Mayans MC is a crime drama series created by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) and Elgin James (Lowriders) which premiered on September 4, 2018, on FX. If the name of this motorcycle club sounds familiar, then you might remember that they were the rivals-turned-allies of the Sons of Anarchy MC. This series takes place four years after the Sons of Anarchy finale and is set in the fictional California/Mexico border town of Santo Padre.
The first season of the show was well received with high ratings, reaching those of Sutter’s previous biker drama. In October 2018, only after a few episodes had aired, FX announced that it had renewed the series for a second season, which will be released sometime in 2019.
The following recap of Mayans MC’s first season contains spoilers!
The series follows Mayans MC prospect Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo), as he navigates his way through a different world, one he never thought he would be a part of. With dreams of graduating from Stanford University dashed after a bad choice lands him in prison, EZ follows his brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas) into the motorcycle club world. But there is a reason he is out of jail early and prospecting: he has agreed to be an informant for the FBI. EZ has been tasked to gather intel to help the FBI take down the Galindo Cartel. And the only person who knows about EZ’s task is his father, Felipe (Edward James Olmos).
Throughout the ten episodes of the first season, each character goes through his or her own transformations and realizations. It is a wild ride from the first to last episode with many surprises and bloodshed along the way.
One of the many surprises that await EZ is his former high school sweetheart, Emily (Sarah Bolger), who he runs into early on in the season. Emily is now married and has a son with Miguel (Danny Pino), who is the head of the Galindo Cartel. EZ realizes that she is not the same person he once knew.
The Reyes family has its fair share of secrets as well. Eight years ago, their mother was killed in the family’s butcher shop. EZ (who has a photographic memory) only saw the car leaving the scene. Knowing something was not right, he ran in finding his mother’s body. That discovery began his quest to find who killed his mom, which ultimately landed him in prison. He chased and shot at someone, but he unintentionally killed a police officer.
EZ’s brother Angel is a full-patched member of the Mayans MC and is his brother’s sponsor. But there is more to his story. He and some of his club brothers are working against the Mayans MC by working to take down the cartel, with the help of the rebels. This decision could get him killed if the club ever found out.
EZ’s FBI handler, Kevin (Maurice Compte), is another family connection: he is also EZ’s second cousin. Ultimately, his job gets him killed… by Angel.
Even the boys’ father is hiding a secret life. Felipe was once a mercenary for the cartel under another name. But these types of secrets do not stay secret for long.
The club as a whole is not in the best situation either. Besides Angel’s side business that has some club members thinking there is a rat within the club, the president Bishop (Michael Irby) is taking some heat from the cartel about missing drug shipments and finding the rebels.
Coco (Richard Cabral) has fatherhood thrown in his face when his mother Celia (Ada Luz Pla) tells Leticia (Emily Tosta) that he is her father. Leticia has thought that she was his little sister, so this is a big shock to her. She is also a very troubled young woman. Her lies send Coco to confront his mother, which results in him killing her. All one big happy dysfunctional family.
Behind the scenes, manipulating things to suit their cause are the rebels. They have real-world political relevance. Their actions are based and motivated on taking down the Galindo Cartel who bring violence, crime, and drugs to their communities by terrorizing and oppressing others. The rebels are led by Adelita (Carla Baratta) who, as a young girl, witnessed her family being killed by the cartel. At the end of the season, she got revenge for her family and is now working with Miguel and the cartel to help the people. But is that all she has planned?
In interviews before the series started, Sutter mentioned that the Mayans and Sons would intersect. The first shocking appearance was that of one Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal) during a memory of EZ’s when he was in the visitation room with Emily.
Around the scrap yard working in the office is none other than the loveable Chucky (Michael Ornstein), who Coco won in a card game apparently. When Bishop tells the club El Padrino (the godfather) was coming to visit and his boots hit the ground, it was obvious that it was Alvarez (Emilio Rivera). It was comforting to see a familiar character have a strong presence with the club.
In the final episode, Alvarez made a decision to hang up his kutte and go work for Miguel Galindo and the cartel. He tried to cause problems and take down the Sons of Anarchy MC and now he is in Santo Padre doing the same to the Reyes brothers. Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) may have survived but for how long?
The final two Sons appearances are Quinn (Rusty Coones) and Happy (David Labrava), who may have a significant connection to EZ and his family. The hooded person EZ was chasing when he shot the police officer turns out to be Happy! Was he the one who killed his mother?
Here are what some fans of the show had to say about the Mayans MC first season:
“It was very good. There were a lot of expectations because of Sons, and I think Kurt met those expectations. His characters have so much depth, the actors playing them are perfect, you can’t help but connect with them all. I was very happy with the first season, the only thing I didn’t like is that it was only 10 episodes. I did not want it to end. I really can’t wait for the second season.”
“From the first note of theme song to when Alvarez hangs up his coat was amazing. Great writing. Two memorable moments was both Coco’s speech and Angel talking with Felipe about EZ… Beyond the show itself, the family bond seen with the cast members adds to the specialty of The Mayans M.C. Even more impressive is the true-life stories behind the cast, Richard Cabral and Joseph Raymond Lucero.”
“Excellent…Sutter worked out the kinks on Sons and he is nailing it on every level with the Mayans! Production design, writing, music, acting……..simply the best.”
“I was very impressed at the way Kurt [Sutter] and Elgin [James] showed us a different aspect of another motorcycle club. Mr. Sutter works magic on everything that he puts out for the fans. It was exciting, and the violence was pertinent to telling the story. I was never bored.”
See you next season, prospects!
What did you think of the first season? Let us know in the comments below!