The Mayor of Kingstown portrays Mike McLusky as a middleman. Externally, he facilitates a deal between prisoners and police officers, while internally, Mike convinces himself to look after his family business instead of following his dreams. Maybe, for a common man, being a middleman is not a matter of conflict. But Mike has a conscious mind that tells him each and every day that what he is doing is not correct. He crosses the moral line every day, and feels like a tightrope walker each time he does that. Slowly, time and crime consume his dreams, ripping off a part of his soul, but still, at the end of “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 1, Mike doesn’t find the definite end he is looking for.
‘Mayor of Kingstown’ Season 1: Episode 10 Recap
In Episode 9, the prisoners captured Kingstown’s men’s prison under the leadership of Paul P-Dog (Pha’rez Lass). They took over some 36 correctional guards as hostages, while the rest were killed in the violent riots. Mike’s brother, Kyle, and officer Ian also got trapped inside the facility when they went there to transfer Milo Sunter to the DA’s office.
As soon as Mike heard the news, he came running to rescue his brother. The authorities were busy with their politics. Hence, Mike informed the Swat commander, Robert Sawyer (Hamish Allan-Headley), about Kyle and Ian.
While Robert and his SWAT unit rescued Kyle and Ian, hiding underneath the prison, Mike talked to his old pal Carlos Jimenez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) to negotiate with the prisoners. Carlos told Mike that the prisoners had taken Ed, Moore, and other correctional officers as hostages and kept repeating the words that Paul (P-Dog) had ordered him to speak. Finally, the prisoners shot one guard in the yard and forced Mike to enter the prison to hear their demands.
During the negotiation, Paul shot Ed and killed him. The national guards retaliated by shooting bullets from the wall, and they killed almost all the prisoners who had guns in their hands. Fortunately, Mike, Kyle, and Ian survived the firing and returned to their families safe and sound. Milo, dressed as a prison guard, sneaked out of the prison while the fate of Captain Moore wasn’t revealed until the end.
What Did Paul P-Dog & The Prisoners Want?
The “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 1 consistently explored the theme of discrimination throughout the episodes. On the inside of the men’s prison, the curbs were divided based on skin color and race, while on the outside, some white folks attacked Bunny’s relative for playing ice hockey, a white man’s sport. The correctional officers ill-treated the prisoners, which became a matter of constant conflict.
In Episode 5, “Orion,” the guards served feces to Paul, which was enough to humiliate him and provoke the beast inside the man. Speaking of humiliation, in Episode 5, another prison guard named Ernest Van Ackle (Tim Post) was mocked by his fellow guards. All these men revolted because they were fed up with constant harassment caused by men in power. Paul told Mike that the correctional officers used to vent their frustrations on the prisoners by beating them on a daily basis. The prisoners committed a crime, and they were serving a sentence for it, but getting beaten up and humiliated every day wasn’t justified.
The prisoners yearned for some dignity and respect, but they retaliated in revenge when they didn’t get it peacefully. Like Carlos told Mike, most of these prisoners who started the riot were serving life sentences and thus already knew their end. By capturing the prison and killing guards, these men just trimmed the time between their deaths and had no repentance for it.
Because Mike had been inside and knew the situation personally, he couldn’t deny the facts pointed out by Paul. Yet, Mike tried to negotiate with Paul. However, in the end, Paul declared that he knew how this was going to end and was ready to make a sacrifice to send a message to the world. Paul shot Ed in the yard to create fear and terror in prison guards throughout the country. His act will probably influence the prisoners in other facilities to raise their voices against the humiliations. This was Paul’s message to the world, to not submit to the torture but rise in rebellion.
Who Was The Man on the Tower?
Ernest Van Ackle was a prison guard who took the post in the Tower after Sam Weaver was transferred to Women’s Prison. However, as mentioned earlier, Earnest was mentally unstable, but none of his fellow guards or family bothered to pay attention to it. He had a mentally disabled son at home and faced humiliation from his wife every day. Probably, for this reason, Ernest used to do overtime in prison. He had no family life nor any speck of love, so he got obsessed with the job.
At the end of “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 1, Ernest at the tower was still doing his job earnestly. When one of the national guards disarmed Ernest’s gun, Earnest took it as an attack on his ego and retaliated. While the guards were firing at the prisoners, Ernest shot two national guards, but was killed in the combat. Often, we don’t understand what’s happening in a person’s life, and in our eternal ignorance, we make fun of the people around us and humiliate them in the process. Though many suppress their anger, few stand in revolt.
‘Mayor of Kingstown’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Will There Be A Season 2?
After the national guards sorted out the prison situation, Mike and Kyle safely walked out of the mess. Milo Sunter used the chaos to his benefit and escaped the prison wearing a prison guard’s uniform. Hence, it wasn’t the end of conflict for Mike McLusky. In Mayor of Kingstown Season 2, Milo will probably strike back to get his money from the McLusky brothers.
But probably, Kyle won’t be there for Mike’s protection. He had already mentioned to Ian that he would be leaving for Michigan for his family’s safety. Maybe, Miriam will accompany Kyle and his wife, leaving behind Mike alone in Kingstown.
After the death of Ed, even Mike has the option to leave Kingstown. The mess he created by shooting Duke in Episode 8 was cleaned up already. In Episode 10, Officer Stevie found Duke’s cellphone in Duke’s den, but he dropped it in the acid to get rid of it. He destroyed all the other evidence that linked Mike to Duke’s death. Hence, there is nothing to hold Mike back, and it will be his decision to carry on with his family business or not.
Mike’s dilemma was better explained by Iris, who told Mike she would never be able to forget the trauma given to her by Duke and Milo. These men broke down a piece of her soul that might never heal. Hence, standing at this juncture, she had two options: to keep on living with the trauma and feeling the torture throughout her life, or rip off the remaining part of her soul and become an emotionless human being.
Evidently, Mike was going through the same dilemma of whether to stay in Kingstown and become a criminal or leave the city and pursue his dreams. Even if they buried their dreams, they worried that they would resurface. Then again, Mike would be carrying out the criminal acts, but his moral conscience would haunt him and disturb his mental peace every night.
Mike McLusky will never be able to find peace in Kingstown. Maybe his struggles will end when he accepts the fact that he is already aware of. “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 2 will further follow his internal and external struggles.
Mayor of Kingstown is a 2021 Crime Thriller Television Series created by Hugh Dillon and Taylor Sheridan. Season 1 is streaming on Paramount+.