Jax wants to take the club in a new direction and who can blame him? His stepfather Clay tried to kill Opie only to have Tig botch the whole thing and kill Donna (Opie’s wife) by mistake. The gang is becoming more violent and out of control. And to top it off, the ATF’s pressure has forced them to take more risks with the gun business.

Season two opens with the gang taking target practice while the rest of Charming goes about its merry business. One of my favorite things about Sons of Anarchy is the dilemma the gang causes in the town (they are its biggest threat and biggest protector) as well as the inner turmoil among many members as they struggle with their day-to-day family and work duties along with maintaining the outlaw life.

A new wrinkle this year is the addition of White Power (Aryan Brotherhood, whatever you want to call them) as a threat to SAMCRO. Their neo-Nazi ideals abhor the idea of the Sons selling guns to any other ethnicity except white. They are preparing to fight the race war and are trying to keep guns out of the hands of the enemy. Ethan Zobelle (the suit) and AJ Weston (the muscle) want to rid the town of SAMCRO and use Deputy Hale as a point man for their cause. Hale is less than thrilled. But the white supremacists are nothing if not motivated. They go as far as interrupting Bobbie’s welcome home party with an indirect threat to the club.

Knowing Opie is going to want retribution for Donna’s death, Clay and Tig set up a Mayan (rival gang) drug dealer as the killer. Jax wants to keep Opie’s suspicions about Donna’s death away from the club so he agrees to have the Mayan take the fall. When yet another hit goes awry Jax poses the body as if the One-Niners (an LA street gang) had done the deed.

The key to the show and the club is Gemma Teller (Katey Sagal). She is equal parts ruthless and nurturing. Scheming and caring. Above all though she is more devoted to the club than any member and she is loyal without fault. All this being said, what happens in the last scene of “Albification” is among the most disturbing moments of television I have ever seen. While driving home she is tricked and carjacked. Gemma wakes up in an abandoned warehouse surrounded by masked men. Her threats about her status within the club go unheeded. They rip her clothes off and rape her repeatedly. A masked AJ Weston chillingly apologizes to her and explains that as long as the SOA deal guns in Charming she is not safe and they will find her again. This all happens with a haunting version of “Girl from the North Country” by the Lions playing in the background. This scene and music have stuck with me since I first watched the premiere a week ago. It was a brutal reintroduction to Sons of Anarchy and a reminder that no matter how bad SAMCRO may be, a more evil and disgusting force is out there willing to do anything in order to see them fall.

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