"This is a different show" from Sons of Anarchy, James stresses.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Tuesday's episode of Mayans M.C., "Our Gang's Dark Oath."

The Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club lost another member in Tuesday's episode of Mayans M.C., which saw Montez (Jacob Vargas) die at the hands of Palo (Gregory Norman Cruz), who has been lurking in the shadows and plotting his revenge for the slaying of the Vatos Malditos back in the season 2 finale.

So what does this mean for the future of SAMCRO in Santo Padre? Showrunner and co-creator Elgin James tells EW the motorcycle club that was the focus of Sons of Anarchy will continue to appear on Mayans when it feels "organic."

He also invokes the trailblazing spirit of Sons creator and Mayans co-creator Kurt Sutter, who exited Mayans last year. "It's funny how Sons fans who love the rebelliousness of Kurt and of that show who then expected us to genuflect to this mythology, which seems to go against the whole spirit of [Mayans M.C.]," James says. "This is a different show."

He adds, "Of course we are proud to come from this world, this mythology, and this universe. We've been twisting ourselves for seasons, the actors, everybody, to let everyone know that. But at the same time, this is our show and this is our world. So to answer the question as to whether our M.C. will get into trouble each season and then call up the white cavalry to come save them? Probably f---ing not."

Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

But the Sons crew won't disappear either.

"Will SAMCRO be involved? F— yeah!" James says. "I love Tommy Flanagan [who plays Chibs, president of SAMCRO]. I love all those guys. I want to be able to hang with those guys. And let's not forget, there's still a dead Sons of Anarchy member in the dirt in Mexico and another one rotting slowly in a barrel full of salt right by our clubhouse."

Stepping into the role of solo showrunner for season 3 has been a positive experience, James says, as he's been able to help expose the varied layers beneath the tough-guy surface of the Mayans M.C.

"I love everyone working on this show, and we're really a family," he says. "I know everyone says that, but this is legit and for real. I spent two seasons sort of being frustrated with knowing the potential of the actors and wanting to let them explode. During all this time we had off, especially during quarantine, I said, 'This is our shot.' I want every scene to be like a heavyweight bout, and what you're watching now is what [the actors] came back with. Each actor has annihilated it. I just turn the camera on and I let them explode."

Mayans M.C.
Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Emmy-nominated actor Richard Cabral lost 60 pounds for his portrayal of Coco this season, as the character descends into drug abuse.

"We have a different approach to violence this season than we had in the past," James says. "Even if Coco has been making jokes for two seasons about killing his mom or killing moms, that's just a front. There's real damage there. The chickens come home to roost for Coco, starting with physical pain, but it's all connected to emotional pain. He literally goes to hell. Isaac [J.R. Bourne] wants more than a key of heroin from him, he wants his soul. Yeah, everyone should be worried for Coco."

James also offers insight into the "just one king" story line he's been teasing since the start of season 3.

"That refers to either Bishop's [Michael Irby] rise or Bishop's fall," he explains. "For Bishop, it's similar to Coco's situation, where everything stems from emotional pain. Everything comes from his guilt and his shame from the past. He and Peña [Alexandra Barreto] suffered a terrible tragedy that no parent should ever have to. As the episodes continue, you'll see she put herself together and she's trying to make something positive out of it. It's the one-year anniversary of this event, and Bishop is making terrible decisions for the club that'll be catastrophic for them in the end."

He adds, "The recurring theme this season is that women are tough as s---. We men, we stay little boys our whole lives."

Mayans M.C. airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

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