Welcome to our weekly chronicling of Mayans M.C. episodic moments that live up to the mindset of the series’ co-creator, Kurt Sutter, whose Sons of Anarchy included some 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 club goes from here, particularly with this season’s episodes being named after prominent folklore figures from the Mayan culture.
Mayans M.C.‘s second season has been an eclectic one, from SOA throwbacks to basic-boy bikers, and the trend of unpredictability continues. The club gets humanitarian this week, which is unexpected on a biker-drama show but heartwarming. There’s also the customary bad decisions at work, but first, let’s talk about the episode title, “Tohil,” which refers to a god of fire, rain, and the sun. These titles are becoming more esoteric as the show progresses, but perhaps the series means to suggest contradictions, since that’s what’s going on with Galindo (cartel) legitimization looming on the horizon.
Somehow, the show has almost forgotten the brutality of last episode with Alvarez being tortured and Nester getting his car flipped. Sure, we’re seeing the aftermath of Marlon shooting his own face off, but this episode’s a softer one overall, dealing with events that characters believe serve a higher purpose, including Emily’s agripark fixation and Bishop spurring the club to take on a human trafficking ring.
The bulk of the action follows a surprise: the newly returned Letty, who’s sheltering a friend, Gabby, who was separated from her family at the U.S.-Mexico border. A bunch of immigration scammers have been nabbing cash and caging families who hoped to make it safely and cohesively into the U.S., a Mexican M.C. is to blame, and they know that Letty’s dad is a Mayan. Coco takes the matter to Bishop, who shows that he’s no Clay Morrow and declares that the club won’t do anything until they bust this ring. Bishop gets a little emotional here (I’m enjoying his leadership style).
The warehouse raid doesn’t take too long, with EZ and the club easily making a dramatic, multi-family rescue amid flames.
And the real focus ends up being a shot of happy Mayans, who are basking in the fruits of their good deed.
Troublemaker Letty is indeed back on the show, so I look forward to future shenanigans from her, but she and Coco have a begrudgingly sweet moment. Then Gabby stares longingly — excessively so — as EZ walks away. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with his photographic memory leading him to recognize how her tattoo quotes a funeral poem from Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, including the “love opened a mortal wound in agony” line. Maybe it’s just a crush, but she’s got a pretty intense and unusual poem for a teenager to want tattooed on her body, so maybe there’s more to come.
So the club itself is doing some good, and that contrasts with the mess that EZ landed in with a dead government clerk on his hands. Fortunately, yeah, his hands were covered, but Marlon is definitely dead, and although the matter’s been ruled a suicide, the mayor’s having a tough time accepting this explanation. EZ’s now ignoring Emily’s calls for the most part, but can you blame him? Finally, they meet up, and Emily expresses gratitude that he helped her agripark obsession reach its goal, but she’s also shaken to realize that Marlon’s dead because she sent EZ to his home. Her own hands are metaphorically bloody now, despite what EZ attempts to argue, and she’s gonna get dirtier because EZ actually asks for a return favor.
Yup, Emily won’t be able to hide her actions — including digging into the Galindo cartel’s deadly beef with EZ’s parents — too easily from here on out because Miguel’s suspicious of his wife’s ease at dealing with the dead clerk. He’s got Nester tracing her 24/7, in fact. None of this sits too well with Miguel, and the whole Adelita matter is still unresolved, so one can expect nothing but more tension for his marriage to Emily.
Here’s the point in our discussion where I want to draw attention to Dustin Rowles’ fascinating, soap-opera analysis of the key relationships in the series:
If all of these relationships were to somehow progress to their natural conclusions and everyone got married, EZ would be the step-father to the child of his half-brother, Miguel, while Miguel would be the step-father to his other half brother, Angel. It also means that technically, EZ is Emily’s brother-in-law. It would also mean that if Emily and EZ got married, and Miguel and Adelita got married, Emily would be the aunt, by marriage, to Miguel’s step-child with Adelita. But then again, let’s not kid ourselves: At least one or two of these characters will be dead before all of this could transpire.
It’s a bit of an incestuous head-shaker, right? Dustin’s correct, though, in that someone important will probably die, pretty soon. Mayans has reached the point where viewers are feeling invested in its characters, and Potter’s losing his patience when it comes to being outwitted, so a grave casualty is bound to happen. I kinda feel like Felipe’s arc has almost run its course, and he’s faced death so many times (Happy, Adelita, and god only knows who else) that his luck might soon run out. Edward James Olmos has been largely used for exposition these past few seasons, to set the show-up, but now that the ride’s going smoothly, who knows how safe he is? I’ll be happy to be wrong, though.
‘Mayans M.C.’ airs Tuesday nights at 10 pm EST on FX.