Welcome to Belated Binge
April 10, 2023

’Sons of Anarchy’ S1 E1 Pilot

’Sons of Anarchy’ S1 E1 Pilot

Welcome to Belated Binge: Sons of Anarchy! This might be my favorite television show of all time! At least a drama. So I'm stoked to get started!

In this first pilot episode we're introduced to the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club (SAMCRO). Our m...

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Welcome to Belated Binge: Sons of Anarchy! This might be my favorite television show of all time! At least a drama. So I'm stoked to get started!   In this first pilot episode we're introduced to the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club (SAMCRO). Our main character Jax Teller, the Vice President (VP) of the club. Clay Morrow, Opie Whinston, Bobby Elvis, Tig, Juice, Half Sack, Chibs, and not to mention our head woman in charge Gemma Teller and the ladies of Jax's past, present and future Tara and Wendy.   So much conflict right off the bat. Explosions, guns, motorcycles, crooked cops, dead bodies, drugs, a BABY! And Jax discovering a book his late father John Teller wrote about the club. It's a chaotic beginning to what promises to be a wild ride and I hope you'll take it with me!  

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Hi! and welcome to belated Binge sons of anarchy. I’m Zac your host, revisiting some of the most iconic series in recent memory that I nearly missed out on. Like sons of anarchy which I didn’t watch until like 4 years after the last episode aired on tv and I’ve watched nearly every year since. Except last year, which I was saving for this podcast! 


Today we kick off our binge, get introduced to our beloved motorcycle enthusiasts, and begin the action packed chaotic ride into the sutterverse.. 


Explosions, guns, motorcycles, drugs, crooked cops, not crooked cops, babies, and wait… babies? Yes, babies. And a long lost book diary hidden inside of an old harley manual…. let’s do this!! 




Before we get into it:

There will be spoilers - this series wrapped up in 2014. I’ll try not to give everything away, but if you haven’t seen it by now, you’re even later than I was…

There will also be adult language and situations especially with this show trigger warnings a plenty... use ear buds if needed. 


Shoutout to the bonus Binge squad: Alex Swetlin and Hadas Navony! For your own shoutouts and access to bonus episodes, join on Patreon dot com slash Belated Binge. Link in the show notes. 


Let’s start off with the Pilot e1 

I want to kick this off with an idea I had and that is to try and introduce each episode as if it was a romantic comedy. 


Wish me luck!


Jax teller is a handsome biker as charming as his small town. He spends this episode struggling to balance his love for his closest friends, his family, his ex wife, and his baby boy Abel. 


Will he find a way to express his love effectively? Or will the stress of his lifestyle cause his anger to guide his actions? And how will discovering his late fathers secret writings affect his relationship with those he loves most? Or worse, himself? 


I hope I get better at that as we go!


No more nonsense. Let’s jump into this crazy first episode of what might be the greatest drama ever shown on television. At least that I’ve seen myself! But I’m bias… 


  • The crows, the music and the thunder of a Harley coming down the road and I’m giddy
  • And here we go. The cool guy Jax. Of course we don’t know his name yet. He’s just a cool guy with a pretty face. Riding at night, with no glasses, no helmet, and smoking a cigarette with it just dangling from his lips… Tell me you used a green screen without telling me! 
    • They do a lot of real riding on this show. But for starters they wear helmets. Thanks to Theo Rossi and Kim Coates podcast we know that was required by the network. 
    • And if this was really happening at the speed he’s supposed to be traveling his eyes would be squinting, Blood shot and destroyed by the wind. 
    • And on top of it, that cherry would be flying right off that cigarette and probably into one of them. 
    • Our outlaw biker would be wearing a different kind of patch and trying out for a pirate show!
    • This is the part where I should say that if you’re coming here after listening to reaper reviews, I promise that I won’t just be parroting what Theo and Kim said. Not only do I not have the inside knowledge of the show like they do after being in it… I also have no interest in doing a parody of their podcast. 
    • However, I’m sure some of my reactions and opinions might be similar in some cases and if I share any tidbits I also learned listening to them, I will credit them. 
    • This show is just me watching, as a fan, who loves the show but doesn’t take it too seriously either so I will poke fun at certain things when appropriate and I’ll suspend disbelief at certain times because if anything in this show was real, it would have been a much shorter show. Not because there aren’t really people in the world doing bad things, some of which wear a patch, this show takes it to a level of WTF that even the smartest of criminals couldn’t possibly get away with because it’s so blatantly obvious they did it! 
    • Back to my notes on the episode. 
  • Good old Alvarez. Again we don’t know him yet. We just see some guys robbing a house. But we can see they’re wearing cuts. For those unfamiliar or wondering why that word was used in the show, a cut is another term for a leather vest worn by people who ride motorcycles. 
    • There are many names for things used in biker culture and cut is one that’s pretty universal. 
    • There’s some gray area on when it’s appropriate to use the term. Some people say that you should only call it a cut when there is a patch on it. Meaning it’s being worn by a member of an mc or motorcycle club. 
    • Others say it’s a cut as long as it is sleeveless and worn on a motorcycle. 
    • I’m not going to litigate semantics of motorcycle culture on this podcast. I know very little about mcs and have no first hand personal experience to draw from in that life. I’ve never been a member of a club and therefore I claim no expertise. 
    • But if I have a random nugget to share that I think might be interesting or helpful in your viewing of this particular show about an mc. I’ll share. 
    • And while we’re on the subject. I would highly recommend that you refer to these men as a motorcycle club and not a gang. Fictional or otherwise. There are a lot of different types of motorcycle clubs and organizations, from riding clubs to organizations for a cause, to 99% clubs that operate within the law, and the 1% clubs that operate outside of it. There are many differences between these different types of clubs and organizations but two things that every single one that’s worth a salt have in common are a love of motorcycles and they do not identify themselves as gang members. 
    • Now The funny thing about this scene is that while we get some exposition. We hear about the guns they’re clearly stealing. They talk about someone called the niners. And we see they’re not white and their accents sound Hispanic. But we don’t know who they are yet. We saw Jax in his cut in the opening scene and we see these guys in cuts. Are they the same club? Different clubs? Who’s guns are these? We don’t know yet. But we do know what’s left in that house is about to go BOOM!
    • That’s not going to be good for the people we saw hiding under the trap door is it??
  • And back to Jax. And one of our questions is answered. If you were paying close attention. The patches on the backs of those other guys cuts are not the same design as our pretty main character. Safe to say at this point. These are probably not friends. 
    • It’s also probably not a stretch to think the guns might be his. 
    • But he’s walking through the gas station. Clearly the girl behind the counter is well aware who he is and appears to be quite interested in his purchase of contraceptives. 
    • She also sneaks a baby book after seeing what he was looking at into his bag as she rings him up. 
    • So he’s got a baby? Or is expecting one? And he’s buying condoms. Probably a safe bet he’s not happily married and settled down… but we’ll get there…
    • Right now - BOOM!
    • And unless those people got out of there somehow, we have our first murder of the show and we’re maybe 5 minutes in… here we go..
  • Next scene it’s morning and four guys wearing matching cuts as Jax are riding to the burnt down house. 
    • If they aren’t seeing it until now, where did Jax run off to from the gas station?? 
    • There has to be a scene where he rode to the house, saw what it was and got out of there before the cops and fire trucks showed up right?? 
    • Otherwise it doesn’t make sense that he witnesses an explosion. One he apparently is very invested in. And just goes home to get a good night sleep before taking a casual ride over with his buddies in the morning just as the cops arrive and the firefighters are apparently still putting out the flames?? How late was it at that gas station scene? We went from pitch black dark out to sun fully ablaze. 
    • I want to know what was happening between these two scenes. 
  • We get confirmation quickly that this first cop on the scene is a friend of this club as he is obviously going to work to help get them out of any backlash from it. And they already know who did it. 
    • So we’ve got a biker war, crooked cops, guns and explosions before the opening credits. 
    • How are you not hooked on this ride?!?!
    • We also quickly see a bit of the hierarchy and dynamic at play. Jax isn’t the guy in charge, but he’s seems to be next in line. 
    • If you’re reading the patches on their right chest. Jax is the vice president of this club, while Ron pearlman - aka clay. Is president. 
  • And I almost forgot about the deer in the windshield scene!!!
    • Jax telling the prospect to chop it up with a chain saw is hysterical! 
    • Also. Look how young chibs looks! And baby face tig in the last scene?? Such a crazy reminder this show started almost 15 years ago. 
    • Sorry. I may not have been watching then, but I’m nostalgic!
    • Also the FLIP PHONE!
    • And mom calls! We get our confirmation that Jax is having a baby and apparently is no longer married to the mother who isn’t talking to him. 
  • And then we see why. 
    • Pregnant
    • Shooting up heroin
  • Clay meeting with the leader of the one niners gang to inform them of the explosion that has delayed shipment of the guns our motorcycle friends have apparently already sold them. 
    • The guy isn’t very happy about the delay. Clearly they’re not all that friendly. This is a business arrangement. Not a friendship. 
    • This is also setting a clear stage that this show is going to be dealing with a lot of conflict around race. 
    • Black gang members in Oakland are beefing with a Mexican motorcycle club while buying their guns from a white motorcycle club who is also beefing with that Mexican club. 
    • This doesn’t look great through a 2023 lens, but even back then this show was clearly pushing boundaries of what you typically saw on television and it’s only the beginning. 
    • This is the light stuff. It’s only going to get heavier, deeper and darker as we go along folks. 
    • It’s ironically like Harry Potter in that way. 
    • Season 1-2 is kinda like sorcerers stone and chamber of secrets. Bikes bullets. Some dark undertones and difficult topics sure. But by season 7. We’re deathly hallows, nobody is safe and you can bet people we love are going to die!
  • Jax is looking for baby stuff in the storage unit his mom told him to go to and he stumbles across an old dusty box. 
    • Pictures. Looks like his dad. Seems like he’s not around anymore. 
    • Finds some old manuals and a random envelope that he opens for some reason. 
    • It says the life and lies of Albus Dumbledore… I mean life and death of Sam crow. Dedicated to his sons, Jax dad wrote a book. 
    • And apparently he didn’t want Jax to be wearing the cut he’s got on. 
    • I’m sure this book won’t be important at any point. Best we just forget about it and move on. 
  • Speaking of foreshadowing. Half sack. The prospect brings a box into the clubhouse and puts it under the pool table. Then shows everyone why his name is half sack. 
    • Thank you for your service but put your ball away please. 
    • And if you don’t know what a prospect is in an mc we’re getting a pretty good sense that it’s not an enjoyable title at all. 
  • Chibs grabs Jax and we’re headed for our first trip to the table. 
    • But first jaxs mom, Gemma, finds his ex wife passed out on the floor apparently OD’d
    • Now we’re in action Jaxon mode.. and the rest of the club as well. 
    • We’re digging for intel on the Mayans and we’re apparently going to blow some shit up. But somebody named opie is going to get tapped in to do and and everybody but Jax seems to be ok with that. 
    • Still it’s his job to get opie on board. 
  • Gemma comes to get the boys and we’re at the hospital. 
    • Clays setting more meetings like a mob boss but Jax just looks murderous
    • He gets an explanation from the doctor who he clearly knows that his baby was born premature from emergency c section and has health problems from the drug addiction of the mother and also something genetic. 
    • The expectations aren’t good. 
    • But instead of going to see his boy in the incubator. Jax goes to a bar and stars beating the shit out of some dudes that apparently sold her the drugs. 
    • We won’t talk about what he did with that pool stick. But I don’t think that dude is having kids anytime soon. 
    • Now jax is going to find opie
  • And this is where I get double giddy because Gary bertere is opie!!
    • I should explain that remember the titans is one of my favorite sports movies and Ryan Hurst played a main character on that high school football team. Now he’s playing whoever this opie character is going to be - and let me tell you. By the end of all this. Ryan hurst went from forever being Gary Bertire to forever being opie fucking whinston. 
  • Jax is trying to recruit him for this job 
    • Opie earning straight
    • Saying no to the club
    • Struggling for money
    • Just got out of jail
    • Clear connection between these two
    • Opies in
  • Back to the table
    • Now we’re talking nords 
    • Apparently white supremacists
    • Also selling heroin
    • In the morning we’re going to steal our guns back!
    • We’ve got ball busting and brotherhood
    • And a nice speech to Jax from an old guy named piney. Apparently opies dad
    • Things are coming into focus. This club has family ties and opie and Jax are the next generation. 
  • They found half sacks box - it’s the deer head! No taxidermy. Just a dead head! And we see how smart half sack is. 
  • Now we have a party!
    • Women dancing
    • Guys fighting
    • Toxic masculinity at its finest
    • Jax throws a curveball. Suggests not rebuilding the gun warehouse. Clay not a fan. I’m sure that won’t come back up either!
  • 1 on 1 with clay and Jax about his baby. Family. Clay knew his dad. And he spins a speech into it and convinces him to go visit his baby in the hospital. 
    • But he sees wendy
    • Tells her to get help
    • He’s more empathic here than you’d expect
    • Wendy tells jax to go clean up her stash at his house she’s been living in by herself 
  • His mom is there cleaning already
    • Optimistic grandma 
    • Pessimistic dad 
    • Just when you’re ready to think she’s Betty homemaker she slaps the shit out of him for believing his kids going to die and lights a joint
    • We learn about the family flaw of a heart defect 
    • Also that his dad was hit by a semi
    • And that there’s Irish ties
    • Soooo much foreshadowing 
    • Jax asks about his dads wishes when founding the club. She’s clearly aware but plays like she doesn’t know the business. She knows more than she lets on. 
    • Now we’re flushing drugs down the toilet. Normal shit for a small town dad. 
  • And next thing we know Jaxs mom is fucking clay. Which is a whole new wrinkle to the family and club dynamic. 
    • She’s clearly pulling the strings here and we get plenty of exposition before she… well let’s just say she won’t be talking anymore for a bit. 
    • I still don’t understand why she gives a shit whether the club runs guns specifically or not. But maybe something I forgot will come back up. 
  • Now we’re meeting the nords 
    • Jax wants to rip darbys heart out of his chest
    • Clay just wants to make sure they don’t deal drugs in charming. 
    • So we kind of see that the outlaw bikers are sort of playing the role of laying down the law in their community. Interesting dynamic. 
  • Gemma and Tara in hospital
    • Tramp stamp 
    • No love for Wendy
  • Opie and Donna fight over the explosives in the bag
    • Kids see it
    • So does Jax 
    • Jax tells him to stay and decides he’ll make it go boom
    • Tells opie to fix his family
  • Gearing up for combat montage
    • Jax checks himself out in the mirror with vest on
    • We all would
    • Girls love bikers 
  • Riding montage = chills
    • Clay not happy about opie
    • Staggered formation
    • Everyone joins at a different time - how long were dudes just waiting. Idling. Checking their flip phones. What if Jax and clay were late?
  • Break to Elvis impersonator sound check
    • This was Bobby’s gig
    • Asian Elvis was a dick for no reason
    • That won’t be important 
  • Crew breaking into a warehouse
  • Jax baby under the knife 
  • Back to the crew searching warehouse
  • Back to Asian Elvis
    • Half sack beats the shit out of him
    • He stays in character
  • Back to the crew who found their guns
  • Back to surgery
  • Back to the crew
    • Jax trying to wire the explosives calling opie
    • Mayans coming home for the drama
    • Clay makes Jax come with him wants to send a message
    • Blames Jax for not being gone already
    • Jax doesn’t want to kill these guys
    • Love his fake homeless song
    • Clay gets his message across shooting dude in the throat
  • Back to surgery. Complications. 
  • Jax isn’t thrilled about having to kill a dude begging for his life
    • Shot in the back. Shoots guy behind him. 
    • Still doesn’t want to shoot someone point blank
    • Clay not thrilled
    • The guy Jax shot was darbys guy
    • Clay shooting a sign because bang bang 
  • Back to surgery
    • Abel still hanging in there
  • Crew blows up warehouse with victims in car. One with dynamite in his ass crack because bang BANG - extra implied bang for him
  • Tara - deep breath, Gemma stopping to see Wendy
    • Abel alive after both surgeries
    • Gemma suggests they say a Prayer - not super spiritual though 
    • Gemma trying to keep her away from her family. Saying she’s not welcome in a pretty not subtle way. By Choking her of course. 
    • Gives her heroin in a Bible and suggests she read it. 
    • Wants her to kill herself as punishment for what she did to Abel. 
  • Jax and Tara hug and there’s clearly history here. Very intimate history. 
    • She sees blood on him and now on her from their awkwardly passionate embrace. 
    • “Clean yourself up Jax” - you get the feeling she’s said this before. 
  • Bobby Elvis sings the outro montage where Wendy ODs again
  • Jax finally sees Abel
    • Only one in scrubs. 
    • Gemma and clay don’t need to be sanitary apparently 
    • And Gemma basically just committed murder and is just chilling down the hall
    • And that’s how this opening episode ends! 


What a pilot!


I forgot how many plot points got introduced already… there’s SO MUCH going on in this show!


From my count we’ve got:

  • An mc conflict with the Mayans
  • A setback in our gun distribution business
  • Which causes a conflict with our buyer the 1 9ers gang out of Oakland
  • And an internal conflict between Jax and clay over the future of that gun business
  • And that gets extended to include jaxs mom Gemma 
  • And through that we catch wind of looming law enforcement conflict from the ATF
  • We have a conflict with the white supremacy and drug dealer group the nords
  • We have a conflict with Jaxs ex wife Wendy about her drug addiction and pregnancy for jax as well as Gemma 
  • There’s an apparent conflict between the doctor Tara and Gemma 
  • There’s a premature birth and baby surgery for Abel 
  • There’s a conflict between opie and the club and opie and his wife about the club
  • Theres even an Elvis conflict!


This is the PILOT and we have sooo many conflicts to see play out!


There’s also so much foreshadowing and I think I’m going to keep the spoilers to a minimum. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be some first time watchers of the show joining us for this so while there will be spoilers and I will point out foreshadowing and whatnot, I’m going to do my best not to go crazy talking about how they all play out specifically. Thats the goal for now anyway. We’ll see how I do!


Before we get out of here we gotta do 1 more thing. This idea has gone over well on the Harry Potter binge so I’m bringing it over here too!


We’re going to rewrite SOA one small change to each episode at a time. I’ll pose a question And you can tell me what the impact would be on the episode and the wider story!


For this first episode:

  • What if Wendy actually DID OD in the hospital from Gemma’s bible advice?

I expect some real doozies of ideas of what that does to our story!


These questions will be shared on social media. You can follow @belatedbinge across TikTok IG Facebook and Twitter. There’s also an exclusive Facebook group for listeners of the podcast. 


The best responses will be included in a future episode of the podcast!


If you enjoyed this first episode of rebinging sons of Anarchy. Give me a follow and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or whatever you’re listening on. I’d also welcome you to check out my other binges of the office and the Harry Potter books. They’re all right here on this feed!


Visit Belated Binge dot com to find links to social and patreon or leave a voicemail with your own thoughts. 


Thank you so much for listening and remember. Life is short, buy the motorcycle and when you do, where a helmet. Dress for the slide, not the ride and make sure you’re taking Belated Binge along for the ride!