Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 9 recap – “The Lie of the Truth”

January 2, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Paramount+, TV, Weekly TV


Chaos erupts in “The Lie of the Truth” as the penultimate episode delivers on all fronts.

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Chaos erupts in “The Lie of the Truth” as the penultimate episode delivers on all fronts.

This recap of Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 9, “The Lie of the Truth”, contains spoilers.

In the cold open of “The Lie of the Truth”, the penultimate episode of Mayor of Kingstown‘s successful first season, a trigger-happy SWAT team raid Duke’s compound. You know it’s Duke’s place, since there are Confederate flags in the windows, and only a white trash race gang would decorate the place with those in 2021. It’s the second time in as many episodes that a guy couldn’t wait to burst in and shoot everyone inside. But since Mike already did that, there shouldn’t be anyone inside. Only, there is. The place is full of people in white coveralls and little hats, like forensic specialists, but they seem to be bagging up drugs. Either way, all but one of them are shot and killed. The only survivor, a woman, is told that she has some explaining to do. One assumes that’s an understatement.

Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 9 recap

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, apparently, and that certainly holds true in Kingstown. But “most important” doesn’t translate to “best”, seemingly for anyone. The mornings of both Mike and Kyle are juxtaposed to make a point of comparison. Both are struggling with women — Kyle isn’t paying any attention to his wife or their unborn child, only work, and Miriam absolutely chews him to pieces about it, while Mike makes a hearty breakfast for Iris that eventually amounts to them laying on the bed together while she furiously sobs. The point is pretty clear. If you’re on the wrong side of the tracks in this town, they don’t lead anywhere good. And once you get where they take you, there’s no coming back. Iris is so thoroughly traumatized and broken that she’ll never be the same. If Kyle doesn’t start prioritizing his family over his job, he’ll end up having seen too much to not have it reflected back at him in his kid’s eyes — if he gets to see his kid’s eyes at all.

Then again, someone has to investigate all the stabbings, don’t they? You’ll recall that two prison guards were stabbed by inmates in the previous episode, but it’s the incident that occurred in the male prison that’s a point of real contention. The CCTV footage of the shiv being passed through the line suggests that the white and Black inmates were working together, which is not a good sign — for the guards especially, since, as we know, this is payback for services rendered and disproportionate punishments given to cover those services up. The Warden is still at odds with the guards, who demand that the suspects be transferred to county to be questioned by homicide detectives, and that the prison is immediately locked down. The warden, determined not to punish the innocent just to get at the guilty, agrees to the former but not the latter, and waves away the idea that “innocent” is a pretty relative term in a place like this.

The same theme comes up in relation to the stabbing of Sam by Cherry. Given the evidence and timing, it seems obvious that the attack was a gang-sanctioned hit, but they need Cherry to admit that, or at least give enough away that it can be proved and exonerate a prison guard who has been posthumously approved of rape. Given that the only compassionate person in or indeed near the prison is Miriam, she’s picked for the job, even though she’s reluctant to do it and, crucially, reluctant to believe the notion that the killing was intentional, which seems a bit naive for her.

The overall sense, though, is of impending calamity. Every time Kyle, who along with Ian is sent to the prison to escort Milo to county after the whole bus-full-of-dead-bodies incident, mentions his son and his intention to take a job offer elsewhere, I started to bristle a bit. In the holding area, where P-Dog has been moved Hannibal Lecter-style, it became obvious that something was about to go down. And it did. P-Dog had a whole escape attempt planned. Several of his fellow gang members were in place, mopping floors and such, and at the same moment, they all attacked the guards, attacked Kyle and Ian, and headed for the door. Some pepper spray to the eyes and a bit of a beating seemed to be the worst the cops got, which it turns out made them the lucky ones. On his way out, P-Dog runs into Milo, who has been paying attention to the complicated color-coded key system and knows that the blue key opens the door out and the black key opens the weapons locker full of shotguns and pistols. Suddenly he’s free too, and armed — he was already dangerous.

The noise of the escape causes a riot in the cell blocks, and pretty soon every cell in the prison is open. Ian and Kyle come to in the midst of it, knowing they’re in a deeply terrible predicament. Taking the last couple of handguns from the weapons locker, they descend into the bowels of the prison, where some inmates are hiding out. They claim it’s the end of the road. They might be right.

Additional Notes:

  • You can’t fault Mike’s cooking. Cast iron skillet, lemon zest, vanilla extract? He was pulling out all the stops there.
  • Ian cleaning Kyle’s eyes with a can of Red Bull was hysterical. I’d rather have the pepper spray in my eyes than that poison.
  • Miriam asks Cherry one question, which is whether or not Sam committed a crime, and then leaves. But you can tell by her expression that she knows Cherry’s answer — that he did — is a lie, irrespective of their prior conversation about the notion of “truth” just being whichever version of the storyline keeps people like Cherry down.
  • Mike spends the entire episode with Iris, talking and crying, and doing nothing, perhaps for the first time in as long as he can remember.

You can stream Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 9, “The Lie of the Truth”, exclusively on Paramount+.

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