When it comes to gritty, hard-hitting storytelling, |Kurt Sutter knows how to satiate the appetite of fans. Having set the benchmark with The Shield, he took his creative talents left field by exploring the world of bikers, rival gangs, lawbreakers and vigilantism in what is now a TV success story – Sons of Anarchy. Debashine Thangevelo looks at the menacing troubles that accompany season five…
KURT Sutter has a propensity to pen his heroes with shades of grey. It has become his signature style as a creator. And the fallibility of his characters – trapped in moral conundrums despite being essentially good guys – has struck an unmistakable chord with viewers.
With Sons of Anarchy, he zeroed in on the Teller-Morrow family who reside in Charming, California. Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam) has taken a leadership role with the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (Samcro), while Clarence “Clay” Morrow (Ron Perlman) challenges his headship by trying to poison the minds of fellow members.
These outlaw motorcycle club members lead normal lives with their dysfunctional families while trying to eradicate criminal elements in the town as well as deal with the constant threat posed by a rival white supremacist gang called the Nordics (aka Nords).
Interestingly, this season Clay’s vulnerable side comes to the fore – yes, the hard-core Harley biker has one – as he is taken down a very dark path.
In an interview with TVline.com, he laughed: “It’s always been a tightrope walk on this show because clearly (creator) Kurt Sutter is the only one who knows where he’s ultimately taking everyone – and he’s always been the only one who knows where he’s taking us in the interim, while he’s getting us to where we’re ultimately going to end up. So, a lot of this has been seat-of-your-pants stuff. There are certain promises I had to make to myself in order to continue to play Clay and admire the character, because even though I’ve played a wide swathe of bad guys or troubled individuals, there’s always something about their wiring that attracts me to them; there’s some sort of deep-seated nobility.
“Sometimes it’s very buried and sometimes it’s short-circuited by psychological misfires that create some reprehensible behaviour.
“One of the promises I had to make to myself is that I would never, ever judge Clay. I would only try to understand what his moves meant in the moment and what it means in the bigger picture.”
On Clay breaking down this season, he shared: “Oh man, the reason why he finally breaks down and does it in a way that’s so cathartic and so physical is probably because it’s everything. Whatever he was trying to save is destroyed.
“Having some sort of functional relationship with his stepson is destroyed. He’s now finally been sent into the wilderness; he’s a man without a country, he’s a man without a family, he’s a man without anything.
“Even though he’s trying to hold on to one thing – probably the most important thing, which is Gemma – he’s not even sure about that. The sins have finally, irrevocably come home to roost, and this is something that even he and all of his cleverness and ruthlessness cannot reverse.”
This season, Chuck Zito and Jimmy Smits join the cast in a storyline that picks up from Veronica Pope’s death and the Niners attacking Samcro and ambushing one of their cargoes.
Fans are guaranteed more edge-of-your-seat thrills and backstabbing action in the penultimate season.
• Sons of Anarchy airs on M-Net Series (DStv channel 114) on Friday at 9.30pm.