Those of you hoping to ease back into “Sons of Anarchy” with the Season 4 premiere are A) probably disappointed and B) probably watching the wrong show.
Fourteen months have passed in “SOA” time since the end of last season, but there’s next to no looking back in the jam-packed 90-minute premiere. By the end of the episode at least three major story lines are in play, and it feels as if we’re in for a relentless season.
The season opens with SAMCRO being released from prison after just over a year and returning to a Charming that’s starting to look a lot different than the one they left. Before they even reach town, the club passes a sign for a new, upscale subdivision, and when they do arrive, they discover that the county sheriff has taken over law enforcement in town, and the lieutenant in charge of patrolling Charming (Rockmond Dunbar) is not going to be the friendly sort.
In short order we learn that the feds are hoping to crack down on the Sons using the RICO organized-crime statute; that Jax spent much of his time in prison thinking about getting out of the club (his much-teased “greed and fear” speech, it turns out, is to Tara); and that the club’s business relationship with the Russians is going to be a temporary one.
The exclamation point for that last thread comes at Opie’s wedding, where — in a “Godfather”-ish sequence scored to a cover of “It’s a Wonderful World” — Jax, Clay and Co. kill Viktor Putlova and several members of his crew and take possession of a huge shipment of guns. Even the prison-bound Otto (“SOA” creator Kurt Sutter) gets in on the action, taking retribution on one of Putlova’s men who shivved Jax.
It’s a major statement on SAMCRO’s part, and it will likely cause huge ripple effects throughout the rest of the season. Because we’re sure it won’t take long for word about what happened at the wedding site to reach the cops.