“This Piece of My Soul” doesn’t resolve every plot thread, but it makes its point, setting up a second season with a chaotic closer.
This recap of Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 10, “This Piece of My Soul”, contains spoilers, including a discussion of Mayor of Kingstown’s ending.
All throughout the first season of Mayor of Kingstown, Mike McLusky has remained outside of prison. We know he used to be an inmate, of course, but his life these days is as an “advocate”, someone who acts as a go-between for the prisoners and the various corrupt institutions that benefit from their incarceration or don’t want it to be too much of an obstacle to business. In the Mayor of Kingstown finale, “This Piece of My Soul”, Mike finally has no choice but to re-enter the prison where he lost years of his life; to confront his old self face-to-face, in the hopes of saving both his brother and countless others who’re caught in the crossfire of a riot whose organizers have a point to prove.
Mayor of Kingstown season 1, episode 10 recap
This is a metaphor, obviously, but it would work without that underlying component. Across ten episodes, the series has developed a delicate balance of power between the inmates and everyone else, and in the last few episodes, the penultimate one particularly, that balance has tipped very much in favor of the prisoners. Led by P-Dog, they have seized the prison, taken the guards hostage, and want to make a public point about the continued mistreatment of the inmates by officials. To make matters worse, Mike’s brother Kyle and Kyle’s partner Ian are both trapped in the prison’s bowels, and Miriam is watching the whole thing unfold on TV. It’s a disaster waiting to happen – well, it’s a disaster that has already happened, but it’s threatening to get much worse very quickly.
And outside the prison, things aren’t much better. Town and state officials are bickering over who has jurisdiction, and Mike’s “official” position as an “advocate” only opens him up to scrutiny. Having received countless missed calls from Miriam after cresting the hill leading to his cabin, he also knows that he’ll never hear the end of it if Kyle doesn’t make it out. While Iris spends the finale figuring out what she’s going to do with the next chapter of her life, which hopefully doesn’t include being eaten by a bear, Mike has to figure out Kyle’s location and then enter the prison as a negotiator in order to discuss terms with P-Dog, whom he knows from his own time inside.
These two main plot threads, as well as a couple of others, all coalesce at about the same time. A SWAT team enters the prison via the sewers to rescue Kyle and Ian and escort them up to the yard, while Mike realizes that his negotiation with P-Dog is hopeless. Like many of the other inmates, including Carlos, P-Dog is a lifer – he’ll never be free. But while he has lost the ability to choose how he lives, he can choose how he dies, and if he does so making the point that those in the prison are being consistently denied their humanity for the entertainment of the guards, then that, to him, will have been worth something. So, he executes one of the guards and is gunned down by the State police lining the perimeter walls. In the ensuing confusion, many other inmates meet the same fate. It’s a massacre.
Mayor of Kingstown ending explained
Kyle and Ian make it to the yard after the shooting has died down, and the McLusky brothers tearfully embrace. Outside, Miriam arrives and hugs both of them. They make it out alive, but changed, Kyle especially. One imagines that his latest career opportunities are looking a lot more enticing right now.
Mike returns home, to find Iris on the floor of the cabin, clutching a kitchen knife. After a brief encounter with Mike’s bear friend earlier, she has obviously had to confront her mortality yet again. Still sitting on the floor, she explains to Mike, who has returned home with champagne, that she realizes now what she has lost – pieces of her soul, that she’ll never get back. She thought about ending it all but considered that perhaps the soul grows back over time. She’ll have to wait and see.
None of the show’s most significant characters died in “This Piece of My Soul”, and it seems like that was intentional. Given the show’s success and its already-confirmed second season renewal, there’s much more story to tell here. Hence, Milo, after helping to initiate the riot in the first place, escapes in a prison guard’s uniform, presumably to terrorize Mike in the coming episodes.
Beyond this, there’s still the matter of his missing bearer bonds and the busload full of corpses. While nothing seems to have been gained from the riot other than a pile of corpses, P-Dog’s point may well have been proven, and even if it wasn’t, the complete breakdown in trust and communication between the prison and the outside world is going to make Mike’s job even harder. There’s plenty of material to develop and unpack in a second season here, and after these initial episodes, fans of the show are likely to be eagerly anticipating another visit to Kingstown.