“Cucaracha/K’uruch” was another stellar episode of Mayans MC, packing out the hour with some great character moments and a seemingly endless number of insane plot developments
This week on Mayans MC Wildlife Watch, we’re looking at cockroaches. These scurrying cannibalistic insects can’t in fact survive a nuclear apocalypse, but they can live for a week without a head, and can be observed in their natural habitat in “Cucaracha/K’uruch”, both crawling over Angel’s (Clayton Cardenas) fingers just before he ushers Adelita (Carla Baratta) into the U.S. through those recently-uncovered smuggling tunnels, and by Galindo’s (Danny Pino) bare feet as he wakes up, still incarcerated at the border, with a muscled and tattooed man pissing inaccurately into a plastic bottle right beside his head. (He also looks severely dehydrated, but I’m not a doctor.)
There’s a scene early in “Cucaracha/K’uruch” that pretty neatly sums up what’s compelling about Mayans MC. In it, Coco (Richard Cabral) introduces his estranged daughter Leticia (Emily Tosta) to the rest of the MC, and she’s warmly, unequivocally embraced. It’s mildly touching to see these grizzled career-criminals beam with pride at one of their members doing the right thing by his family, despite their obvious surprise and confusion, and the blurrier the moral line becomes, the more interesting the show gets. It’s a minor, pretty obvious touch if you’re going to craft a show around a gang, but seeing it here reminds you how infrequently writers bother to get the audience onside.
Speaking of great scenes, there’s another right after it. Turns out Adelita’s excursion to America has a purpose that she wisely kept from Angel and EZ (JD Pardo): To kill their father, Felipe (Edward James Olmos), whom she believes betrayed her father to the cartel. She’s wrong about this; he never knew where her father went after setting up his new life, but the man who helped him to disappear probably did – and that man is the smarmy Bishop who has been supporting the rebels. It’s a neat twist, but its real value is how Adelita reacts to learning that her late father, who in her mind was a noble victim, actually used to behead people for the cartel. Again, nothing and no-one in Mayans MC is ever black and white; lives lived outside the law charge the soul, and at some point the bill will always be due.
Meanwhile in “Cucaracha/K’uruch”, Agent Jimenez (Maurice Compte), looking a little worse for wear, is being pulled off the Reyes case. EZ is due to be picked up by the local police, which will likely expose him as an informant to the MC. Jimenez makes his thoughts on this pretty clear: “Another dead Mexican? Probably get a bonus for that in this administration,” which is, I think, the first open acknowledgement of a government that demands undesirables south of the border build giant walls to keep themselves out.
The police BOLO complicates a weapons deal that the Mayans are making with the Sons of Anarchy, leading EZ to bait the cops into a brief chase to lure them away from the MC. (He’s sternly admonished for this later by Bishop (Michael Irby), who thinks his actions were reckless – if only he knew.) While this is going on Jimenez follows Bowen (Curtiss Cook) to a meeting with Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) and reveals what EZ told him about Galindo being detained at the border, which gets the BOLO rescinded and EZ off the hook – for now.
Perhaps of more immediate concern is Coco’s mother, Celia (Ada Luz Pla), who is a real bitch. After robbing Letty of the money given to her by Coco and insisting that she’s going to keep pimping her “tight little twat” on the streets, Letty smacks her own head against the toilet to create the impression that Celia has battered her. It’s convincing enough to convince Coco, who promptly returns home to sock his mother in the mouth and drown her.
Now, I don’t know where to stand on this, which I suppose is the point. (“Cucaracha/K’uruch” really played up the moral dilemmas this week, let me tell you.) On the one hand, Letty was lying, and going to extreme lengths to do so, which doesn’t bode well for her burgeoning relationship with her father. On the other hand, Celia deserved it, so what can you do? It’s only when you write all this down that you realise how thoroughly packed “Cucaracha/K’uruch” was with insane developments, and the only convincing argument against Mayans MC at the moment is that there might perhaps be too many occurring at once.
And that wasn’t even all. Adelita met with Galindo at the border (she somehow keeps teleporting all over the place) and threatens to demolish his business if he doesn’t agree to a deal; Galindo doesn’t bother asking how she’s able to stage such an elaborate and well-orchestrated operation if Los Olvidados are apparently so urgently in need of dough. And it’s the money that Adelita wants – she agrees to return Cristóbal and allow Galindo to keep his operation running in exchange for a cut of the profits and the priceless services of the rebels as spies and God-knows-what-else. Does this necessarily fit her character as established thus far? Perhaps not, but “Cucaracha/K’uruch” does a decent enough job of justifying why she’s willing to get in bed with the cartel. (Every branch and level of the government is, according to her, openly corrupt, which seems fair enough.)
It seems a good deal for Galindo. He and Emily (Sarah Bolger) get Cristóbal back, and business continues as usual. Except it doesn’t, because at the end of the episode Lincoln Potter and the DEA raid Galindo’s home, complicating matters even further. I don’t know if Mayans MC necessarily needs more complication, but what I do know is that it’s seriously watchable television nonetheless. And you won’t see me grumbling about that.