Spoilers for Season 1 of Mayans MC
The much better than expected opening season of the Sons of Anarchy spin-off, Mayans MC, closed with its season finale this week, and in doing so, more closely connected the world of the Mayans with that of Sons with a surprise twist that was hugely exciting but may present difficulties for the second season.
In the opening season, Kurt Sutter has done what Kurt Sutter does best, which is generally to spend much of the season writing himself into a corner and then trying to find a way to crawl out of it with the last couple of episodes. Sometimes he does so with success, and other times not so much. This year, he opened with three entities — The Mayans motorcycle club, the Galindo cartel, and a Rebel group in Mexico. The Rebels were trying to take down Galindo, and the Mayans were drug running for the Cartel, but several members were also secretly working with Rebels to destroy Galindo from the inside.
Meanwhile, the show’s lead, EZ, was pulled into every direction. After accidentally killing a cop eight years ago while trying to kill his mysterious mother’s killer, he took a deal with the Feds to inform on the Galindo Cartel while operating as a prospect for the Mayans. However, his ex-girlfriend, Emily (for whom he still carries a torch) is married to the head of the Galindo cartel, Miguel, and EZ’s brother, Angel, is the leader of the Mayan faction secretly working for the Rebels.
It was a hugely complicated web of alliances and rivalries (that also included the Catholic Church in Mexico), but eventually, Sutter found a way to write himself out of the situation without resorting to a stand-off in which everyone gets killed. Basically, he brought in Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon), a DOJ prosecutor, and Sutter made the feds the enemy of everyone. The Galindo cartel struck a deal with the Feds to take down the Rebels, but secretly Galindo decided to work with The Rebels to destroy Potter and the feds. The Mayans end up becoming the middle-men between the Rebels and Galindo (if I have one complaint about this season, it’s that the Mayans too often end up being secondary characters in a story about them).
It’s not quite a cop-out, but it is certainly a way to punt the central conflict into the second season and give Sutter, Elgin James, and the writers’room another year to come up with a way to untangle the mess, complicated even moreso by the fact that EZ and his brother Angel killed two feds in their own side deal with Lincoln Potter, so the feds are working against each other, too. It works, though, because Lincoln Potter is one of the best things to happen to this show, and — after forcing EZ and Angel to kill to federal agents — basically summed up the DOJ under the Trump administration thusly: “All the gatekeepers have been fired, or resigned trying to salvage what is left of their souls. There are no longer any obstacles between avarice and executive order. The only limitations are imagination and the conscience of the men with the task … is this pie homemade or store-bought?”
Everything this man says sounds poetry. Devilish, sinister poetry.
At any rate, rather than wrap things up at the end of season one, Kurt Sutter decides to throw another log on the fire by revealing the mysterious man behind the murder of EZ’s mother. It’s Happy, a member of SAMCRO and a minor character on Sons of Anarchy. It’s a great reveal, but it invites a lot of questions, like “Why would Happy — a member of the Charming chapter of SAMCRO — kill the mother of EZ eight years ago in Santo Padre?”
As to that, Kurt Sutter can explain the how — eight years ago, Happy was a Nomad, and therefore a free agent, who may have been hired as a hitman — but he can’t yet explain the why. “Now I just have to figure out where the fuck to go with it,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
In other words, your guess is as good as his. We’ll have to wait until season two to see how he writes himself out of this mess, and based on his SoA track record, there’s about a 50/50 chance he pulls it off successfully. There’s also a 50 percent chance that Lincoln Potter intentionally drives himself into an 18-wheeler.
Header Image Source: FX