Major spoilers below for the latest episode of Mayans M.C. for those who haven’t watched, so be warned!
Mayans M.C. fans enter each season knowing very few characters are truly safe, and that just about anyone can be killed off at any given moment. Not everyone lives as easy as E.Z., as it were. Showrunner and co-creator Elgin James hyped up Season 4 as being especially tumultuous for the titular club, with a war set to wage between the Mayans and the Sons of Anarchy, despite the former’s rampant infighting clearly still an issue. Now, with the episode “Death of the Virgin,” the FX drama revealed the latest major war-inciting incident, with Richard Cabral’s beloved character Coco seemingly getting shot to death, a tragic shocker that fans were quick to compare to Sons of Anarchy fave Opie Winston’s brutal exit.
Viewers wouldn’t be judged too harshly for thinking Mayans M.C. was setting up Vanessa Giselle’s Hope for an exit, considering her emotional, egg-smashing breakdown over a grocery store cutstomer’s criticisms. Especially after she and Coco had their tearful phone convo where she admitted she needed help, and they expressed their love for one another, with his last word to her bein But no, that fireworks-laden conversation was immediately followed by a group of Sons of Anarchy members arriving and shooting up the post-memorial gathering, seemingly killing off quite a few Mayans patches in the process. And in the final seconds, Coco was revealed to have suffered at least two shots to the back, and he was laying in a puddle with his eyes open, heavily implying he won’t be coming back from this the way he barely survived Meth Mountain.
The way things played out, there’s still a minor chance that Coco could be saved in the next episode, “When I Die, I Want Your Hands on My Eyes,” but it’s not extremely likely. Perhaps the most telling clue here is that the episode went into its end credits without any music playing, with only the sound of the popping fireworks accompanying viewers’ utter shock.
Arguably more so than any of the prior deaths and tragedies on Mayans M.C., Coco’s death is a massive blow, both because of the character’s fan-favorite distinction, and because of his fairly vital role within the group itself, given what he means to the other brothers. In that respect, fans drew comparisons between Coco’s murder and the pipe-infused massacre that brought Ryan Hurst’s run as Opie to a halt during Sons of Anarchy’s fifth season.
Not sure which one hurt me more 😥😢😭#mayansmc #MayansFX #sonsofanarchy pic.twitter.com/naE8KpyaQuMay 11, 2022
Since we’ve had several years to sit with Opie’s death, and not even a full day to comprehend Coco’s, I have to think that the Sons of Anarchy tragedy still hurts worse. But then again, the SoA episode “Laying Pipe” set things up in a way that, in hindsight, made Opie’s bludgeoning seem destined to occur, while Mayans M.C. barely featured Richard Cabral’s Coco throughout the majority of the episode’s runtime. Regardless of expectations, though, the resulting feelings were still the same.
Even though Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter isn’t invovled with Mayans M.C. anymore, Coco’s death felt like a crushing set-up straight out of his narrative playbook. Which isn’t to say Elgin James is guilty of being a copycat or anything, but rather than he knew exactly which character to use to twisting the metaphorical knife in viewers’ chests.
As much as it sucks that Coco is almost definitely a goner, the death definitely isn’t a passive or needless one, as it will almost definitely inspire a quick and exceedingly deadly response from various factions of the Mayans M.C., which will either help to evaporate all the bad blood between the Sons and the Mayans, or it’ll just exacerbate things until the only people left standing are those not wearing cuts. As one Twitter user points out below, Coco’s death compares to Opie’s not just as a depressing setback, but also because of what it means to other main characters.
For now, fans can anticipate vengeful acts on the way, but for now, it’s probably best just to let the tears flow as the curse words fly, while taking comfort in the fact that at least Coco probably died quickly without seeing it coming, instead of facing death head-on like Opie did.
We got OPIE’d again! 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭#MayansMC pic.twitter.com/zIKroVx8qiMay 11, 2022
I’m not sure if there’s comfort to be found in this, but fans can rest assured that Mayans M.C. star Vanessa Giselle was also feeling all the feelings both while filming “Death of the Virgin” and while watching it again on FX.
Not going to lie…that scene with Coco had me crying all over again. Over here bawling like a baby🥺😭📱📲💔 #hope #coco #cope #mayansfx @MayansFX #mayansmcMay 11, 2022
Mayans M.C. airs Tuesday nights on FX at 10:00 p.m., with episodes streaming the next day for those with Hulu subscriptions. Be sure to pour one out for Coco before heading to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.