You know that overused quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald that there are no second acts in American lives? Well, add Kurt Sutter to the list of those who’ve proved The Great Gatsby author wrong. With the debut of The Bastard Executioner on FX on September 15 at 10 PM, the Sons Of Anarchy creator has, as my video review above says, crafted a strong show that cuts sharp and deep. Honestly, it is something you don’t want to miss.
Set in the Wales of the 14th century with English barons ruthlessly trying to rule with harsh taxes and harsh punishments, TBX covers a lot of familiar Sutter territory with themes of loyalty, loss, brotherhood, betrayal and vengeance. Similar to SOA, it is a tale of redemption in many ways but the road it travels and the manner in which it gets there is different from Sutter’s last FX offering – and I say that as fan of SOA, which ended its final season late last year.
In its complex tale of Wilkin Brattle, played so well by Lee Jones, the ethos of Bastard reminds me a lot of the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy — with its heroic nuance and almost overwhelming sense of sadness. Forced to take on the identity and death-bringing profession of another, Brattle is a man at battle with himself in the court of his most hated enemies. That battle takes place against the often bloody backdrop of the nasty and brutish world, to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, he lives in – a world, at least from the episodes that I’ve seen, Sutter has fully formed.
With a strong supporting cast, including Sutter himself and Katey Sagal in the pivotal role of Annora of the Alders, a mystical healer that guides Brattle, Bastard also sees the return of Stephen Moyer to cable. The True Blood alum is excellent as devious court advisor Milus Corbett, a man with grand ambitions and many secrets.
Check out my video review of The Bastard Executioner and tell us what you think. Will you be watching the two-hour premiere directed by Paris Barclay on September 15?
Editors Note: This review originally ran September 4.