The boys from Charming are back in town.
FX's “Sons of Anarchy” returns at 10 p.m. Tuesday, just as the guys from SAMCRO – an outlaw motorcycle club that prefers not to be called a gang, thank you very much – finish serving 14 months in prison following Season 3's shenanigans.
And “SOA” fans thought they'd had a hard wait.
The prodigal “Sons” – led by Ron Perlman's Clay Morrow and Charlie Hunnam's Jax Teller – return to a town whose law-enforcement they no longer control as they once did. There's not only a new sheriff in town (Rockmond Dunbar) but a new prosecutor (Ray McKinnon), whose long hair-and-leather look wouldn't be all that out of place in the SAMCRO clubhouse.
Jax, meanwhile, acquired a sharper look in prison, as well as a new focus.
We'll see how long that lasts. Nothing ever stays simple on “Sons of Anarchy,” the highest-rated show in FX's history, and watched, I hope, as much for the gutsiness of its women characters – two of its “old ladies” are played by Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff – as for the guys (and the gore). Yet as I've said before, one mark of a great drama is when it's able to draw us in to worlds some of us might not normally give a second thought to, whether it's the drug trade in Baltimore (“The Wire”) or a corrupt cop shop in Los Angeles (“The Shield”).
For me, “Sons” passes that test.
And after a season that some fans felt got lost a bit on a detour to Northern Ireland, “SOA” creator Kurt Sutter's moved the focus back to Charming as he continues to explore the relationships between the members of SAMCRO as they embark on a dangerous new enterprise under the very eyes of federal and local authorities.
“I think the idea always is to use those external pressures to, you know, incubate what’s going on inside the club,” Sutter told reporters last month.
Can't wait to see what's going to hatch from that.