Welcome to our weekly breakdown of the minutia of Kurt Sutter and Elgin James’ Sons of Anarchy spin-off, Mayans MC. While Kimberly Ricci provides her always excellent coverage of the series (here’s her write-up of the debut episode), here we’re going to endeavor to look deeper into the episode and excavate some of the details viewers may have missed, callbacks to Sons of Anarchy, and posit questions explore theories about the direction the series.
1. Let’s start with the title of the episode, which is ‘Escorpion/Dzec,” which is the Spanish and the Mayan word for “scorpion.” I’d expected to see a character with a scorpion tattoo, but I never did, so we’ll have to settle with the more literal scorpion, which opened the episode and hit its mark, crawling expertly over that pistol.
These animals seem to act as our animal guides in each episode, though the scorpion in this week’s was also harassed by three barking dogs (and dog was the animal guide in last week’s episode).
2. When Emily was screaming “STOOOOOOOOP,” at the member of Los Olvidados driving away with her baby, It was impossible for SoA fans not to recall a similar moment from Jax after his baby was stolen at the end of season 2. At least we don’t have to worry about the involvement of the Irish.
3. It is also worth noting that the opening theme song is called “Nunca,” which means “never,” as in “never forget,” and it is performed by David Hidalgo, of Los Lobos fame, and Los Refugios Tiernos. Interestingly, both times I’ve heard the theme song, I initially thought it was being performed by Elvis Costello. While it is not, Hidalgo runs in similar circles, having provided backing vocals on Costello’s King of America and on T. Bone Burnett’s self-titled 1986 album.
4. The actress who played the dog shelter owner is Nomi Ruiz, who is a big deal. Not only did she form the group Jessica 6, but in 2012, she became the first trans woman to perform on national television in Greece with a male counterpart, Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas.
5. After the show, one of the big Google searches related to this week’s episod of Mayans M.C., was actually Noel Gugliemi, who played the drug dealer from the Dogwood crew.
Clearly, a lot of viewers recognized him, but weren’t sure from where they remembered him. It might be Training Day, but most likely, it was from two Fast and Furious movies, where he played Hector (in fact, he’s listed as “Hector” in six different projects on his IMDB profile, so clearly casting directors think he looks like a Hector).
6. There was one very great Sons of Anarchy cameo this week in our old chronic masturbating pal Chucky Marstein (Michael Ornstein), who fittingly is seen checking out a porn site with Coco’s possible little sister (recall that Chucky’s masturbation habit is the reason why he had all but his index fingers cut off). He apparently quit working for SAMCRO at some point and moved 300 miles away to work for the Mayans (and is expected to continue appearing periodically on Mayans MC).
7. There’s some question about who is under the blanket and being put into the ambulance in the flashback at the end of the episode, and the two most popular theories are that it’s EZ’s dead mother — who he and his father are still greiving over — or potentially the dirty cop that EZ apparently killed, which led to his prison sentence.
Look closer, however, and the longer hair seen briefly before the blanket is pulled over, and the grieving look on EZ’s father’s face strongly suggests that it was probably EZ’s mother, who may have been a victim of the very cartel violence that EZ is now fighting against with the Feds.
8. We see Coco Cruz deny that it was his little sister involved in the porn business, but at the end of the episode, we also see him asking his mom — a sex worker — to get into the car so they can talk. Most speculate that it is his little sister involved with porn, but I’m not so sure. I suspect it may be his daughter — we don’t know how old Coco is, but the actor who plays him (Richard Cabral) is 34, and that is not too young to have a teenage daughter, especially given the fact that Coco’s mom doesn’t look like she’s more than 15-18 years older than he is.
9. Finally, the most popular theory circulating this week is that EZ is somehow the father of Emily’s child, which I suppose is possible, but nevertheless improbable. The baby is an infant — say six months old — which means the baby must have been conceived around 15 months before, and it doesn’t seem likely that EZ has been out of prison that long. If he has been out that long, he and Emily (who is married to an incredibly dangerous man and has an entourage with her at all times) must have hooked up as soon as he was released. That’s unlikely, but this is a Kurt Sutter series, so it’s never safe to discount low-odd probabilities. EZ, after all, seems very invested in the welfare of that child.