With the kidnapping of Jax’s son in last year’s finale of “Sons Of Anarchy” [Tuesdays/10pm], the question became one of sanity and structure within the club. Either the VP would fall apart or he would step up to the plate again. The interesting element about the first two episodes of the new season of “Sons Of Anarchy” is how much Kurt Sutter understands the psychosis of Jax (played with quiet and rage-filled solitude by Charlie Hunnam), who is a man on his way to ruin at an eventual point. Like “The Godfather” story of biker gangs [which I made reference to in the first season], the key within this story is loyalty and betrayal. While the essence of Clay’s involvement in the killing of his father still brims on the edges of Jax’s mind, the kidnapping of his 8-month old son at the end of last season brimming into the initial episodes of this season begins to pull him apart. He was the strong one and what is interesting as the possibilities unfold is how people change around him.
Katey Sagal’s character Gemma, who is engaged in problems of her own, is being kept in the dark which is going to have vicious repercussions in terms of trust. Maggie Siff’s character Tara who is Jax’s girlfriend also is really coming into her own. The transformation is allowing her to become the matriarch-in-training which is ultimately the irony of this series. It is the women who will ultimately pull the strings. Charlie Hunnam continues his journey as this man, this former boy searching out answers. He knows right from wrong. He knows the code. He is conflicted. He begins this season by trying to push Tara away but there is also a hesistancy which ultimately could get him killed. Jax is the character through which people from their homes see this world. As an actor, you can see Hunnam’s method progression. He lives this entire mode of thought. Having met him when he made “Green Street Hooligans” long before “Sons”, there was always that intensity in him much like Heath Ledger. This is what fuels “Sons”. Seeing Jax in the shower in almost utter catatonia because of the supposed loss of his son Abel (not a random name choice) balanced with a later moment in Episode 2 where Clay (the stoic presence of the great Ron Perlman) tells Jax that he knows what he is feeling but he has to give a show of power and confidence to “The Club” shows the other core element at the heart of the show: the psychology of power. “Sons” continues to surprise with exceptional verve in the opening episodes of its 3rd season. Out of 5, I give it a 3 1/2.