TV Review: ‘Mayans M.C.’ on FX

The promotional material makes it clear: “Mayans M.C.” is set in a “post-Jax-Teller world.” That distinction may sound unusual, but it’s an important one. In this reboot-remake-reimagining TV landscape, the humble spin-off show has to make a strong decision about how it wants to frame itself. “Mayans M.C.” more or less picks up where “Sons of Anarchy” left off, following a motorcycle club that was not an insubstantial part of the original series. On “Sons,” the Mayans were one-time villains who ultimately became allies in the brutal dog-eat-dog-alive fictional world of creator Kurt Sutter. In bringing them back for their own series, he (alongside co-creator Elgin James) looks to recapture the magic that made “Sons,” at its best, so vital, while branching out to something new. The simple fact of an all-Latino cast is cause enough for interest, even if the show is still working on finding its voice.

Recently released from prison, Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo) has pledged his fortunes as a prospect for the Southern California branch of the Mayans. He’s not alone; his brother, Angel (Clayton Cardenas), a full-patch member of the club, is in charge of his duties as a prospect, and his father, Felipe (Edward James Olmos), a local butcher, is on hand to provide moral support. Given the quagmire of sin and violence that clubs in the Sutter-verse typically attract, he’ll need all the help he can get. The Mayans run drugs for the Galindo cartel, never a safe bet, and EZ quickly finds himself trapped in a number of moral and mortal quandaries, some of them external, and some he’s brought down on his own head. It’s a spider’s web Jax Teller might have understood, if no one else.

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