Spoilers for episode three of "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I put on an industrial-strength cup...
"Fun Town" shows that Kurt Sutter not only borrowed the frenetic plotting of "The Shield," but that show's tendency for "it's so wrong" wince-inducing scenes and stories. I had to look away for a good portion of the scene with the captured rapist, because even though I felt confident the dad wouldn't go through with it, I also felt reasonably confident that Clay would.
Still more "Shield" parallels: like Vic Mackey, Clay justifies his crimes as being in service to the greater good. He sees the gun-running as financing the Sam Cro lifestyle, which in turn protects the quaint lifestyle of Charming. In reality, both men are largely hypocrites out for personal gain and the inflation of their own egos -- each is convinced their town can't survive without them -- but it makes for a pretty bit of self-rationalization.
And, of course, we get the first appearance by Jay "Dutch" Karnes as Tara's stalker ex-boyfriend, who conveniently happens to be an agent for the one branch of the government that Sam Cro fears most of all: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. How much hell do you think he's going to unleash on Jax as part of his crazy attempt to win Tara back? And how badly do you think Jax is going to get hurt when Clay realizes this is all because of the young prince's ex-girlfriend?
I still, unfortunately, don't find Jax to be that compelling a central character, but there are enough interesting things going on that I'm going to stick for a while.
What did everybody else think?