Mayans MC Boss Is Finally Making The Show He Wanted

Mayans MC showrunner Elgin James is excited about the new direction the FX series took in Season 3.


Now that Mayans MC Season 3 has come to an end on FX, it's clear that the show has vastly evolved from its first two seasons. The connections to Sons of Anarchy, the show it's spun off from, have been reined in. Instead, it now looks to its own characters for ways to explore their individual stories within the world of this outlaw motorcycle club on the border between the United States and Mexico. In doing so, Mayans MC was reborn--and for showrunner Elgin James, it's finally the show he wanted to make.

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 3 of Mayans MC. If you haven't finished the latest batch of episodes yet, you can check them out on FX on Hulu.

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Now Playing: Mayans M.C. Season 1: The Best Sons of Anarchy Easter Eggs

"This is the show that I actually pitched to [co-creator Kurt Sutter] and to the network and studio," he told GameSpot. "When people would talk about how much they love the show [in the first two seasons], and even episodes I wrote, and I'd be like, 'Oh, yeah, man, that wasn't me,'" he admitted. "Like, not in a bad way, because I know I [co-]created these characters, you know? Kurt had the idea, created the characters, he created the world and he is just such a particular and special storyteller. So those are the stories we were telling, right? So when people were saying really nice things... even when I go on set with the actors, even when I direct, and they'd asked me something, I'd be like, 'Oh, man, I don't know.' They'd be like, 'But your name's on it.' And I was like, 'I know, but I didn't write it.' And that's just how a lot of TV is. That's not us in particular, that's just how a lot of television is."

Now, though, after stepping in as the sole showrunner of the series, James and his cast and crew were able to make the show he'd been hoping to since day one."With this season, as [star JD Pardo] always says, this was our first season," he explained. "Not to discount the other seasons at all, it's just this became the stories that we really wanted to tell."

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One of those stories centered on Coco's (Richard Cabral) slide into heroin addiction and how it impacted everyone around him. For James, this was a story that demanded to be told. "These characters for nine seasons [between Sons of Anarchy and Mayans MC], I guess, have been selling heroin, and we've never seen the repercussions of that," he explained. "We'd always talk about it in the writers' room in the first two seasons."

He continued, "Nevermind that the country has been torn apart by this opiate crisis now for so long. It hit New England, it hit New Hampshire and Massachusetts, South Boston over a decade ago. Where I grew up, that's been something that's been happening for a long time, even before it cut off to the rest of the country. And we've never shown repercussions. I think so many of us have family members and then there's people attached to the show that have gone through their own journeys with opiates, so I felt it was so important to tell this story. Then even on a deeper level, it was just, again, about the repercussions of your actions."

Beyond the clubs trafficking the drug, for Coco, in particular, those repercussions stem back to killing his own mother in Season 1. And while it may have taken until Season 3 for Coco to spiral downward, his struggles are far from over.

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"He's not healed. He survived, but Coco is not healed," James said. "Where is he going to go from now? And how is he going to find the tools to keep it together [and] make his way back into the only world that's ever really felt like home?"

Thankfully, fans will get the chance to see where Coco--and the rest of Mayans MC--goes from here. The series has already been renewed for Season 4. And with a creative rebirth like what's seen in Season 3, there's no telling what will happen next. Chances are it's going to be bloody and violent, though.

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