Entertainment :: Television

Sons of Anarchy: Season Four

by Jake Mulligan
Contributor
Tuesday Sep 25, 2012
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As far as trashy television entertainment goes, it doesn’t get much more shameless than "Sons of Anarchy." Like a cornucopia of low-class American dramatic tropes, it blends together Biker gangs (primarily SAMCRO, as headed by a gruff Ron Pearlman,) porn stars, trailer parks, coke deals, Danny Trejo appearances - the whole nine yards. And I must admit: there’s an oddly Shakespearean gravity to the proceedings; an unabashed taste for the melodramatic twisted with an attempt at true gravitas, that I can’t help but appreciate.

This fourth season sees things get, as always, truly over-the-top for our protagonists. The SAMCRO crew, led ’spiritually’ by Clay (Pearlman) and Jax (Charlie Hunnam,) are out after 14 months in jail, and have come back to do battle with a strict police chief, a Russian mob inching in on their gunrunning territory, a high stakes cocaine trafficking operation with the DEA on their tail, and of course, family problems to deal with too. The series sidesteps all these minor plots to focus, more often than not, on Jax’s eternal struggle with whether or not to leave the "club." Your mileage will vary: do you prefer existensial struggles or brutal beat downs in your biker dramas?

Five audio commentaries included on the disc are a bit "inside," but longtime fans of the show will no doubt appreciate the nods to continuity and deep character discussion contained within. The deleted scenes (three) and gag reel are worth the smattering of minutes they take up, but self-congratulatory featurettes about contest winners are a must-skip. Still, this package - complete with pristine video quality taken directly from the digital source - should be a no-brainer for fans of the SAMCRO crew. This show, with its interconnected plotlines and years-long character arcs, is hard for new fans to dive into. But for longtime viewers; Anarchy rules.

"Sons of Anarchy: Season Four"
Blu-ray
$69.99
fxnetworks.com

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