FX’s Mayans M.C.
Season 1, Episode 8: “Rata/Ch’o”
Directed by Peter Weller
Written by Andrea Ciannavei & Kurt Sutter
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Cucaracha/K’uruch” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Serpiente/Chikchan” – click here
EZ (JD Pardo) doesn’t have the time to let the present haunt him, considering the past is doing a fine enough job. He remembers a time before with Emily (Sarah Bolger), when he wasn’t thinking about being in the Mayans Motorcycle Club, or dealing with the cartel. He was thinking about an education, and he was kicking himself for not being able to do more for his mother when she was killed. He wanted to take time off, help his father Felipe (Edward James Olmos) with the shop. All the while, Emily was there to encourage him. Felipe’s got his own thing going on— the past has never left him, either. He goes to a church trying to find solace. Nah. He’s there to see the Bishop Rodrigo.
Elsewhere, Coco (Richard Cabral) is dealing with having killed his mother. At the club’s table, Riz (Antonio Jaramillo) is explaining his “illegal fucking tunnel” to Bishop (Michael Irby), Taza (Raoul Max Trujillo), and the rest. His explanation is fine, it’s a way of helping other Mexicans. Yet the whole thing puts the club at odds, given it could’ve fucked them over if anybody else found out. The irony is painful, watching Angel (Clayton Cardenas) play his role as loyal MC member while also knowing he’s been doing things behind the club’s back.
See the rat? Another animal image. Not hard to tell what a rat symbolises.
The Galindo family’s shook up again. Emily watches her husband Miguel (Danny Pino) get taken away and gets cuffed up herself. No pity for her. She willingly got in bed, literally and figuratively, with the Galindo cartel. The kidnapping of her boy only pushed her further into illegal territory. Can she redeem herself?
Felipe confronts his old buddy Rodrigo about Adelita (Carla Baratta) and what happened to her family. He tells the holy man to protect himself: “Or she‘ll kill you.” He feels indebted to him for getting away from the cartel. Despite whatever the Bishop may have done later, he’s given a chance by Felipe. Rodrigo clearly feels guilty. Likely that was the intent.
Leticia (Emily Tosta) tells EZ she lied about what grandma supposedly did to her. Too late! EZ’s headed for grandma’s apartment. When he gets there, he finds a fairly relaxed Coco with his dead mother on the kitchen floor. Coco thinks he “gave her some peace” instead of murdering her. The two men talk about fate and mistakes, each having dealt with their share of both.
Miguel sits down with the ever quirky Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon). They have quite a chat. All a way for the Assistant U.S. Attorney to get under the man’s skin. Not to mention they’ve brought in Miguel’s wife. They’re pressing the family with the “federal crime” of failing to report a kidnapping. Lincoln then goes to Emily, telling her the agency wants “a partner” in her husband. We’re seeing how the government and the cartels aren’t so different. Potter and the DEA want to turn “blood into imported wine” by using the cartel as a shadow arm of the government to be done with the rebels a.k.a those pesky terrorists. Kevin (Maurice Compte) gets wind of Galindo’s situation, more concerned than ever about his second cousin biker getting exposed. He goes to the office, yelling at Potter and the others. He threatens to go to “Wikileaks” or somewhere else to expose the agency’s hidden agenda.
One reason Sons of Anarchy worked, and why Mayans M.C. is working almost better, is the focus on family, from the club itself to the people involved with the club, to the individual families, and so on. Family’s the core of this show, making everything so much more dangerous and exciting.
EZ’s having a tough time seeing a mom dead, remembering his own having been killed. He remembers seeing the Wildcats sticker in a bar parking lot one night. He waited with his gun until the car’s driver left. Is that what led to the fateful shooting? EZ’s soon called by Felipe. Their family DEA contact lets them know things are spinning out of control fast. He says EZ should run. The prospect doesn’t want to put his brother in the line of fire with the MC. He explains the only way out: “Protect our blood.”
At the table, Bishop lays things out. Riz stays “full patch,” but they’re going to boot him from the secretary position. Everybody votes in favour of their course of action. Meanwhile, Coco feels Angel ratted Riz out, plus he and Gilly (Vincent Vargas) feel betrayed. They stand by Angel when Riz gets angry, but they aren’t happy.
Potter goes to Miguel feigning a hope to “reinstate balance,” meaning making things easier for the U.S. government. This is a continuation of America’s interests in South America throughout the 1980s, when they, indeed, used the “valuable currency” of cartel products in “certain markets” to help CIA interests. Something interesting is how Lincoln’s been changed since his run in with the SOA and their pals. He was never perfect, but his failure has certainly altered him irreparably for the worse. He’s now offering a degree of transparency to Miguel, as well as twisting his arm. And it works. In the next room, Emily’s shown information about EZ and what he’s done with the club.
“We don’t like change. We never did.”
At the clubhouse, Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) arrives to tell the MC about what he’s heard re: Galindo. He mentions “disturbing shit” being told to the wife. EZ arrives outside, wondering if/when he’s going to be burned. Alvarez needs his bike worked on, so that gives the prospect something to do other than stress constantly. For now, EZ can breathe free. Won’t last for long. Angel and Riz solve their issues in the cage outside while everybody drinks and cheers them on. That’s how things get solved for the Mayans! Fight, bleed, then hug it out once it’s over. The big trouble is Potter digging into the prospect/ It’s gonna get nasty.
Later, when EZ and Angel go to dump Coco’s mom, they’re stopped by their cop buddy Frankie. Everything goes sideways when Frankie’s partner asks the bikers to get out of their car. The trunk gets popped, and that’s no good for anybody.
“Serpiente/Chikchan” is next time, and there’ll be more chaos, you can bet on that.