|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 3, 2008|
|Written by||Kurt Sutter|
|Directed by|| Allen Coulter|
| Previous|| Next|
When a rival club cleans out and then destroys their illegal arms warehouse, SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original) executes their own sense of justice in retrieving their guns. Meanwhile, family issues take center stage with a medical emergency involving Jax Teller's newborn son.
Gemma: "Teller's do not die easy." Jax: "No, we just die bloody."
Members of the Mayans, a Mexican-American motorcycle gang, break into a warehouse and begin stealing the hundreds of guns inside. The leader of the gang, Marcus Alvarez, tells one of his men to torch the place. Unknown to them, two women are hiding beneath the building. At a nearby convenience store, Jax, the Vice-President of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, purchases condoms and a pack of cigarettes. When he isn't looking, the salesgirl slips into his bag a children's book that he was looking at. He spots the book, but is distracted by the fire coming from the nearby warehouse.Members of the Sons of Anarchy MC then arrive at the warehouse, after driving past a road sign reading "Welcome to Charming". Charming, a small town in Northern California, is watched over by the outlaw motorcycle club calling themselves the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original Charter (aka SAMCRO or "Sam Crow"), who are also involved in gun running. Finding that the police are already there, Clay, the club President, speaks to Sheriff Vic Trammel about the blaze. He claims that propane tanks inside the building exploded, but suspects arson due to the bootprints around the area. He then shows SAMCRO the charred corpses in the basement, and Clay tells him to dispose of them. They were Mexican illegal immigrants being housed in the building by Tig, SAMCRO's Seargent-At-Arms, in exchange for sexual favours. After Jax gives him money in order to alert the fire department about the incident, Trammel asks what he's "supposed to tell the boys up in East Bay", referring to the One-Niners, a street gang who buy weapons from SAMCRO. Clay responds by telling him to set up a meeting.
At the Teller-Morrow Automotive, an auto shop owned and operated by SAMCRO, new member Half-Sack has joined the club as a Prospect. He explains how he got his nickname after losing a testicle while fighting in Iraq. Jax has recently moved into the Clubhouse after splitting up with his wife Wendy Case due to her methamphetamine addiction. She is also pregnant with their child. Gemma calls Jax for dinner, and tells him to bring Half-Sack. However, she then tells him not to when she discovers that Epps is a Vegan. Meanwhile, Wendy tears apart her home looking for a spoon, before preparing to inject a needle into her hand. But, being heavily pregnant, she then decides against it.
Clay meets with Laroy Wayne, the One-Niners leader, in the East Bay and tells him what happened to the guns and the warehouse. Laroy is upset as he needed the guns to protect a shipment of heroin. After an argument, Laroy gives Clay more time to get some more guns.
Jax begins looking through boxes of old belongings in his parents' garage, finding old photographs of his late father John Teller, who founded the club after returning from service in Vietnam. He also finds a journal entitled The Life and Death of Sam Crow: How the Sons of Anarchy Lost Their Way, written by him for his sons Jax and Tommy (who died in 1990). When he is called away to a club meeting, Jax hides the journal. At the clubhouse, all charter members have gathered in the "Chapel", the club's meeting room. Intelligence officer Juice has located the guns stolen from the warehouse, now being stored by the Mayans in San Leandro. Clay wants to find the guns, steal them back, and torch the place where they were found. However, Bobby, the club Secretary, cannot attend as he is performing an Elvis impersonation in Lake Tahoe that night.When Gemma goes to visit Wendy at her home, she finds her collapsed and unconscious on the floor. She takes her to the hospital and calls Jax, who then also shows up at the hospital. Dr. Tara Knowles, Jax's high school sweetheart, tells him that trackmarks were found on Wendy's hands and feet, and that an emergency C-section had to be performed on her, leaving the baby boy born ten weeks premature. Because of this, the baby has a heart defect and a tear in his abdomen. The latter is from Wendy's drug abuse, but the former problem is likely a genetic defect. Together, both defects are near-fatal, leaving him with just a 20% chance of survival. Jax decides not to visit his baby, named Abel Teller, and instead flees the hospital. He brings Bobby and Chibs with him to the Hairy Dog, a sleazy bar where he beats Wendy's dealer repeatedly with a pool cue. He later visits his best friend and lapsed club member Opie and convinces him to come along on the approaching raid on the Mayans' warehouse. Opie, an explosives expert, is uncertain, however, as he was recently released from a five-year prison sentence which he served for the club after being caught during a similar raid.
Back at the clubhouse, Jax suggests to the club that they look into other ways of earning money instead of dealing weapons, especially with so many rival groups on their back. Clay says they should first deal with regaining their weapons. Later, Clay tells Jax that he can't be "getting cold feet" about the club, especially with an expensive baby in the world. He tells him that he and Jax's father served time, lost brothers and spilled a lot of blood to get the club to where it is today.
Jax then visits Wendy in the hospital. She promises that she'll get clean, and says that the doctors told her Abel is getting stronger, but she herself is facing a charge of fetal abuse if the stash of drugs were found at her home. She asks him to get rid of the stash before she faces time in jail. When he arrives at her home, he finds his mother feverishly cleaning it. He tells Gemma that Abel will die, which angers her; she slaps him and tells him that he's the only one his son has got. She goes on to tell him about the strength of the Teller men, and Jax asks her about his father's original vision of the club. She responds that it was to create a brotherhood, a family. Jax tells her about the writings he found, and how his father wanted a social rebellion, not an outlaw club. Jax then encourages Gemma to finish cleaning tomorrow, and she leaves. He finds Wendy's drugs and a handgun in a drawer. He flushes the stash down the toilet and takes the gun.
That night, Gemma and Clay prepare for bed and talk about Jax's questioning of the gun running, and his idea for not rebuilding the gun factory. Gemma tells Clay to stop Jax's new found mode of thinking, and nail him down. She doesn't want "the ghost of John Teller" poisoning Jax and destroying everything they've built together.
The next day, the club members discuss the recent parole of Ernest Darby who leads the Nordics, a White supremacist gang of meth dealers. Clay, Jax and Bobby later meet up with Darby and one of his men, Whistler, at a diner. They warn him to keep his drug dealing out of Charming.
At the hospital, Tara recommends that Abel's heart surgery happen today, and asks to privately talk to Gemma. She asks her to talk to Wendy and let her know that she has somebody, but Gemma says she would only give her vitriol. Tara asks if she has a problem with her being involved with the case, to which Gemma replies that as long as she's a good doctor, she couldn't care less. The two argue, with Tara claiming she's a different person to how she was 10 years ago. Gemma lifts up the back of her shirt, briefly exposing a biker tattoo. Tara claims that she has kept it to remind her that her past is behind her. Gemma exits, calling her a bitch as she leaves.
That night, Jax goes to Opie's house to bring him along on the raid and finds that his wife Donna Winston is angered because Opie is again involved with the club. Jax tells Opie to stay with his family, and makes an excuse to Clay that one of his children had an accident that needed his attention.Meanwhile, when Bobby arrives in Tahoe with Half-Sack, he is informed by the owner of the club where he is performing that there has been a double booking and that he will have to make a booking for another time. The other act that night is also an Elvis impersonator but is Asian and there are a number of Korean tourists going to see him, which means that he is favored over Bobby. Half-Sack goes to the Asian's dressing room and beats him up so that he can't perform and Bobby can.
In San Leandro, Clay, Jax, Tig and Chibs have rode into town and they soon find the Mayans' stash of guns and heroin. However, after they break into the warehouse, a group of guards show up and Clay and Chibs shoot and kill the first few (wearing Mayans vests), leaving one that Clay forces Jax to kill. Jax is hesitant, implying that he truly is getting cold feet about the club. As he pauses Jax is shot from behind by another guard. Jax turns and kills the guard. With Jax distracted his target reaches for a gun and Clay kills the man. They recognise the man as Nords member Whistler; his presence means that the Mayans and Nords now have an alliance. The group then use explosives to blow up the stash, and the corpses in the process; Jax places a charge squarely in Whistlers ass. The club then ride back to Charming with the guns.
Tara performs successful surgery on Abel and Gemma visits Wendy, ridiculing her and telling her that the District Attorney is dropping any charges against her. Wendy says that she will get clean, now that she has her baby. Gemma threatens her, saying that if she tries to get custody of the child, she will kill her. Gemma then gives her a bible, recommending she turn to Jesus. She leaves, and Wendy opens the book, discovering a needle inside. Jax also returns to the hospital, and reunites and embraces with Tara. She notices the blood on his clothes, and tells him to clean himself up. Wendy has an overdose in her hospital bed, as the doctors desperately try and save her. Jax finally visits his son.
- Charlie Hunnam as Jackson 'Jax' Teller
- Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller Morrow
- Mark Boone Junior as Robert 'Bobby' Munson
- Kim Coates as Alex 'Tig' Trager
- Tommy Flanagan as Filip 'Chibs' Telford
- Johnny Lewis as Kip 'Half-Sack' Epps
- Maggie Siff as Tara Knowles
- Ron Perlman as Clarence 'Clay' Morrow
Special Guest Star
- Ryan Hurst as Harry 'Opie' Winston
- Theo Rossi as Juan Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz
- William Lucking as Piermont 'Piney' Winston
- Sprague Grayden as Donna Winston
- Dendrie Taylor as Luann Delaney
- Mitch Pileggi as Ernest Darby
- Glenn Plummer as Sheriff Vic Trammel
- Emilio Rivera as Marcus Alvarez
- Tory Kittles as Laroy Wayne
- David Labrava as Happy Lowman
- Nicholas Guest as John Teller (Voice)
- Michael Potter as Simon
- Stevie Long as Long John
- Jon Jon Briones as Asian Elvis
- Cameron Goodman as Louise Hoffman
- James Geralden as Male Back Up Singer
- Wandah Kay as Female Back Up Singer
- Dennis Keiffer as Izzy
- Thomas H. Adisi as Young Jackson Teller
- Patrick Clement as Poolhall Skinhead
- Johnny Drocco as Man at Bar
- Alan Mueting as Hospital Visitor
- Joda Pyle as Nurse
- Tony Sagastizado I as Mechanic
- Jeff Vican as Bar Room Brawler
- Unknown as Abel Teller
- Unknown as Whistler
- Whistler - Shot multiple times in the midsection by Jax Teller.
- Two unnamed women - Unknowingly burned alive by Marcus Alvarez and the Mayans.
- 3 unnamed Mayans - Shot by SAMCRO.
Jax: Some days you're the Beamer, some days you're the goddamn deer.
Chibs: Some yuppie creamed it out by the streams.
Jax: He run into it or hit a tree while it was giving him head?
Half-Sack: How the hell you want me to get it out of there? (Jax gets a chainsaw) Come on. Jesus, man.
Jax: Just pretend its carve your own steak night at the sizzler.
Half-Sack: I don't eat meat, man.
Jax: Figure it out, grunt.
Gemma: Looks like the boy might actually see his first birthday.
Wendy: He made it? Oh, Abel, thank God!
Gemma: Yes. Thank you, God. Maybe we should say a little prayer?
Wendy: Okay. That'd be good.
Gemma: Dear God, thank you for saving this boy... from his murderous junkie mom, who cared more about a $40 rush than she did her own flesh and blood.
Wendy: Don't you dare...
Gemma: Don't I dare? You pathetic whore. Guess the D.A. was impressed with your Bible studies. Here they're not gonna press charges.
Wendy: When I check out of here, I'm going to Promises.
Gemma: Let's just throw money at those 12-step freaks. How long's it gonna last this time? Six months? Three? Couple of weeks?
Wendy: It's gonna be different this time. This time I have my baby to live for.
Gemma: That's where you're wrong. You have no baby. You lost that privilege. (Grabs Wendy by the throat) You so much as cast a shadow on that kid, try to turn some legal screw and get custody, I will finish this job. He will never call you "mommy". (Releases Wendy, and throws a Bible on her table) I suggest you turn to Jesus. (Gemma exits) (Wendy opens the Bible, to find a needle filled with crank inside)
Gemma: You gotta go see him, Jax.
Jax: I can't.
Gemma: Why? He'll break your heart? It's called being a father.
Jax: For how long? A day? A week?
Gemma: You know, you were born with that same heart defect your little brother had. (She lightly punches his chest) Seems pretty sturdy to me. I've been through hell, landed on my feet. Your father was hit by a goddamn semi, dragged 178 yards. And that bastard lived for two more days. Teller's do not die easy.
Jax: No, we just die bloody.
- The show takes place in the town of Charming, which has a population of 14,679.
- One of the toys that Jax finds in the storage locker is the classic fighting robot game Rockem Sockem Robots.
- The production team designed every motorcycle to reflect the identity of the biker riding it. For example, violent Tig's bike is covered in skulls and spikes, and Scottish Chibs' bike features his homeland's flag emblazoned on the seat.
- Drea de Matteo is credited as Special Guest Star.
- There were several casting changes made during the filming of this episode
- Actor Scott Glenn was originally cast as Clay Morrow, before being replaced by Ron Perlman when the producers decided to make the series more of a dark comedy than a drama. Glenn's scenes in the pilot were then reshot.
- Emilio Rivera originally played a member of the Sons of Anarchy, but was recast as the Mayan President Marcus Alvarez.
- Both Glenn and Rivera can be seen running from the warehouse explosion.
- When Donna tells the children to go inside, she refers to them both as boys. But clearly, one of them is a girl. Opie and Donna have a son and a daughter.
- Despite the fact that Sons of Anarchy tries to stay as close as possible to traditional MC regulations and guidelines, there is one major slip in this episode. When Jax, Tig, Bobby and Clay are riding out to the warehouse site, from 3:13-3:34 Jax is leading the group, with the remaining three members changing position in each shot. Clay, as President, should have been leading, followed by the vice-president Jax, followed by the sergeant-at-arms Tig. This oversight is corrected in future episodes.
- The Black Keys - "Hard Row"
- Year Long Disaster - "Fool and You"
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Stop"
- Album Leaf - "Writings on the Wall"
- Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - "Plenty Strong, Plenty Wrong"
- Lions - "No Generation"
- Lions - "Machine"
- Fireball Ministry - "Kick Back"
- Sun Kil Moon - "Like the River"
- Gia Ciambottie - "Bobilicious"
- Campana de America - "Tus Ojitos"
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