When viewers tune into the series premiere of the Sons of Anarchy spin-off Mayans M.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, they'll quickly discover that this particular motorcycle drama isn't merely a retelling of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and SAMCRO. In fact, co-creators Kurt Sutter and Elgin James go out of their way to not-so-subtly remind viewers of this very fact within the very first scene. Still, the new series, which Sutter does not want you to call a spin-off, is set within the same world as SOA, and with so many new characters being thrown at you, it's easiest to think of them within the context of the club they belong to and who their Sons counterpart is. Get to know the men and women of Mayans M.C. below.
EZ Reyes, Prospect
Ezekiel "EZ" Reyes (JD Pardo) is our entry into the show. As the protagonist of this story, he's the show's version of Jax. He's even conflicted about his place in the world just like Jax was at the beginning of Sons of Anarchy. However, Jax was SAMCRO royalty and was already vice president of the club when Sons of Anarchy premiered. EZ is but a lowly prospect, having recently joined the Mayans after being released from prison. As a prospect, he's basically the Half Sack (Johnny Lewis) of the Mayans at the start of the series.
Angel Reyes, Member
The older brother of EZ, Angel (Clayton Cardenas) is a fully patched member of the Mayans who's always lived in the shadow of his more successful younger brother. You might call him the Opie (Ryan Hurst) to EZ's Jax, but instead of strictly being a brother in arms, he's also a brother by blood. He's vouched for his younger brother with the Santo Padre charter.
Obispo "Bishop" Losa, President
The cousin of Mayans M.C. founder Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera) and the president of the Santo Padre charter, Bishop (Michael Irby) is essentially the Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) of the series. Like Clay, he was once a soldier — just swap Vietnam for Iraq — however, we currently have no reason to suspect that he's guilty of the types of crimes that littered Clay's lengthy rap sheet. He founded the Santo Padre charter.
Che "Taza" Romero, Vice President
Based on rank his within the chapter, Taza (Raoul Max Trujillo) is the show's equal to Jax, though he is obviously not the Jax of this particular story. He is a longtime friend of Alvarez and helped Bishop found the charter. A well of wisdom for the club, he might be a Piney (William Lucking) with more power.
Hank "Tranq" Loza, El Pacificador
Charged with the security of the club and keeping the peace, Tranq's (Frankie Loyal) position in the club most closely resembles that of SAMCRO's Sergeant-at-Arms. a former bareknuckle brawler, Tranq is menacing but doesn't have to say much, and for that reason, he might just be the Santo Padre charter's Happy (David LaBrava).
Michael "Riz" Ariza, El Secretario
After growing up on the border, Riz (Antonio Jaramillo) is a cunning member of the charter. His role within the club puts him on equal footing with SAMCRO's Bobby (Mark Boone Jr.). We don't know too much about him, but FX says he "loves his hair as much as he loves his motorcycle."
Johnny "El Coco" Cruz, Member
Coco (Richard Cabral) is a fully patched member of the club, though he has no rank within its hierarchy. He is a former soldier in the army and the club's reigning weapons expert. If we had to compare him to a Sons of Anarchy character, his craziness, recklessness and dark sense of humor definitely has hints of Tig (Kim Coates). But we all know that there is literally no one else like Tig.
Neron "Creeper" Vargas, Member
An ex-junkie, Creeper (Joseph Lucero) is a loyal but unpredictable member of the Santo Padre charter. He hates using a gun, and in this world, that might just make him a unicorn. Well, until you realize that he's incredibly skilled with other weapons, like, say a hammer. He doesn't have a direct connection that we can see.
Gilberto "Gilly" Lopez, Member
Gilly (Vincent Rocco Vargas) is genuinely good natured, but cross him or the club and he can flip the switch in the blink of an eye. According to his official character description, he's known to "disarm ladies and enemies alike." He also doesn't have a direct counterpart.
The owner of a local butcher shop, Felipe (Edward James Olmos) is the widowed father of Angel and EZ. He has no connection to the Mayans beyond his sons, but according to the character description provided by FX, Felipe is struggling to keep his own past buried as much as he is trying lead his sons down the right path. He might not have a Sons of Anarchy counterpart.
Emily (Sarah Bolger) appears to be the show's version of Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff), at least upon first glance. The high school sweetheart of EZ, Emily disappeared from EZ's life while he was in prison. Now she's married to the leader of the Galindo cartel, as one does. We don't yet know what happened between EZ and Emily, but let's just say we won't be at all surprised if those two crazy kids find themselves drawn to each other as the series progresses. Let's just hope there's no sex next to a dead body this time around.
The current leader of the Galindo cartel, Miguel Galindo's (Danny Pino) Sons of Anarchy counterpart is probably his father, Jose Galindo. What? That's cheating? OK, since Miguel is an antagonist of the Mayans but also someone the club must work with, he's basically every single person in a position of power who ever made life hell for SAMCRO. Only Miguel is also Ivy League-educated and incredibly charming.
How do we describe Adelita (Carla Baratta)? After seeing her family murdered by the Galindo cartel, she became vengeful. She currently leads a ragtag group of kids who were also orphaned by violence. Street-wise and committed to her cause, she's a force to be reckoned with and only idiots would underestimate her at this point. And while she's not the show's version of Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal) — the show is actually missing that particular character — as an incredibly powerful woman in a world dominated by men, she might be the closest we ever get.
What would this show be without the resident law enforcement character? Kevin (Maurice Compte) steps into that role as a DEA agent who is "equal parts street and book smart." He will do anything to take down Miguel Galindo, even disrupting family loyalties. Does it matter who his counterpart might be? It could be a billion people.
Mayans M.C. premieres Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 10/9c on FX.