Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 3 recap – “Simply Murder” all on the same page

November 22, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Paramount+, TV, Weekly TV
4

Summary

“Simply Murder” is a brutal example of taking the law into one’s own hands, as Mike tries to preserve a fragile peace in the wake of a terrible crime.

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4

Summary

“Simply Murder” is a brutal example of taking the law into one’s own hands, as Mike tries to preserve a fragile peace in the wake of a terrible crime.

This recap of Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 3, “Simply Murder”, contains spoilers.


Everyone makes mistakes. In Kingstown, though, they get you killed. “Simply Murder” is a horrific episode chronicling a horrific crime and the penance that must be paid for it, all while several interested parties try to maintain a fragile peace in its wake. Taylor Sheridan’s vision of America’s prison system and the back-patting culture of favours and deals that power it isn’t exactly pleasant, but neither, at least a lot of the time, is life. Especially not for people like Kenny.

Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 3 recap

Kenny hardly engenders any sympathy. He’s a meth addict whose habit and irresponsibility leads to the deaths of his lady and their child, both charred alive in the trailer where he cooked his meth. The kid was five years old. The event is enough to unite Kingstown’s law enforcement and criminal elements both. Kenny must be brought to justice, and not via means of a courtroom.

Luckily virtually everyone in Kingstown is willing to help make this happen. With Kenny on the run, Mike is given the responsibility of finding him and arranging a deal whereby basically everyone gets to kill him. While Kenny sobs and punches himself in the face, clearly devastated by his own role in things, even his own boss agrees to turn him in if he sees him. Kenny cannot be saved; “Simply Murder” makes this clear, and the sense of inevitability is what powers the episode.

Of course, this all has ramifications. Prisoners of various affiliations are all volunteering to do the deed. The cops are determined to have Kenny killed without a fair trial; to violate an essential tenet of American society. And nobody can wait to do any of these things. It doesn’t bode well for Kingstown, even if everyone agrees that Kenny deserves it, so when Kenny presents himself to Mike, he’s offered a deal. If he turns himself in, as a parolee he can be put in protective custody. He’ll still be convicted, he’ll still be sent to Death Row, and he’ll still be executed, but at least he’ll get a trial. When Kenny follows Mike’s advice, though, he’s still placed in general population and immediately set upon by all the prisoners, stabbed and beaten to death while the guards look on. Mike, upon hearing the news, smashes his office up in frustration.

Mike’s attempts to save Kenny were self-preservation, not sympathy. Kenny was dead either way. But the fragile balance of peace in Kingstown is contingent on Mike keeping the scales even. If the police enlisted an affiliated prisoner to kill Kenny, the police would have been indebted to the gang. As Bunny laughingly mentions to Mike, they’d milk that debt forever. Suddenly, the police would be indistinguishable from the criminals – not that there’s much difference between them at the best of times.

But even for the Mayor of Kingstown, there’s only so much influence one can wield. Kenny had broken a sacred code by inadvertently killing a child. So many people wanted him dead that they ensured it happened without thinking too far ahead. Now, Kenny has been killed by various members of several gangs with the police’s full knowledge and complicity, meaning that everyone will suddenly owe everyone else a favour. With Mike being the broker of those favours, his new job is likely to get a lot harder before it gets easier.

You can stream Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 3, “Simply Murder”, exclusively on Paramount+.

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