WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Mayor of Kingstown Season 1, Episode 4, "The Price," which released Sunday on Paramount+.
The latest episode of Mayor of Kingstown opens with Milo in his prison cell, reheating a drink by building a fire out of a torn paper cup and matches he apparently has easy access to. As he sips, he stars at a wall that is empty except for a torn newspaper clipping advertising a Michigan land auction. After the credits, Mike is shown having sex with a woman in a bathroom, who mentions that she cannot be seen with him when he suggests they grab food from the food court afterward. It's a slow and incongruous start to an episode that is otherwise dealing with the fallout from the deals made in the previous episode.
In front of a class of college students and not inmates, Miriam lectures about early colonial travel to the western part of the U.S. After her class, Mike approaches his mom. On the campus green, Miriam tells Mike that his brother's wife is pregnant after punching and slapping Mike for his ignorance about the situation, right in public and surrounded by students. She suggests that Mike help Kyle make the right choice and take a different job away from the family business, one that is less likely to leave his wife a widow.
Bunny calls Mike to get him to come over for a discussion, preferably with White Castle. Mike tells him that an FBI van is listening to their in-person conversations so they could just as easily talk on the phone, but agrees to come in person anyway. Bunny says that his guys inside want candy for their role in helping to kill the child murderer, but Mike pushes back. He tells Bunny that the guards are going to loosen up on things in the prison for while but that no one can asks for specific favors. It's clear that both Mike and Bunny are figuring out how to deal with the aftermath of the guards sanctioning an inmate murder and how to navigate who owes what.
Meanwhile, Mike receives a call from Pete ordering him to put his crew at the top of the line for handouts after their involvement in the prison murder. When Mike calls into his own office to let his assistant Rebecca know he won't be in, he learns that there's only one person waiting for him. After they hang up, this sole visitor is revealed to be Iris, the sex worker that Milo called into Kingstown from New York. As she leaves, Iris tells Rebecca that she's beautiful, a kind deed for what must be thankless work that also sets up an interesting relationship between the two women.
When Mike arrives at Pete's office, he throws a trash can through the plate glass window to announce his presence. Mike tells Pete, as he told Bunny, that there's no favors. The guards will loosen things up but there's no list of people getting handouts for their involvement. This is the second gang that Mike's had to deal with, and he spends the rest of the episode chasing down the third.
Back at his cabin, Mike smokes while the bear that once brought him so much fear sniffs around the fake bear that Mike's used for arrow target practice. Mike promises that the fake bear isn't meant to be him, but the bear runs when Kyle drives up. The brothers sit on the porch drinking and talking about Kyle's future. Kyle is hesitant about accepting the safer job offer in Benton Harbor -- as much as he and Mike always talk about getting out, he thinks this opportunity may not be the right one. Or, what seems more likely, the McLusky family just doesn't know what to do with themselves outside of Kingstown.
At the office, Rebecca reminds Mike that for them to stay in business and pay their bills they have to take on clients. Mike hasn't been in for days and Rebecca worries that it's because Mike's been taking things personally. She also suggests that starting his day with alcohol in his coffee sets a bad precedent. Mike tells her that he's not as good at this job as Mitch was but that he'll work on bringing in more money, but what he puts in his coffee doesn't concern her.
Later, Mike meets with one of his prison guard friends to let them know what the inmates and gangs are requesting as favors. To remind everyone of the easy treatment they've been getting as thanks, the two hatch a plan to tighten everything back up in the prison. The next scene shows fully-armored guards accosting the cells of the inmate leaders, shooting them with pellets and spraying them with pepper spray. The guard tells the inmate that they're taking everything away because the inmates asked for more.
Mike then heads to the Kingstown police department to get an address for Carlos Jimenez to get in touch with the Mexican gang. At the women's prison, Miriam is heading to teach a class when a fight breaks out between inmates in the hallway. While the guards deal with the fight, Miriam is stuck in the classroom with the previous class' instructor and the two seem to butt heads about whether this is an inconvenience for the instructors or the sign of something much worse.
Finally, Mike makes it back into his office and Iris gets a chance to meet with him. She tells Mike that Milo wants to make up and offers him her body as amends. Mike gets angry at the prospect and tells her that this town is full of wolves that will destroy her. He turns her down but has her tell Milo that they had fun. That night, Mike heads to the dog-fighting arena where Carlos has been hanging out. He learns that Carlos was picked up on a warrant for nearly $4,000 of unpaid child support. The police will hand Carlos over to Mike if he makes the not insignificant payment. After making Carlos' bail, the two discuss reining in the favor requests coming from the Mexican gang.
When Mike calls Kyle, he finds that Kyle is at a pizza place that's being cased. Kyle has Ian come through the back door to take out what they think is an addict who's about to rob the place, but when the owner opens fire they take him down instead. The episode ends with this burst of fatal violence without making it clear how the attempted pizza store robbery is related to any ongoing issues. It's just as likely that the scene is meant to showcase both how comfortable and capable Kyle is at his Kingstown job and how casually violent the city truly is.
New episodes of Mayor of Kingstown release Sundays on Paramount+.
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