If Sons of Anarchy: Season 1 was about introducing characters and getting a sense of background, season 2 was definitely about hard times and revenge. After setting the scene and giving us a good idea of what SAMCRO is going through, a new player comes to town and tries to rule with an iron fist. Did we mention this fist is connected to a suit and tie?
Adam Arkin and Henry Rollins are the two new boys in town. I always have to laugh a little when I see Rollins on TV. If you’re not sure who he is, Rollins fronted punk bands Black Flag and the Rollins Band. While having never seen nor talked to Henry, I get the idea he considers himself a badass. This tends to creep up in every role I’ve seen him act. He also plays the part in other aspects of his public life in his books, gig as a radio DJ, and speaking engagements. Adam Arkin, son of Alan Arkin, has always done well in stuff I’ve seen. I loved his recent role in the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man, and in the TV show Life. He does a great job playing both businessman and scumbag.
Two other actors I have to say I’ve been impressed with are Charlie Hunnam and Ryan Hurst. These two guys are playing very different and original roles from what I’ve seen the do. I often see men and women playing “type cast” roles over and over. While this can be good for a while, I wish I could see what they’re really capable of. Neither of these actors disappoint.
When I think of Hunnam, two roles immediately come to mind: Undeclared (A Judd Apatow masterpiece that followed up Freaks and Geeks) and Nicholas Nickleby. I’ve never actually seen the 2nd, but he’s on the cover and it’s one of those things I’m just aware of. In Undeclared Hunnam plays the foreign college student whom all the girls fawn over due to his accent. He was no where near a bad boy, more like an Abercrombie boy. Chalire did start to get more “thug” with his role in Green Street Hooligans, a film about soccer/football fans in the UK, but it was still no where near Jax Teller, Vice President of SAMCRO. This guy is the quintessential American outlaw, even though he’s from England. I was almost surprised to spot him the first time I caught an episode playing at the gym. I practically took a double-take. I never would have guessed Hunnam could grow a bear and start riding a motorcycle like he owned it, let alone handle a gun. I might actually be afraid of this dude in real life.
Now to Hurst – here’s a guy who’s best known in my mind for playing a high school football player in Remember the Titans and the bumbling idiot in The Ladykillers (2004). Here’s another guy who changed his whole demeanor for a role. Besides the fact he’s already huge and really could kick your ass, Hurst completed modified his look, voice, and person. No more passiveness, no more mister nice guy; I would definitely fear Opie Winston. He’s come a long way from the deaf soldier in Saving Private Ryan, the high school athlete in “Titans,” the timid sergeant in We Were Soldiers, and the idiot trying to pull off a heist in The Ladykillers. I can’t wait to see what roles he takes next.
So plot-wise I said this season was all about hard times and revenge. We meet a few new characters, several die, and others are left dealing with the pieces. You probably know by now
biker gangs motorcycle clubs do not rely on the police to take care of them. In one scene a member tells Clay if it had been his wife, there would already be six charters halfway to town by now. Fortunately the club has a good working-relationship with Charming law enforcement. SAMCRO doesn’t take aggression or turf infringement lightly, so if you enjoy a good fight spiced with some Cold War era revenge, this is the season for you.