Xbalanque – Mayans MC Season 2 Premiere Episode Recap
The title of Episode 1 is Xbalanque (or Yax-Balam). Xbalanque was born with vengeance in his heart. As one of the Hero Twins, Xbalanque, and his brother Hunahpu were responsible for defeating the lords of the underworld through trickery and athletic superiority to avenge thier father’s death.
The twins are often portrayed as complementary forces. The complementary pairings of life and death, sky and earth, day and night, sun and moon, among multiple others have been used to represent the twins. It will be interesting to see how the writers reveal the parallel between these two godly brothers and the Reyes brothers in Mayans M.C.
Back for a second season, much about our initial interaction with Mayans M.C. has changed. There is a noticable difference in the voice and the music during the theme song, the episodes are no longer named for animals, and Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) has stepped down as “El Padrino” and is now donning suits fresh out of an issue of GQ for his new position as consiglieri for Miguel Galindo (Danny Pino) new.
Sutter Delivers during Xbalanque
The crossovers from and references to Sons of Anarchy that Sutter and James promised in the months leading up to season 2 were delivered in Xbalanque! Early on we see Happy Lowman (David LaBrava) meeting with Chucky (Michael Ornstein) while delivering a shipment of 48 guns to the Mayans.
When SOA ended, SAMCRO president Jax (Charlie Hunnam) was trying to get the club out of the guns business. When Chucky questions this, Happy informs him that it hasn’t happened yet. “The transition is taking longer than we thought,” he says. “There is a lot at stake.” The scene brings clarity to where SAMCRO is in the sad aftermath of Jax’s presidency and his death. It also reveals that Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) is in charge and he is attempting to save the club, as Jax had intended, but that it’s taking longer than they expected.
It appears that it has been about eight months since Angel (Clayton Cardenas) learned of EZ’s deal with the DEA. It was that realization that caused a fist fight and a Grand Canyon sized rift between the brothers. A rift that only worsened when EZ revealed his plan to stay in the club once his deal with Potter ends, telling Angel “This, I earned.” In the Season 2 premiere, Xbalanque, it is clear that nothing has changed. Angel will barely speak to EZ, even when club business forces them to be together. Angel is not too happy about this new bond between the “golden boy” as he refers to EZ and his mentor, Bishop.
“At the end of season 1, you see Angel heading towards this downward spiral. Not only because he finds out that his father has been deceiving him, but that your own baby brother has been lying to you,” Cardenas recently said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “He’s not been truthful with his intentions. When we start season 2, Angel’s head is spinning. He doesn’t know who to trust, and that also includes Adelita.”
He explains that “You would think that the M.C. would at least have his back. But then you see Bishop, who sponsored Angel in the past, now wants to back EZ. So he’s in this space where he’s wondering who can he really trust? Who really has my best intentions at heart?”
Things Are Not As They Appear
In Xbalanque it is revealed that Cartel boss Miguel Galindo, who previously attempted to wipe out the Los Olvidados group run by Adelita, is now working with them. However, U.S. attorney Lincoln Potter believes that he has forced Galindo into working for him against Los Olvidados. Potter, for the time being, is completely unaware that Galindo is double-crossing him! In addition, the Mayans also appear to be cooperating and assisting Potter and his team. They too are double-crossing Potter by secretly continuing their work with the rebels.
At the begining of Xbalanque, along the border, we see a kid spray painting a wall with an American flag blowing on the other side, while his friend plays look out and warns him of the oncoming traffic. He runs off as EZ and CoCo approach. The fresh grafitti reads “Muros son para perras,” roughly translating into “Walls are for bitches.”
EZ (JD Pardo) is first seen driving past it in a school bus full of kids with Coco (Richard Cabral) entartaining the kids on the bus. The kids appear to really enjoy Coco, calling him Uncle CoCo, lauging, and cheering him on as he blows smoke rings.
“Ain’t no fun if it can’t kill you” – CoCo says to EZ
The school bus stops and the kids get off and are hearded into a building where they immediately hand over their backpacks and begin playing with toys. CoCo buzzes in to a security door and we see that drugs are being cooked and packaged in the back room.
The heroin is packaged with the phrase “Donde Esta Wall-Dough?” (Where is Wall-Dough?) on the front, along with a photo that appears to be Donald Trump’s signature hairdo. Clearly the writing team’s attempt at a tongue-in-cheek reference to President Trump’s Donald’s insistence that Mexico would “pay for the wall.”
Angel and Adelita
Elsewhere in Mexico, Angel (Clayton Cardenas) can be seen driving a van with Adelita (Carla Baratta) and a few others in the back. They exchange flirtatious smiles. Angel’s “intimate” relationship with Luisa “Adelita” Espina in Xbalanque can be seen as evidence that Elgin James is not finished with exploring this relationship just yet. Angel pulls up to a building surrounded by fencing and drops Adelita and her attendants off.
Angel is clearly confused about what he can believe in and who he can trust. His love for Adelita isn’t helping him see things clearer either. Adelita has not revealed who the father of her unborn baby is. This writer belies that Angel assumes that it’s his, but Xblanque teases that there may be at least one more possible “baby daddy.”
Tranq (Frankie Loyal) report to Bishop that Angel’s group has set up the generators and are distributing supplies to the locals in need. He tells Bishop that Angel is really into playing “Mother Teresa,” so Bishop decides that the next aid mission will be done with EZ. Tranq comments that “Angel won’t like that.” and Bishop reminds that it’s not Angel’s choice. Bishop is secretly hoping that a confrontation between the brothers will lead the two to get past their differences.
Angel and some of Adelita’s rebels are handing out supplies hen a new character, The Saint, arrives. Adelita greets her with a hug.
Leading The Assault
Next up on Xbalanque, we see the Mayans join a team of former Green Berets turned mercenaries that Potter has sent them to assist. Potter and his men have been trying to wipe out Los Olvidados, tracking them across Mexico and killing anyone they believe are associated with them. They believe this is the final encampment of rebels and they will have completely eliminated Los Olvidados. The Mayans accompany the mercenaries on thier final job, pretending to assist them in killing the last of the rebels. Then we discover that they are really there to protect the rebels, plant misleading evidence and limit Potter’s team as much as possible.
Things take a serious turn when when Mini is found by one of the mercenaries. When the Mayans realize Mini is about to be brutally tortured, they step in and killing all of the mercenaries.
During this encounter, EZ sees one of the mercenaries about to kill Marcus Alvarez, the Mayans former “El Padrino” (which means The Godfather in Spanish). EZ gets the jump on the mercenary and strangles him with a set of jumper cables with so much force that it leaves gashes on his hands.
As EZ crosses over to the dark side by killing a man with his bare hands, club president Bishop Losa (Michael Irby) proudly watches the prospect end the mercenary’s life. If Bishop had any doubt in his mind about sponsoring EZ becoming a full-patch member of the M.C., there should be no question anymore.
Alvarez tells EZ that he owes him one. EZ says he was doing what he had to do. “I thought maybe you did it because you didn’t want to see me dead,” Alvarez replies. Alvarez would have died had EZ not jumped in front of him.
“That, too,” replies EZ.
“Good,” responds Alvarez. “It makes me happy.”
Then we see the forever in control of his emotions “El Padrino” smile as they all walk away.
How it Went South
Later, the head of the mercenary group, Hobart, returns to Potter and tells him that the rebels killed his men, allowing the Mayans to escape responsibility for now. Potter begins to suspect that Los Olvidados hasn’t been erradicated after all. The mercenary leader insists that he wants Adelita dead “on your dime or mine” and Potter puts her back on a list of targets.
Next, Galindo gets word from Alvarez that the clearly heavily pregnant Adelita is in danger once again, and he takes quick action to get her and the rebels moved out of the remote farmhouse where they are hiding out during Xbalanque.
Through all of the club business, Angel and EZ have barely spoken. We see Bishop, Coco and the rest of the members discussing it and all are confused about what the issue is between the Reyes brother, but all agree that they are tired of it spilling over into the club. Bishop reminds EZ that his patch vote is coming up and demands that he make things right with Angel by reminding him that he needs a unanimous vote to become a full-patch member.
EZ does as he’s told, paying Angel a surprise visit at the end of the episode. Angel states that he is not interested in anything EZ has to say, UNTIL EZ drops this little bomb: “It’s about Mom. I know who killed her.”
This writer expects that it will be EZ and Angel’s investigation into Happy’s involvement in their Mother Marisol’s death that will bring the brothers closer, possibly even end their feud.
You might remember that it was revealed in the Season 1 Finale that SAMCRO member Happy Lowman is the one that EZ suspects murdered his mother. (EZ flashed back to Happy fleeing the scene the night Marisol was murdered) With that said, we cannot be 100% sure happy was involved. This writer believes that although all signs point to Happy, this could be yet another famous #SutterSwerves.
However, if we remember correctly, Happy does two questionable things during Xbalanque. First, when Felipe arrives at the Mayans clubhouse while Happy and Chucky are conducting business, he begins asking Chucky who Felipe is and how he’s connected to the Mayans. His line of questioning does not go without notice as Chucky seems suspicious of Hap’s sudden interest in EZ and Angel’s “Pop”, and it clearly makes him uncomfortable.
Then, as the episode closes we see Happy digging through a trunk he keeps full of guns, important papers and other keepsakes. He pulls out a folder containing a dossier with Marisol’s picture on it, and an itinerary of her day to day routine. Then, we see the next dossier under that is Felipe!
Felipe’s Xbalanque Awakening
In addition, we see Felipe Reyes going through a metamorphosis in Xbalanque, as he trys to deal with the reval of his violent past and what effect it will have on Angel and EZ. In the season 2 premire, Felipe is paid a visit by Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) who is now asking questions about Ignacio Cortina. If Felipe doesn’t act fast, there is a very good possiblity that very dangerous secrets will come out. As we all know, Potter has a reason for everything he says, and everything he does!
Felipe pays EZ a visit at the trailer and confesses that he knows EZ saw what was in his lockbox, and questions why he never brought it up. EZ explains he was leaving it up to Felipe to tell his story in his own time. To that Felipe responds that he will, when he feels it’s time. EZ confirms to Felipe that Angel doesn’t know anything about Felipe’s hidden past.
Felipe confirms that it has been eight months and Felipe hasn’t heard anything from Angel. He asks EZ if it has been any better at the club, and EZ says Angel just ignores him.
Potter Comes Calling
Potter pays Felipe a very unsettling visit wherein Potter doesn’t call him Felipe. He calls him Ignacio — his real name, and the one he used during his murky, violent past. “I look forward to our reminiscing,” Potter says eerily before leaving the butcher shop. This prompts Felipe to visit EZ to advise him about the encounter and what Potter called him, wondering if the comment was “random.” “Nothing Potter does is random,” EZ warns. Felipe tells EZ that he is not bothered by his interactions with Potter, as long as Potter is not planning to hurt his children.
Miguel and Emily
Next we see Miguel Galindo and his wife Emily picking up the pieces after thier house has apparently burned down. In Xbalanque, we see the two going over paperwork dealing with rebuilding after the wildfires. Dita appears to inform them that Alvarez has arrived and Miguel is called away and heads out with Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) who provides him with the latest updates on what’s going on with the DOJ investigation.
Emily is becoming more and more involved with Miguel’s business, which it is obvious that her Mother-in-Law does NOT agree with! Also, it appears that Miguel is still purposely leaving Emily out of anything that happens south of the border.
Emily’s Doubts Become Evident in Xbalanque
Miguel arrives home late, immediately apologizing to Emily (Sarah Bolger) for missing his mother’s doctor’s appointment. It appears Emily’s going to get angry about him being with Adelita, but she backs down. Instead, she turns and asks Miguel if Adelita has revealed the name of the father to him, but he says she hasn’t.
“That scene in particular is where you first see cracks emerging,” Bolger says during a recent interview. “Where you see lies and mistrust. Where you see her question for the first time the strength of her marriage and the legitimacy of her marriage. It’s a time where you see her buried in work, buried in this want for success with this idea that she can still make this corporation legitimate so she can move her husband out of the cartel. It’s almost like a pipe dream, but one that she’s determined to achieve.”
She adds, “Within the eight months’ span that sort of left from season 1 to where we are now in season 2, you realize that she and Miguel are drifting apart. That’s what that world does to you. The deeper that they move into that sinking sandpit of a cartel, you become secretive and mistrusting. She doesn’t trust her own husband, the man who she would’ve been lost without in season 1. And if Adelita’s baby turns out to be Miguel’s, I think that could be a bit of a deal breaker.”
Miguel seems to have completely left it up to Emily to attend to the worrysome health of his mother, Dita. At one point during Xbalanque, Emily told Miguel that Dita’s declining health and mental status were making her “so f—king anxious.” We are not 100% sure exactly what it is that is wrong with Dita, but at the end of the episode, we did get a HUGE reveal when Dita steals away to her bathroom, takes off the her wig, and lowers her robe to reveal that her neck and back have been severely burned.
EZ Get’s Info on Happy
EZ uses his connection with Officer Franky Rogan (Edwin Hodge) to get background information on Happy Lowman. He’s got a file full of information on Happy. The biker has an extensive criminal record. The file also shows him Hap’s address.
While Franky hands the file over to EZ, he warns him “not to make him regret” doing him this favor. EZ promises Franky that he won’t get in trouble, and when they part ways, Franky jokingly calls EZ a “dirtbag” towhich EZ responds by calling Franky “Pig.”
EZ put’s the information with his secret stash of information because he does not want the club to find out he is looking into things involving a member of Sons of Anarchy’s Charming Chapter.
Bishop Calls the Mayans to the Table in Xbalanque
The club is discussing what they expect to happen as a result of killing the mercenaries in order to save Mini. Bishop says that he believes that in a “worst-case scenario” the DOJ will blame the mercenaries deaths on Los Olvidados and Adelita. This clearly angers Angel and he tries to blame Mini’s capture on his brother by asking, “Where the hell was the Prospect?” Bishop and Coco quickly jump to EZ’s defense, with Bishop telling Angel that the “Prospect was where I told him to be.”
Angel’s dislike of his brother is completely evident when he snarls that “of course” EZ kept Alvarez safe and calling him the “Golden Boy.”
Double-Crossing, Greedy Pig
At the table, Bishop who has called a surprise meeting with all of the AZ Mayans Charters, begins by talking to the Tuscon crew. He tells them that three inmates have overdoses on heroin that he believes they have “cut” too much. Next, Bishop calls in EZ to look at the package they intercepted from the pipeline to the prison that the Tuscon Crew was operating. EZ uses his identic memory to determine which package of heroin has an irregular label.
EZ recognizes a label that has the markings in the wrong place. After which, Taza explains that they will test the heroin to confirm that it has been “cut.” The test confirms that the herion is not pure. Angel looks clearly disgusted by the fact that once again his brother is a “hero.”
One of the Tucson crew attempts to pull a gun and is stopped by Gilly. The act confirms that he is the “greedy f$@#!&g pig” that essentially stole from his crew. The Tuscon Crew’s leaders are tasked with taking care of the issue before they leave Santo Padre. They in turn take him out back and inject him with a hot shot that kills him.
All in all, this writer feels that it was an excellent Season 2 opener. Sutter and company have kept the momentum going, even between seasons.
“Xaman-Ek” is the next episode title.
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