Warning: major spoilers ahead for the series premiere of Mayans M.C. on FX. If you haven't watched the episode, you may want to check out some of our spoiler-free articles until you get the chance to tune in. Otherwise, read on!
A spinoff of FX's hit drama Sons of Anarchy had been in the works in some form or other for almost two years before Mayans M.C. finally hit the airwaves. The project was changed and retooled a number of times during its development period, and the finished product takes fans away from what they knew on Anarchy and into a different world largely populated by different characters. Yes, Mayans M.C. will be fully capable of standing on its own without constant callbacks to its parent show. That said, the series premiere managed to pack in a couple of characters Sons of Anarchy fans will have recognized. Here's how it happened.
From minute one, Mayans M.C. doesn't pretend to come from a different universe or hide its connection to the super successful Sons of Anarchy. Mayans also isn't so interested in showering its roots with reverence. The very first moments of the series showed a dead crow on a road being eaten. As if that wasn't irreverent enough to the legacy of Sam Crow, Mayans then just went ahead and ran the dead crow over with a vehicle. This new show is a different kind of beast altogether, and fans need not spend too much time thinking about SAMCRO and the characters who came before. Nevertheless, Mayans included some characters that Anarchy fans had to be excited to see. Let's start with the biggest:
Gemma popped up in a scene that few of us could have expected. There was no fanfare or foreshadowing that Gemma herself would make an appearance when she did, so hopefully Sons of Anarchy fans were paying attention in her scene! Gemma's appearance came via flashback when Emily came to visit EZ in prison. The two had been a clearly loving couple earlier in the episode, but EZ wound up in prison and stopped communicating with Emily. She ultimately comes to visit him in prison, where he confesses that he went silent on her because he was facing a possible 20 years in the clink.
Furious that he made a big decision for both of them, Emily slaps a sonogram photo down on the table, declares that she's making a decision for both of them, and storms out. The revelation that Emily is pregnant and intends to do something about it unhinges EZ, and he tries to go after her, only to be restrained by officers while he struggles to go after her. Then, the camera pans over to another table in the visitors area and reveals Gemma sitting there. Katey Sagal only got one line, but she makes the most of it: "Assholes." The scene was a flashback to around eight years before present day, so this quick shot of Gemma may have taken place before the main narrative of Sons.
Mayans M.C. may not have any major female characters just yet, but it was great to see one of the major female characters from Sons of Anarchy! For the other Sons character that popped up on the spinoff, head on over to the next page.
The second Sons of Anarchy character to turn up in the Mayans M.C. premiere wasn't quite as big as Gemma, and fans may want to resign themselves to never getting a bigger character than Gemma, especially given Charlie Hunnam's comments about the series. Nevertheless, Les Packer was a killer character to include in the first episode of Mayans, and Robert Patrick would be a great addition to the cast moving forward, even if only in a recurring capacity. Scorpion did just get cancelled, so maybe it's not out of the realm of possibility!
In the premiere, Packer turns up when the Mayans call for help after a situation arose with the Samoans. That gang was blamed for the violent theft of a drug shipment early in the episode, and a bloody confrontation was bound to happen before the end of the episode. Packer's a good man to have in a fight, but he didn't actually have that much of a role in the episode. It was almost a waste of Robert Patrick, which makes it all the more imperative that Mayans brings him back.