TV review: “Sons of Anarchy” off to rough start in Season 6

By Columbus Alive
From the September 5, 2013 edition

Over the last five seasons “Sons of Anarchy” has,at timesbeen one of the best dramas on television (particularly Season 2) and also one of the worst. This inconsistency runs throughout the series as a whole — individual seasons and even singular episodes.

Well, the first three episodes of Season 6 aren’t inconsistent. They’re mostly outright bad. A few highlights exist here and there, but as a whole—especially as an opening to a season Season 6 lacks narrative thrust and overall directionless.

There’s not much to report. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is still running SAMCRO with a ruthless, shrewd aplomb. Clay (Ron Perlman) is still rotting in jail and Tara (Maggie Siff) is too. The rest of the club is still dealing with a litany of issues/secrets from last season. Hell, Gemma (Katey Sagal) is just kind of there.

The only storyline injecting any life into the story is obsessed, vengeance-minded Lee Toric (Donal Logue). Toric will do anything to get revenge on SAMCRO for the death of his sister—the nurse brutally stabbed by Otto (series creator/showrunner Kurt Sutter) last season — and Logue is brilliant at conveying a man asunder.

The rest of the time SAMCRO is making deals and committing, being surrounded by or being the root cause of some viscous violence. Sutter has stated in a number of interviews that this is the most violent season of “Sons” and I can’t say I’d disagree so far. (And more violence is foreshadowed.)

Violence is nothing new to television and for it to beoriginal or necessary, violence needs to have both reason and purpose within the story. Here, most of the violence feels exploitive and for sheer shock value.

This was a disappointing round of “Sons” episodes. This has been a better show. The acting has been great — especially Sagal, Perlman and Hunnam (who’s never been this good in anything else).

I’m holding out hope “Sons” can at least return to its strengths because we’re nearing the series’ end. I’m just not going to hold out for much longer.