Warning: Plentiful spoilers for this week’s Mayans M.C. shall be found below.
Even though Mayans M.C. hasn’t even hit its first mid-season point yet, each episode is stuffed so full of things that it’s downright intricate. Look away for a few moments, and you’ll miss something significant, and Kurt Sutter and friends have already showed a fondness for dropping hints and letting them simmer before a big reveal. In episode 4, “Murciélago/Zotz” (which is Spanish/Mayan for “bat,” one of those Easter Egg-type references that Dustin Rowles may discuss at greater length later this week while expertly overthinking this series), we’re now getting more followup on the shady family situation involving Coco’s mom that made him uneasy. And although the club spends much of this episode dealing with a new threat, familial issues are stealing the spotlight. That is to say, a female character steps forth to take a leadership role in the cartel’s maneuverings, and the heat on EZ grows uglier for his family.
Sutter and Santa Sierra wrote this episode that swiftly sets the stage for EZ’s discomfort with Oakland charter President Marcus Alvarez suggesting that he suspects Angel’s betrayal to Bishop’s Santo Padre Mayans chapter:
“You and your brother, that working out? Up north, we don’t let blood sponsor blood. Loyalty could get messy. A word of advice … If a situation should present itself that causes, you know, confusion? … You bring it to me and Bishop. We’ll help you out. Put the club first, I want to see a full patch on your back.”
In addition to that awkwardness, EZ, who is also betraying the club as a prospect, is feeling great pressure from the Feds who tell him (and later, EZ’s dad, Felipe) that he must turn Emily against her husband’s Galindo cartel or lose his deal. Elsewhere and while Adelita’s rebels continue to lay ground (while caring for Emily and Miguel’s kidnapped son, Cristobal), Emily begins to come into her own as a driving feminine force. Or so she believes, but sh*t gets far too real by episode’s end, and Emily realizes that she doesn’t have any true control at all (yet) over her family’s situation.
Early on in this episode, Emily had a difficult conversation with her mother-in-law, Dita, who tried to encourage her to stay willfully blind to the cartel’s dealings because getting involved means that “you have to feel nothing,” and “because a child needs one parent who’s capable of love.” Yet Emily knows damn well that doing nothing means that her kidnapped baby won’t survive, so she takes action, which (perhaps in the manner that Kurt Sutter recently alluded to while speaking with UPROXX) evokes the early energy of Sons of Anarchy‘s Gemma before she was fully ingrained in SAMCRO’s ways.
Emily hatches a plan that she presents to Miguel, his consigliere, and the braided mercenary. She’s done her research, and Emily urges her husband to study how the rebels infiltrated Santo Padre from within. She argues that they’ve positioned themselves as saviors to gain trust and recruit, which she assesses as “the perfect mix of primitive and high-tech warfare,” like the Talaban and ISIS. Her husband is impressed by his wife’s initiative, despite the skeptical consigliere, who tries to wave her away with a “Well, we really appreciate all this hard work…” Emily stands her ground:
“Don’t f*cking patronize me, Debante … A cartel’s most useful tool is power and fear … that’s what keeps you in control. And yet every time you use that on the rebels, they turn that against you, securing themselves as saviors and strengthening their message — kill the devil, save Mexico.”
She persuades Miguel and friends to turn the rebels “into the devil” at the upcoming Fiesta de Santa Madre while positioning the cartel as savior. He agrees, but he’s privately outraged after discovering that the nun who gave his baby medical treatment (at the behest of the rebels) is a local Dominican who belongs to the diocese sponsored by the Galindo cartel. Good god, this is messy business, which gets messier at the end of the episode when Emily charges into a church at the festival, where the framing of the rebels has turned into a bloody affair. There, she sees a murdered nun (who may or may not be the same aforementioned Dominican nun) and graffiti all over the walls. Emily then gets trampled amid the ruckus while Marcus panics. Not good!
We also learn a lot more about Coco’s disaster of a private life. His mom, who appeared to be a prostitute, presents his supposed little sister, Leticia (who did porn while telling everyone that she was Coco’s little sister), for a “family” meeting at a diner. Before all is said and done, the girl learns that Coco is actually her father, so no wonder Coco was upset about the porn gig. While Leticia flees the scene, Sons‘ Chucky “The Chronic Masturbator” Marstein watches the drama while harshly judging: “Coco, coco, coco … loco loco loco.”
EZ and Angel’s dad, Felipe, also finds that nothing good is afoot when a DEA agent threatens him over EZ’s lack of contact. Felipe refuses to pressure his own son, and then the fed throws down some fateful paperwork, which reveals that Felipe Reyes isn’t a real person. That is, EZ’s dad has a false persona (and social security number) that he adopted in 1985, and the fed threatens to reach out to a prosecutor (“I’ll tear your family apart”) unless EZ turns Emily as requested. Bizarrely, the agent is then seen driving away, pulling over, and puking. And it looks like there’s a long road ahead for Felipe.
One of the arcs that probably should have been more compelling involved the Mayans visiting a ranch with a Dixie flag while inquiring about a dead Mexican found in the desert. It’s apparent that members of this white-power group are responsible for the murder, and there’s some drug running involved, given that Oxycontin packets were found near the body. This leads to a flashback when EZ remembers one of the members from a prison gang, a recognition that prompts a fight between the Mayans and the ranch folk. When the Mayans later investigate the property at night, they find several members dead in the main house’s living room. As usual, EZ takes on prospect duties for cleaning up the bodies, and he ends up falling into a “serious f*cking” underground tunnel. And that provides plenty of intrigue to tide the audience over until next week…
Mayans M.C. airs on Tuesday nights at 10pm EST on FX.