Welcome to our weekly breakdown of the minutia of Kurt Sutter and Elgin James’ Sons of Anarchy spin-off, Mayans M.C.. While Kimberly Ricci provides her always excellent coverage of the series (here’s her write-up of the the latest 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. The title of this week’s episode, Itzam-Ye, refers to the upper god and creator deity thought to reside in the sky, according to Mayan mythology. I am pretty much of the mind at this point that Kurt Sutter just randomly chose Mayan deities and randomly assigned them to episodes. I don’t think I’ve seen anything in any episode that definitively links the substance of the episode to the title.
2. Let’s start at the end with the big “revelation,” which wasn’t really a revelation to viewers who have been watching all season and probably shouldn’t have been to Felipe, EZ, and Angel. EZ — who didn’t know what Dita looked like — had a flashback using that super memory of his to a time years ago at the fair with his parents, when he remembered seeing Dita spying on his mom and dad. From that memory, EZ extrapolated that it was Dita who put the hit out on his mom.
It’s the correct assumption, but EZ, Felipe, and Angel probably could have come to that conclusion much earlier based on the evidence in right front of them, namely that Dita signed the checks for the hitman, Happy. Jose Galindo, of course, would have had a motive if he’d found out that Dita was having an affair with Felipe, but I don’t understand why anyone thought Miguel could have been behind the murder. He didn’t really have a motive, and if he had been behind the hit, he probably wouldn’t have been as clueless about what Emily and Dita were up to with EZ. He’d have pieced it all together.
3. Dita, I think, knows that they were about to figure out that she was behind the hit. She probably understood that when she brought Emily together with EZ that she was basically signing her own death warrant. I think that’s what she wanted. She wants to pay for that sin, and she feels that that’s why she didn’t die in the fire.
4. The knowledge that Dita put the hit out also sort of gives the leverage that Emily has over Potter an interesting dynamic. She offers it to EZ in exchange for not killing her husband. However, EZ knows that Miguel didn’t put out the hit. So, does he still take the intel to save Felipe? Probably. What Emily doesn’t know, however, is that she won’t get anything in exchange for it except a dead mother in law. (Given their strained relationship, Emily might see that as a fair trade).
5. Meanwhile, the Potter/Adelita storyline sort of fell off the page these last few episodes. They put that storyline on ice and, in the meantime, it’s lost its immediate relevance. Adelita is still pregnant with EZ’s baby and is being held hostage by Potter, which Angel has barely mentioned. Now that Miguel is turning his interest back to Emily and his stateside activities, he seems less engaged in the Adelita storyline, as well.
6. The VM storyline, meanwhile, was great, because it felt like old-school Sons of Anarchy. After Coco and Riz were shot, the Mayans had a big decision to make: Retaliation? Or stand down and make millions of dollars running guns for the Irish? SAMCRO cleared the way for the Mayans to retaliate, but in doing so, they’d lose the gun deal, so Bishop made the tough decision to stand down for the greater (financial) good of the club.
That changed when Taza cut off the air supply to Riz while he was in a coma, recuperating in the hospital (his prognosis was apparently “good.”) With his death, Bishop changed his mind and decided to go to war.
7. Taza knew that’s how it would go down, which is why he murdered his friend. It was a very Clay Morrow thing to do, except that Clay probably would have killed Riz to keep the Irish deal. Taza killed one of their own in order to provoke a war. There are two interesting wrinkles here, however. First off, during the vote, Taza actually voted to stand down. Why? If he’d wanted a war, he could’ve voted for it and got it over Bishop’s objections. Second, Taza is former VM. This obviously has to be significant. Did Taza murder Riz because of some sort of residual allegiance to VM?
8. We can make a few assumptions about the season finale based on the promo. The Mayans go to war with Vantos. Potter is furious after EZ gives him the leverage. EZ keeps Miguel out of the Dita drama. Someone is buried (probably Dita), Adelita has her baby, and Felipe gets angry with his sons. Should be a great end to the season.
9. Hopefully, it is not the end of the series. FX hasn’t renewed it for season three yet, although ratings are good for the series (it’s the third highest rated show on basic cable right now behind The Walking Dead and American Horror Story). The firing of Kurt Sutter and the fallout from that, however, might throw a wrinkle into season 3 plans.