me a giant man", in November 22, 2011 episode
"To Be, Act 1" contained:
- "Burn It Down" by Awolnation, during the interstate chase from Oakland back to Charming
Season 6 features:
- "The Mark Has Been Made" by Nine Inch Nails, the Season 6 promo
- "Mind Your Manners" by Pearl Jam, in the sixth season episode "Salvage"
Season 7 promo trailers have two prominent tracks:
In 2013, Boom! Studios began publishing a Sons of Anarchy comic book. As of September 2015, 25 issues have been published.. Issue 25 is the final issue. As of May 26, 2016 a new comic book prequel, Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original will be in stores on August 3, 2016.
Issues 1-6 overview
With no one else to turn to, the daughter of an old SAMCRO member comes to Charming looking for help. The only people standing between Kendra and certain death are the Sons of Anarchy, and, for better or for worse, Sergeant-at-Arms Tig.
Issues 7-14 overview
Set after the events of season three, Gemma and Tara must keep the peace on the homefront, as Jax, Clay and the others doing their time in prison, the town of Charming is more dangerous than ever with SAMCRO behind bars.
Volume 2 Issues 1+ A Second Volume of the monthly comics entitled "Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original" will be set during Jax Teller as a prospect. Issue 1 is set for August 3, 2016.
A prequel series, detailing the origin of the club, is planned. Sutter stated in an August 2014 interview that the prequel would focus on the "First 9" members of the club and be set around the time of the Vietnam War. He added that the prequel would likely consist of a miniseries or "maybe 10 episodes or two 8 episodes seasons." At the conclusion of the prequel, Sutter plans to release John Teller's manuscript, titled The Life and Death of SAMCRO.
Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect
Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect was an episodic adventure video game developed by Silverback Games and published by Orpheus Interactive. The game was originally slated to have ten episodes and to be released on Microsoft Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android. The first episode was released on February 1, 2015 for iOS only, and was met with mixed reviews. but has not seen an update since, and, although a season pass is being offered, no further episode was ever released. On April 7, 2016, refunds were issued to everyone who purchased the game or the season pass, and the game had been removed from the App Store.
Despite the apparent cancellation and refunds, the game's publisher has not officially said anything about the development state of the nine unreleased episodes. Silverback Games has distanced themselves from the project, claiming to be "just a consultant" and having no knowledge of the state of the game or of Orpheus Interactive.
A Sons of Anarchy game was originally planned to be developed by a studio of Rockstar Games for PC and console platforms, but was canceled shortly after in 2012. Another video game based on Sons of Anarchy was announced in February 2014, confirmed for mobile platforms in August, and the name Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect revealed in December of that year. The game was set to have never-before seen graphics for mobile devices, but failed to deliver those when the first episode was launched on February 1, 2015.
As of May 11, 2016, a spinoff series is in the works titled Mayans MC.
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Sons of Anarchy premiered in Australia on the Showcase in 2009 while in New Zealand it appeared on TV3 on October 20, 2010 and it has been announced it is moving to the Box. The show premiered in the UK on 5USA in 2009, before being dropped after the sixth season. The show will air in its entirety on Spike from April 2015. In the Republic of Ireland, the show aired on RTÉ Two from 2009. It premiered in Canada on Super Channel October 20, 2008. In India, season 6 is airing from September 26, 2013, only on Star World Premiere.
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