Sons of Anarchy
|Sons of Anarchy|
|Created by||Kurt Sutter|
Mark Boone Junior
Drea De Matteo
|Theme music composer||
|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)|
Phil Laudicina |
James D. Parriott
|Production location(s)||Occidental Studios, North Hollywood, California|
Etienne des Lauriers
|Running time||41–81 minutes|
Linson The Company|
|Original release||September 3, 2008– December 9, 2014|
|Followed by||Mayans MC|
Sons of Anarchy is an American crime drama television series created by Kurt Sutter that aired from 2008 to 2014. It followed the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California's Central Valley. The show starred Charlie Hunnam as Jackson "Jax" Teller, who is initially the vice president and subsequently the president of the club. He soon begins to question the club and himself. Brotherhood, loyalty and redemption were constant themes.
Sons of Anarchy premiered on September 3, 2008, on cable network FX. The series's third season attracted an average of 4.9 million weekly viewers, making it FX's highest rated series and surpassing its other hits The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me. Season four and five premieres were the two highest-rated telecasts in FX's history. On December 9th, 2014, the series was cancelled.
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.
This series explored vigilantism, government corruption and racism, and depicted an outlaw motorcycle club as an analogy for human transformation. The real-life Oakland Hells Angel David Labrava served as a technical adviser, and also played one of the main characters, Happy Lowman, the club's assassin.
On November 2013, Sutter indicated that 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, which is likely to be titled "The First 9". In November 2016, FX announced the development of a spin-off series Mayans MC that will be centered around Latino culture.
- 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 involved parallel plot lines that intertwine and overlap, centering on both the personal and family life of Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and on SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original). SAMCRO is involved with gun-running in the western United States, and deals with rival gangs, politicians and the authorities. As vice president and later president of SAMCRO, Jax struggles to manage the club and the legacy of its founder, his late father John Teller. SAMCRO is said to resemble the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club; the series includes appearances from David Labrava (Happy), Chuck Zito (Frankie Diamonds), Rusty Coones (Quinn), and Sonny Barger (Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz) who are real Hells Angels members.
Season 1 (2008)
The series begins with the destruction of a warehouse the club uses to store and assemble guns, which is their main source of income, by a rival MC right before the overdose of Jax's Methamphetamine-addicted ex-wife Wendy. An emergency C-section is performed, and their son Abel is delivered ten weeks prematurely. Jax finds his father's memoirs when he visits a storage unit to collect some old baby clothes. John Teller, Jax's father, was one of the founders of SAMCRO, and the book describes his trials with and hopes for the club. Jax's mother, Gemma Teller-Morrow, is now married to the President of SAMCRO, Clay Morrow. Jax's best friend Opie has just been released from prison for serving time for a club-related crime. The first season deals with Jax trying to reconcile things happening to the club with what he reads in his father's memoirs, Opie trying to take a lesser role in the club, and local and federal law enforcement trying to shut down SAMCRO.
Season 2 (2009)
White separatists called the League of American Nationalists (LOAN) arrive in Charming. LOAN's leader 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 orchestrates to have Gemma kidnapped and gang raped by Weston and two others. Due to the improper handling of an internal problem, the rift between Clay and Jax continues to widen as Jax challenges most of Clay's decisions and comes to a head when a lone car bomb nearly kills another member of SAMCRO. The second season sees SAMCRO battling LOAN for control of Charming, Jax and Clay veering further apart in their individual visions for the club, and evading the ever-present threat of the ATF.
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, Juice 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 Piney 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 club starts to go in a new darker direction.
Season 7 (2014)
Jax struggles with his recent loss and turns himself into the authorities. While in jail, Jax makes decisions that radically alter the direction of the club and uses it to exact revenge. Another member's death fuels the hate and lies created by Gemma and Juice, who are on the run and hiding from the club. After Jax learns the truth, he works to make things right with all parties involved. The series ends with Jax making the ultimate sacrifice to complete his part of the story of SAMCRO and fulfill his father's vision.
Cast and characters
Sons of Anarchy was 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.
|Jax Teller||Charlie Hunnam||Main|
|Gemma Teller Morrow||Katey Sagal||Main|
|Bobby Munson||Mark Boone Junior||Main|
|Alex "Tig" Trager||Kim Coates||Main|
|Filip "Chibs" Telford||Tommy Flanagan||Main|
|Kip "Half-Sack" Epps||Johnny Lewis||Main|
|Tara Knowles||Maggie Siff||Main|
|Clarence "Clay" Morrow||Ron Perlman||Main|
|Opie Winston||Ryan Hurst||Recurring||Main|
|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|
|Nero||Jimmy Smits||Special Guest||Starring|
- Emilio Rivera as Marcus Alvarez
- 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)
- Ally Walker as Agent June Stahl (seasons 1–3)
- Jeff Wincott as Jimmy Cacuzza (guest season 1,5 & 6)
- Mitch Pileggi as Ernest Darby (seasons 1–2; special guest season 3; guest season 6)
- Michael Ornstein as Chuck Marstein (seasons 2–7; guest season 1)
- Adam Arkin as Ethan Zobelle (season 2)
- Kenneth Choi as Henry Lin (seasons 2–3 & 5–6; guest season 1; special guest season 7)
- Kurt Sutter as "Big" Otto Delaney (seasons 2–6 (uncredited); guest season 1 (uncredited))
- Patrick St. Esprit as Elliott Oswald (seasons 2–4; guest seasons 1 & 6)
- Marcos de la Cruz as Estevez (seasons 2–3; guest season 1)
- 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 3–6; guest season 2)
- 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 (seasons 4 & 6–7; guest season 3)
- Frank Potter as Eric Miles (season 4; co-star season 3)
- Walter Wong as Chris "V-Lin" Von Lin (seasons 4–6)
- Timothy V. Murphy as Galen O'Shay (seasons 4–6)
- Merle Dandridge as Rita Roosevelt (seasons 4–5)
- Benito Martinez as Luis Torres (season 4; special guest season 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 (seasons 6–7; co-star seasons 4–5)
- Rusty Coones as Rane Quinn (seasons 6–7; co-star season 5)
- Kim Dickens as Colette Jane (seasons 6–7)
- Kenny Johnson as Herman Kozik (seasons 2-4)
- 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 (season 7; guest seasons 1 & 6)
- Marya Delver as Officer Candy Eglee (season 7; co-star seasons 1–3 & 6)
- Mo McRae as Tyler (season 7; guest seasons 5–6)
- 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 focused on the original and founding ("mother") charter, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original, referred to by the acronym SAMCRO or Sam Crow, located in the fictional town of Charming, California, adjacent to the Teller-Morrow auto mechanic shop. Its nickname is reflected in the original title for the show, Forever Sam Crow. Led by President Clay Morrow, the club 'protects' and controls Charming through close community relationships, bribery, and violent intimidation. In the early seasons they are vehement about keeping "hard" drugs and drug dealers out of Charming. They also do not tolerate sex criminals. The club's leadership are supporters of the IRA.
John Teller and Piermont "Piney" Winston co-founded SAMCRO in 1967 on returning from the Vietnam War. When John's wife Gemma becomes pregnant with their first son,Thomas and second son Jackson (Jax), they settle in Gemma's hometown of Charming. Six of the "Redwood Original 9", or "First 9", members were Vietnam vets, with only Lenny Janowitz alive at the end 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 founders wielded in Vietnam. Only full members can wear the "patch". Other smaller patches have specific meanings, such as "Men of Mayhem" worn by club members who have spilled blood on the club's behalf, "First 9", worn by the original nine members, and those for the President/Vice President/Sergeant at Arms/Secretary. Kelli Jones was the costume designer for all the seasons. Due to its popularity, replicas of the vests, with the same style of top pockets, zips and button clasps, have become popular on various auction sites.
The Sons ride customised Harley-Davidson Dyna motorcycles. Each rider customises 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, the club's Grim Reaper logo, or the circled "A" club logo. In later seasons, several members switch to more touring-oriented models. For instance, Jax is often seen on a Street Glide. 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 XLR-V and an Escalade. Later in Season 6 she is seen driving a Lincoln Navigator (all are painted black).
Throughout season 7 Jax is seen refurbishing his father's bike, a stock 1946 Harley-Davidson, equipped with the correct Knucklehead motor and hardtail cradle frame. The bike which he rides in the Season 7 finale's last scenes is fitted with an Evolution motor, and late-model swing arm frame.
The Mayans MC also ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles (Panheads, Shovelheads and Evolutions). The biggest difference between their bikes and the Sons' lies in ape hanger bars, fender skirts and bikes of all colors.
Nero Padilla errs when referring to the year of his blue Impala SS. While he mentions the "lack of child safety features in 1964", it is actually a 1963 Impala SS.
Activities and affiliates
Some 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 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 later seasons they manage a porn studio and an escort business, both legitimately.
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.
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 soda fountain/candy shop that is used as the clubhouse in seasons 6 and 7 after the Teller/Morrow clubhouse was destroyed in an explosion. They also spend time at Red Woody, the club's porn studio (run by Lyla), and Diosa and Diosa Norte, the club's two escort agencies.
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. There were also intermittent hints at an Oedipal complex between Jax and Gemma, reflecting 20th-century interpretations of the relationship between Hamlet and his mother Queen Gertrude. 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 believed they were "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 was filmed primarily at Occidental Studios Stage 5A in North Hollywood. Main sets located there included the clubhouse, St. Thomas Hospital, and Jax's house. The production rooms at the studio used by the writing staff doubled as the Charming police station. External scenes were often filmed nearby in Sun Valley, Acton, California, 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 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. In Alan Sepinwall's 2016 book titled TV (The Book), which he co-wrote with Matt Zoller Seitz, he included the second season of Sons of Anarchy in the section "A Certain Regard" where he praised how "[a]fter working out a few kinks in the first season, Sutter nailed everything in season 2".
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 A.V. Club called the fourth season more "focused" and "operatic". A.V. 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".
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|
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|
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. A new comic book prequel, Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original, was released on 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 spin-off series is in the works titled Mayans MC. The pilot will begin shooting in March, directed by Sutter from a script he co-wrote with Elgin James. On February 13, 2017, Edward James Olmos will star as Felipe Reyes, the once strong Mexican patriarch and EZ’s father. On January 5, 2018, FX picked up the series with an order of 10 episodes which is set to premiere on September 4, 2018.
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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 5 USA 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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