It’s rare for a cable television series to actually pick up more viewers over the course of its run. When Sons of Anarchy — FX’s gripping drama about an outlaw motorcycle club — first started broadcasting only a few short years ago, its ratings were significantly less than the numbers they have been turning up in the seasons since then. When Season Three rolled around, however, the ratings were at their highest yet. And it only requires the viewing of one or two episodes to learn why the ratings kept going up on this one: this is a damn good show!
Generally, when writers reach the third season of a series, they get a little lost. Whereas a kidnapped baby might spell the end of any other show, creator/writer Kurt Sutter opens Sons of Anarchy: Season Three with the titular motorcycle club on the warpath over the missing son of their leader, Jax (Charlie Hunnam), who had been abducted by a sleazy IRA fellow in the finale of Season Two. Gemma — Jax’s mum (played to the hilt by Katey Sagal) — is on the lam up in Oregon, where she visits her father, a former minister with dementia (Hal Holbrook).
Meanwhile, Jax’s stepfather, Clay (Ron Perlman), is trying to get Jax to focus on the MC before rival gangs (mainly the Mayans, who play a big part in this season) succeed in gaining the upper hand in the otherwise peaceful town of Charming, CA. Among the highlights of Sons of Anarchy: Season Three are the beginning of the rise of shady politician Jacob Hale, Jr. (Jeff Kober); the fall of Deputy Hale (Taylor Sheridan) and the corrupt Agent Stahl (Ally Walker); and a trip to Belfast, Ireland to find baby Abel (wherein Gemma learns a shocking secret about her deceased hubby, John).
Fox Home Entertainment releases Sons of Anarchy: Season Three in a three-disc Blu-ray set that contains all 13 episodes as well as several extended episodes. The audio and video presentation here is commendable, with episodes presented in beautiful 1080p transfers that preserve the 1.78:1 aspect ratios, and dynamic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound. Optional subtitles are available in English (SDH), French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin. Bonus features include cast and crew audio commentaries on select episodes, several featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.
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