Mayans M.C.

Credits

Cast

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Reviewer

Paul Asay
Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Having an eidetic memory can be both a blessing and a curse. It can help you get into Stanford and impress important people. However, it can also cause you to remember the car of the person who killed your mom. Then when you see said car later, you wind up following it because you want revenge. Then as you’re chasing the perp, you accidentally shoot a cop. Then you go to prison, make a deal with the DEA, join a biker gang, take down a drug cartel, and eventually find your way to freedom only to throw it all away because you still haven’t avenged your mom’s death.

At least that’s what having an eidetic memory means for Ezekiel ‘EZ’ Reyes.

His mad memory skills haven’t made joining the Mayans gang any easier for EZ, though. He’s survived the hazing, the chores, the burying of dead bodies. He’s a full-fledged member of the gang and moving up rapidly. But quick advancement mean big dangers, too—from rival gangs, the police and even from jealous members of the gang itself.

A spinoff of FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Mayans MC sports many of the same features. Motorcycle gangs—check. Drug cartels—check. Foul language and extreme levels of violence—check and check. The show also incorporates elements like same-sex couples, abortion, prostitution, and even child soldiers, ticking off every hot-button issue on the list.

Much like the gang from Sons of Anarchy, the Mayans help some innocent people along the way, especially children, but their ultimate goal is to be the baddest—if not the only—bad guys in Santo Padre, California.

Episode Reviews

March 22, 2021: “Overreaching Don’t Pay”

EZ has a plan to make Bishop, president of the Santo Padre wing of the Mayans, the organization’s sole king—but the scheme to make it happen is a risky one. Bishop buys in despite the perils of shipping 250 kilos of drugs across the border. But Angel, EZ’s brother, knows that EZ’s playing a dangerous game. He says that a gang is just a glorified knitting club, filled with petty jealousies. “This fails, our brothers will be gunning for you.” Meanwhile, gang member Coco is captured by a drug-addled crew of vagabonds. And it pushes the drug-using Coco into an even darker place.

In flashback, Coco as a child injects heroin into his mother’s track-marked feet. “Never be like your mama,” she tells him. “Promise me. … Always be a good boy.” And for all of Coco’s addiction issues, he keeps this promise until a woman in the vagabond compound injects him with heroin to help him cope with the beating he suffered (an episode earlier). Later, he injects himself willingly. He engages in a standoff with the compound leader—a standoff filled with pointed guns and a short fight.

Angel wakes up in bed with a woman, apparently after a night of sex. (Both seem to be undressed, though covers shield anything critical.) Later, Angel and another woman walk around naked. We see both of their bare backsides and part of one of her breasts. A woman asks her sister how long it’s been since she’s been intimate with her (the sister’s) husband, believing it to be months. In response, the sister tries to seduce her husband, walking into their bedroom in a bra and panties and unbuckling his pants (in preparation, it would seem, for oral sex). The man is uninterested and walks away. Characters kiss. A brothel serves as a critical locale for a drug operation. Men are seen shirtless, and one bears a cross tattoo on his chest. We see a statue of the mother Mary in a bar.

We see the drugs in the operation, though all are tightly wrapped. (Coco looks longingly at one of the packages.) We hear plenty of talk about the drug trade. Characters drink and smoke. We see someone in prison for trying to smuggle drugs across the Mexican/U.S. border. Someone kicks another man’s car. Threats are made. Secret tunnels are used. People lie and mislead.

About 63 f-words are used in the hour-long episode. We also hear 10 s-words, along with “a–,” “b–ch,” “h—” and “d–k.” Jesus’ name is abused five times.

Sept. 3, 2019: “Xbalanque”

As EZ’s vote into the Mayans comes up, the gang’s officers strongly encourage him to settle his differences with Angel. Meanwhile, the officers plot against the Galindo cartel to take them down from the inside.

A group of ex-soldiers joins the Mayans to take down a drug cartel. Several people are killed with headshots and we see the resulting blood splatter. A child is caught in the fray and one of the ex-soldiers holds a gun to her head before tying her up and gagging her. A man is shot in the head through a pillow to muffle the sound. Another man is stabbed through the neck with a knife. And a third man is tackled and strangled to death in front of the tied-up girl. Later on, a traitor is chained up by his arms while a contaminated dose of heroin is shot into his neck, causing him to seize and die.

Drugs are smuggled in the bottoms of children’s backpacks and a man blows smoke rings for their entertainment. Two children spray paint graffiti on a wall. A church is used as a front for a drug den. Evidence is planted against a rival drug cartel. A grandmother is worried for her grandson since both of his working parents are often absent. A painting of a half-clothed woman (her breasts are visible) hangs in a bar where people are drinking and smoking. Several scantily-clad women hang out in the bar. Guns are smuggled in the bottoms of oil barrels. The f-word is used throughout the show, along with the s-word, “d–n,” “h—,” and “b—h.” Jesus’s name is also taken once in vain.

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Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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