In Season 3 of Sons of Anarchy, SAMCRO is once again thrown into the cycle of vengeance. Jax’s son, Abel, has been abducted by Cameron Hayes of the IRA as retribution for the death of his own son, Edmond. Meanwhile, Opie must come to terms with the club when it’s revealed to him that his wife was mistakenly killed by Tig in what was supposed to be a hit on himself.
Looking Back on Season 2
As Season 2 came to an end, Jax’s family had been torn apart. His son, Abel, is on his way to Belfast with Hayes, while his mother, Gemma, has fled to Oregon after Stahl has framed her for the shooting of Edmond Hayes.
On the upside, SAMCRO has managed to drive the League of American Nationalists (LOAN) out of Charming. This white separatist group, lead by businessman Ethan Zobelle, showed up in the beginning of the season looking to take over the town. Their first order of business was to send a brutal message to SAMCRO. Zobelle’s right-hand man, A.J Weston, and two others kidnapped Gemma and gang raped her in the hopes of scaring off SAMCRO.
Justice was served later in the season when the Sons tracked down Weston at a tattoo parlor and shot him in a bathroom stall. Meanwhile, Zobelle has turned to the Mayans for protection, but as his influence dwindles he is forced to flee the States without his daughter who has actually been shot by Gemma.
One of the biggest losses for the club in Season 2 was that of their prospect, Half-Sack, who was killed by Hayes during the abduction of Abel.
Overview of Season 3
Season 3 primarily follows SAMCRO’s search for Abel and Jax’s dealings with Agent Stahl. At first it is believed that Cameron Hayes has fled to Vancouver, when actually he is heading to Belfast to seek help from Father Ashby. The Father’s solution is to have Cameron killed and the Sons soon after receive an email of his dead body in “Caregiver.” News of Abel’s whereabouts reaches the club through Father Ashby’s sister, Marueen, who contacts Gemma in the episode “Home.” However, this is the first Gemma has heard of Abel’s abduction and the news triggers an arrhythmia which sends her to the hospital.
With his mother now in federal custody, Jax strikes a deal with Stahl (“Turning and Turning”) in which he will hand over Jimmy O and his IRA contacts in exchange for his mother’s freedom and relaxing weapon charges against the club. As the club prepares to leave for Belfast, Tara helps Gemma escape from the hospital in the “Widening Gyre” and join the club.
In Belfast, the Sons quickly run into trouble as Jimmy O, along with two SAMBEL traitors, attacks them with a bomb along a protection run. The two traitors, Liam and McGee, are discovered by SAMCRO and subsequently killed by Jax and Clay (“Firinne”). Jimmy O is now in deep trouble with the club and kidnaps Abel from his adoptive parents to secure safe passage out of Ireland. When the Sons confront Jimmy O, Father Ashby steps in and trades himself for Abel.
Back in Charming, former president of the Calaveras MC, Hector Salazar, has kidnapped Tara and her boss Margaret. Tara proves her toughness in “June Wedding” when she attacks Salazar’s girlfriend and is able to exchange her medical expertise for her freedom.
When SAMCRO returns to Charming, they track down and buy Jimmy O off of the Russians with counterfeit bills. Acting on knowledge from Jax, Stahl then comes to clubhouse to arrest Jimmy and makes it known to club members that Jax is a rat.
In the season finale, “NS,” the Sons are being lead away in an ATF van followed by Stahl who has custody of Jimmy. The caravan is stopped by Unser who warns of an IRA roadblock further ahead. As the federal agents leave to investigate, Piney, Opie, Chibs, and Kozik arrive. Opie confronts Stahll about the death of Donna and shoots her, while Chibs takes his revenge on Jimmy O. In these final moments, Jax realizes that the club knew of his plans all along and a truce of sorts is achieved as the club heads to prison.
Kurt Sutter on Season 3
Coming to terms with the past is an important element of Season 3. In an interview with Collider.com, Kurt Sutter presented his view on conflicts within the club and how they effect the writing:
“In Season 2, yes the conflict that Jax and Clay continued to play out, but you can’t walk around with that every day. Ultimately, you’re brothers and you have to get past that. They scab over and then, somewhere down the line, we’ll probably rip that scab off again. Things pull focus and there are other priorities, so those beefs and challenges get put onto a back burner. It’s the same thing with Opie and Tig. You have to move on.”
Cast Members on Season 3
“It’s a darker Jax than we’ve seen so far. The coolest thing about this season, for me, as an audience member and a fan of this subculture, is that we get to explore a little bit more of the international sense of these clubs. All of these motorcycle clubs are big international entities, and it’s one of the most exciting and interesting of the American exports. It’s been isolating. We’ve been in the insular world of Charming, up until now. Our pursuit of Abel really breaks open the world and we get to explore what that is a little bit.”
-Charlie Hunnam (Jax)
"Tig still has issues. He's probably going to have issues until this thing is over, but he really gets his mojo back this year. I'm having a lot of fun playing this stuff this year. He kind of gets naked, he kind of gets drunk, he kind of gets sober, he kind of gets tough, he kind of pulls triggers, the knife is coming out easier. He's getting his mojo back. He really is. It's been a lot of fun for me this year.”
-Kim Coates (Tig)
Review of Sons of Anarchy, Season 3
With so much focus on family throughout Season 3, a new depth in the characters has been revealed. The relationships between the central Teller-Morrow family, as well as those through out the club, have taken on new levels of complexity that keep viewers wondering what will happen next.
These tumultuous relationships have become the driving force of the show, rather than just the outlaw excursions on their own. Even though Season 3 ends on a good note between Clay and Jax, we know there is still much unresolved tension between them. It is Sutter’s ability to build and resolve tensions such as these that has really grown as the show progresses. In earlier seasons, we only had sketches of bikers, but as the Sons face situations which cut to the core of their beliefs, we begin to see real flesh and blood characters emerging.