The incarcerated SAMCRO brothers are free again come Tuesday at 10/9c, when FX’s Sons of Anarchy revs up its fourth cycle. What awaits them is a club that idled in their absence, and now is poised to go full-throttle as part of a high-caliber gun-running network.
“Everyone comes out feeling like they have a handle on things,” series boss Kurt Sutter tells TVLine. “And of course that handle loosens fairly quickly.”
The first tilted domino leading to a potential shake-up is Jax, who emerges from the clink determined to do right by Tara and their family — which now includes newborn Thomas — by someday putting asphalt between him and SAMCRO.
“Jax and Tara are in it for the long haul,” says Charlie Hunnam. “So now it’s a process of Jax figuring out how to extricate himself in the most clean and not dangerous way, without the whole thing jeopardizing his family.”
Adds Maggie Siff, “For Tara and Jax, there was a real coming together at the end of last season that wasn’t decimated by him going to prison. In a strange way, that solidified their bond, at the same time that it raised the stakes for her in terms of figuring out how to live a normal life.”
The couple’s want for “normal” however can be filed under Easier Said Than Done, especially when it clashes with Clay’s own new endgame and plans for SAMCRO.
Season 4 “is all about the internal machinations of the club, and how it runs itself,” says Sutter. “Everything that we laid out for the first three seasons, in terms of conflicts and character relationships, comes into play.”
Also in play are the letters that John Teller wrote to Maureen aka Old Lady No. 2 — carried from Belfast to the States via an oblivious Jax, and now in Tara’s possession. Says Sutter, “The letters will inform one of the bigger arcs this season,” especially as Gemma grows curious about their existence.
“There’s definitely some unraveling that happens for her,” says Gemma’s portrayer, Katey Sagal. “And that has to do with the John Teller history.”
Tara, says Siff, “realizes that shes sitting on some very volatile information” — in that the missives implicate Clay and Gemma in the death of Jax’s father — “and I don’t think she knows exactly what to do with it.” One thing she does know? “Bringing them into the light of day doesn’t seem to be the wisest course of action.”
Combine the Jax/Clay conflict (and their arrival at an explosive “resolution”) with the veritable time bomb that is the John Teller letters, add in Rockmund Dunbar (Prison Break) as a new sheriff unflinching in his desire to lay down the new law, and sprinkle in pulp film icon Danny Trejo (Machete) as SAMCRO’s new BFF, and you have a Season 4 that leads to “a very big and very violent, dramatic conclusion,” Hunnam teases. “By the end of this season, the whole dynamic of the club will have changed forever.”