Anyone Watching Sons of Anarchy?
The Sons of Anarchy are an international outlaw motorcycle club with many charters, including the Charming local, based out of a clubhouse adjacent to the Teller-Morrow auto mechanic shop. The Sons mostly ride customized Harley-Davidson Dyna Superglide motorcycles. Led by Clay Morrow, the club controls Charming through close community relationships, bribery, and violent intimidation.
The full name of the motorcycle club is Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original Charter; on occasion, the show will abbreviate it as SOA, though more frequently the club is referred to as SAMCRO (a rough acronym of The Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original Charter) or "Sam Crow." This nickname is also reflected in the original title of the show, Forever Sam Crow.
Club members have "day jobs" in local industries, but they primarily make money by importing illegal weapons and selling them to black drug gangs in the East Bay. (The gang that SAMCRO deals with is called the "One-Niners," the same fictional gang that feature prominently in The Shield, another FX drama on which Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter wrote and produced for several years).
SAMCRO keeps meth traffickers out of Charming, which puts them at odds with the meth-distributing white supremacist "Nords" gang, headed by Ernest Darby. The SOA also have to deal with a rival Oakland-based MC, the "Mayans", led by Marcus Alvarez. Unlike their rivals, the Sons are relatively diverse and inclusionist, having one Jewish member, a Scottish member, and one Hispanic member, and disdaining the Nords' social perspective. (For example, they are quite happy working with the local sheriff Sam Trammell, who happens to be an African American.)
John Teller and Piermont "Piney" Winston co-founded Sam Crow. Clay Morrow was the youngest of the "Redwood Original 9". Following John's death, his widow Gemma married Clay. John and Gemma's surviving son Jax (another son Tommy died in childhood of the "family flaw", a congenital heart defect) is second in the club's line of succession after co-founder and sitting president Clay. Jax is recently divorced from Wendy, the mother of his son Abel, who is born 10 weeks premature as a result of his mother's meth addiction.
The family drama is loosely based on Shakespeare's Hamlet; indeed, star Ron Perlman has said, "I’m sure they’re going to stick to the structure of Hamlet all the way to the end" of the series. Clay is based on the role of King Claudius and Gemma as a Gertrude figure. Jax stands in for Prince Hamlet himself; his reflective questioning of the SOA culture, brought on by the birth of his son, references Hamlet's melancholy over the death of the king. Additionally, Jax "communicates" with his dead father by way of his late father's unpublished journal/manuscript; Hamlet, of course, literally communicated with the ghost of his father. Lastly, narratively the Sons are typical antiheroes LINK