FX’s Mayans M.C.
Season 1, Episode 7: “Cucaracha/K’uruch”
Directed by Rachel Goldberg
Written by Elgin James
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Gato/Mis” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Rata/Ch’o” – click here
This episode starts with a cockroach. If Father Gore had to guess, la cucaracha’s significance, thematically, comes from its toughness— they often say some of the only things to survive a nuclear apocalypse would be the cockroaches. They’re resilient. And they’re nasty. Or, maybe it’s because they’re an infestation.
EZ (JD Pardo) is taking care of some of his secret business under the club’s nose. At the same time, he and Angel (Clayton Cardenas) have to keep their business with the rebels under wraps, too. In the clubhouse, Bishop (Michael Irby), Taza (Raoul Max Trujillo), and Hank (Frankie Loyal Delgado) are chatting when Angel comes to see them, telling them about Gilly (Vincent Vargas) dropping into the old tunnel leading into an “active one.” Angel’s using this to try spinning heat off him and the boys. Either way, he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. He’s also got no idea about what his brother’s doing, either. And they’re off helping Adelita (Carla Baratta) when they’re able, making everything one big messy, chaotic soup.
In the border detention centre, Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino) finds things are far less glamorous than the cartel living outside, getting a spritz of piss on his face as a wake up. Meanwhile, the Reyes brothers transport Adelita across the border, dropping her at a location where she picks up a car to head out on her own.
Later, Angel fills Gilly, EZ, and Coco (Richard Cabral) in on the rebels planning something big. As usual they’ve got to get their talking done in short spurts, concealing everything from the rest of the club and conducting business as usual with the club. In the meantime, Chucky (Michael Ornstein) brings Leticia (Emily Tosta) to the yard for her dad, so he can introduce her to everybody finally. This hopefully takes more heat off the boys, once Bishop sees Coco wasn’t meeting Adelita or any rebels recently. Things aren’t so hot with the family, though, as Coco’s mom takes her granddaughter back in, only to try putting her out on the street doing sex work to chip in on rent. All this forces Leticia into self-harm mode, beating her face off the bathroom sink.
At home, Felipe (Edward James Olmos) finds Adelita with his wife’s ashes, sitting at the kitchen table. She calls him “Ignacio” – his real name – and that she “also loves with ghosts” like him. She’s got a gun in hand, asking him to sit. She shows him the photograph of him and his old military buddy Pedro— her father, who wound up slaughtered by the cartel. Seems a “random act of fate” didn’t bring Angel and Adelita together. This is when Felipe discovers his sons being connected to the rebels. Adelita believes Felipe’s the reason her father was murdered. He shows her the literal entire picture she had, where the bottom was ripped, revealing Felipe and Pedro with three decapitated heads at their feet: “We sold our soul to the cartel.” The old man says Bishop Rodrigo was the one who likely gave up Pedro.
DEA Agent Kevin Jimenez (Maurice Compte) is brought in to see his boss, Agent Bowen (Curtiss Cook). He’s being sent back to San Diego while EZ’s being brought in by the police. The second cousin to the Reyes family wonders if “another dead Mexican” doesn’t much bother the DEA in “this administration.” A bit of Trump era commentary that rings quite true.
In detention, Miguel gets challenged by a big man, only to insult him as a “fucking plague” like the cockroaches. Then he goes hard at the guy, throwing a shirt around his neck and choking him out to the floor. For all his nastiness, he isn’t someone afraid to get his hands dirty.
On a “Reaper run,” EZ is with Hank and the boys meeting a few Sons of Anarchy. He gets panicked texts and finally a call from Jimenez to tell him things are going sideways. Kevin tries his best to give him advice, feeling a loyalty because of their shared bloodline, and he’s keeping an eye on things from his end. Things aren’t good for the prospect considering there’s a BOLO – Be On the Lookout – for law enforcement out on him. One cop eyes the Mayans on their run, calling for back-up, and the situation gets shitty real quick. The club pulls over. Instead of waiting, EZ pulls out and takes off, giving the cops a high speed chase to the surprise/delight of his pals watching in the dust. He gets a ways down the road where he’s finally caught. At least he’s away from the club, in case of any nastiness. Of course the cops beat him brutally, despite him not being violent. ‘Murica! The whole thing’s set to a rock cover over “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” by Solomon Burke.
The DEA have Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) around in all his eccentricity again. Kevin turns up saying he has info. He doesn’t want to give up two years of work, neither does he want to see his cousin burned. The DEA didn’t even know about Galindo being detained, so Jimenez lets them know he’s “off the grid” someplace. This helps keep EZ safe— for now.
Speaking of Miguel, he’s taken to a room where he meets Adelita. He somehow believes he’s righteous above the rebel “terrorists,” which is rich coming from a vicious drug kingpin. Adelita shows him a video of various arms of the cartel’s business, then shows him explosions going off at several locations. She threatens to blow up everything else, unless he’ll work with her. She sees it as the only option, given the government and legal system are corrupt. Can they work together when the “hatred runs deep“?
“We know we can’t defeat evil. All we can do is point it in the right direction, let evil feed our children, care for our sick, we let the devil secure a future.”
The club are back at the yard, where everybody believes the prospect was helping everybody by taking one for the team. EZ gets back, bruised and bloody, to Bishop and the others pleased with his loyalty. Ironically, it’s anything but, and Bishop’s not pleased for long, scolding him for recklessness. Better than everyone discovering he’s a DEA rat. Later on, Riz (Antonio Jaramillo) is caught by his club trafficking people across the border through that active tunnel Angel stumbled across.
Chucky flies in with Leticia, whose head is busted open. The girl blames it on her grandmother, and that’s going to start a real pile of shit. Coco is on the warpath after seeing her, heading straight for his mom’s place. He walks in and punches her in the face. She threatens him with legal action over her car and the assault. All her son can figure to do is drown her in the bathtub. A horrifying moment. What is it with bikers and their mothers?
At his dad’s place, EZ can’t find Felipe, only the box on the table full of his father’s past. What a shock for the prospect to discover all those truths about dad, in one fell swoop.
While the Galindos sit around happy to be back together, the power goes out. Outside, Emily (Sarah Bolger) finds Potter and the DEA arresting her husband, Devante (Tony Plana), and others.
Another solid episode.
“Rata/Ch’o” is next time, and there’ll be lots more intensity/excitement after the events of this chapter.