"It's time for a change," Piney told Jax last season on Sons of Anarchy and I felt every bit of it as the show returned last night for its sophomore season. That "change," however, didn't come in the form of a resolution for SAMCRO as you can still feel the tension among its members in the wake of Donna's death. It's understandable, though, because fixing things doesn't happen quick and easy. Instead, we find a newly assertive Jax, a vengeful Opie, who still doesn't have a clue who really killed his wife Donna, and a new villain in the form of The League of American Nationalists (LOAN), who seems to stand for particularly twisted brand of malevolence.
If you missed "Albification," then I suggest you stop reading and watch it now. Take note, however, that it's not for the faint of heart. But for the rest of you who did, fire your comments away as I discuss what went down.
The death of Donna, though tragic, has a silver lining as it brought Jax and Piney closer. Both members now want to take the club into a new direction but both have agreed to play their suspicions about Clay killing Opie's wife under the wraps, at least for the mean time. Knowing Opie is going to seek revenge for the death of Donna, Clay and Tig set up a rival gang drug dealer as the killer ---which Jax tolerates in attempt to keep Opie's suspicions about Donna's death away from the club. Clearly, Opie finding out who's behind his wife's murder sets up a good story arc for the rest of the season but something tells me that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The League of American Nationalists
"Albification," which means the process of making white, fittingly captures what LOAN is all about. Obviously, group leader Ethan Zobelle and his pal AJ Weston set foot on Charming not because of cigars but to make the town their next target for their impious ideologies as a white separatist group. They represent an influential group of businessmen who are tired of the way things are being done in Charming and will stop at nothing until they kick out the town's biggest threat as well as its biggest protector, SOA. On the surface, they look like powerful, unwavering yet harmless individuals. But they do strike hard in brutal ways you can't imagine. And if Gemma's rape scene is any indication, there's no telling what else these sick guys can do.
On her way home, Gemma is tricked and abducted, and then wakes up with her hands tied in what looks like an abandoned warehouse surrounded by masked men. Instantly, you'll feel that something awful is about to go down. But Gemma's nightmare gets only worse as they rip her clothes off and rape over and over and over again. Then a masked AJ Weston threatens Gemma that as long as SOA deals guns in Charming, she's never going to be safe because they will find her, just before devouring her again. I generally enjoy dark and gory themes but the ending of the premiere was totally horrifying and disturbing even for my taste. Just the look at Katey Sagal's face left me with a very heavy heart.
Still, I'm not convinced that the show has pushed the audience too far even though the season opener of Sons of Anarchy may be a little difficult to watch. And because of what happened to Gemma, I'm even more determined to stick around the rest of the season just to find out how Gemma will bounce back and get her sweet revenge.