Brief spoilers for episode two of "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I run down to the convenience store for an axe...
This is the second and last episode I got to see in advance, and as I said in last week's review, I'm not sold yet.
In the middle of a long interview with Mo Ryan, Shawn Ryan says that Kurt Sutter (once a "Shield" writer, now this show's creator) "was always into the big, complicated, mythology stuff," and you can definitely see a lot of Vic and Shane's more convoluted antics in Jax's attempt to get the corpses removed from the explosion site without any additional bloodshed. But as I've been saying about "The Shield" the last few weeks, the big and complicated stuff works best when it's anchored to a character we really care about, and I'm not there with anyone on this show yet. There are some interesting characters, and Katey Sagal has really stood out as the villainous Gemma ("You wanna touch me, sweetheart? That make you happy?"), but Charlie Hunnam hasn't popped the way Michael Chiklis did in the first few "Shield"s, and that puts a damper on this kind of storytelling.
But there aren't any other Wednesday at 10 shows I'm addicted to (though I'll sample "Dirty Sexy Money" again when it comes back), and there are enough intriguing pieces here that I'm going to ride this out for a while longer.
In the meantime, a few random notes:
• All those references to "Sam Crow" were confusing me until I started thumbing through the typically elaborate FX press kit. It's actually SAMCRO, for "Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club - Redwood Original." Now if someone could just clarify the "Redwood Original" part, I'm all good to go.
• In a former life, Katey Sagal was a professional singer, and so when that cover of "Son of a Preacher Man" started, I began wondering if it was her doing the vocal. Sure enough, it's her, a recording done specifically for the episode.
• Dayton Callie! "Deadwood" may be gone (and "John from Cincinnati," too, which temporarily employed much of the "Deadwood" cast), but before this TV season's over, virtually every castmember will have a regular or recurring gig on some other show. It ain't much, but it was amusing to imagine Sheriff Unser as a distant ancestor of Charlie Utter.
What did everybody else think?