“Mayor of Kingstown” Season 2 deals with the repercussions of the prison riot that Season 1 ended with. Mike has to find a way to bring back peace inside the prison as well as in the neighborhood. If Mike fails to do this, it’s impossible to say what Kingstown has in store, the hellhole that it is. The show has some great characters, each of which stands out in its own way. Here’s more on them:
Mike is strong of mind and heart, intelligent enough not to make a mistake in front of a gun, and brave enough to take the right decisions in the face of adversity. But when you’re taking care of criminals, you have to become one of them. This is the case with Mike McLusky. A former convict who had to carry forward the mantle of the mayor of the city of Kingstown from his brother, who was killed, Mike finds himself in utter confusion and chaos after a riot that has kicked off a series of events. These events cover the entire second season of “Mayor of Kingstown.” Mike is someone who tries as hard as possible to prevent things from falling apart in Kingstown but, at the same time, wants to get away from it. He even told his assistant Rebecca to find an office but ended up getting the new one right across the road. Subconsciously, it feels like Kingstown will not let Mike leave. This is because he is perhaps the only person who can run it. His past as a convict allows him to understand the network of criminals and their game. It also allows criminals to get their message out without compromising themselves. In other words, there is a clean give and take of trust between the “inside” and the “outside.”
After the riot at the end of Season 1, Mike’s true self comes into view. For most of “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 2, he has to make sure that a hierarchy is established inside the prison among the different gangs by introducing the leaders to the inside. At the same time, he needs to maintain the peace on the outside, which is now left without anyone to lead it. It is probably a good thing that he isn’t a family man, as that would have cost him his peace, something that happens to his brother Kyle, whose pregnant wife decides to leave him and go live with her father. She doesn’t do this out of hatred but due to Kyle’s absence from her life. He has no time for her and is struggling to keep things together at work as well.
Coming back to Mike, he spends his days trying to manage Kingstown and its insidious developments. Even in all this mess, Mike is able to function the way he should. This is because he knows how to maneuver through it. We may see him running out of ways and time as days pass without him being able to do anything to get Bunny out of Anchor Bay. But there is a method to his madness that allows him to control whatever is going on, more due to his relationship with Bunny and the reputation he has among the inmates and the gang members on the outside than due to his designation and powers as the mayor of Kingstown. The catch in his process comes in the form of Iris, who reminds him of the toxicity of Kingstown that spreads inside him as well. And what’s worse, he seems to find solace in it, as it is the only way in which he can see himself as a human capable of caring. It is Iris, and Iris alone, who brings out the concern in him. Nowhere else do we see this side of Mike. Of course, he has a mother, but she isn’t involved in his world. On top of Iris, there is Milo, who is the manifestation of Mike’s world, one that isn’t letting him access his sane human side, i.e., Iris.
Throughout “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 2, he searches for Iris. This is another way of saying that he searches for the part of himself that he has lost. At the end of Season 2, we see Mike McLusky kill Milo and thus reconcile with his sane self by saving Iris. But having Iris safe has added a layer of a potential breach to his conscience. This breach can easily be used or misused by those planning to compromise Mike. But that comes later. For now, Mike has a tougher job at hand. He has to find a way to prevent an upcoming conflict between Bunny, his men, and the cops. We have to wait to see which side he chooses to talk to first. He has already tried to make Bunny understand the repercussions of his actions multiple times, though we can’t tell for sure if it was Bunny who ordered the hit on Robert. It could have been Gunner. Maybe he will have to try to talk some sense into his friends, including Ian, Stevie, and Kareem.
“Mayor of Kingstown” Season 2 ends with Mike describing Kingstown as an island that can only be sold as a nightmare where miseries come for free, and prison labor is its attraction. Whether he likes it or not, we know that he is the only dealer capable of selling this island and all it has to offer. If he cannot sell it, he has to maintain it. Why? Because only he can. Somewhere, we might as well consider that Mike never really wanted to be the mayor of Kingstown because of his past as a convict. But we now know that it is this past that has allowed him to run his post better than perhaps even his elder brother Mitch (Season 1). It is his conflicted nature that lets him operate everything. It’s not proper, but then, is there any proper way to run a place like Kingstown?
Mike’s younger brother has been struggling to balance work and life. His pregnant wife Tracy is there for him, but only for so long. After accepting the reality of her husband’s job, she made her piece with all the lonely nights that came her way, but she eventually gave up. This doesn’t mean she stopped loving him, but she realized that Kyle has too much on his plate. And since he didn’t want to tell her about it, she might as well stay away from him. The vacuum Kyle found himself in after inadvertently killing a couple (Season 2, Episode 2) led to a breakdown from which he needed to get out as fast as he could. He asks Mike to bring him back on the job. There is this deep trust that runs between the brothers, which is beyond any understanding.
When Kyle shoots his mother, Miriam mistakenly, he has no place to hide the pain. He is pinned down by the weight of regret, which also has Tracy as an add-on. Again, it is Mike who comes to the rescue, taking the weight off Kyle’s heart. He could have easily allowed Kyle to own up to what he did. But he tells Kyle to his face that he cannot let the truth come out because it will affect his job and, thus, his family life. People will think twice before giving him a job. This is the difference between Kyle and his brother. Kyle wants to be morally right, but Mike knows that sometimes morality needs to be compromised for the greater good. Alternately, Kyle is someone who is Mike’s closest emotional support. He keeps alive in Mike the vulnerability that keeps him from losing his sanity, alongside Ian, Stevie, and Kareem, and this is what prevents Mike from losing touch with his ethical side.
The loving mother of Mitch, Mike, and Kyle, Miriam always looks for the good in people. Her visits to the juvenile unit and the way she speaks to the kids, even after one of them assaults her, prove that she believes that people deserve a second chance no matter what. She even asks Mike to remove a kid before he is moved to the general unit, but that doesn’t happen. The kid kills himself. What all she has been through—losing Mitch and the continuous worry for Mike and Kyle—has taken a toll on her. But this hasn’t deterred her from letting her kids go about their ways without intruding in their lives. She believes that her sons will be okay wherever they are, and she will have them when she reaches out. It is disheartening when she receives a bullet wound, but we can only tell ourselves that more than herself, it was his sons who had it coming—a hurt personal enough to remind them that family matters more than they know.
While Mike handled everything from the legal side of Kingstown, Bunny did the same from the criminal side. We can say that both Mike and Bunny are alike in the way they believe things don’t have to get worse before getting better. It is these two men who maintain peace in Kingstown. However, they aren’t friends but have shaken hands to ensure that neither side crosses the line. It’s like the law of the jungle, where you hunt only when you are hungry. This makes sense, as Kingstown is no less than a jungle.
Throughout Season 2, Bunny holds on to Mike’s word that he will get released from Anchor Bay, and he eventually does. It takes more time than usual, and Bunny is almost killed, but deep down, Bunny knows that not everything is in Mike’s hands. So, he does what he can to protect himself in prison. We cannot help but take a liking to Bunny for how he behaves with his mates. For a bad guy, Bunny is really good. He respects Mike, but he has his own set of rules that he follows as a Gang-lord, and not even Mike can get in the way of those. “Mayor of Kingstown” Season 2 ends with Bunny waiting on his terrace for what’s about to come his way. In other words, the Kingstown police force.