Welcome to our weekly chronicling of Mayans M.C. episodic moments that live up to the mindset of the series’ former co-showrunner, Kurt Sutter, whose Sons of Anarchy included some depraved gems over the course of seven seasons. As of last week, Elgin James has now fully grasped the showrunning reins after FX fired Sutter, so we’ll have to see how that plays out. 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 club goes from here, particularly with this season’s episodes being named after prominent folklore figures from the Mayan culture.
This week’s Mayans M.C., although traumatic (and J.D. Pardo, who portrays EZ, gave us a therapy session after a screening), was a fantastic one, but I’m really with Dustin on this point: the episode titles are starting to feel random and not profoundly tied to what’s happening at all. In this case, “Kukulkan” refers to a serpent-god, and take that as you will. Who’s the snake? It’s no longer EZ, but perhaps it’s Emily? Dita? Miguel? Potter? It could be anyone, possibly everyone, or maybe it refers to the Mexican club — Vatos Malditos (which loosely translates to “Damn, Dudes”) — that’s incensed over the Mayans busting them for human trafficking last week and taking out several of their men. I really think the writers are messing with us because “serpent” is too quintuple-obvious.
What we do know is that the episode ends with Vatos Malditos having forged a deal that secures a price for their fallen members, but then they decide that the deal should be paid by blood instead. Before that happens, lots of biker drama goes down, but for Sons fans — and let’s get real, all Mayans viewers also love Sons — the telltale crows flying above lead to the arrival of a visit from the Reaper, i.e., SAMCRO, in a sight even more welcome than previous Happy-centered moments. Look here, it’s Tommy Flanagan as Chibs, the who’s here to broker peace in his newish role as Charming chapter president and rant about how this whole situation makes the Scottish look very sensible.
Man, the Vatos Malditos are more than bitter. They won’t accept that human trafficking is bad, and they’re demanding a higher cut on the Mayans’ drug-running efforts for the Galindo cartel. There’s also the whole question of whether the Mayans are doing something comparatively bad, and really, that’s up for viewers to decide. Chibs seems to agree that the Mayans shouldn’t be running drugs, even though the Sons weren’t exactly clean on that note as their series progressed.
Despite Chibs’ assurance to the Mayans that the new deal (involving gun-running) is a solid one, it only lasts until sundown before all hell breaks loose. Vatos Malditos sets a few bikes on fire, there’s a shootout, and chaos fully breaks out. There are casualties.
Riz takes several gunshots to the chest. He’s down, possibly for good.
Coco is severely burned, probably blinded, at least in one eye. The club has lost its sniper?
It’s not looking good for either member, which is devastating, given that this season’s writing fleshed out both characters in a substantial way. The audience is invested now, fairly quickly into the series, so all of this world-building hasn’t gone to waste, but now we might be saying goodbye to at least one of these members.
Before all of this mayhem, confrontation abounded. Emily and EZ fought over his wild speculation (although, let’s face it, this might be true) that his father, Felipe Reyes (previously known as Ignatio Cortina) did something to piss off Miguel’s father, which in turn led to Miguel deciding to take out EZ and Angel’s parents after Papa Galindo died. EZ even accuses Miguel of destroying his future and child with Emily before making her a cartel bride. Yeah, EZ’s getting slapped.
Elsewhere, Felipe’s dealing with Dita, who might actually want him dead at this point. She’s seriously unhinged but disturbingly self-possessed at the same time, and I’ve been warning y’all about Dita, right? She’s the wild card of the season, honestly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one who put a hit on the Reyes parents, since Felipe admits here that he broke Dita’s heart, back in the day. Dita ominously even tells Felipe, “We’re almost done.” He’s got no idea what she’s talking about, but after Dita smugly departs, he realizes that he’s fucked. Why does Felipe continue to keep their meetings a secret? I really think that Dita’s going to kill someone (or someones) soon.
Emily also provided some clues while visiting Felipe and letting him know that Dita had signed checks that matched the amounts used to hire Happy to take out Felipe and Mariso. As we now know, Happy half-botched the hit job, but he’s on solid ground with the Mayans after delivering Packer’s records to EZ and Angel. However, the Reyes brothers are also distracted by a U.S. attorney….
For the first time, Potter’s losing his mind (Ray McKinnon’s transition from controlled to volatile is scary-good) over his inability to figure out who’s double-crossing whom, and he’s attempting to blackmail the Reyes brothers for information on the Galindo cartel and the rebels. In other words, Potter’s pulling out the only possible threat left, which is to dangle the deportation of Felipe over the brothers. You know they won’t let this happen, and Angel’s losing his cool, but EZ tells him to settle down and wait before overreacting or admitting defeat. According to J.D. Pardo, EZ’s looking for a checkmate, and he might take that spot on the board, if crazy Dita doesn’t get there before everyone else.
‘Mayans M.C.’ airs Tuesday nights at 10 pm EST on FX.