Kurt Sutter Fired From Mayans M.C. for Being ‘an Abrasive Dick’ (His Words) By Jordan Crucchiola@jorcru Kurt Sutter Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb Kurt Sutter, who had scaled back his involvement with Mayans M.C., the Sons of Anarchy spinoff that he co-created, seems generally...
The cast and creator of the FX drama break down the first half of season 3 and how it shapes what's ahead in EW's 'Around the Table' series.
Mayans M.C. star JD Pardo on EZ's future after shooting: 'It changes his mindset moving forward'
The cast and creator of the FX drama break down the first half of season 5 and how it shapes what's ahead in EW's Around the Table series.
By Rosy Cordero
April 09, 2021 at 01:26 PM EDT
The first half of FX's Mayans M.C.season 3 ended with a bang, literally, with series protagonist EZ Reyes (JD Pardo) getting shot in the stomach while out on a date with his love interest Gaby (Sulem Calderon). How does this impactful moment set the tone for the remainder of the season?
"He's starting this new relationship with Gaby and I think there lies a little weakness for EZ. He became a little too comfortable," series star Pardo tells EW exclusively in EW's Around the Table series (video above).
He adds, "In episode 5 when the shooting happens, it just kind of happens. It's not like anything he expected and it changes his outlook from that point on. There's a part of EZ that hates that it happened and more so that he put down his guard. It's when he put down his guard and when he was focused on this relationship that he got attacked. It changes EZ's mindset moving forward."
Pardo was joined in the discussion by series co-creator and showrunner Elgin James and costars Clayton Cardenas, Danny Pino, Carla Baratta, and Richard Cabral to discuss the personal turmoil each character individually is having to face this season and how it affects their organizations and their loved ones as a whole.
"It gets dicey for everyone," James replies coyly when asked if he's gunning to kill every character this season. "Whether it's for your life, for your soul, it gets dicey for everyone."
It certainly gets dicey for power couple Angel (Cardenas) and Adelita (Baratta) who were surprisingly reunited after she was sprung from Potter's (Ray McKinnon) stronghold. Though. she's now merely a shell of her former self.
Angel proposes marriage to his beloved, hoping to protect her in ways he was unable to do so for her and their son who's now believed to be dead. But Adelita can't see a future with the man she cares passionately about, at least not now.
"As we move into the end of episode 5, Angel had this fantasy he had put to bed is now reignited again," he says of his character's renewed dreams. "The flood of feelings he goes through is somewhat irrational to the point where he makes the decision where he's never going to let this woman out of his sight again."
All that did was scare a now almost feral Adelita into swiftly moving into the next stage of her life that begins with a short haircut and a thirst for revenge.
"Adelita is at a point where she decides to take the steps to take revenge into her own hands," the Venezuelan native shares. "Everything that's happened to her in the first half of the season shows that no matter how deep in a hole you are you have to get up on your feet, get that strength, and just go for it. That's where Adelita is now."
Pino's Miguel Galindo is going through an evolution of his own in the worst way possible after the loss of his mother Dita (Ada Maris). And that's without the knowledge that it was his secret half-brother EZ who strangled her to death at her request that turned his life upside down.
"He's trying to rationalize his life in this new world that he lives in and [his lover] Palomo [Mia Maestro] just makes it easy," the former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star, who unknowingly has a sitdown with his natural father Felipe (Edward James Olmos), says.
"With Felipe, he doesn't know what's going on so he's not playing any subtext there," he continues. "What I think he finds in Felipe is somebody who knew his mother, it's another contact to his mother... Any kind of mundane things he finds that connects to his mother is gold."
Fans are mostly afraid for the life of Coco (Cabral), whose spiral has led him down a dangerous path into drugs and dealings with dangerous characters who ask that he break M.C. laws that also put his life at risk. The California native, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a limited series for American Crime in 2015, lost 60 lbs off his already thin frame for season 3.
"We're an all-star team who brings their hearts and souls [to work every day]," he says as to why the Television Academy shouldn't overlook Mayans M.C. come award season. "This season, there are no filler scenes. Every scene has a purpose and every actor was thought of. The work speaks for itself. For me, this is the greatest performance I have given in my life. I sacrificed my body for nearly six months, which is also how I got nominated the first time."
James admits he was worried about the lengths the method actor went to reach his goal.
"When we were on Meth Mountain, I asked him to lift up his shirt as if I was a cop," he says. "I told him, 'You gotta eat or you're gonna die.' He was eating like five almonds a day! His big treat was he could eat an apple. He literally sacrificed everything. We were all worried about our friend Richard but also awestruck by what he was doing and where he was going." Mayans M.C. airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
Mayans M.C. boss Elgin James says SAMCRO will continue to appear only when it’s 'organic'
"This is a different show" from Sons of Anarchy, James stresses.
By Rosy Cordero
March 30, 2021 at 11:00 PM EDT
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Tuesday's episode of Mayans M.C., "Our Gang's Dark Oath."
The Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club lost another member in Tuesday's episode of Mayans M.C., which saw Montez (Jacob Vargas) die at the hands of Palo (Gregory Norman Cruz), who has been lurking in the shadows and plotting his revenge for the slaying of the Vatos Malditos back in the season 2 finale.
So what does this mean for the future of SAMCRO in Santo Padre? Showrunner and co-creator Elgin James tells EW the motorcycle club that was the focus of Sons of Anarchy will continue to appear on Mayans when it feels "organic."
He also invokes the trailblazing spirit of Sons creator and Mayans co-creator Kurt Sutter, who exited Mayans last year. "It's funny how Sons fans who love the rebelliousness of Kurt and of that show who then expected us to genuflect to this mythology, which seems to go against the whole spirit of [Mayans M.C.]," James says. "This is a different show."
He adds, "Of course we are proud to come from this world, this mythology, and this universe. We've been twisting ourselves for seasons, the actors, everybody, to let everyone know that. But at the same time, this is our show and this is our world. So to answer the question as to whether our M.C. will get into trouble each season and then call up the white cavalry to come save them? Probably f---ing not."
CREDIT: PRASHANT GUPTA/FX
But the Sons crew won't disappear either.
"Will SAMCRO be involved? F— yeah!" James says. "I love Tommy Flanagan [who plays Chibs, president of SAMCRO]. I love all those guys. I want to be able to hang with those guys. And let's not forget, there's still a dead Sons of Anarchy member in the dirt in Mexico and another one rotting slowly in a barrel full of salt right by our clubhouse."
Stepping into the role of solo showrunner for season 3 has been a positive experience, James says, as he's been able to help expose the varied layers beneath the tough-guy surface of the Mayans M.C.
"I love everyone working on this show, and we're really a family," he says. "I know everyone says that, but this is legit and for real. I spent two seasons sort of being frustrated with knowing the potential of the actors and wanting to let them explode. During all this time we had off, especially during quarantine, I said, 'This is our shot.' I want every scene to be like a heavyweight bout, and what you're watching now is what [the actors] came back with. Each actor has annihilated it. I just turn the camera on and I let them explode."
CREDIT: PRASHANT GUPTA/FX
Emmy-nominated actor Richard Cabral lost 60 pounds for his portrayal of Coco this season, as the character descends into drug abuse.
"We have a different approach to violence this season than we had in the past," James says. "Even if Coco has been making jokes for two seasons about killing his mom or killing moms, that's just a front. There's real damage there. The chickens come home to roost for Coco, starting with physical pain, but it's all connected to emotional pain. He literally goes to hell. Isaac [J.R. Bourne] wants more than a key of heroin from him, he wants his soul. Yeah, everyone should be worried for Coco."
James also offers insight into the "just one king" story line he's been teasing since the start of season 3.
"That refers to either Bishop's [Michael Irby] rise or Bishop's fall," he explains. "For Bishop, it's similar to Coco's situation, where everything stems from emotional pain. Everything comes from his guilt and his shame from the past. He and Peña [Alexandra Barreto] suffered a terrible tragedy that no parent should ever have to. As the episodes continue, you'll see she put herself together and she's trying to make something positive out of it. It's the one-year anniversary of this event, and Bishop is making terrible decisions for the club that'll be catastrophic for them in the end."
He adds, "The recurring theme this season is that women are tough as s---. We men, we stay little boys our whole lives." Mayans M.C. airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Tuesday night's episode of FX's Mayans M.C., "Overreaching Don't Pay."
As Richard Cabral's Mayans M.C.character Johnny "El Coco" Cruz falls deeper into heroin addiction, he finds an unexpected connection to his mother — a former heroin addict.
"Heroin is this drug you hear about but you don't fully understand the blissfulness nor its chaos until you do it. It's through Coco's drug use that he can finally relate to his mom," the Emmy Award-nominated actor tells EW.
"His mom's addiction trickles into this episode and you see where the trauma, the heartbreak, and the turmoil comes from and it started with little Johnny," he continues. "He promised himself that no matter what, he would never follow in her footsteps but here he is. Hope [Vanessa Giselle] tried to help him but little did she know, she made it infinitely worse. Coco has reached the point of surrender."
The reasons for his relapse lie in two of the biggest plot points for the character thus far: him murdering his mother, and his need for painkillers after the Vatos Malditos nearly took his vision.
"Everything is connected to season 1, beginning with him murdering his mom," Cabral shares. "When we go through traumatic events like that, they never fully go away. He's done hiding in season 3 and pretending that what happened never did. And there's also the pain from his eye that leads him back to drugs. His spiral stems back to his traumatic life, with an emphasis on the murder of his mom."
Richard Cabral and Vincent Rocco Vargas in 'Mayans M.C.'
| CREDIT: JUSTIN LUBIN/FX
Coco's downward spiral is affecting the M.C. in dangerous ways. Not only is he slacking while in a haze, but his close friend Gilly (Vincent Rocco Vargas) is pretty much done covering for him.
"The club has rules and you have to abide by them or you can easily be removed from the club," Vargas shares. "Coco is walking that fine line right now. He's choosing the addiction over the brotherhood, that's rough. I don't foresee Gilly softening his stance on this one; he's frustrated. They're connected because of their military background, which is an even deeper brotherhood that the rest of the club wouldn't understand but Coco is making it hard."
Adds Cabral, "I'm so proud of those scenes that show Coco's and Gilly's relationship. We hadn't had a chance to tap into the camaraderie, the brotherhood before season 3. [Executive producer] Elgin [James] and the writers really honored that. I think that a lot of that comes from Elgin, who knows what it's like to be part of that brotherhood, being in prison, and gang life.
"Me being from a gang, we understand the meaning of brotherhood without judgment," he continues. "I know seeing Coco like this hurts Gilly but I don't think he would throw him under the bus."
Coco is now bound to this commune, where he meets with Hope for his daily hit and where all sorts of trouble dwell. It's true, Coco didn't seek out heroin, but the person behind that act, newcomer Isaac (JR Bourne), knows exactly how to exploit this weakness.
"He has something over Coco and things aren't going to end there," Cabral says. "Him showing up at the club, there's a bigger set-up. As the upcoming episodes unfold, you'll see why Isaac took that photo of Coco [passed out on heroin]."
With the border closures putting the squeeze on everyone, only the strong will survive. As the M.C. finds creative ways to stay in business, Coco is lagging behind.
"Gilly's family is the club, so he's going to continue to push forward," says Vargas. "He will stand by the club and whatever decisions they make, with or without Coco. If he continues down this path, he will get left behind."
Adds Cabral, "All of our income comes from the border, so with these closures, Santo Padre is dying. We have the weight of the whole club because we're the gatekeepers, so not only does our chapter suffer but so do our brothers in the Mayans' universe. We have internal and external trauma we're battling, external forces... We are on the brink of imploding, which is not somewhere we've ever been before." Mayans M.C. airs Tuesday night's at 10 p.m. only on FX.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Tuesday's two-episode season 3 premiere of FX's Mayans M.C., "Pap Struggles With the Death Angel," and "The Orneriness of Kings."
After more than a year of waiting, Mayans M.C. is back and fans should be worried about Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino), who is falling apart after his mother Dita's (Ada Maris) death in the season 2 finale.
"Miguel losing his mother to what he suspects is suicide brings with it all kinds of challenges, psychological and otherwise," Pino tells EW of what his character is facing this season.
"He's blaming himself and the guilt is consuming him. He wonders what else he could've done and whether or not this was all his fault," he adds. "The loss of his mother untethers him. He's unmoored. His marriage isn't in good shape. He doesn't quite know where he stands and he feels isolated. And when seeking out who's to blame, the hardest thing for him to do is look in the mirror."
Emilio Rivera and Danny Pino in 'Mayans M.C.'
| CREDIT: PRASHANT GUPTA/FX
Miguel might be feeling isolated, but he isn't alone. He's got a new lover, Montserrat Palomo (Mia Maestro), who keeps him grounded — especially when they're in the bedroom.
"I think that's the one area of solace that Miguel has, that he's found a place where he can let his guard down," Pino says.
"It is kind of a hedonistic sanctuary for him, having an extramarital affair. I think Miguel needed to find refuge in a relationship with somebody else. Politics and crime breed strange bedfellows. [Montserrat] is this incredibly strong, powerful, and thoughtful woman and someone who is Miguel's equal, if not surpasses his capacities. At the most basic level, he just needs somewhere to not hide from himself and someone with whom he can share things."
Unfortunately, that person he so desperately needs is not his wife, Emily [Sarah Bolger], and it seems inevitable that their marriage will not end well.
"In the first two seasons, there was this push and pull between Miguel and Emily, and the lies Miguel would tell Emily [were] in his mind to protect her from the world of the cartel," says Pino. "Emily, being a strong person in her own right, had secrets of her own. But Miguel was smart enough to know she was lying to him. So lies begat lies and now they've reached a point where neither one trusts the other."
While battling guilt over the death of his mother, Miguel is also damaging other relationships along the way.
First, he sends his henchmen Nestor (Gino Vento) and Paco (Joe Ordaz) to kill Dita's former therapist after she wouldn't give Miguel information about his mother's sessions. Then, Paco is also dramatically and messily shot to death by Miguel in front of Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera), a close friend of Paco who often looked after his son.
"There's this overarching sense of lack of control of his own business, his own life, and his own marriage," shares Pino. "The way he tries to regain control and to show people that he's in control is through violence. A way to elicit loyalty is through fear, which Miguel learned from his father and is something that has been reinforced as the head of the cartel. A lot of the violence that Miguel propagates is to make people fear him and to keep those who might stray loyal to him. Miguel is always worried about loyalty."
Miguel has so much to deal with that it's almost easy to forget that the borders have been closed and it's putting the squeeze on everyone in Santo Padre and beyond.
Michael Irby in 'Mayans M.C.'
| CREDIT: JAMES MINCHIN/FX
"The closing of the borders changes everything. It changes his business, his relationship with the Mayans, and there's also political and financial stress," Pino explains. "It threatens his vision, his dream for the agro park project. Then when you add the loss of his mother to the that there's a feeling of implosion to Miguel's life."
Lest we forget that the truth about Miguel's parentage has yet to be revealed to him, as well as the knowledge that his nemesis is his half brother EZ Reyes (JD Pardo) — and also the man who killed Dita with her permission.
"You're asking questions that go way beyond episode 2," Pino says with a laugh. "I will say this, there are so many unanswered questions as to what Miguel knows and what he'll find out. This season does an exceptional job of taking those questions and exploring underneath some of the heaviest rocks."
He adds, "You should be afraid for everyone's life this season because the world we're playing in has shifted so dramatically. Nobody is secure and everyone is under extreme pressure. That's the reality of what this show is: a show that takes place on the border, a show that's equal parts beauty and brutality, romance and cynicism, hopelessness and hope. Our show is about characters who are struggling to survive."