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INCREASING TENSION AS LOYALTIES DIVIDE,
This review is from: Sons of Anarchy - Season 1-2 [DVD] (DVD)
Times are changing. For decades the Sam Crow gunrunning bikers have controlled Charming - lawlessness and violence largely confined to out of town, meanwhile help given to residents (money raised for charity; culprit "dealt with" when a girl is raped). The wily police chief is happy to co-exist, his younger deputy contemptuous of the "white trash thugs hanging on to a dying dream". In the Club itself divisions grow beteen its boss Clay and his stepson Jax (both Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam excellent). Jax wants an end to the old ways, this not a world suitable for newly born son Abel. Katey Sagal impresses as Gemma, link between the two: "God wants me to be a fierce mother. That is my path."
Season 1 sizzles as tempers flare and the loyalties of grizzled veterans are put to the test. Rival gangs need to be handled with care - alliances uneasy, undercurrents complex. Enter a corrupt cop determined to upset the fragile balance - the trouble she causes leading to suspicions, misunderstandings and a tragic climax.
Season 2 grips even more tightly with the arrival of Adam Arkin as a smoothtalking, sinister manipulator - outwardly so affable but with motives far from pure (witness Gemma's harrowing experiences in the first episode). He plans to take over the community, his policy to divide and rule - he most skilled at setting traps. Can the bikers beat him at his own game? The final episode proves truly a stunner.
This twenty six episode double box set has dominated viewing for over two weeks, impact greatly increased by watching episodes so quickly one after the other. Scripts are superb and the acting most fine. Each of the characters is portrayed in depth, at times some more moving than one would have initially thought possible - they part of a fraternity, the Club their everything. (Even that police deputy develops a grudging respect, for some of them anyway, occasionally offering secret assistance.)
Bonuses are worth exploring, especially when stars discuss their roles - Ron Perlman revealing he does not like bikes!
Outside the town a noticeboard says, "Welcome to Charming. Please Come Again." Like many others, I did so at once.