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. As we mentioned last week, the naming theme for this year’s episodes refer to mythic figures in the Popol Vuh, a text recounting the mythology and history of the Mayans. Last week’s episode, “Xbalanque,” referred to one of the one of the Maya Hero Twins along with Hunahpu. This week’s episode, ‘Xaman-Ek,” refers to the guide of the merchants. His symbol is also the North Star, so he’s the Mayan god one calls upon for guidance and direction. For whatever reason, Xaman-Ek directed EZ and Angel to Stockton this week with a stop at an arcade and a mini golf course along the way. I like the way Xaman-Ek thinks.
2. Let’s return to one of last week’s big questions: Is Adelita pregnant with Angel’s baby? At this point, it certainly seems like Angel believes it’s his baby, and Adelita wants Angel to believe it’s his baby, but is there another reason she doesn’t want Angel to tell anyone? Is it because it’s actually Miguel’s baby? Again, Sarah Bolger — who plays Emily — introduced some doubt last week, insinuating that the baby might be Miguel’s, or at least Emily believes so.
3. EZ tells Felipe that he’s finished Native Son by Richard Wright, which holds some thematic parallels to Mayans M.C. The protagonist in the book — like EZ, Angel, and really all of the members of the Mayans M.C. — turns to crime because there’s no other opportunities for him in a racially oppressed system. I suspect that’s why most of the Mayans are in a motorcycle club — there’s just not a lot of better opportunities for them. EZ, however, says he prefers Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin, which is basically a novel about how the church represses African-Americans.
4. This won’t matter in this episode, but plant it in the back of your mind for future episodes: Emily’s estranged mother is in town, and her name is Diana. I’m sure we’ll be seeing her very soon.
In the meantime, Emily is working with Galindo to build an agri-park, though she’s now in a competitive bid situation. Also, Kurt Sutter takes another dig at Trump’s wall.
The mayor also makes reference to “the fire,” which is presumably the fire that gave Dita the burns on her back.
5. The subplot in which the kid, Mini, runs away seems to exist for only one reason: To remind viewers that there are mercenaries working for Potter trying to hunt down both Mini and Adelita, and after this episode, they have reason to suspect that the Mayans are not on the up-and-up with Potter.
6. This, folks, is what you call a meta joke about posers watching Sons of Anarchy and starting their own clubs, and it’s a good meta joke, at that.
7. So, let’s talk about the big question raised by this episode: What’s the deal with Dita and Felipe? There’s a lot of speculation suggesting that Dita and Felipe were lovers back in the day in Mexico, and that maybe Christobal is actually Angel. That might be true. It also might be true that Angel is the son of Papa Galindo and Felipe’s wife, Marisol. In either case, it might explain why Felipe seems to favor EZ over Angel, because 1) either Angel’s not his kid because he’s Papa Galindo’s with Marisol, or 2) he was sleeping with Dita, but he doesn’t know if Angel is his kid or Papa Galindo’s kid.
However, neither scenario really explains why Felipe would be asking Dita, “Did you ever find out?”
8. Finally, EZ said that Happy has a place outside of Charming, and if he and Angel decide to pay a visit, we might see some more Sons of Anarchy characters. However, I’m not so sure that EZ’s beef is ultimately with Happy. It may actually be with whomever it was that contracted Happy to kill Marisol and/or Felipe. And who could that have been? Maybe Papa Galindo. The episode seems to take pains to establish some sort of timeline, reminding us that Marisol died nine years ago. Meanwhile, Dita says that Miguel has been living in Santo Pedro for about ten years, and that she decided to move two years ago. Sometime between two years and ten years ago, however, Papa Galindo died, which very much means he could have been alive when Happy killed Marisol. Why would Papa Galindo want to kill Marisol and/or Felipe? Maybe that’s when he found out that Dita and Felipe were sleeping together?
9. Meanwhile, at the end of this week’s episode, two cops inexplicably murder Medina, who walked into the woods and caught a woman giving one of the Stockton cops a blow job. Why would that prompt the cop to shoot Medina? I’m not sure, but it appears that the ramifications of that will take place next week.