The sins of the father come crashing down on the son in the stunning, suspense-filled Season Three of Sons of Anarchy! Chaos and confusion reign after Jax’s infant son has been kidnapped and Gemma (Golden Globe winner Katey Sagal) has been framed for murder. When Abel’s trail leads SAMCRO to Belfast, Ireland, secrets are revealed and the bonds of brotherhood are shattered. Jax is left reeling with more questions than answers as he struggles with the legacy of his father, the future of the club, and the fate of his family.
The series may be named after a (fictional) Northern California motorcycle club, but with the release of this four-disc set of 13 episodes and bonus material, it’s clearer than ever that Sons of Anarchy is about a lot more than hoods ‘n’ Harleys. SAMCRO (the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original chapter), as they’re known, is an extended family of folks who care about one another, look out for one another, fight for one another… Heck, they’re just like us–at least until the guns come out, drugs are dealt, murders are committed, a baby is kidnapped, and other squirrelly stuff happens. This time around, they’re plagued by two big problems. As the first episode opens, Abel, the infant son of MC member Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam, a fine actor and Brad Pitt look-alike) and his baby mama, Dr. Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff), has been abducted, most likely by some rogue members of the Irish Republican Army (the efforts of Jax and his “brothers” to find Abel, which include a trip to Dublin, is a thread that unravels throughout the season); what’s more, they have another baby on the way. Meanwhile, Jax’s mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal, excellent once again), wife of club leader Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), has been framed for a murder she didn’t commit, which more than complicates her efforts to look after her father, who’s slipping into Alzheimer’s following the death of his wife.
It’s a tribute to Sons creator Kurt Sutter (who also portrays the character Otto in several episodes) and his team that they’re able to make us care about a bunch of folks most of us would normally cross the street to avoid. The cast, which includes some fine actors from the United Kingdom (including Hunnam), several veterans from popular shows like Deadwood and Game of Thrones, and guest stars like Hal Holbrook (as Gemma’s dad), Drea de Matteo, and even Sonny Barger (a real-life Hell’s Angel), is substantial, and the storylines are legion (like many ongoing series, this one may require newcomers to do some quick catching up before getting a handle on what’s going on). There’s plenty of violence (though it’s fairly tame compared to the show’s cable counterparts), the music is outstanding (you’re not likely to find a song by the great English guitarist-singer-songwriter Richard Thompson featured on any other shows), and the writing, acting, and production values are top-notch all around. Sons of Anarchy has a consistent vibe and attitude that make for very compelling viewing–and with the special features including four scenes from season four, it’s clear that there’s much more to come. Other bonus material includes commentary for three episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and more. –Sam Graham