Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Sons of Anarchy series 5, Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman PREVIEW

generic shot of Sons of Anarchy gang

Rating: ★★★★

5USA: starts Wednesday, 6 February, 10pm 

Story: Jax takes over the levers of power as President of the outlaw motorcycle gang, but the Niners are out for revenge.

Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller
Charlie Hunnam as Jax
The King is shot… long live the King. The court of the Sons of Anarchy, the outlaw motorcycle club and smuggling enterprise, has a new President in Jax as the new series opens. As for any honeymoon period… forget it.

The club has to pick up the pieces after Tig killed the daughter of Damon Pope, the most powerful gangster in Oakland, and Opie shot former Pres, Clay, for killing his father, Piney.

OK, a tangled web it is, but for those who have never ventured into the sometimes insalubrious streets of 5USA to catch this biker opera, Sons of Anarchy is well worth getting up to speed with.

Jax, like Michael Corleone, can't escape the life
Creator Karl Sutter (who also wrote this season's opener) has spoken about the drama's Shakespearean vibe, and it certainly is a bruising study of power, mixing the glamour of the Californian biker lifestyle with wince-inducing violence.

Pope in Sons of Anarchy series 5
Harold Perrineau as Pope
In the last series, handsome Jax was promising his lovely wife, Tara, that he would ease himself (and their two kids) out of the life. But, like Michael Corleone, he keeps getting drawn back in. And now he's president, having wrenched the President's badge off Clay at the end of the last series.

Who'd want it? The Niners (the African-American street gang) are out for revenge, Pope wants Tig, and  the club's big gun- and drug-running deal with the Real IRA and the Gallindo Cartel is wobbling. Throw in the local cops (some of whom are less than honest) and the CIA, and you could forgive Jax for riding off into the sunset.

Sons of Anarchy Katey Sagal
Katey Sagal as Gemma
Katey Sagal, Jimmy Smits and Ron Perlman
But of course Jax, played by Charlie Hunnam, thinks he can ride the storm out and leave on his own terms. That is going to be the theme of season 5 and if the grisly moments in the opener are anything to go by (watch out, Pope takes fiendish revenge on Tig), it's going to make Titus Andronicus look like the Tellytubbies.

Katey Sagal, as Clay's First Lady turned bitter enemy, is on top form again, as she wakes from a night of wild sex with a stranger. Oblivious to what she took part in the night before owing to her drug and booze intake, she gets a full report from her bed partner, escort agency boss Nero, played by new cast member Jimmy Smits (LA Law, NYPD Blue).

Grizzly Ron Perlman as shuffling Clay looks as though his days are numbered, but don't bet against his having a big say in his successor's fortunes. Wheels within wheels…

Cast: Charlie Hunnam Jackson 'Jax' Teller, Katey Sagal Gemma Teller Morrow, Mark Boone Junior Robert 'Bobby Elvis' Munson, Dayton Callie former Police Chief Wayne Unser, Kim Coates Alex 'Tig' Trager, Tommy Flanagan Filip 'Chibs' Telford, Ryan Hurst Harry 'Opie' Winston, Theo Rossi Juan-Carlos Juice' Ortiz, Maggie Siff Dr Tara Knowles-Teller, Ron Perlman Clarence 'Clay' Morrow, Jimmy Smits Nero Padilla