Mayans M.C. Escorpión/Dzec review: Sutter and James follow the premiere exceptionally

Still image from Mayans M.C. Escorpión/Dzec. Emily (Sarah Bolger) meets with EZ to get the truth in order to prepare herself for what may come next. Pic credit: FX
Emily (Sarah Bolger) meets with EZ to get the truth in order to prepare herself for what may come next. Pic credit: FX

The second episode of Mayans M.C. “Escorpión/Dzec” wasted no time getting to the good stuff. Episode 2 continued the many plot points that were established in Perro/Oc, while still leaving room for unexpected character development and surprises.

The focus of episode 2 follows the investigation behind the kidnapping of Cristobal Galindo, Emily, and Miguel’s son. Miguel not only puts his own henchmen on the investigation but tasks the Mayans M.C. Santo Padre charter with digging up information on the Los Olvidados’ involvement as well. This combination made for a dynamic display of common interest, yet conflicting ideas on how to handle the situation.

While Escorpión/Dzec unfolded at a slower pace compared to Perro/Oc, the change in speed still moved the plot forward while offering time to slowly develop key characters.

Escorpión/Dzec takes acting to another level

Still image from Mayans M.C. Escorpión/Dzec. Miguel (Danny Pino) consoles Emily (Sarah Bolger). Pic credit FX
Miguel (Danny Pino) consoles Emily (Sarah Bolger). Pic credit: FX

Sarah Bolger immediately stands out as she portrayed a worrisome mother. While Sarah delivers Emily’s dialogue, she consistently shudders in catching her breath and often pauses to hold back tears.

We get the sense that Emily is usually perfectly poised and collected, but this heartbreaking situation allows Sarah to find herself losing composure as ferocity emerges as she seeks answers from Miguel.

Danny Pino’s performance as paternal energy in the relationship, shifts. Danny portrays Miguel as willing to stop at nothing to retrieve his son.

Yet under the influence of his mother Dita and Devante, his decision to retaliate is made when he learns what may happen if he does not meet cruelty with cruelty. However, as Miguel follows the advice of Devante, we get the haunting feeling his actions will have the reverse effect the Galindo’s are hoping for.

Richard Cabral took second place in this episode as he portrayed Coco and how the knowledge of his sister’s actions affects him emotionally. Through Richard’s acting, he is able to share Coco’s distress with the audience, and this is easily readable through Coco’s expressions. Viewers became more interested in Coco as a character as a result of the small development of his character in this episode.

JD Pardo commands his emotions here and to be able to show that what EZ is feeling in that moment plays out very well especially when he is paired with Edward James Olmos. The two share the screen exceptionally well, playing off each other’s strengths to give us the most heartwarming father and son moments.

Actress Carla Baratta (Adelita) expresses gratitude

Carla Baratta plays Adelita nearly reactionless, and Adelita as a character is very hard to read on facial expressions and body language. Carla seems to portray her character appropriately, a woman with a dark background who is used to witnessing the destruction of the cartel.

Adelita’s mission is the axis for the series so far and with everything revolving around her resistance, fans are quick to pick up her crucial role.

There was an unexpected Sons of Anarchy cameo in this episode. Fans were surprised to see Chucky Marstein (Michael Ornstein) now works for the Santo Padre charter in the Romero Brothers Scrap and Salvage yard. The cameo was short, which is appreciated as time was not taken away from Coco during this important scene for his character.

Still image from Mayans M.C. Escorpión/Dzec. Chucky (Michael Marisi Ornstein) does the books for the Santo Padre charter at the scrap and salvage yard. Pic credit: FX
Chucky (Michael Marisi Ornstein) does the books for the Santo Padre charter at the scrap and salvage yard. Pic credit: FX

A common fear among fans is the future Sons of Anarchy cameos feeling cheapened or gratuitous. That fear should not stretch to this particular cameo. Gamespot spoke with co-creator and executive producer Elgin James, revealing Chucky will recur in future episodes of Mayans M.C. and his use in the series will be purposeful.

Among some of the greatest scenes in episode 2, is the brawl that occurs in the dog shelter between the Mayans and Nestor’s crew. Emilio Rivera (Marcus Alvarez) reminds viewers how old-world and suave El Padrino is by teaching the young men to settle the tension with fists rather than guns.

The editing of this scene is on point. Cuts are not too quick or too often to hide choreography. Instead, multiple angles are used allowing viewers to take in each character during their participation in the fight.

Actor Frankie Loyal (Hank ‘El Tranq’) confirms stellar soundtrack

Mayans M.C. music composer Bob Thiele Jr. sets the tone for this action sequence. Uncontrollable Urge by Devo intensifies the mood as windows shatter, faces are kicked, and cheap nut shots are handed out.

Billboard goes in-depth behind Bob Thiele Jr.’s creative process when scoring Mayans M.C.

Episode 2 had a slightly shorter run time of 55 minutes, including the “previously on Mayans MC” recap. Once again, directed by Norberto Barba, who continues to use the techniques that made Perro/Oc feel cinematic. The best scenes use angles where the camera is positioned between or behind objects from a distance or over a character’s shoulder, giving the audience the feeling of watching each event on a personal level.

Judging by the first two episodes, Kurt Sutter and Elgin James seem to have established a solid footing on the writing of Mayans M.C. and we can look forward to the remaining 8 episodes to continue moving us to a complete season 1 story arc.

By handing us small doses of character development while focusing more on the overall story, the first season may be strongly well paced and binge-worthy.

MayansMC airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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