Outlaw motorcycle clubs have been cruising around America since the end of the World War II, but the secretive groups are often shrouded in mystery. One drama offers TV viewers a fictional look at the complex and dangerous world of biker culture, and it's ready to roll into Season 2.
J.D. Pardo ("Revolution") returns as motorcycle club prospect Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes in the season premiere of "Mayans M.C.," airing Tuesday, Sept. 3, on FX. Set in the same universe of the previous FX series "Sons of Anarchy," the show follows a motorcycle club on the U.S.-Mexico border in the California town of Santo Padre.
The 10-episode second season is sure to offer plenty of twists and turns as EZ continues his quest for vengeance. The son of a proud Mexican family, EZ showed potential until his dreams were eventually quashed by cartel violence. The show's violent sequences have been the subject of much scrutiny, especially during the TCA summer press tour in August, which came on the heels of deadly mass shootings in the U.S.
Kurt Sutter ("Sons of Anarchy"), who co-created "Mayans M.C." along with Elgin James ("Little Birds," 2011), talked about the show's use of violence in the wake of the shootings during the TCA panel for the show.
"This is a world that has the language of violence," Sutter was quoted by deadline. com. "The truth of violence is that it's never gratuitous. It's not pretty, not sexy and it always has consequences."
Season 2 continues to interweave EZ's story with those of his brother, father and other Mayans associates. It's been eight months since the events of the inaugural season's finale, but many of the characters are still at odds. The official FX trailer for Season 2 shows EZ approaching his estranged brother, Angel (Clayton Cardenas, "American Crime"), with the news that he knows who killed their mother. The same trailer shows EZ and Angel's father, Felipe Reyes (Edward James Olmos, "Battlestar Galactica"), talking to another character about how his boys have no connection to his past, saying, "I buried it for a reason," before the footage flashes to a picture of EZ and Angel's mother, Marisol. In last season's finale, it was revealed that Happy Lowman (David Labrava) — a crossover character from "Sons of Anarchy" — was the man responsible for the death of the Reyes family matriarch.
Meanwhile, cartel leader Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") faces troubles of his own. He's married to EZ's childhood sweetheart, Emily Thomas (Sarah Bolger, "The Tudors"). Despite his seemingly successful marriage, vast wealth and outward facade as a legitimate businessman, the ruthless, coldhearted Galindo struggles to make it all work, both with the family business and in his relationship with Emily.
As for the remaining members of the Mayans M.C., they have their own problems. In the Season 2 opener, it appears that the club has uncovered an internal leak and must figure out how to deal with it. The trailer shows Mayans M.C.'s Santo Padre Charter president Obsipo "Bishop" Losa (Michael Irby, "The Unit") calling a meeting and telling the other members that they've "hit an ugly bump," adding, "We gotta do something, or we'll lose everything."
Season 2 also features the return of several characters from the show's first outing. Raoul Max Trujillo ("Apocalypto," 2006) stars as Bishop's second in command, Che "Taza" Romero, vice-president of the Santo Padre chapter. Antonio Jaramillo "(Shades of Blue") portrays the Mayans M.C., Santo Padre's Charter El Secretario Michael "Riz" Ariza. Richard Cabral ("Into the Dark: Culture Shock") plays former marine and full-patch member of the Mayans M.C. Johnny "El Coco" Cruz. Emillio Rivera ("Z Nation") returns as Marcus Alvarez, Bishop's cousin and national president of the Mayans M.C. Carla Baratta ("Bleep") will once again be seen as Adelita, a woman who watched her family die at the hands of the Galindo cartel when she was just a child.
What happens next for the Mayans and other residents of Santo Padre is anyone's guess, but fans of the show will likely be on the edges of their seats for this season's thrill ride. Unlike many TV spinoffs, "Mayans M.C." is showing it has the mettle to keep audiences enthralled, with or without its connection to "Sons of Anarchy." TV spinoffs often bank on the popularity of their originating series in an attempt to recapture the show's audience. Yet, "Mayans M.C." has managed to strike out on its own and draw viewers into a world with very little direct connection to "Sons of Anarchy."
Raoul Max Trujillo as seen in "Mayans M.C."