Prashant Gupta / FX
Prashant Gupta / FX
We told you it was horrifying.
If you've seen tonight's intriguing but totally disturbing second-season premiere of Sons of Anarchy, get in here, because we have comfort, succor and exclusive scoop from show runner Kurt Sutter and stars Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff, Adam Arkin and Henry Rollins.
If you haven't watched yet, well, you're missing out on one of the sharpest, funniest, coolest and most deranged shows on television, and you should really find yourself a rerun on FX...
What happens after the newcomers gang-rape Gemma?
As some of you already know from the logline for next week's episode, Gemma doesn't tell Jax or Clay about what happened to her. She does, however, confide in two very unexpected allies, and you will positively love them both for how they handle the situation.
But what happens long-term? Do the white separatists get the napalming they so richly deserve? Will Gemma get her revenge? About Gemma's revenge getting gotten, show runner Kurt Sutter says only: "Perhaps…on many levels."
Before revenge, though, there's a lot more to the story, and from the sounds of it, the show goes deep. Says Sutter, "I always felt like there's a fascination with this world, people really love the freedom of it, the sexiness of it, the power of it, but that ultimately the violence doesn't happen in a vacuum and karmically, that s--t comes around. And that's why I chose to do what I did in the premiere. However, I will say that it is the emotional catalyst for the season, and that it will all make sense, and that the scales will be balanced...And let me put it this way, it would take an event such as that to put Gemma on any kind of spiritual quest."
It definitely won't be an easy road for Gemma, formidable though she is, but Katey Sagal assures us it will be a journey worth taking: "Gemma's a woman who really prides herself on being in control, and I think this is the one event in her life that sets her off in a different direction."
Who are these godforsaken neo-Nazi freaks?
Henry Rollins wants this on the record: "The number-one thing fans should know about my character is that my character and I are completely different from each other. Perhaps 180 degrees. He's a racist white supremacist, and I'm one of those 'we the people' types. He and I have nothing in common." (FYI, both Rollins and Arkin are two of the sweetest actors you could ever hope to meet.)
But the important question is this: When do we get to kill them? According to Arkin, "They haven't told me what's going to happen with me, but I have a feeling with this character that he's not someone who will die peacefully in his sleep." And Rollins says, "Something awful has to happen to someone as awful as me, but I'm on that need-to-know basis, so I have no idea. Every time, I look at an episode and I'm still in it, and I'm still breathing at the end, I'm like, yeah!" (We'e permitting this temporarily, but only because we love Rollins. Otherwise, death to the infidels!)
P.S. If the trickster bitch who tempted Gemma into the van looks familiar, that's because she's cute little Sarah Jones (formerly of Fox's frothy Wedding Belles) and her character Polly is the daughter of Arkin's Ethan Zoebelle. Twisted, right?
What about Jax and Clay?
Separate from the huge, looming Gemma issue, there's the huge, looming Donna issue from last season still hanging over the Sons, and that means that Sam Crow's president and vice president still have a lot to work out. As the divine Ron Perlman puts it, "The entire second season is a kind of 'come to Jesus' for Clay and the way he goes about taking care of business. There's a palpable tension between Clay and Jax." According to Charlie Hunnam, "I start slowly and subtly with Clay because I think that there's going to be a smarter way to do it, and that I'm going to manipulate him and outwit him and expose him for what he is, but it turns out he's been doing this a long time, and he's got a few tricks of his own, so that manipulation doesn't fully work and that results in great frustration for me, so the more futile my efforts become, the more brazen they become."
Eventually, the conflict gets physical. We asked Charlie Hunnam if Jax would ever just punch Clay in the face, and Charlie told us, "Yeah. Several, several times. We get into it nice. However, I have to say, it doesn't go well for me. On the day we shot that, I ended up getting a tooth knocked out. Bam, slammed face first into metal bars." (Don't worry, Charlie's OK, and after a little emergency dental surgery, all his pretty teeth are back where they belong.)
What about Miss Tara?
According to Maggie Siff, "This season is about the education of Tara Knowles...The decision to commit herself to this has been made in a lot of small ways and in a couple of big ways, and now she's there. She's like, all right, I've got to figure this out." And according to Charlie Hunnam, Tara doesn't hold back once she throws herself into the world of Sam Crow: "Some of those reservations Tara has about this lifestyle are dissipating a little, and she's learning to be badass. She throws down a little this season. I'm proud of her. Very proud." As Maggie Siff puts it, "Tara's not deeply involved in the criminal element, but she's got all her fingers and toes in—I'll say that!" Whoo-hoo!
Why should you keep watching after what the season premiere put you through?
Kurt Sutter says that you should dig into season two despite the grueling rape scene in the season premiere: "I say watch because the world is fascinating and because the subculture is complete Americana, but truly, watch for the characters. There's such a vast array of personalities and quirks, and as I've always said, it's a family drama. And actually, you're going to laugh when I say this, but I think there's a lot more humor this season." (It really is a damn funny show.)
And believe it or not, the year is not all about gang rape by white supremacists wearing Michael Myers masks, and you'll see that expansion of story more clearly beginning with episode two next week. Gemma's storyline continues to get the spotlight it deserves, but, at least in the five eps we've seen, there is a lot of other drama going on for each and every character. And as Kurt puts it, "The number-one thing to know about this season is that the father-and-son dynamic is very important. This conflict with Jax and Clay will really play out and ultimately come to a head toward the end of the season. And the events that impacted Gemma, that all eventually comes together, too." Can't wait!
Click on the thumbnails above to view our season-two Sons of Anarchy gallery.
How did you feel about tonight's season premiere of Sons of Anarchy? Hit the comments with your thoughts! If you missed season one, the DVD was released 10 days ago and is chock-full of special features, including a look at the club's tattoos and their bikes. If you don't have FX, Hulu plans to post new season-two episodes eight days after they premiere on U.S. TV. Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.—and you should watch because (a) there's not a whole heck of a lot else airing at that time, and (b) the show completely kicks ass.