Mayans MC 1x04 "Murciélago/Zotz" Review
Another stellar episode! We’re getting deeper into the season and the storylines are getting juicier. There is just so much to unpack from this episode. I was really excited to see movement on a couple of storylines and I was really impressed by one character in particular. Let’s get into it!
I knew I should’ve waited at least one more episode before judging Emily (Sarah Bolger) so harshly last week. She was pretty bland, so I was really excited to see her step up her game this week! She will do anything to get answers on the whereabouts of her son, Cristobal. Well, she started doing just that! The girl has done her research...on terrorist organizations, actually, and has likened Los Olvidados to that of the Taliban. What makes those organizations so “successful” is that they go into their communities with these righteous ideals that make them out to be their own heroes. The cartel uses power and fear, but the rebels always turn it against them. Emily suggests the cartel start turning them into the devil. To do so, they must stage an outrageous act in the name of Los Olvidados and have Miguel Galindo come out and swear to the innocent people that these kinds of actions will no longer stand. The cartel will come out on top. Miguel will come out on top.
Emily and Miguel have had this communication issue between them since the series started, really. In fact, most of the action between them this episode wasn’t even just between them. It was more between Emily and the cartel. Devante (Tony Plana), Miguel’s advisor, starts off being a bit condescending of Emily and her research, until it turns out she kicks ass at making plans that the cartel hasn’t even thought of. Seeing him say that her plan was smart at the end made me feel super vindicated. While that left me feeling a bit smug on behalf of Emily, I’m starting to feel a bit troubled towards Emily and Miguel.
I’m not too sure how to feel about Devante, but I know I like Emily way more than I like him. That’s why I felt hurt when I saw Emily get injured because of the plan. Her plan included being at this event in Mexico that was to be held at a church. The crowd, of which includes Miguel, Emily, Dita, and Devante, make their way into the church, but the public is startled by the appearance of a murdered, bloody nun. Quickly, the crowd becomes chaotic. Emily, who’s still outside of the church, rushes in to see what exactly the cartel did with her pretty general plan. In all the chaos, Emily sees what her idea did and she’s shoved to the ground and trampled on, thus putting her own life at risk. Miguel manages to get her out, but we’re going to have to wait until next week to see what she thought of the cartel murdering the nun in Los Olvidados name. This life turns you cold. In order to do these kinds of things, it’s best to turn off your emotions and your humanity. Dita warned her that getting even more involved in Miguel’s business life wasn’t going to be easy.
On the Los Olvidados side of things, we had seen the rebels working with nuns. More importantly, the whole reasoning behind the nun getting murdered this episode Miguel saw the rebels working with nuns. Nuns from a church the Galindos have been very generous towards over the years. (Hint: That’s where Galindo gets the idea to murder the nun...and then blame it on Los Olvidados.) How did Miguel find out about the nun? Well, the cartel has their little soldiers wandering around and one of them was picked up by Adelita in the last episode. It just so happens that this kid had tried twice to swipe an instrument that would help him get in touch with the cartel. He tried grabbing a radio, but Adelita saw him and told him he wasn’t allowed in the tent that was the command center for Los Olvidados. The second attempt, he merely approached one of the adult men when he saw him playing a game on his phone. The man gave the kid his phone to play with...and then proceeded to leave the kid with the phone. The kid sent the cartel a video of Adelita and a nun tending to baby Cristobal. The kid adapts. I will just never understand why this grown man (who is working with an illegal group trying to bring down an even bigger illegal group) would give this child they know absolutely nothing about his cell phone. What was his thought process there? That spells nothing but trouble.
Another storyline I was ecstatic to see movement on was Coco’s family drama! Last we saw of the Cruz family, Coco (Richard Cabral) had tracked down his prostitute of a mom. Together, they had a sit down with the teenager that had been going around saying she was Coco’s sister. I was actually pretty shocked to learn that, as it turns out, she’s his DAUGHTER. Well, she was pretty shocked as well. So shocked, in fact, that she flew to the closest semi-truck at the truck-stop diner they were meeting at and climbed on in, promising she’d give him a blowjob if he just gave her a lift. Well then!
Turns out that 17 years prior, Coco had gotten someone pregnant and left with baby with his mother, so she could bring the baby to an adoption agency. Mama Cruz actually just decided to raise the girl, herself. In a fit of rage at her son, she told the girl that Coco was her father and then didn’t seem all that concerned for the girl she raised when she took off for that semi. Family matters are none of my business, but what the fuck? At least Coco was upset that his teenage daughter took off with a stranger. This storyline could’ve been fluffed out a bit more in the episode. That’s the only thing I was disappointed by. Heck, I didn’t even know Coco was old enough to have a seventeen year old daughter!
Besides all this, we find out about another threat to the MC. In the opening scene, the guys are at a brothel, having a good time, when they hear gunshots. “Border patrol?” “Hunters?” “Same fucking thing.” What we learn is that the people shooting are a bunch of racists in the pharmaceutical drug trade. These people are shooting people they come across along the border for the sake of “patriotism” or whatever and if that isn’t what Trump’s America looks like, than I don’t know what is. I’m completely sickened by these characters, but I can totally see it being a very very real thing in life down at the border.
When one of the bodies is discovered, we’re introduced to a new relationship. Bishop (Michael Irby) has an alliance with the mayor of their town and she encourages the club to take care of this before it gets worse. You see, all this illegal activity happens so close to the border that local law enforcement doesn’t care all that much, as long as it happens in either Mexico or to Mexicans. I can’t even begin to tell you how that’s all kinds of fucked up, but that’s the thing with the world Kurt Sutter has introduced us to; it’s all totally plausible, especially in our current political climate.
Speaking of law enforcement, one thing I was not blindsided by was the federal agent who’s been hanging around EZ and Felipe. His name is Jimenez and I didn’t really care about him before this episode, to be honest. We learned that he’s related to EZ (and Angel! Can’t forget the love of my life!) and it must be through EZ’s mother’s side of the family because we’re informed that Felipe isn’t who he says he is. In fact, Felipe Reyes didn’t exist before 1985. We’ve had a feeling that Felipe had a dark past just with the way he acts. He’s very protective of his boys. He’s a quiet man and that brings a bit of mystery with it. Jimenez actually threatens to reveal who Felipe really is if he doesn’t encourage EZ to “flip Emily” against her husband. We mustn’t forget that the whole purpose of the Jimenez-EZ relationship is to help bring down the cartel. Right now, Emily is the weakest link. She’d be the easiest to turn against her husband. (They don’t know just how encompassed in the cartel she’s become.) However, Jimenez clearly isn’t comfortable issuing threats because after he drives away from Felipe, he has to pull over and vomit his feelings. Disgusting.
One of my favorite low-key scenes of the episode was between EZ and Alvarez (Emilio Rivera). Alvarez tells EZ that they don’t usually let siblings sponsor each other, but family is super important. He tells him that if he ever has a problem with Angel, that they could work something out with another charter. Alvarez is smart. He is super fucking smart. He was smart as all heck in Sons of Anarchy and he’s still smart now. He’s getting a vibe around Angel, I just know it. Angel is the one leading Coco, EZ, and Gilly into an alliance with Los Olvidados, just so you don’t forget. I can’t wait to see what else Alvarez knows. I don’t want to see any harm come to Angel, but I will always have an admiration for Marcus Alvarez, El Padrino.
This show is seriously gearing up to be one of the best on television at the moment. I am finding it hard to determine whose side I’M on. I very clearly love and adore Angel, but should I support his betrayal for the betterment of the club? I’m sympathetic to Emily and Miguel, but Miguel is the head of the Galindo cartel and cartels bring nothing but destruction. Los Olvidados are hurting this one family, but they are trying to bring the cartel down and casualties will happen. Gosh, I am so excited for more!
Can the rebel squad (Angel, EZ, Coco, Gilly) just have more scenes together? They’re a highlight for me and, for the most part, end in laughter.
I am overjoyed by finally learning more about Coco’s family and I can’t help but get Tig (SoA) vibes from him. He’s the club’s weirdo member, but I find him more endearing than I ever found Tig.
Seeing Emily finally take charge is truly admirable and I hope to see more. I feel bad for passing judgement on her character so soon.
Marcus Alvarez is better than you.
Does Santo Padre have a lesbian mayor? I think it has a lesbian mayor. I think that’s what Bishop was implying. HELL YES.
Mayans MC airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.