Drama ‘Mayans’ fires on all cylinders

August 30, 2018

JD Pardo stars as EZ Reyes in the new FX drama "Mayans M.C."

I never watched a single minute of “Sons of Anarchy.” So I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like what FX is calling the next chapter of the story, “Mayans M.C.” But since it’s a highly anticipated show, I figured it was my duty to watch it.

Sometimes it’s really fun to be wrong. I didn’t just like “Mayans,” I loved it as Kurt Sutter (the brains behind “Anarchy”) and his co-creator, Elgin James, have woven together an incredible world of intrigue and drama where a double cross looms at every turn and where nothing is more important than family.

The central figure of “Mayans” is Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo), who was recently released from prison and is now a prospect, or potential member, in the motorcycle club, Mayans M.C. Santo Padre. But the Mayans are not your ordinary motorcycle club.

They serve as the protection for the Galindo drug cartel, led by Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino). EZ is brought into the club by his brother, Angel (Clayton Cardenas), who is a full patch member. Through flashbacks, we learn that the motorcycle club life was not at all what EZ had planned, as he had a very bright future away from gangs, until an act of violence landed him in prison.

Things get dicey when the Mayans are ambushed during a drug shipment and Miguel demands the club track down the people who stole from him, forcing the club members to walk the very fine line between satisfying Miguel and protecting the club.

Meanwhile EZ navigates the unpleasant duties of a prospect while shouldering a big secret that could tear the club apart. And he’s not the only one keeping a bombshell.

If it sounds like I’m being incredibly vague, it’s because I am as FX has sworn me to absolute secrecy. There are so many twists and turns in the first episode, that there is very little I can say that won’t give something away.

But I can say this, each twist is more brilliant than the next and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize that you had no idea.

Pardo is phenomenal as the lead, immediately pulling viewers into EZ’s inner conflict as he tries to accept his new life and forget what might have been. Pino, who we know mostly from good guy roles in “Cold Case” and “Law & Order: SVU” slips into the bad guy role pretty effortlessly as Miguel works to balance his “professional” life with his personal one.

And Edward James Olmos provides his usual gravitas to an already outstanding cast as EZ’s father. Plus, the show throws in a few special cameos just for “Anarchy” fans that even non-watchers like me will appreciate.

FX is very excited about “Mayans” and they should be as the pilot fires on all cylinders. But you better make sure you’ve got your helmet on for this one as this road gets pretty curvy, pretty fast.

“Mayans M.C.” premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 on FX. Please note the show uses very strong language and some extreme violence.

Angela Henderson-Bentley writes about television for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact her at ahenderson-bentley@hotmail.com.

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