Sons of Anarchy is one of those shows that for some reason seems to have been largely ignored in the U.K., only being aired on Bravo and now on Sky, the Bravo channel being now defunct.
Those who have watched the first two seasons and were left hanging after the big cliffhanger of Season Two (Jax's baby Abel being kidnapped by the IRA), be prepared for a drastic change of pace. Season Three is fast, very fast. The action never stops, there are constant obstacles and mess-ups sending the characters to different, unforeseen directions. You will be glued to the edge of your seat right until the very last minute of the last episode. Be prepared for constant surprises - nothing will go the way you expect it.
In Season Three, most of the action moves from Charming to Belfast - and at this point you will need to humour some of the cast's attempt at Northern Irish accents and let your disbelief be suspended. The writing is so good that you can easily ignore them.
Three seasons into 'Sons', writer Kurt Sutter has really developed the characters so well that they are really real and not the usual cardboard cutouts seen in a lot of TV shows these days. Jax, played by British actor Charlie Hunman (whose American accent is, by all accounts, superb), emerges as a real tortured soul, torn apart by the abduction of his child and the toxicity of the Club's lifestyle. He loves his girlfriend Tara but he doesn't want to ruin her life and her career as a doctor. The Club is his life but then again, he also sees how his father's ideals, around which SAMCRO was built, have been gradually corrupted since his death.
The other character that for me, makes the show, is Katey Seagal's Gemma - Jax's mother. I started off hating her in Season One, then I felt her pain through her ordeal in Season Two, and by now she is my favourite female TV character ever. She also gets some of the best and funniest lines.
As usual with Sons, Season Three is accompanied by a cracking soundtrack, with cover versions of famous songs reinterpreted for the show, some of them sung by Katey Seagal herself. I could go talk extensively about the soundtrack but...that's for a separate review.
I could not recommend this show enough and watching the DVD is absolutely the best way to enjoy it: episode after episode, back to back, without interruption and without the frustration of having to wait a week to know what will happen next. I will leave you with a health warning: this show will turn you into a nervous wreck and you might need a large bourbon to steady your nerves while you follow Jax along the streets of Belfast, in search of his son. It will be a very emotional journey indeed.