This Mayans MC review contains spoilers.
Mayans MC Episode 10
The Mayans MC season finale hit me straight in the feels thanks in large part to Angel’s truly extraordinary emoting. No shit, Clayton Cardenas knocked that shit out of the park. Watching him struggle to make hard choices all season was one thing, but watching the character deal with the raw, visceral emotions of betrayal, once he discovers EZ’s deal with the feds, through envy of his EZ’s relationship with their father, and then to land on love and loyalty as he does terrible things to protect his younger brother was amazing. And somehow Cardenas managed to hang it all on a look. What could have easily devolved into a whiny debacle about family drama with a lesser actor, took on real pathos in Angel.
As you may remember, at the end of the previous episode, Agent Potter offered the Reyes brothers a new deal. All they had to do was kill their cousin, Jimenez before he could blow the whistle on Potter’s questionable activity, and then EZ’s record would be expunged. Poor Kevin. He fought so hard for EZ. He trembled and dry heaved as he sat, sweating and drinking and stumbling around Felipe’s home, trying to resolve his own daddy issues. And in the end, he found his peace, waxing poetic about the worthy bonds of family. Right before Angel blew his brains out. Ah irony, you cruel bitch.
Of course Angel wasn’t alone, EZ was there, having shot Jimenez’s boss the moment before (not Potter, the other guy). Which leads the Reyes brothers back to driving corpses around for disposal. But Angel is adamant that this be the last grave EZ digs. His golden brother with the golden future will turn in his cut and leave, for good. The problem is that despite everyone’s (Jimenez, Felipe, Angel) good intentions, the object of their effort no longer believes his own hype. The idea that he could have had a better life or gone on to be productive in a non-criminal sort of way, was just that – an idea. One that never materialized. The reality is that he ended up in prison and now in the MC, a really capable criminal.
As EZ tells Angel, he needs to stop looking at everything as if it was a mistake for which he has to chase a fix. This is his life now. No one handed it to him, no one can save him from it. And most importantly, he has earned his place with the Mayans. Like Angel, at the end of the day he chose his life and it’s a decision he is good with. Just, no one else is. Like, at all. Felipe is going to straight up shit a brick.
Hopefully, now that he has made his choice and is following a path of his choosing, maybe he will have the opportunity to shine a bit more in Mayans MC Season 2 (and good news, that has already been confirmed by FX).
Which is funny when you think about it, given how many of the characters made hard decisions about their places in this environment and have stuck, doggedly, to their guns throughout the season. Emily fully embraced her role as the defacto queen of the cartel, coming to terms not only with the violence but with her husband’s position in relation to those atrocities. Galindo learned how to really lead instead of being merely following Devante’s counsel in an effort to emulate his late father. Even if it eventually meant sacrificing that old family friend to Adelita’s vengeance.
Adelita is easier to gloss over; she chose her path as a child. However, it appears she also chooses Angel, and not just as a pawn. Whatever their past might be, there is a good chance that they will, as a power couple, give Galindo and Emily a serious run for their money. Poor Felipe, he is really going to shit several bricks next season.
Meanwhile Alvarez has decamped for the Galindo cartel in order to replace Devante. This move is destined to put him at direct odds with Bishop and the rest of the MC at some point down the road. Maybe the money was better? Of all the choices made during the season finale, this was the most baffling. Why give up on your brotherhood to serve with the suits? Bishop looked positively gutted when he heard the news, and with good reason. For all of the praise he heaped on the Mayans President, it was really Alvarez running the show. Without him around, how easy will it be for Angel to start whispering in Bishop’s ear?
And there was one last can to kick over. The reveal we all knew was coming. The culmination of an entire season of piecemeal flashbacks about the senseless murder of momma Reyes which lead to EZ accidently shooting a cop. The guy in the hoodie. Who turned out to be [SPOILER] David Labrava? Really? Happy from Sons?
Definitely did not see that coming. In fact, given the way they played up the cozy relationship between SAMCRO and the Mayans in this episode, and how vital this relationship would be for the future success of the cartel, making Happy the mystery assailant seemed forced. Convenient? Well, anti-climactic at any rate.
It felt like the plot had been leading around to a tie-in. Maybe it had been Jimenez and that was why he was so nervous around Felipe and so gung-ho about protecting EZ. Maybe it had been Coco who seemed even more unbalanced pre-MC. Shit, maybe it had been one of Galindo’s henchmen. Or a younger and more reckless Adelita.
Sure, the pathos worked much better for the Reyes, just having to deal with the guilt associated with killing their cousin. But Happy? Senseless violence is senseless but this just feels like a clunker designed to manufacture drama.
Hopefully Mayans can put a spectacular polish on this particular rough-edged plot device. God knows they have turned out one hell of a solid, and culturally relevant show. This viewer can’t wait until Season 2 and is dying to see where the characters take us.