The combination of a defective DVD screener and a night spent watching election coverage has put me an episode behind on Sons of Anarchy. But rather than make you wait, I thought this might be a good place to pause, four episodes from the end of season 3, and poll the Anarchites of Tuned Inland as to how the season is working for you.
On the one hand, intellectually I like the idea of what Kurt Sutter and company are trying—taking SoA for a season and, as its focus shifts to events across an ocean, turning it into almost a different show. (Right down to the newly Celticized theme music.) It’s as if Mad Men had made the secret dream season I have in the back of my head, set entirely in California.
In practice, though, this means that I’ve actually been more engrossed in the conflicts and rivalries in Belfast than in Charming, where the hassles with Stahl, city hall and various gang rivals seem either underdeveloped, familiar, or (in the case of the gang stories particularly) to exist mainly to set up obstacles to SAMCRO in finally getting to Northern Ireland.
So I’m torn. I want shows to take risks like this season is doing, and yet much of season 3 has made me think that I might rather just have seen Sutter develop a series about the IRA than devote an entire season to chasing down Abel overseas. Now that Jax, Clay and company have finally touched down there, I’m hoping that the American-Irish storylines come together satisfyingly for the end of the season. Are they working for you yet?