Major spoilers below for the latest episode of Mayans M.C., titled "Our Gang's Dark Oath," so be warned!
Mayans M.C. Season 3 just hit new levels of tension in and around the central club with its fourth episode, thanks in large part to that very noticeable and very dead body laid out ever so carefully across the motorcycle of Raoul Max Trujillo's Taza. And not for nothing, either. Taza's past with the Vatos Malditos continues to haunt him, with Riz's murder leading to the birthday party ambush, the death of the mystery Sons of Anarchy character and now the death of Jacob Vargas' Allesandro Montez. Naturally, Gregory Cruz' Palo is the true villain here, but Taza's guilt is irreversible.
While it was expected that more characters would start dropping with each episode of Mayans M.C., I certainly didn't expect another SAMCRO member to take the fall. But that kind of domino effect is precisely what showrunner Elgin James wanted to continue bringing to Taza's story, as well as to other characters. When CinemaBlend spoke with James ahead of Episode 4 premiering on FX, I asked him what kind of repercussions would come from Taza discovering Montez's body. While he excitedly bounced around in delivering his answer, giving props to co-creator Kurt Sutter in the process, his all-around implication was that Taza's sins will continue to haunt him as this explosive season goes on. In James' words:
Yeah, you know, now there's two dead Reapers out there; one in the one in the ground in Mexico and one is slowly disintegrating in a vat in Santo Padre. One thing that we really tried to do on the hiatus, something that I really wanted to figure out is having spent a life surrounded by violence, first as the victim and then for decades as the aggressor. Like, no one comes out of that clean, and there's just this shame that comes along with it. There's a shame that comes. I mean, that's a difference between... Kurt Sutter and I are very different storytellers. I'm only here because of him on the show, but that's a dude who, when he walks in the room, the temperature changes. The energy's bouncing off that motherfucker, you know what I mean? I remember when he first came in, it was our first season, and he walked in the writers room, and one of the writers was like, 'Oh, my God, he's a rock star.' I walk into a room, I want to apologize for being in that room, you know what I mean? Like I walk in, I'm carrying a bodybag of shame for the things I've done in my life, and that have happened to me everywhere I go. And so those are two different viewpoints to tell the show's violence through, right? There's one where no one does it better than him, the shock and sort of the glee that can come with it, and then the real emotional resonance – I think there's real moments in Sons that everyone remembers. But to me, it's just like, nothing happens in a vacuum.
To that end, Elgin James is saying that every consequential action someone makes in the Mayans M.C. universe is going to be met with consequences. Even if it doesn't all come out equally to eye for an eye, no good or bad deeds go unrewarded, so to speak. The best thing Taza can probably do right now is find a way to tell Michael Irby's Bishop just enough of the truth to warn him about Palo while still hiding enough of the truth to keep himself from getting annihilated by his brothers. Considering how far down the path to addiction Richard Cabral's Coco is right now, Taza would be smart to start putting everyone's attention on Coco.
Speaking of, Elgin James used Coco's post-matricide situation as an example of these characters' actions not going down inside a vacuum. He continued:
You know, you don't get to kill your mother in a rage, and then just make jokes about it. We've been waiting for that chicken to come home to roost for Coco. And you don't get to just kill a brother. I mean, Riz and Taza were so incredibly close. That was who Taza was closest to, because even while he's close to Bishop, there's a hierarchy there. It's different between a president and a vice president, and he and Riz were brothers. And for him to do what he did for him, to be harboring that inside him – whatever fear, shame, guilt, whether he should feel it or not - oh yeah, man, these people are making terrible life decisions, and it's all gonna have catastrophic effects.
Just because Taza is probably going to do some hardcore suffering in the near future doesn't mean that he's definitely going to die or anything. In fact, it sounds like viewers may still have a lot to learn about Taza in the remainder of Season 3. Here's how Elgin James put it:
I can't wait for everyone to get to know who Taza is. Raoul is such an incredible actor. I feel like our bench has been so loaded for the past couple seasons, and now everyone's getting their chance to come up and take a swing.
It will definitely be an interesting to see which way the reaper's scythe swings throughout the remainder of Mayans M.C. Season 3, especially if SAMCRO and the Mayans both learn everything that's been happening behind their backs and under their noses. Until then, R.I.P. Montez. You should have just killed Palo at any point when the opportunity presented itself.
Mayans M.C. airs Tuesday nights on FX at 10:00 p.m. ET.