|Season 4, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 6, 2011|
|Written by||Kurt Sutter|
|Directed by||Paris Barclay|
|Season 3||Season 5|
Jax, Clay and the other SAMCRO members are released from prison after 14 months for federal weapon charges and return to Charming where they encounter a new sheriff and an Assistant U.S. Attorney who set up a secret task force to nail the club for their dealings with a Russian gunrunner. Meanwhile, Opie and Lyla get married and Jax proposes to Tara.
SAMCRO coordinates a plan to wipe out the entire Putlova family, as revenge for Jax and taking over all the family's businesses and securing income for the MC.
Opie: “I vow to treat you as good as my leather and ride you as much as my Harley”
The Sons are released after spending 14 months in prison, but they're not prepared for the amount of change happening in Charming. Otto receives a gift in his food from CO Parce, in the shape of a razor blade which he uses to cut his wrists. This gets him out of solitary confinement and into the company of a Russian who attacked Jax while they were in prison. Otto stabs the Russian in the ear, exacting vengeance for Jax.
Gemma and Tara appear to have grown closer. Piney warns Tara not to dig up the past. History is history. Unser is out as chief of police and Charming PD is no more. The San Joaqin Sheriffs Department has sent a new man, lieutenant Eli Roosevelt, to take charge of law enforcement in Charming. He isn't as friendly to SAMCRO as Unser was, insisting that now that the club is on parole, they can't wear their riding leathers or have any gang-related attire. Clay insists that they're a club, not a gang, but the Lieutenant isn't listening.
Jacob Hale Jr. is now Mayor Hale and has big plans for Charming. He has allowed a new housing development (Charming Heights) to be built in town, which doesn't sit well with the Sons since it will put their gun-running trade in jeopardy. Clay enlists Unser's help in stopping Hale.
Lieutenant Roosevelt is contacted by Lincoln Potter, an Assistant US Attorney who has been trying to build a RICO case against SAMCRO. Roosevelt suspects that Potter only wants his help because he is the local police commander but Potter reassures him that he respects his background in gang crime. Potter introduces his team - FBI Agents Lane and Grad Nicholas and ATF Agent Vance Ice. Potter reveals that there is an FBI agent named Ronald Zwersky working undercover with the Viktor Putlova's Gulag of the Russian Mafia and that he expects to use him to gather evidence about both the Gulag and the MC's involvement in arms dealing.
Clay and Gemma discuss how many years Clay has left as leader of SAMCRO. Clay's arthritis is acting up and if he's in too much pain, he can't ride, which would make him useless. Gemma also expresses concerns about Unser, who since his ousting from his job, has taken to remaining in his trailer. His cancer has gotten worse, and he needs weed supplied by Gemma in order to ease his pain.
Jax and Tara spend time with their kids, and Jax gives Thomas Teller Jr. (their younger son) a ring to offer to his mom. Tara doesn't exactly say yes, but she doesn't scoff at the idea either. They both realize that if they want their kids raised right, they can't stay in Charming. Knowing about Clay's health issues, Jax says that Clay won't last much longer as SAMCRO leader. He'll wait until Clay steps down before leaving.
Opie and Lyla's wedding is held on a Native American reservation, which keeps out the cops. The Russians are also at the wedding, and they're there to do a little business as well, showing off their new AKs to the Sons. However, a Russian shived Jax while in prison, and SAMCRO needs vengeance.What results is a bloodbath. Otto takes the opportunity to slip out of his binds and kills the Russian that tried to kill Jax in Stockton State Prison by stabbing him in the ear with a knife. Bobby, Chibs, Juice, and Happy all travel out to the storage facility that the Russians own to check out the guns. They all load the weapons and quickly turn on the Russians. They open fire in a firing squad form and execute three of Putlova's men as well as undercover agent, Ronald Zwersky.
Back at the wedding, Clay, Jax, Tig, Kozik, and Viktor Putlova head out to the woods to check out the gun that Putlova gave Opie for a wedding present. Clay begins to test it by shooting it at a tree. He then turns and shoots one of Putlova's bodyguards. Tig shoots the other one and Kozik takes the opportunity to grab Putlova. Jax exacts his revenge on Putlova by stabbing him three times in the abdomen. Jax mimics Putlova's words earlier and states that this is just business. Putlova is dropped to the ground, dead.
Gemma discovers that a piece of paper Abel has been drawing on is a letter from Maureen, which means Tara must now know the truth behind John's death, and Gemma and Clay's roles in it.
- Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller
- Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller Morrow
- Mark Boone Junior as Bobby 'Elvis' Munson
- Dayton Callie as Wayne Unser
- Kim Coates as Alex 'Tig' Trager
- Tommy Flanagan as Filip 'Chibs' Telford
- Ryan Hurst as Harry 'Opie' Winston
- William Lucking as Piermont 'Piney' Winston
- Theo Rossi as Juan Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz
- Maggie Siff as Tara Knowles
- Ron Perlman as Clarence 'Clay' Morrow
Special guest stars
- Jeff Kober as Jacob Hale Jr.
- Emilio Rivera as Marcus Alvarez
- Michael Marisi Ornstein as Chuck Marstein
- Winter Ave Zoli as Lyla Winston
- David Rees Snell as Agent Grad Nicholas
- Keith Szarabajka as Viktor Putlova
- Randolph Mantooth as Charlie Horse
- David Labrava as Happy
- Frank Potter as Eric Miles
- Christopher Reed as Philip 'Filthy Phil' Russell
- James Carraway as Floyd
- LaMonica Garrett as Deputy Sheriff Cane
- Ramon De Ocampo as Deputy Sheriff Martinez
- Walter Wong as Chris 'V-Lin' Von Lin
- Niko Nicotera as George 'Ratboy' Skogstrom
- Lester Keefe as Agent Lane
- Kerris Lilla Dorsey as Ellie Winston
- Mason Charles as Kenny Winston
- Conroe Brooks as Parce
- Ian Stanley as Gen Pop Guard
- Roman Mitichyan as Ivo Alexei
- Kurt Sutter as Otto 'Big Otto' Delaney
- Damien Moreno as Mexican
- Tyler Silva as Abel Teller
- Fernanda Andrade as Elyda
- Unknown as Thomas Teller Jr.
- Unknown as ICE Agent Vance
- Unknown as FBI Agent Kessler
- Unknown as ATF Agent Woodrow
- Unknown as FBI Agent Ronald Zwersky
- Jax: "I'm an okay mechanic with a GED. The only thing I do well is outlaw."
- Jax: "Gemma? She's just an old lady."
- Unser: "I'm not sure which cancer is worse, the one in me or the one in Charming."
- Jax: "I'm not my father. I'm not weak."
- Jax: "The bond that holds this club together isn't blood or brotherhood... it's just fear and greed now."
- Jax: (on Thomas crying): "Sounds like someone else wants a shot at those puppies."
- Clay: "I don't know how many winters I got left."
- Clay: "Don't turn what Juice and I had into something cheap and tawdry!"
- Gemma: (on Chuckie) "I bought him fingers. Those freaky little nubs were freaking me out."
- Clay: "We're not a gang. We're a motorcycle club."
- David Rees Snell (Agent Grad Nicholas) played Detective Ronnie Gardocki in The Shield. Snell is the fourth alumni who worked on The Shield where Kurt Sutter served as an Executive Producer before creating Sons of Anarchy after Jay Karnes (Agent Josh Kohn/Dutch Wagenbach), Kenny Johnson (Herman Kozik/Curtis Lemansky) and David Marciano (Chicken Man/Steve Billings).
- The guitarist in the band at Opie and Lyla's wedding is Dave Kushner, guitarist for rock band Velvet Revolver and co-writer of "This Life", the theme to Sons of Anarchy.
- Joshua James - "Coal War"
- The Jim Jones Review - "Burning Your House Down"
- The Deadly Snakes - "Everybody Seems To Think (You've Got Some Kind of Hold on Me)"
- Devil's Brigade - "Darlene"
- Christian & the 2120's - "Evil Ways"
- Alison Mosshart & The Forest Rangers - "What a Wonderful World"