FX’s new show Mayans MC is a spinoff of the biker drama Sons of Anarchy, which finished its seven-season run almost four years ago. That connection seems fitting as the new series covers many of the same issues, such as gruesome violence and a love for gun deaths. However, this time around, they manage to insert a new political edge. These days, what show doesn’t?
The September 4 pilot “Perro/Oc” follows Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes (J.D. Pardo) working as a prospect for the Mayan MC (motorcycle club) charter across the California/Mexico border. Between the gang, the Mexican cartel, and his brother’s aspirations, EZ quickly becomes caught up in what’s looking to be an all-out turf war. By the end of the pilot, EZ begins working with a new vigilante group, plotting to take down the cartel themselves.
Right away, the series starts off on the wrong foot. The first shot, no kidding, depicts the California/Mexico border wall with the words “Divided We Fall” spray-painted in English and Spanish. I guess nowadays you literally can’t go one minute into a present-day show without some political statement.
To his credit, series creator Kurt Sutter remarks that the show wasn’t supposed to take a political stance claiming, “It wasn't like I wanted to set it on the border to make a statement or have it be a political show. It was just that, to me, it was creatively the smart thing to do." However, he does state that “but the world is the world. The climate is the climate. The tensions are the tensions. There are people of color who have struggled from the jump and are being squeezed even more intensely in this current climate. So, they're going to have a point of view about it." In other words, it isn’t political, but feel free to make it political. Also, it’s political.
Even without an image of the wall, it still promises much of the same attitudes as Sons of Anarchy. Within the way-too-long 90-minute pilot, there are two shootouts, an explosion, a dismemberment, and a boatload of f-bombs with more on the way. For shows like this, the MA-rating is more like a dare than a warning.
In the long run, it hasn’t yet hit peak Anarchy if only because there haven't been any sex scenes. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for the future nine episodes. With its amoral behavior and new political edge, Mayans MC is poised to further drive television’s decline into chaos, if we're not there already.