FX’s Mayans M.C. season one premiered on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 and brought in 6.8 million viewers overall, not including those who tuned in via VOD. The network reports Mayans M.C.’s premiere topped the premiere of Sons of Anarchy, Kurt Sutter’s critically acclaimed drama starring Charlie Hunnam, by 46%. Sutter’s Sons follow-up also earned the highest ratings of any new cable series this year in the major demographics.
The Sons of Anarchy follow-up stars JD Pardo as Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes. EZ is a prospect in the Mayans M.C. charter on the Cali/Mexi border. Episode one set up the world in which EZ operates and introduced the key players for the show’s first season including EZ’s brother, Angel (Clayton Cardenas), and his father, Felipe (Edward James Olmos), as well as the club’s relationship with the Galindo cartel run by Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino). It turns out EZ’s ex, Emily (Sarah Bolger), is Miguel’s wife. EZ broke up with his high school sweetheart while he was serving time and she had no choice but to move on.
In episode one titled “Perro/Oc,” it was also revealed that EZ is working with DEA Agent Kevin Jimenez (Maurice Compte) to take down the Galindo cartel. In addition, the first episode revealed another startling twist. There’s a faction within the Mayans M.C. that are actively working to destroy Galindo, even going as far as to turn trader against their own in order to cut the cartel’s hold over the club. The rebellion inside the club is led by EZ’s brother, Angel. And, Angel and his associates are working with Adelita (Carla Baratta) and her group who have all been affected by the cartel and are out for revenge.
Season one episode two begins with Adelita’s crew attacking the vehicle carrying Emily and her baby. They’re after the child as payback for the deaths ordered by Miguel Galindo. They kill Emily’s bodyguard and drive away with the baby, leaving Emily screaming in the dirt.
Meanwhile, Angel, EZ, Johnny “Coco” Cruz (Richard Cabral), and Che “Taza” Romero (Raoul Max Trujillo) hit the streets and local haunts looking for Louie and the Dogwood crew. They check out Louie’s girl’s place and are surprised when a child fires at them from a closet. He doesn’t know where his dad is, but the kid reveals his dad thinks they’re going to kill him.
Emily makes it home without her baby and Miguel’s told by Devante (Tony Plana), a trusted family consigliere, they might have a lead on the car. Miguel assures her he’s got everyone working on it, and he’ll call on the M.C. to pitch in on the hunt. Emily, visibly upset, knows she’s not supposed to talk about his “other” life, but wants to know about the rebels because they’ve become part of her world now. She demands to know the complete truth about the search for their baby.
Angel’s group meets up with other members of the club at Wonderland (an animal shelter) and reports in that they can’t find Dogwood. Wonderland helps both addicts and homeless dogs, with the addicts detoxing in dog kennels, sometimes alongside the homeless dogs. Although the woman who runs the place doesn’t have any info on new drug dealers moving into the area, she’s caring for a member of Dogwood and does the M.C. a favor by calling his club to pick him up, lying that he’s ready to leave.
Of course, a chase ensues when Louie and a couple members of the Dogwood crew show up to retrieve their guy. The chase ends with the Dogwood car flipping over a small cliff. They don’t die but aren’t in any shape to run.
Louie immediately apologizes for using Coco’s little sister in a porn video. She’s only 16 and the clips are already on his porn site. Coco’s pissed but the guys make him back down. Instead of allowing him to kill Louie, they make a deal that the Dogwood crew will now pay the Mayans 24% of their drug business, double the normal rate. Louie has to give in – he doesn’t have a choice – and Obispo “Bishop” Losa (the club president) tells him there might be someone new trying to intrude on their business. He wants Louie to dig around and see what he can learn.
As they’re leaving, Coco says he has no idea what girl Louie was talking about. He claims he doesn’t have a 16-year-old sister who would do porn. The mood darkens when they get a call Galindo wants to meet.
The club meets up with Galindo’s men and Miguel requests they look for his son. EZ wants to know if Emily’s okay and Miguel confirms, after a brief pause, she hasn’t been harmed. Miguel says this is a personal favor and even asks please. Bishop agrees the club will help.
They’re told the car involved in the kidnapping’s description including a partial plate. As the number’s being read off, EZ flashes on a car he saw when they by the dog kennels. (EZ has a photographic memory.)
EZ confronts his brother, sure they need to help rescue Emily’s son. He tells Angel’s guys the car is parked in a ditch not far from the dog kennel. He recites the full license plate number off the top of his head when the guys hesitate to believe him. Angel promises to call Adelita to find out what’s going on.
One of Miguel’s men shows his boss a video that just went online. The video has a voice-over of Adelita talking about the drug cartels and how all the officials are corrupt. The video zooms in on a trash can fire in which Miguel’s bundles of drugs (stolen in episode one) are being tossed onto the flames. Adelita says they want to take back what their grandfathers fought for. She ends by warning, “We can no longer be forgotten.”
The transcript of the speech has already been distributed on flyers posted everywhere. Adelita walks through the town amid the flyers, watching as her fellow citizens take in her message.
EZ stops by his dad’s butcher shop and says he has a situation. He needs his dad to call DEA Agent Kevin Jimenez and set up a meeting for that night. EZ refuses to tell his dad what’s going on, unwilling to draw him further into his problems. Felipe reminds him Jimenez will owe him if he keeps calling on him for help. EZ says he can handle the drugs and the violence, but he loves his brother too much to get him in more trouble.
Finally, EZ admits the rebels are attacking the cartel which is drawing in the club. He tells Felipe about Emily’s son being kidnapped, and he gets emotional when he admits he can’t let anything happen to the baby. Felipe assures him he can’t get out of this situation until the DEA gets exactly what it wants. He warns his son to live it – to earn trust – or else they’ll skin him alive.
Back at Miguel’s home, Devante thinks they need to meet the cruelty head on. Miguel, however, doesn’t want to do anything that will put his son in danger. Their talk is interrupted by one of Miguel’s men saying they picked up a street vendor whose music could be heard in the background of the video.
And now for the episode’s cool Sons of Anarchy throwback.. It turns out the guy running Romero Bros Storage is Sons of Anarchy’s Chucky! Welcome, however briefly, to Mayans M.C., Michael Ornstein. Coco enters the office and claims he has to make a call. After Chucky leaves the room, Coco uses the computer to look at the girl Louie talked about on the porn site. Coco immediately picks her out even though the page is loaded with other women. He clicks on the link to her video but then gets called out of the office. (Romero Bros is Mayan’s version of Sons of Anarchy’s Teller-Morrow Automotive Repair.)
When Chucky returns, he looks at the browser history and also recognizes the girl as a Zito.
The M.C. head to the dress warehouse where Miguel is questioning the street vendor. The poor guy’s tied up and claims not to have noticed anything unusual about the trash can fire. He doesn’t know anything about the rebels. He remembers there were children playing around the fire, but otherwise he didn’t pay any attention.
One of Miguel’s men tosses hot grease in the vendor’s face. Bishop demands to know why Miguel made the club come to witness this, and Miguel says its because the vendor saw who took his son. EZ is caught whispering and Miguel tells him to speak up. EZ doesn’t back down and replies, “I said maybe if you didn’t treat them like greasy f*cking peasants, you’d still have your son.”
Miguel signals for a boy to be brought into the room. It’s the vendor’s young son and he’s stripped of his shirt and also tied up, as the vendor cries out for them to stop. Angel interrupts by claiming Dogwood just called and said they found the station wagon by the dog shelter.
Bishop asks to run the lead down before they hurt the boy. Miguel sends his enforcers with the crew.
As they’re leaving, EZ apologizes to Bishop for speaking out. He’s relieved to discover Bishop’s not angry.
The crew makes it to the station wagon and it turns out the license plate doesn’t belong to the vehicle. Bishop wants him to give Galindo the info anyway, thinking it might slow down the bloodshed.
Miguel’s guys pull away, leaving the Mayans behind. They quickly figure out the loose dogs nearby are supposed to be in the shelter.
The Galindo men are at the shelter, cages are open, dogs are running loose, and the woman in charge is being choked while they question her about the car and the baby. The Mayans arrive and both sides pull their guns as the M.C. defends the shelter and its staff. It’s mutually agreed the fight will continue with fists, not guns.
Windows are broken, blood’s shed, and the dogs provide the partial soundtrack with their barks. Bishop and the leader of Miguel’s men, Nestor (Gino Vento), agree this fight was long overdue and allow it to continue until the men have worked out their issues.
Back at the Galindo house, Emily informs Miguel she saw the video. She knows their child was stolen because of his drug dealing, and she reveals that one of the kidnappers was a child who didn’t flinch when they shot her bodyguard in the head. They were calm and methodical. She believes their son will be hurt and pleads with Miguel not to retaliate until they learn more.
Devante interrupts to speak with Miguel alone, informing him there must have been another car waiting and his baby was most likely driven directly into Mexico. Devante believes they have to strike immediately, but Miguel’s still unwilling to do so because he doesn’t want to risk his son’s life.
It’s revealed Miguel had a brother, Cristobal, who died while still a baby. While holding a photo of the child, Devante says, “Miguel, there’s something you need to know.”
Miguel’s mother explains Miguel’s father’s business partner Eduardo Perez betrayed them. He took the child and made a deal with the Sonora Cartel. They tried to use the baby to force her husband’s hand, but Miguel’s father didn’t make the deal. The baby didn’t die from pneumonia as Miguel had been told.
Miguel wonders if his mother’s insinuating that because she mourned the child but got pregnant soon after and had him, that he’s supposed to do the same with his son who’s named after his dead brother. Devante insists the only way to deal with this is to draw first blood.
As Devante turns to leave, Miguel says, “Our problem…do what you need to do.”
Angel, EZ, and Coco meet with Adelita. She’s worried they’re meeting in public, but Angel’s upset they’re having to deal with the backlash of her actions. Angel explains EZ used to be with Miguel’s wife and he still has feelings for her. He’s worried about the child, but Adelita assures him the boy’s fine for now. She doesn’t think Miguel will ever find her or her rebels.
As they walk a scream’s heard in the public plaza. Everyone starts running, gathering around the street vendor and his child who have been burned nearly beyond recognition. Copies of Adelita’s speech are stuffed in their mouths.
Later, the Mayans gather at their clubhouse to release some steam. EZ is with Felipe, but Angel and Coco down some brews and try and relax. They aren’t going to tell Bishop about the burned bodies yet.
Coco waits until everyone’s occupied and then takes off.
Miguel’s mom begins picking up items around the house and is about to pick up one of his son’s stuffed animals when he tells her to leave it alone. He sits alone, drinking, as she walks away.
Emily shows up at the butcher shop and greets Felipe with a hug. She made an excuse with Miguel’s mom that she’s picking up a roast because she wanted to see EZ. She admits she’s in shock and EZ tells her he’s sorry. She asks for his help and he agrees. She wants the truth and needs to talk to someone she can trust. She knows Miguel will retaliate and no one will tell her what’s going on.
EZ confirms Miguel already retaliated – two innocent people were burned to death and dumped in the square. Emily, crying, hugs EZ. She’s now aware she probably will not get her son back alive, but EZ promises he won’t let anything happen to her baby.
The episode ends with Coco cruising the streets, finding his mom hooking, and telling her to get in the car.