HD Highlight: Sons of Anarchy (Season Seven Premiere)

Sons of Anarchy: TV3, 8.55 Tuesday

“If the first few episodes of Sons of Anarchy‘s final season are any indication,” says Slant magazine, “then the series is going down in the same manner it started: as a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.” Echoed Entertainment Weekly: The premise promises Shakespearean tragedy writ pulpy. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) — mad to the max over the murder of his wife, Tara — rips into a vengeance quest that threatens cataclysmic gang war. His wanting to reclaim SAMCRO’s badass soul electrifies his MC family, including Lady Macbeth-ish materfamilias — and Tara’s true killer — Gemma (Katey Sagal), who, naturally, sees no benefit in enlightening her son. Jax living out his ignorance with wanton abandon and Gemma living out her rationalised deceits drive the season and put them on a collision course.” But after an explosive premiere, RogerEbert.com thought the next two episodes anti-climactic with creator Kurt Sutter taking too long to pour “the gasoline before he lights it on fire. I’m a bit tired of turf wars and questionable loyalty but those common themes of the show almost feel like purposeful distractions here, ways to build tension and buy time until chaos erupts.” This season’s driving theme — unrelenting revenge and retribution — “practically ensures a series already characterised by over-the-top violence will be even more steeped in creatively conceived gore,” Variety reflected. “Few programmes seem more closely linked to the id of their brain trust than this one, and showrunner Kurt Sutter has set the stage for an operatic finish. That said, watching Sons ride toward the sunset — taking its excesses with it — evokes as much relief as regret.”

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