Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched Mayans M.C.'s eighth episode, titled "Rata/Ch'o." Only Chucky would be silly enough to keep reading without watching.
Like its predecessor Sons of Anarchy, FX's Mayans M.C. can flip from crude machismo comedy to life-or-death drama in an instant. "Rata/Ch'o," more so than any episode before it, let loose with both the gallows humor and the stress-inducing suspense for a solid mixture of character-developing plot mechanics. Shit got weird in all kinds of ways.
As quickly as the border drama has been escalating, it's been easy to forget that Mayans M.C. only has ten episodes in its first season, which means we're mere weeks away from watching the FX hit ride off for the winter. (Season 2 is coming, though, so no worries.) Without further ado, let's talk about that gob-smack of a cliffhanger.
E.Z. And Angel Got Busted
"Got busted" is perhaps an understatement here. Fully expecting to just blow through a traffic stop cosponsored by club-friendly cop Franky, E.Z. and Angel found themselves unwitting (if not undeserving) targets of a rookie officer's angst. Against my every aching wish, it led to the cops discovering Celia's body in the trunk, which in turn led to the Reyes brothers' hands placed on the back of their heads.
Now, neither one of them can be proven guilty of having murdered Celia, since that was all thanks to Coco's irrational impulses. However, transporting the corpse of someone who hasn't even been reported as murdered will bring the brothers more than just a wrist-slap. For E.Z. especially, given his complicated record. So are E.Z. and Angel really going to jail, or is that rookie cop going to join Celia in the trunk soon?
Lincoln Potter vs. Miguel Galindo
Just last week, Galindo got an olive branch of sorts from Adelita. Now, the cartel kingpin discovered the U.S. government's strong grip was more of a hearty embrace than a cruel throttling. Rather than trying to destroy him from the top-down, A.U.S.A. Lincoln Potter actually wants to keep Galindo's criminal activity up and running for the greater good. At least, it's someone's version of the greater good, though Galindo has his suspicions.
This narrative thread gave Ray McKinnon a chance to provide Lincoln Potter some closure on how his arc ended on Sons of Anarchy, when his hard-labored RICO case fell apart. Witnessing where his efforts led after all these years, and knowing what he went through, viewers could almost sympathize with the legal beagle. But Potter is capable of getting his hands very dirty, and even someone as powerful and non-expendable as Galindo should give him a wide berth.
Emily Knows E.Z.'s A Rat
This episode was not very clandestine in its use of rodents to metaphorically represent various characters' actions in the episode. Still, it all came to a fuzzy head when E.Z.'s transcripted intel became permissible to use as leverage to make Galindo think his entire operation was being spied upon. It was also used in an attempt to get Emily to flip on her husband after reading about his horrible actions.
Emily's never going to flip, that's for sure, but the larger impact of that late-episode moment is clear. She now knows that E.Z. is double-crossing the Mayans and the cartel by feeding info to the cops. Given their past, she probably won't spread the word to Angel, but she'll definitely attempt to get to the bottom of it herself. She should work quickly, now that Potter can also utilize that bit of info. (Incidentally, now that E.Z. has been outed, Kevin Jimenez is almost definitely getting killed off.)
Felipe Visited Father Rodrigo
Admittedly, Edward James Olmos' squinted eyes and thinned lips can make anyone he's looking at feel stressed as hell. Those factors definitely helped to draw out the dread in a solo mission to visit his former friend and ally, whose whereabouts Felipe recently offered to Adelita. (Father Rodrigo is the one who set her father up to be captured and killed.)
The mood during the men's conversation was as simmering as a festive volcano, with Felipe somewhat regretfully warning the priest that the vengeful rebel leader would soon be coming to kill him. The intensity mostly deflated, but in a good way, after it was revealed Rodrigo called up Galindo's enforcer Nestor, claiming he could track Adelita down. That won't work so well for the holy man, will it?
Coco Is Fucking Nuts, Man
Watching Coco strangle-drown his mother was already a dark experience by any stretch. But after it was revealed Leticia had falsely blamed Celia for her self-made injuries, that whole scene now mirrors watching Sons of Anarchy's Tig gunning down Opie's wife. Tig's bafflingly morbid sense of humor was also mirrored in "Rata/Ch'o," with several gross-out jokes thrown around at the corpse's expense.
In any case, nobody ever told Coco the truth. A-a-a-and that's probably a good thing, as evidenced by the twisted "live for the moment" monologue he shared with E.Z. as the two of them passed a joint over Celia's increasingly smelly carcass. Nothing about that conversation involved inherent danger, but I couldn't have been more innately stressed out while watching Richard Cabral's unhinged eyes running at different frequencies than the disturbing viewpoints that were falling out of his mouth.
Riz's Tunnel Situation
At various points, I expect Mayans M.C. to introduce some perturbing and awkward storylines involving things coming in and out of that country-connecting tunnel. Fans likely weren't too worried about Riz losing his patch over a structure that had been in his family longer than he'd been alive. However, it appeared as if the in-club dynamic might've gotten shifted around a bit once Riz called out Angel & Co. for ratting him out. (All these rats!)
Riz bypassed long-winded revenge and instead got into a bare-knuckle brawl with Angel to work out their feelings. I'll be honest, even with all the other club members cheering, I still got small-time stressed watching them duke it out. I wasn't putting it past this show to have on protagonist kill another one off in a seemingly innocent-esque situation like this. But then, I also didn't realize Angel and E.Z. were about to have such a super-shitty evening.