Taylor Sheridan, co-creator of “Yellowstone,” returns with another testosterone-fueled vehicle, “The Mayor of Kingstown.” The series is set in a Rust Belt town with seven jails within a 10-mile radius, and it stars Jeremy Renner as Mike McLusky, a man who acts as a go-between for inmates, police enforcement, guards, and politicians.
Mike is a man who urgently wants to leave Kingstown but can’t, so he stays and serves as Mitch’s (Kyle Chandler) right-hand man until Mitch is slain. Mike intervenes to “knot up loose ends,” though it’s unclear what they are. However, he soon finds himself struggling to keep a prison and a community together that are both falling apart at the seams.
Mike’s negotiation skills are put to the test in the Season 1 finale of “The Mayor of Kingstown,” as he deals with a fatal revolt inside the prison. Mike’s faults throughout the season are highlighted in the conclusion, which also examines the flaws of a jail system filled with corruption and brutality. Here’s a closer look at what happened in “The Mayor of Kingstown’s” Season 1 conclusion.
Mike’s flaws are highlighted in the Mayor of Kingstown finale.
The riot is the culmination of all of Mike’s mistakes over the season. Mike’s real duty, as a self-proclaimed prison advocate, is to maintain the status quo, a cog in the wheel of a dysfunctional system that is beyond repair. He goes around bargaining with the leaders of the opposing factions in order to prevent the prison’s violence from reaching a breaking point. Mike claims to be apolitical, but he ultimately acts in the best interests of his tribe, the cops he grew up with.
Mike is hesitant to make the decision to join various factions of the inmate population to murder a heroin addict and child killer, knowing that this Faustian deal will backfire on everyone, but he does it because that’s what the cops want. Mike asks prison guard Ed Simmons (James Jordan) to come down hard on the inmates to remind them of their place in the food chain as the prisoners begin to demand what is promised to them.
Simmons, on the other hand, goes after the leader of the Black group the most, underlining that the systematic racism that occurs outside the jail is exacerbated on the inside.
Mike merely responds, “At least the beast is in the cage,” when Bunny (Tobi Bamtefa) tells him that their treatment of P-Dog (Pha’rez Lass) will “wake the beast.” Bunny is referring to the “beast” as generations of wrath and tyranny, but Mike sees it as a single person.
Mike’s day of reckoning arrives with the riot.
Mike is forced to accept responsibility and atone for some of his previous wrongdoings in the finale. Mike throws his hands up and claims it’s not his fault because he’s been warning everyone who will listen that the day of reckoning is approaching. Mike fails in what should have been his finest hour – his chance to defuse the situation by accepting blame on behalf of himself and the guards.
Viewers may find it difficult to empathize with criminals on the loose, but P-Dog isn’t searching for forgiveness or making excuses for his acts. He’s telling it like it is, and no one wants to hear it. It’s what Miriam McLusky (Dianne Wiest) talks about throughout the season in her lectures. Minorities were enslaved and mistreated in the United States, and the pattern continues now.
“Mayor of Kingstown” demonstrates that prison is not a closed system. What happens on the inside and what happens outside have a symbiotic relationship. Prejudice thrives in this environment, making rehabilitation impossible. It’s when males in prison aren’t treated like humans, and as a result, they behave badly.
Mike is let off the hook in the end because the inmates’ misdeeds overwhelm his own. If he learns that the system can’t be held together by a succession of quid pro quos, just a second season will be shown.
Milo’s ultimate goal is yet unknown.
Milo Sunter’s (Aidan Gillen) and Mike’s bond is difficult to unravel. Milo and Mitch had a long-standing relationship, and it’s unclear whether Mike was involved at the start. Milo’s fascination with Mike appears to predate Milo’s attempts to lure Mike into a similar arrangement, using him as an errand boy on the outside to promote his nefarious objective. Milo’s purpose appears to be persuading Mike to return his stolen funds at first, but his interest in Mike grows, and the Russian criminal sends Iris to manipulate Mike. When that fails, he draws Mike into a serial killer investigation.
Gillen’s character on “Mayor of Kingstown” and his portrayal of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on “Game of Thrones” has a lot in common. The gears are always spinning, and he’s an opportunist who always seems to be one step ahead of the competition. Milo adds to the turmoil and exploits it to go away unobserved, and there’s little question he hasn’t finished with Mike or Iris.
Milo is a primary antagonist throughout Season 1, but viewers have no idea what his endgame is or how or why Mike fits into it moving forward because Sheridan prefers to eschew motives in favor of a universal understanding that bad people simply do bad things. As a result, despite Milo being a primary antagonist throughout Season 1, viewers have no idea what his endgame is or how or why Mike fits into it moving forward. It’s worth noting that Milo is the only inmate having a plausible reason, while the others are depicted with far broader stereotypical brushstrokes.
Iris and Mike are two spirits who have lost their way.
Iris is maybe the most heartbreaking character in “Mayor of Kingstown” (Emma Laird). Milo exploits Iris to gain an advantage over his opponents, including Mike, but when she fails, he sells her to the Duke (Andrew Howard), whose gang tortures her. Mike feels obliged to defend her once she transforms into a damaged bird, though we never learn why.
Their bond is thinly defined, and with neither character’s backstory addressed, it boils down to two wounded people forced together for the sake of a romantic subplot.
Despite Mike’s role as a savior, the bear that roams his land is an excellent example of Mike’s errors. He develops a monster in order to overcome his worries. Mike’s shortcomings as an advocate, peacemaker, or whatever he believes himself to be are symbolized by the bear.
Whether he believes he’s doing a good thing by feeding a beast despite warnings to the contrary, or he acts impulsively without considering long-term consequences, the bear represents Mike’s shortcomings as an advocate, peacemaker, or whatever he believes himself to be.
While he’s gone, it’s up to Iris to deal with the creature, much as the inmates bear the brunt of Mike’s activities while he’s gone. Iris’ encounter with the bear provides her with time to reflect.
She tells Mike that all she’s been through has eroded her soul, but in a rare moment of optimism, she wonders if a soul can regenerate. Mike’s soul, like Iris’s, is worn and torn, but his bear is P-Dog, and it’s uncertain whether Mike can heal or if future seasons will render him soulless.