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 previously 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 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 second-season premiere linked up with Sons mythology and callbacks to a greater degree than we’ve seen before. However, it’s notable that this installment in the Kurt Sutter universe has carried less humor than its predecessor. Sons, despite all its brutally violent and tragic moments, was a bitingly funny series at times. Much of that sourced from Tig’s antics, but even after porting some eccentric Sons characters over (Chucky and Potter), Mayans has only made room for brief glimmers of comedy. That makes sense, given that EZ and the club have been entrenched with more immediate danger and heavier issues out of the gate than Jax and SAMCRO experienced. Well, the sophomore season’s second episode makes up for some lost time, comedically.
It’s a good time for a not-too-serious episode. Right now, the big mystery of who killed EZ and Angel’s mom has been solved, and EZ’s mulling over revenge upon Happy, who damn well knows that he’s been identified as the murderer. The Reyes brothers reconciled after realizing that they need to figure this sh*t out together and possibly risk the Sons-Mayans alliance (even though Happy was Nomad when he made the hit). As is customary this season, the episode title, “Xaman-Ek,” represents a Mayan deity — the benevolent god represented by the North Star, who remains motionless in the sky to guide his people, not only literally (travelers) but also to those who seek a source of spiritual strength. That’s exactly what the brothers need, but first, they’re gonna stir some sh*t up while cutting loose in a number of ways. Let’s enjoy those moments in GIF form.
When the episode picks up, Angel marvels at how EZ lived with the whole Happy mess for eight months. EZ, of course, is motivated by payback but also because he desperately wants to belong to the club. Meanwhile, Angel seeks blood, and he gets that wish, not exactly how he’d like it, later. There’s plenty of other conflict to discuss with the episode, but what’s important upfront is to see the brothers ride together again.
They enjoy a glorious, childlike day, puttering around, playing ski ball, and complaining about Dad hiding some part of his past. EZ seems content to let Angel win everything.
That includes a mini-golf game with Angel shouting, “Boom, motherfuckerrrr! and “I am a golden god, fear me!”
Angel and EZ also take a leak together out in the wild (I’ll spare you that GIF), and Angel enjoys a popsicle (awww) during their rare downtime. It’s a touching set of moments, punctuated with territorial pissings from an annoying wannabe (Swole Boys) club, whose cuts point toward the Southside I.T. Inland Empire. Basically, these guys seem like the biker-beachy dudes, all blonde and pretty, and slamming “Cholo chops.” Angel pops off at them in correspondingly crude ways, although this is a great line: “You guys watch some bullshit TV show, and you think a vest and two wheels makes you a club.” The Sons universe is truly enjoying some self-deprecation.
Despite EZ’s attempts to reason with these guys on a cognitive level, all of this leads to a knock-down, drag-out fight with mini-golf clubs and a joyride-chase scene.
What follows is chaos with cop cars colliding, the Swole Boys vowing to revisit the fight, and those sketchy ex-Green Berets hanging around. At the end of the episode, (unrelated) blood is shed again, and a fallen Mayan leaves the brothers with literal blood on their hands, reminding them that the fun and games will come to an end.
Elsewhere in the episode, Emily starts to throw her cartel-wife weight down and demand favors from the local government, and we hear more about the fire that apparently burned Dita. That’s when the mayor takes a dig at all the money spent “on a fucking wall” but no aid for the border town of Santo Padre. So, there’s an intersection with U.S. politics, but not for long because Dita’s causing drama by seeking out Felipe and gazing at a photo that hints at their shared past and his “true” identity. Hmm. Miguel and Emily also aren’t pleased to see her catch a ride with EZ’s dad (and his dueling names).
Earlier in the episode, we also learn of Angel’s frustration at Adelita wanting to keep their relationship on the down-low. Our own Dustin Rowles has alluded to the messy prospects of Emily’s suspicion over Adelita’s refusal to name the father of her child. This could, of course, drive Emily back into EZ’s arms, but for now, Adelita scored one of the best one-liners of the hour. While discussing how she can always sense the danger in the outside world, she surveys how her current accommodations differ: “I need a blacklight to find the things that could kill me.”
That’s quite an accomplishment in an episode filled with Reyes-brothers shenanigans.
‘Mayans M.C.’ airs Tuesday nights at 10 pm EST on FX.