Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sons of Anarchy series 4 PREVIEW

The boys are back in town – Clay and the gang are released. Pics: C5
Rating ★★★★

5USA, from Wednesday, 18 January, 10pm

Story: The gang is released from jail and, despite a warning from the new sheriff, set about reigniting their criminal links with the Russians. In their private lives, however, Clay, Opie and Jax face new challenges and commitments…

5USA is the UK network that is the little-known hangout of some sharp and earthy American shows, such as Justified, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy.

It's worth venturing down this mean little channel for crime series that are a world away from the usual police procedurals and whodunits (though it has a fair helping of CSIs and NCISs too).

Road rage – the gang with scores to settle
This month 5USA welcomes back the biker opera for another brutal, though well-acted, series. Clay and the imprisoned SAMCRO members (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original) leave prison after 14 months for weapons charges.

New lawman in Charming
Riding back into Charming they are greeted by the new sheriff in town, or lieutenant anyway, Eli Roosevelt. He gives a warning to the gang, who then immediately reestablish links with the gun-running Russians. Clay also vows to sabotage the mayor's new housing project, Charming Heights.



While it looks like business as usual, the authorities have been targeting SAMCRO in its absence. A quietly spoken, and slightly creepy, US attorney called Lincoln Potter turns up with pals from the FBI and other agencies and pitches camp in the same building as Roosevelt. They have Clay, the Russians and the former IRA members all in their sights, and an undercover agent in with the Russians to help them nail the racketeering case they're pursuing.
Hell's belle – Lyla marries Opie

On the home front, the outlaws face new challenges. Gemma spots that Clay's arthritis is worsening and he realises he needs a big score to secure their future. Jax proposes to Tara and acknowledges that he will have to leave gang life behind, and Opie marries Lyla.

Hard-hitting opener
It's an explosive and rocking opening episode (with set-pieces played over raw tracks by Joshua James, Deadly Snakes and Christian & the 2120s). Scores are settled, and there is one particularly chilling assassination in prison in retaliation for the attack on Jax (almost as chilling as horror author Stephen King's performance in the last series).

Katey Sagal (front) has won a Golden Globe as Gemma
'Out' was written by the show's creator, Kurt Sutter, the man behind The Shield (and husband of Katey Sagal, who plays Gemma in Sons). Sutter is good at exploring the dirty side of cops and baddies, and this episode sets up some intriguing possibilities for the new season, which, incidentally, picked up its highest ratings when it went out on FX in the States (5.45million).

Cast: Charlie Hunnam Jackson 'Jax' Teller, Ron Perlman Clarence 'Clay' Morrow, Katey Sagal Gemma Teller Morrow, Mark Boone Jr as Robert 'Bobby Elvis' Munson, Kim Coates Alex 'Tig' Trager, Tommy Flanagan Filip 'Chibs' Telford, Ryan Hurst Harry 'Opie' Winston, William Lucking Piermont 'Piney' Winston, Theo Rossi Juan-Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz, Johnny Lewis Kip 'Half Sack' Epps, Maggie Siff Tara Knowles, Dayton Callie former Police Chief Wayne Unser, Ally Walker Agent June Stahl, David LaBrava Happy, Kenny Johnson Kozik, Winter Ave Zoli Lyla, Rockmond Dunbar Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt, Ray McKinnon Assistant US Attorney Lincoln Potter