“The End Begins” sees Mike step up and take responsibility for Mitch’s business, but he has a very different, and potentially dangerous, way of doing things.
This recap of Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 2, “The End Begins”, contains spoilers.
“The End Begins” is the second episode of Mayor of Kingstown, but in many ways it feels like the first. With Mitch having been surprisingly and unceremoniously killed off in the premiere, this week we see Mike take the reigns of their father’s inherited fixer business, and we see how his approach differs vastly from his late brother’s. It’s an introduction, essentially, to a man who finds himself suddenly thrust into a promotion that he might not have the temperament for.
Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 2 recap
You can see this particularly in Mike’s negotiations with Bunny. After the incident between them last week, Mike orders Bunny’s men to be pulled from the prison yard, preventing them from smuggling drugs, and then when Bunny later called to threaten him, he threatened him in return with superior firepower. Bunny eventually handed Sam’s letter over, which he could have just done in the first place. But power is everything in Kingstown. Everyone is testing the waters to see how much they really have.
Of course, ultimate power still rests with the authorities, represented in “The End Begins” by Special Agents Aldrich and Perry, who had a cushty deal with Mitch and want to extend the same one to Mike – it’s another way in which the episode is dealing with the transition, confirming that the family business is still operating, that Mitch’s legacy has already been burned away with the bloodstains that Mike torched from his carpet. It’s not the most compassionate handover in the world, but there’s little room or time for sympathy here. There is business to be done.
There’s little business in Kingstown that Milo Sunter doesn’t seem to have an interest in. Milo was namechecked in the premiere, but we see him for the first time here – Aidan Gillen playing the same character he always plays, though this time behind bars – and learn a little more about his arrangement with Mitch. Mitch arranged Milo’s surrender after he killed two armed guards during an armored car heist and then helped his wife, Vera, to dig up the part of the haul he buried in the hopes of collecting after his release. Milo is indirectly responsible for both Mitch and Vera’s deaths, but he isn’t the sympathetic type. He also wants his money, which is currently in police custody, and he recognizes immediately that Mike can’t be dealt with in the same way as Mitch. He’ll require the manipulations of a woman named Iris instead.
Taylor Sheridan, for what it’s worth, seems to love bears. He built a couple of episodes of Yellowstone around one and uses one as a metaphor here for Mike’s determined self-destructiveness, his inclination to meet danger head-on. Maybe, for Mike, the bear is another potential emotional connection. Maybe it’s a way to kill himself. Either way, instead of hiding from it or trying to discourage it from visiting, he feeds it. He just can’t help himself.