Mayans M.C.: Season One — a review

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I awaited the premiere of Mayans MC with anticipation because I was a huge fan of Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy. I also enjoyed his work on The Shield.

I looked forward to The Bastard Executioner for the same reasons, and it lasted only a season.

Since Mayans was a return to that outlaw motorcycle club world, I thought that it had a better chance of being a successful series. I remember hearing that the pilot for the show had to be reshot and partially recast, which can often be a clue that the production is troubled. I’m happy to say that such behind-the-scenes things don’t show up in the finished product. I enjoyed this first season.

Like everyone else, I suppose, I tried to draw parallels between this series and SOA. E.Z. Reyes is the Jax Teller. In some ways, Angel Reyes is the Clay Morrow. CoCo is Tig. And, so on. But, it’s not that easy. This is a different setting and a different cast of characters. There is no one-to-one correspondence with SAMCRO because they’re telling different stories. There are female leads on this show, but no one as brash and ballsy—at least overtly—as Gemma Teller.

This season was good at subverting my expectations. The first half of the season built up the fact that the Mayans were working with the Galindo Cartel and that E.Z. Reyes was a plant in his brother’s motorcycle gang to gain information on the cartel. At the same time, E.Z.’s brother Angel is working behind the club’s back with the rebels led by the woman known as Adelita. The rebels are trying to overthrow the Galindo Cartel for many reasons, but primarily because Adelita’s parents were killed by the cartel in front of her when she was a child.

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You following this so far?

To further complicate matters, the wife of Miguel Galindo, the current head of the cartel, is a former girlfriend of E.Z. Reyes. Also, Felipe Reyes, the father of EZ and Angel, is aware of EZ’s deal with the Feds, which is being handled by a distant Reyes cousin who is a Fed.

It seems like many series-long conflicts are being diagrammed during this short season, when most of them are made obsolete. By the end of the season, the rebels and the Galindos have formed an alliance, and the main villain of the series is Lincoln Potter, that idiosyncratic Fed you may remember from Sons. At the end of the season, we appear to be going in a different direction.

I’m not going to spoil the entire season for you. If you watched SOA or The Shield, you know to expect graphic violence and intense melodrama. Mayans MC offered all of that in spades, with an engaging cast and interesting story line.

I’m on board for the long ride. I look forward to Season Two.

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