10 Mayans M.C. minor characters who served a purpose then vanished

JD Pardo as EZ Reyes on Mayans M.C., whose storylines wouldn’t be possible without the vast array of minor characters created by Kurt Sutter. Pic credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Warning, spoilers ahead for the first season of Mayans M.C.!

Mayans M.C. followed in the footsteps of its parent series Sons of Anarchy as the second installment in Kurt Sutter’s dramatic motorcycle fictional universe. The new series boasted an array of minor characters and factions that broadened the world of the Santo Padre Mayans. 

Due to its success, FX announced the renewal of Mayans M.C. shortly before the fifth episode aired. Season 2 of Mayans M.C. is expected to begin pre-production this spring with an anticipated September 2019 premiere.

What makes the Sutterverse so enjoyable for the fandom is how Kurt Sutter tells the story. His storytelling unfolds through the use of minor characters that drive the plots forward by interacting with major or supporting characters in scenes.

The introduction of minor characters in a television series service important storytelling duties often in the form of dialogue.

They aid in the development of the main story arc or subplots, present vital information to the viewers, create additional conflict and sometimes may provide the solution to a problem that the main character is facing. 

When fiction involves multiple characters, those who no longer serve a purpose will drag down the overall story and distract from the major characters. Consequently, a minor character’s usual objective is to show up, help drive the plot forward and get out of the way.

Here are 10 minor characters and factions who served a purpose in Mayans M.C. and then vanished.

1. The Samoan Basetown Tribe

Afa (played by Peter Navy Tuiasosopo), former shot-caller of the Samoan Basetown Tribe out of San Bernardino. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Kick off the action by creating a conflict in need of resolution and introduce the Los Olvidados leader, Adelita.

The Samoan Basetown Tribe (BTT) were established as a street gang operating out of San Bernadino, CA. This faction generates income by selling marijuana and utilizing working girls.

They appear in the premiere episode “Perro/Oc” hijacking a Galindo Cartel drug shipment from the Mayans Motorcycle Club. The Mayans visit BTT at their base of operations in the Nunez Cemetary to determine who hired them to seize the shipment.

This results in a shootout killing at least eight Samoan members and the capture of the shot-caller Afa. After Afa meets the brutal end of Miguel Galindo’s interrogation, the Mayans discover that a young woman (Adelita) leading the Los Olvidados (The Forgotten Ones) is responsible. The few remaining members of the Basetown Tribe are never seen again.

2. Gracie

Gracie (portrayed by Naomi Ruiz), owner and operator of a dog refuge which doubles as a detox center. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Show the Santo Padre charter’s support for their fellow residents, to show the M.C.’s quest for Adelita’s identity, and assist in the capture of Louie.

Gracie is the owner of a dog shelter with an intriguing business model taking care of stray dogs and detoxing drug addicts.

The lovely Gracie is introduced in “Escorpion/Dzec” when the Mayans visit her dog refuge. Having a positive relationship with the Mayans, they ask if she has noticed an increase in patients from an outside drug source. When she cannot offer any answers, Gracie is handed an envelope of cash to aid in the upkeep of her refuge.

While interacting with this minor character, the Mayans notice one of her patients is a member of Dogwood Crew. Gracie solves the Mayans search for Louie by calling him to her property.

After an all-out brawl between the Santo Padre Mayans and the Galindo grunts leaves Gracie’s shelter in disarray, she is never heard from again. We just hope Coco replaced her broken window.

3. Louie and the Dogwood Crew

Louie (played by Noel Gugliemi) is a high-ranking member of the street gang called the Dogwood Crew. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Introduce Letty, begin Johnny ‘Coco’ Cruz’s character development and show the Mayans hunt for the Los Olvidados leader’s identity.

The Dogwood Crew is another street gang familiar to the Santo Padre chapter. Run by top dog Louie, the crew are small-scale drug dealers who give up a cut of their profits to the Mayans M.C. to remain in business.
Louie led the Mayans on a manhunt until Gracie uses recovering Dogwood crew member Tio as an excuse to lure him out of hiding.

A high-speed chase puts Louie upside down in a ditch and having to answer to Coco for putting his “sister” (later revealed to be Coco’s daughter) Letty in porn.

President Bishop bumps the Mayans’ take of Louie’s street business from 12 to 24 per cent for Coco’s emotional distress and tasks him with keeping an ear out for Adelita. Nothing comes of this later in the series and after this encounter, the Dogwood Crew is never mentioned again. So long, Louie!

4. The Chinese Syndicate

Michael Chen (portrayed by Clint Jung) is the head of a new Chinese crime family. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Show how the Mayans M.C. and Galindo Cartel do business, broaden the fictional universe, and display Bishop as a competent club president.

Not to be confused with the Lin Triad from Sons of Anarchy. Boss Michael Chen and his Chinese crime family are buyers of the Galindo Cartel’s heroin.

Appearing in episode “Buho/Muwan”, they meet with the Mayans M.C. in the San Buho Casino for reassurance their businesses won’t be further comprised following the Samoan hijacking.

In addition to repairing business relations, President Bishop takes care of a personal request for Chen by shooting Jimmy Yen (Peter Jae) for not cutting the family into his side dealings. Business continues as usual between the Mayans and Chinese Syndicate.

Later in the season, Vice President Taza leads a small group of Mayans on another drug shipment for the Chinese, yet we do not see Old Man Chen or his crime family again.

5. The CDCR distributors

Lenny and Gabe (played by Gary Kraus and Rick Cramer respectively) are CDCR distributors and customers of the Galindo Cartel. Image credit: FX

Purpose: Add to the circle of business partners of the Mayans by showing their varying customer base.

Members of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Lenny and Gabe distribute heroin within the California prison system. They rely on the Mayans’ shipments and the Galindo supply to fill their own pockets. According to Gilly, “They control everything coming in and out of 26 prisons” across the state.

Lenny and Gabe were introduced in the same scene as the Chinese, showing concern after the Samoan hijacking. Once El Padrino Marcus Alvarez and Santo Padre President Bishop put them at ease, we never learned more about the prison drug trade by catching back up with these gents.

6. Cole and the Ex Military Ops

Cole (portrayed by Branton Box) is an ex-military serviceman with a mysterious background and numerous contacts. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: End the militia subplot and serve as the buyer for Adelita’s stolen heroin to aid her rebel cause.

Cole was introduced as part of the subplot revolving around the militia yahoos gunning down border crossers to lift their prescription drugs. The mayor of Santo Padre tasks the Mayans M.C. with handing the militia in order to keep Santo Padre clean. Enter Cole, a shot-caller among militant inmates in Stockton State Prison during EZ Reyes’ sentence.

Cole was once Alice Reed’s buyer before he took out her and the entire militia for getting sloppy thus putting an end to the Santo Padre charter’s problem with the murdered border crosser subplot. This minor character was also used as a resolution to Angel Reyes’ problem with the lack of a buyer for Adelita’s stolen Galindo heroin.

Awarded more screentime than most on this list, Cole agreed to the deal and left Angel with a haunting warning not to cross him in the future. We thought Cole was being set up to be a thorn in Angel’s side down the road.

Turns out that was not the case. Cole and his merry band of ex-military operatives vanish, apparently having better things to do — possibly with more orange juice available.

7. Bala and the Galindo Spies

Bala (portrayed by Gilberto Ortiz) was brought to Miguel Galindo’s “pew” to be inducted into his child-spy ring. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Serve as the ‘Chekhov’s gun’ per se for the reveal that Adelita’s rebel camp had been infiltrated by a child spy working for Miguel Galindo.

Bala was among several boys from the Mexican side of the border to be rounded up by Galindo henchman Nestor Octavia (Gino Vento). Bala was shown getting his palm cut and inducted into Miguel Galindo’s band of young spies to gather intel on the Los Olvidados base location.

This minor character and his scene with Miguel served as the setup for the reveal that one boy had already infiltrated Adelita’s rebel camp. The focus shifts entirely on to this boy now within the camp, and Bala and the other boys are not heard from again.

8. Doc Estrada

Doctor Estrada (played by Carlos Linares) is the personal physician to the Mayans M.C. Santo Padre charter. Clip courtesy of FX.

Purpose: Show how the Santo Padre charter handles injuries obtained by the fictional Motorcycle Club lifestyle and reveal a character trait of the Santo Padre Road Captain Creeper.

The Doc is introduced to assist in Creeper’s recovery after he takes a bullet during the Samoan hijacking. Through the form of comedic banter, the dialogue between Doc Estrada and the Mayans reveal that Creeper is “an LA Mexican”, who is not particularly fluent in Spanish.

Having a private doctor who doesn’t ask questions take care of the occasional bullet wounds is invaluable. He is a minor character we would have liked to know more about, especially how he became the personal private doctor to the Santo Padre charter.

Unlike SAMCRO, the Mayans M.C. obtain fewer injuries. This essentially made the Doc irrelevant after the premiere episode of Season 1.

9. The Border Patrol Agents

Two Calexico East agents (played by Ricardo Chacon and Laura Vallejo) detained Miguel Galindo after being paid off by Adelita. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Move Adelita’s mission subplot forward and show how the cash made from the stolen heroin was used in her plan with Galindo.

A male border patrol agent was introduced when Adelita used Cole’s cash to buy him off for phase two of her plan with Galindo. The man is seen again with a female agent separating Miguel from his recently returned son Cristobal after he was abducted by Adelita’s rebel orphans.

The agents held Miguel Galindo in custody at Calexico East until Adelita arrived to strike a deal with the cartel kingpin. When the agents finally return the Galindo baby, we thought Miguel wouldn’t be able to restrain himself from exacting revenge on one or both agents.

Fortunately for them, the two guards hired by Adelita escaped ‘The Pew” since their purpose in the plot had been served. Both agents lived to patrol another day, offscreen.

10. Les Packer

Les Packer (played by Robert Patrick) is the President of the Sons of Anarchy San Bernardino chapter and an ally of the Mayans M.C. Pic credit: FX

Purpose: Aid the Santo Padre charter in the capture of Samoan leader Afa, show the alliance between Sons and Mayans and to provide a welcomed cameo for Sons of Anarchy fans.

Les Packer is the President of the Sons of Anarchy San Bernardino chapter, who like all SOA chapters are allied with the Mayans M.C. To the surprise of Sons of Anarchy fans, Les Packer made a guest appearance in “Perro/Oc”.

Thundering into the Nunez Cemetery, Packer assists his Mayan allies in capturing Afa. This minor character delivers some quips and embraces President Bishop, showing that after the events of the parent series Sons of Anarchy, the two motorcycle clubs are still in good standing before returning to Reaper business.

To be fair, Les’ chapter, SAMDINO, returns later to sell the Santo Padre some sick hardware, but to our disappointment Les never reappears to hand out new sandwich jokes.

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