In the ‘Mayans M.C’. recap for the series premiere, EZ Reyes tries to acclimate to his new life outside of prison as the secrets in his life already start piling up…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The first thing to understand about ‘Mayans M.C.’ is that the show is obviously a ‘Sons of Anarchy’ spinoff but it’s far from a carbon copy.
Perhaps that’s the most intriguing part about this new series from creators Kurt Sutter and Elgin James because the automatic assumption from so many was that ‘Mayans M.C.’ would just be a series that mirrored it’s famous sister show.
Instead, ‘Mayans M.C.’ introduces us to an entirely different kind of culture for a club that sits along the California/Mexico border at a volatile time in relations between two countries, not to mention an even more difficult road to navigate between the M.C. and the Mexican cartel.
Back in ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 4, the Galindo cartel was introduced for the first time after Clay brokered a deal with them — thanks to Mayans founder Marcus Alvarez — while still in prison that the Sons of Anarchy would act as brokers to provide them guns for an ongoing war for territory in Mexico. The club would also help transport the cartel’s cocaine up the coast line. In many ways it was that partnership that ultimately broke the Sons as the club was definitely in over their heads.
Even after Jax Teller took over as president, he struggled to break free of the cartel’s grip after learning that the two men serving as proxies — Romeo Parada and Luis Torres — were also working with the CIA. The Galindo cartel, headed up by Jose Galindo, was working with the CIA to take out the other cartels with hopes of stabilizing the drug trade and lessen the violence happening in Mexico.
Over time, the Sons started to hand off more and more of their business to the Mayans as Jax attempted to legitimize his club and stay away from activities that kept them outside the law. In the end, Jax handed over the gun trade to the Mayans as they were also helping with the Galindo drug trade.
That’s the history lesson to know when ‘Mayans M.C.’ begins three years after the death of Jax Teller as a new prospect named Ezekiel ‘EZ’ Reyes is trying to navigate his way in this world after being released from prison.
The connection between the two shows is undeniable — especially with a couple of guest appearances in the debut episode that help to bridge ‘Sons of Anarchy’ with ‘Mayans M.C.’ — but what unfolded over the first 90 minutes was far different. Two major revelations at towards the end of the episode should also act as combustible elements in what is guaranteed to be an explosive first season.
With that said, let’s recap the debut episode of ‘Mayans M.C. ‘ titled ‘Perro/OC’…
8 Years Gone
When we first meet EZ Reyes, he is a new prospect in the Santo Padre chapter of the Mayans — the southern most charter that sits on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. EZ is fresh out of prison and he’s joined up with his brother Angel, who is a full patched member of the club.
Through a series of flashbacks we see EZ had a much different life eight years earlier.
It seems that EZ was a prodigal student, who graduated from high school and ended up attending Stanford University. He returned home from college to reunite with his girlfriend Emily, who had been with him for the past three years.
Sadly tragedy struck when EZ was involved in some sort of altercation where he was later convicted of killing a cop. He ended up getting a 20 year jail sentence, immediately derailing his future in college and with the woman he loved.
After starting his sentence, EZ refused to allow Emily to come see him until he finally put her on his visitor’s list and that’s when she lashed out at him for not allowing her in sooner. EZ tells her that he’s staring at a life behind bars and it’s only going to be even more painful to pretend they have a future together.
“Hope is cruel”
~ EZ Reyes
Before leaving, Emily tells EZ that there’s one decision he’s going to have to make before cutting her out of his life. She then sets down an ultrasound photo that reveals she’s pregnant with her child. Emily gets up and leaves and EZ lashes out screaming for her to return as the guards are forced to subdue him.
That’s when we get the biggest cameo on the debut episode as we see Gemma Teller sitting in the same visitation room at the prison where EZ is being held. Judging by the timeline that this was eight years ago in 2010 that probably meant Gemma was there to visit either her husband Clay or her son Jax while they were doing a 14-month stint in jail on gun charges after the events that unfolded in ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 3.
Flash forward to present day and EZ is trying to find out how he fits into this new world where he’s been handed an early release with a story that the cop involved in his case was dirty, which is how he got out so soon. We’ll soon find out that there’s much more to EZ’s early exit from prison than a dirty cop.
The Mayans have been in the heroin trade for sometime now and it seems they are still involved in that business alongside the Galindo cartel. The Santo Padre charter is currently helping to serve as protection for the Galindo drug trade along the border as they package the heroin and put it into vans that they will then drive from California to Las Vegas.
This particular run is going to require a little extra muscle so Santo Padre president Obispo ‘Bishop’ Losa asks about adding the newest prospect to the crew. EZ was vouched for by his older brother Angel and one of the other members named Tranq ran a background check to ensure that his story checked out.
EZ has just returned home as he goes to visit his father Felipe, who runs a butcher shop in the same town. Felipe is concerned about his son’s well being as it seems something is weighing him down — a secret that he can’t share with anybody, not even his brother.
Once Angel arrives, he pulls EZ into the protection run and they are off to Vegas.
Unfortunately along the road, the Mayans are attacked by a group of thugs that topple their fan, shoot one of the members and ultimately jack the heroin they were transporting.
Returning to home camp, the M.C. is greeted by their benefactor — Miguel Galindo, the son of Jose Galindo and the new leader of the Galindo cartel. While it’s never stated in the episode, it seems that Jose had passed away and his son is now in charge.
Miguel wants answers as to who stole his 12 kilos of heroin and he’s demanding that the Mayans supply him with the details for the crew who hit them. Of course, Bishop argues that the Mayans are just doing a favor to the cartel thanks to their long standing relationship with founder Marcus Alvarez.
Miguel counters by pointing out that they were hired for protection and they failed at that job so now they are responsible for handing over the crew who hit them or they’ll have to pay for failing to keep the heroin safe all the way to Vegas. That’s when EZ pipes up and tells Miguel that he remembers seeing the letters ‘BTT’ tattooed on once of the masked assailants who attacked their crew.
BTT stands for Base Town Tribe — a Samoan gang that runs out of San Bernardino. According to the Mayans, these guys would never be so bold to make a move against the cartel so somebody must be paying them to go on the attack. Miguel suggests that the Mayans bring him a shot caller to answer for this hijacking or he’s going to hold them responsible for losing his shipment.
After Miguel leaves, Bishop cracks EZ with a punch as a reminder that he’s a prospect, which means he only speaks when spoken to.
Now it’s up to the Mayans to track down this Samoan crew inside 24 hours or risk upsetting the relationship with the cartel even further.
Before returning to the clubhouse to deal with their next steps, Angel takes EZ along with a couple of other members into a tunnel that goes between the U.S. and Mexico so they can take their brother Creeper into a doctor for treatment after he was shot in the shoulder.
EZ gets a quick introduction to the relationship between the club and the other side of the border including a rendezvous at a club where he’s asked to wait outside while they meet with somebody. EZ isn’t sure what’s happening but obviously he’s not privy to it yet.
Once the finish dealing with the issue on the other side of the border, the crew returns to the U.S. where EZ runs into his past for the first time since being released from prison.
While waiting for his brother, EZ looks across the street and locks eyes with Emily, who is now a mother to a young child and obviously well removed from their relationship that apparently ended eight years ago. He never says a word as Emily is escorted into a building alongside some pretty heavy security while tending to her child.
Back at the clubhouse, a meeting has already started after ‘El Padrino’ aka The Godfather aka Marcus Alvarez arrives from Oakland to help out with this current problem.
Marcus meets with Bishop and the rest of the M.C. to decide on a plan of action to track down this Samoan gang to hand them over to the cartel before things get even bloodier for them. The group decides to invade the home turf of the Base Town Tribe to get answers on the attack but they’re going to need some backup, which Alvarez is happy to provide.
Once they arrive at the cemetery where the Samoans call home, the Mayans ask for answers but they are quickly greeted by guns instead. A fire fight ensues but the Mayans eventually get the upper hand and the Samoans flee the cemetery.
That’s when backup arrives — in the form of the San Bernardino chapter of the Sons of Anarchy, led by president Les Packer.
We first met Packer back in ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 6 when he arrives for a meeting called by Jax Teller and he returns during the final season to consult with Jax after the death of Jury White. This time around, Packer brings his charter to help out the Mayans as they deal with this Samoan problem.
“Well boys looks like we’ve got us a Samoan sandwich. Two tons of dark meat jammed between a stack of tortillas and a loaf of white bread.”
~ Les Packer
With the Samoans subdued, it’s time to bring their gang leader Afa to meet with Miguel Galindo.
Divided We Fall
With Afa tied up at the arms, Miguel questions him about a mysterious woman who offered the Base Town Tribe the money to attack the Mayans and steal the heroin shipment. Afa is reluctant to hand over all of the information so Miguel orders his arm chopped off to make him a little more chatty.
That’s when Afa finally reveals that the woman who ordered the hit spoke of ‘El Diablo’ — the devil. At that moment, Miguel knows exactly who hit his shipment.
“Kill the devil, resurrect Mexico. It was the rebels.”
A rebel faction known as ‘Los Olvidados’ (The Forgotten Ones) have been battling against the cartel in an attempt to bring them down and restore Mexico to the people rather than the gangs. The rebels have been attacking the cartels for months but this was apparently the most brazen attempt to get at them while doing business on the U.S. side of the border.
Miguel knows that the only way the rebels learned about the drug shipment was from a rat inside one of their organizations so he’s on a mission to find out who’s talking. He also reconnects with his friend Marcus Alvarez, who apparently formed a bond with his father Jose before he died. Marcus promises to lend the Mayans’ support to Miguel in his efforts to eliminate this rebel threat.
Following his torture of the Samoan leader, Miguel exits to have dinner with his family and that’s when we learn that he’s married to Emily — EZ’s ex-girlfriend — and they share a child together.
As for EZ, he leaves after his father calls him to return to the butcher shop for a meeting and that’s when his secret is revealed.
EZ is a confidential informant for the DEA as part of his deal for an early exit from prison.
The entire connection isn’t explained but it seems to involve his father Felipe and a DEA agent, who is the person in charge of getting information passed to him through EZ. Why Felipe is acting as a go between is unclear but that will surely be explained as the series progresses.
At the meeting, the DEA agent demands answers about this latest altercation between the cartel and the rebels. He’s pressing EZ for more information as he struggles to walk the line between his loyalty to his brother and the club and handing over intel on the cartel.
EZ makes it clear that he’s only in this arrangement so that he was able to procure his release from prison and after he helps the DEA bring down the Galindo cartel, then he’s out for good.
“What I signed up for was feeding you intel on Galindo. Only Galindo. My brother, the M.C. nothing touches them. And there’s only one plan, cus. The day the DEA has enough to move on that cartel is the day that I walk away. From you, the M.C., this town, all of it. I get my fucking life back.”
~ EZ Reyes
Now as previously explained, the CIA was once involved with the Galindo cartel so there’s no exact explanation (yet) as to why that relationship has expired. The U.S. government has funded plenty of wars in the past and then ended up as enemies with the very faction that was once supported.
Either way, the DEA is now working to bring down the cartel and EZ Reyes is the man on the inside of the Mayans M.C. who is supposed to help them accomplish that goal.
Back at the Mayans stronghold, Bishop is concerned about this volatile relationship between the M.C. and the cartel and even Marcus admits that Miguel isn’t quite the leader that his father once was. The crew returns with additional information on the rebel faction and they reveal that Los Olvidados have done more damage to the cartel than the Mexican government has been able to do in the past six years.
The rebels have taken down shipments, just recently hijacked a huge cache of weapons while also hacking into cartel bank accounts and taking down their money supply. Bishop instructs his men to put word out on the street to find the identity of the woman leading the rebels so they can snuff her out and hopefully put this relationship with the cartel back on better ground.
Following the meeting with his DEA handler, EZ has one last piece of business for the day as he helps his brother and a few other members use that secret tunnel between the U.S. and Mexico to transport the dead body of the Samoan leader to get dumped across the border so suspicions aren’t raised.
After they cross the border, Angel, Coco and Gilly discuss bringing EZ up to speed on what they’ve been doing in Mexico, far from the prying eyes of their president or the rest of the charter.
The four members end up crossing into a mountain area in Mexico where they are greeted by people wearing creepy mouse masks while brandishing some serious weaponry. That’s when EZ is introduced to a woman he first saw when he was in Mexico earlier that same day. The woman had gone into the business where his brother and the other Mayans were at while he was standing outside on the street.
Her name is Adelita and she is the leader of Los Olvidados.
It turns out Angel and the two other members of the Mayans have been feeding the rebels information about the cartel in an effort to bring them down. Angel had been carrying around a bag and when he hands it over, it is revealed that he had the 12 kilos of heroin hat was stolen from their protection run and he’s giving it to the rebels as part of this ongoing war.
Obviously, EZ is taken back by this insurrection inside the charter but Angel explains to him that the cartel has been like poison, slowly eating away at the Mayans and it’s time for them to decide if they will get rid of them and survive or die alongside them. Because Marcus has ties to the Galindo family and Bishop is fiercely loyal to him, Angel and the others know they’ll never willingly break free.
“Galindo will bend or break. If the Mayans want a future, we’ve got to be in front of that change and Adelita’s the only way to do that…I’m doing for the M.C. what it can’t do for itself.”
~ Angel Reyes
Angel then tells his brother that he needs to know if he’s committed to this cause because from this moment on he’s either all in or he’s out.
“I can’t ask you to do this unless I know you really want it. The club, the life, all of it. All in. Cause if you have any doubt, I need you walk away.”
~ Angel Reyes
The fact is EZ doesn’t have a choice but to go all in — and he’s now keeping secrets both for his brother and from his brother. The end goal from both factions are to bring down the cartel so perhaps EZ sees this as the best way to get his life back.
The quicker the Galindos go away, the faster he can get out.
What EZ doesn’t know is that the rebels are using tactics much like the cartel in an attempt to bring them down. Across the border, a group of rebels wearing those same creepy mouse masks receive a call from Adelita and we see them leave to follow Emily and her baby after having dinner with Miguel.
Whatever EZ plans to do, there’s no way he’d want Emily or her child harmed so it’s safe to assume he’s going to be pulled in many directions this season trying to balance his duties to family, club and the DEA.
‘Mayans M.C.’ returns next Tuesday night at 10pm ET with a brand new episode on FX