Welcome to our weekly chronicling of Mayans M.C. episodic moments that live up to the depraved mindset of the series’ co-creator, Kurt Sutter, whose Sons of Anarchy previously included some seriously depraved gems over the course of seven seasons. Be on the lookout later this week for Dustin Rowles to deftly read too much into this episode while diving deep into callbacks and theories about where this newish club goes from here, particularly with this season’s episodes being named after prominent folklore figures from the Mayan culture.
Mayans M.C.‘s first season ended with a brutal cliffhanger that linked this fresh series more directly to Sons than any previous callback. The biggest mystery of the whole season — who killed EZ and Angel’s mom? — led straight to Happy Lowman, the torture-loving SAMCRO sergeant-at-arms with an ironic nickname, as a new Sons crossover character. The fallout of this revelation was bound to be enormous, and the Season 2 debut doesn’t disappoint, although it works out, well, kinda alright in the end for EZ? Despite the loss of his mother years ago, Happy’s involvement ends up doing the prospect a favor and might erase his beef with Angel. However, we still really don’t know why Happy did the deed. He was Nomad at the time of the murder, so he wasn’t tied to the Sons or any club. His actions, theoretically, shouldn’t lead to club-on-club retaliation, but that’s no guarantee that the Sons-Mayans alliance won’t collapse as a result.
The title of this episode, “Xbalanque,” refers to two hero brothers from Mayan mythology. Let’s browse through some badass moments in GIF form.
First and foremost, we should talk more about the Happy mess. He didn’t quite appear to register the consequences of his homicidal actions in the first season finale when EZ looked at him and went into flashback mode. Yet in this episode, Happy definitely — after talking with Chucky (and confirming that the Sons lost him/gave him away as the result of a bet) and shooting the shit about Jax and guns — realizes exactly what he’s done when he sees Felipe, widower and mother to EZ and Angel. After recognizing the eldest Reyes, Happy marvels aloud, “His sons are Mayans?” Oh boy.
Later in the episode, we see Happy dig through a chest of old memories, where he’s able to conveniently (and, honestly, too quickly) dig up what look like hit papers on Mrs. Reyes. This still doesn’t tell us why he’d be contracted to kill her, and it looks like Felipe may have been a target as well? We do know that Felipe once worked for the Galindo cartel, so maybe we’ll see more dots connect at some point. In the meantime, Happy had best watch his own back.
Backing up a bit from that, we watched EZ doing more prospect grunt work by driving a school bus for the club. We also learn during this scene that rebel leader Adelita is pregnant, obviously (from the look of exchanged and fond glances) with Angel’s baby. Given that the Mayans, through their service to the Galindo cartel, have forged an alliance with the rebels, this pregnancy seems run-of-the-mill, but one knows that this innocence cannot last. Perhaps that’s part of what showrunners Elgin James and Kurt Sutter were hinting at when EZ passive-aggressively used his finger to draw a happy face in a dirty window. (Or he’s simply thinking about Happy … which makes total sense … can it be that obvious? Yes.)
The life of a prospect isn’t easy, right? We’re getting more of a glimpse of how that hopeful position works with Mayans, unlike with Sons, where we occasionally got to see Half Sack perform a degrading task, but not in a drawn-out capacity. Yes, it’s cool to see a different and fresher perspective in this universe, but I’m ready for EZ to move into a new position as a fully patched member. That’s gotta happen soon, but he also needs to make Angel believe in him again. That won’t be easy since EZ’s betrayal (while being pressed by the feds) cut deep between brothers.
Someone who does have a new position, though, is Marcus Alvarez, a.k.a., El Padrino (“The Godfather”). After leading the Oakland Mayans chapter throughout Sons and seemingly being the national leader, the guy is now wearing a suit and riding around in an air-conditioned vehicle while working as Miguel Galindo’s new right-hand man and strategist. I’m fearful for his survival, given that Miguel co-signed the beheading of Devante last season.
Oh, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter’s still on the scene and skeeving everyone out. For whatever reason, he tells his new partner about how he once was a bed wetter. This poor woman doesn’t get paid enough money.
This season will see bloodshed and plenty of drama, and we see a hint of what’s to come with only seconds of runtime left in this episode, which dropped two big sign-offs.
(1) Dita, mother to Miguel and pain-in-the-butt to Emily, shockingly reveals (to the audience) burn injuries that she’s sustained as the wife/mother of a cartel family. Are these newish scars, or older? It’s difficult to tell, but they are really something.
(2) EZ confronts Angel while saying that he knows who killed their mother. Will this heal the rift between brothers, so they might unite against a common enemy? If so, we know that Bishop should at least be happy about seeing the end of Angel and EZ’s bickering cycle, and that will probably lead to EZ receiving a unanimous vote for his patch.
Kurt Sutter wrote this episode, which means that any sort of resolution probably isn’t a cut-and-dried matter. Then again, he’ll be stepping down as co-showrunner following season 2 (he’ll continue to produce while Elgin James serves as sole showrunner), so it’ll be enlightening to see exactly how much writing Sutter will be doing as this season progresses.
‘Mayans M.C.’ airs Tuesday nights at 10 pm EST on FX.