‘Mayor of Kingstown’: Why Didn’t Mike Kill the Cook?

by Chase Thomas
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Mayor Of Kingstown is really heating up after four, breath-taking episodes on Paramount Plus. After the dust has really settled from the chaos, and tragic death in the series premiere, we are starting to get a nice picture of who Mike, played by Jeremy Renner, is in this town and how he’ll differ from his brother if he remains the ostensible mayor of the town.

Mike is not Mitch. The two could not be more different, you saw that in the opener with Mitch in the squad room with the rest of the police officers owning the room with his humor and warmth. Mike is not the same guy, as his mother points out. He never wanted this job. He never wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps to play peacekeeper with the prisons and gangs and police force.

It’s never been what he actually wanted in this life. He wanted to get away from the town. That’s why he has the cabin that we saw in episode 2. His place to get away from it all and feed some fries and grease to a black bear. It’s the little things for Mike.

Mike’s Tough Decision on ‘Mayor Of Kingstown’

In the third episode, though, he is faced with a difficult situation. The town smells blood in the water after a child and a woman are killed in their trailer after a meth cook’s cigarette lights it all on fire and it explodes. It was a horrific tragedy and everyone spends the episode chasing the man responsible. The police want to go a different route than what Mike wants to do. He does not want to cause more strife and make more deals with bad people.

Mike is swimming against the current in this episode, as the town and its people he works with are all going one way while he is trying to go another. Like Marlo Stanfield said in The Wire, “You want it to be one way, but it’s the other way.” Mike tried with the cook to go against the grain but it did not work out to his liking. It should be interesting to see if that continues to be the case this season on Mayor Of Kingstown.

Mike’s Future on ‘Mayor Of Kingstown’

But he is outnumbered. Everyone else wants to put the cook in gen pop in prison and you can guess the rest. This eats away at Mike. He’s not like Mitch. He does not want it to go down this way. So, he works to not have it go that way, even offering advice when the cook shows up at his office looking for answers. He makes it clear he will not help him, or lie to him, but that if he follows Mike’s Option 3 he will make it out alive. Even still, it does not turn out that way for the cook and Mike erupts in anger in response. It was a tough scene to watch, but it was important to show Mike in this light and what’s to come. He is going to be an entirely different mayor than his brother.

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