TV: Mayans M.C. S01 E02 - Escorpion/ Dzec - Reviewed

Somehow, Kurt Sutter has done the impossible. Or potentially the unimaginable. He has created one of the best television series spin-offs of all time. 

Continuing the criminal themes of Sons of Anarchy, his brand new show Mayans M.C. is a nearly perfect second shot at recreating the underworld of a crime ridden biker gang. With precise direction and delivery of a new set of characters, this updated drama seems to set aside the mistakes of the last two seasons of SOA and perfects the narrative sins he previously committed. Mayans sets forth right off the bat with absolute brutality that lets his captive audience know he's not messing around this time. Where Sons took a while to build to a crescendo of absolute mayhem, this M.C. is pure insanity within two short shows. 

As a loyalist to SOA, I was totally expecting this to be a tired retread that didn't do anything new with the gang mentality that Kurt Sutter does so well. Instead, the first two episodes have been a surprising treat that seem to up the ante in almost all areas. Getting right down to the gritty underbelly of the Mayans M.C., we're instantly given brand new vile antagonists that have no respect for human life, tons of exposition that cross references Sons of Anarchy, and sleeker direction that's rolling the plot out in an expedited manner. Mayans amplifies what Sutter tried to do before, but instead of copying his first show, seems to be going in a more hardcore direction (not that SOA wasn't hard). 

With only two hours behind us already, episode two ramps up the insanity and almost immediately begins dispatching human lives. Catching the sheer violence of the club and the gangster lifestyle they're wrapped up in, Sutter's way of building story for these characters feels more defined and expeditious with Mayans. Yes, there will be more development as we go along but he's definitely trying to break away from being a copycat of his own brand. And it feels good. I think most were expecting a carbon copy. That's not what he's doing here. Plus, whenever this crosses paths with the SOA timeline, it doesn't seem too convoluted. It just nods and lets us know that Jax and the boys are still part of this world, which is just enough for most fans. 

Episode two creates more building blocks on the already captivating foundation that is a thriving new series. If Sutter and his team can keep the wheels turning on Mayans M.C., this could end up with another multi-season arc that allows the legacy of Sons carry on while new characters and story lines carry the torch of a brand new Prospect as he finds his way through the biker way of life. Right now, I'm totally sold on this show and will definitely be watching every single week.