These tennis balls were ignored by guards and given to certain inmates who opened them and drank the drugs they contained. Mike McLuskey (Jeremy Renner) speaks out loud that Kingstown, Michigan, has seven prisons within 10 miles, and its job is to provide a connection between prisoners and the outside world.
A job which he never wanted to do in the first place.
Two days earlier, Mike and his dear brother/business partner Mitch (Kyle Chandler) talked to a customer. Mitch is the engine of this communications business; he has so many connections to prisons and law enforcement agencies.
That most call him “mayor” – even the mayor himself calls him that. One of his connections is his younger brother Kyle (Taylor Handley), a Kingstown police detective.
Enter Vera Santer (Elizabeth Neretin), Milo Santer’s wife, Makluski’s primary customer in prison; He tells Mitch that Milo wants him to retrieve the bag of money. That he buried in the woods after “that thing”. A robbery that does Mitch knows about. He even had a card telling him to make a copy.
Meanwhile, Mike meets the two commanders he works with; one of them had a nephew who had just started work and was already in the pocket of gang custody.
Mike says he’ll intercept a letter his nephew is about to bring. But the tennis ball with the contraband has to go through the wall. And he asks the commanders to make sure. That everyone there knows what’s ahead and doesn’t interfere.
At a women’s prison, Miriam Makluski (Dian Whist) teaches a course on prison history. Who is disgusted by what her son is doing, tells him emphatically. An hour later, he asks if the mayor can help, and Miriam. That she shouldn’t ask them again.
Kyle provides police protection for Mitch and Mike and helps Mike dig up the wallet.
When Vera came to the strip club where she worked. But at the same time, she met someone in the brother’s office. Hell broke out when he followed her home, strangled her, and found the card she was holding.
At the same time, the young commander’s defence plans go awry. When the boy kills the prisoner’s snot, sends him to the hospital. And annoys Bunny (Toby Bamtefa), the local Crips boss who has a deal with Mitch and Mike.
Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) and Hugh Dylan (who plays Ian, a top KPD detective loyal to Makluski) created the Mayor of Kingstown. And the series starts with a bit of a confusing mess.
Renner, whose acting skills usually become more apparent in later scenes of the first episode. Which mumbles his way through the original scene. Which full of code words and poor contextual jargon after realizing what happened to Mitch.
For example, when Mitch and Mike negotiate with the gang leader, they talk about FedEx. We knew it wasn’t a package, and after a while. We realized it was the name of a tennis ball full of drugs that would let them penetrate prison walls.
But everyone was talking so fast and so somberly that it was hard to tell what it was. We still don’t know what the young guard’s letter contained. Who got it, and why it had to be brought back.
We learned that Sheridan wanted to use honest dialogue for these scenes:
But there is no context in which the viewer becomes trapped and left deeply confused or rejected. It’s also a little confusing because Mike says, “I’m Mayor of Kingstown,” in his original voice, but it’s clear that Mitch is Mayor as the episode progresses ahead. You might start to forget that the cold opening comes two days after most of the action, making Mitch even more shocking.
Despite Renner’s good performance (at least in the second half of the episode), Whist and Chandler, Kingstown’s relentless first episode, is more interested in breaking the succession record for “f-bombs per hour” than he says in the story.
What Mitch and Mike do, for which they are paid, to make the lives of those in prison and those who work in different prisons a little less stressful seems like good food for a suspenseful anti-hero drama.
But after the first episode, it looks like Renner is doing some dreary business, arguing with his mom about it and maybe even sucking his brother out of a police detective. And we’ll probably hear more murmurs. This is not our idea for an exciting show.
While the Mayor of Kingstown has done a great job, it has been confusing at times and very sad for others. If we want to see endless shows, there are far better options.