‘Mayans MC’: Richard Cabral Says Coco’s Spiral Into Drug Abuse ‘Is Connected To Season 1’

Season 3 of the Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans MC has seen Richard Cabral’s character Johnny “Coco” Cruz fall deeper into heroin addiction. Following in his mother’s footsteps, the reason for Coco’s relapse and his spiral into drug abuse has been one of the character’s biggest plot points. According to Cabral, it’s “all connected to season 1.”

Clayton Cardenas, Richard Cabral and Danny Pino pose at the after party for the premiere of FX's "Mayans M.C." Season 2 at the Sunset Room on August 27, 2019
Clayton Cardenas, Richard Cabral and Danny Pino of ‘Mayans MC’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The ‘Mayans MC’ star says Coco has ‘reached the point of surrender’

During the latest episode of Mayans MC, fans learned that Coco had an “unexpected connection” with his mother, a former heroin addict.

“Heroin is this drug you hear about but you don’t fully understand the blissfulness nor its chaos until you do it, Cabral told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s through Coco’s drug use that he can finally relate to his mom.”

Cabral says that Coco’s mom’s addiction has “trickled” into the story. Fans can see where the trauma, the heartbreak, and the turmoil comes from.

“It started with little Johnny,” Cabral noted. “He promised himself that no matter what, he would never follow in her footsteps but here he is…Coco has reached the point of surrender.”

Everything is connected to ‘season 1’

So far, two of the biggest plot points for Cabral’s character have been the reasons for his relapse. The first is the fact that he murdered his mother. The second was his need for painkillers after the Vatos Malditos nearly blinded him. Cabral says Coco’s spiral stems back to his traumatic life.

“Everything is connected to season 1, beginning with him murdering his mom,” Cabral explained. “When we go through traumatic events like that, they never fully go away. He’s done hiding in season 3 and pretending that what happened never did.”

The ‘Mayans MC’ star says Coco is ‘walking a fine line’

Coco’s heroin addiction is not only affecting him personally, it’s affecting the MC. His close friend Gilly (Vincent Rocco Vargas) is done covering for him because the club has rules that you have to abide by.

“Coco is walking that fine line right now. He’s choosing the addiction over the brotherhood, that’s rough. I don’t foresee Gilly softening his stance on this one; he’s frustrated,” Cabral explained.

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The Emmy-nominated actor added that Coco and Gilly have an even deeper brotherhood than the MC because of their military background. The rest of the club wouldn’t understand it, but Coco is making it hard.

The meaning of brotherhood

Cabral made it clear that he was proud of the scenes that show Coco and Gilly’s relationship because they hadn’t had the chance to tap into that brotherhood before season 3. He says that new Mayans MC showrunner Elgin James and the writers “really honored that.”

“I think that a lot of that comes from Elgin, who knows what it’s like to be part of that brotherhood, being in prison, and gang life,” Cabral said. “Me being from a gang, we understand the meaning of brotherhood without judgment. I know seeing Coco like this hurts Gilly but I don’t think he would throw him under the bus.”

The ‘chickens come home to roost’ for Coco in season 3 of ‘Mayans MC’

To portray Coco’s descent into drug abuse in season 3 of Mayans MC, Cabral lost a whopping 60 pounds. James says that the “chickens come home to roost for Coco, starting with the physical pain.” However, it’s all connected to emotional pain. Coco has been making jokes for two seasons about killing his mom, but there’s real damage there.

“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 warned.

Mayans MC airs Tuesday nights on FX.