Local gang leader, Bunny is upset when one of his guys gets taken off the yard. Mike brokers a deal, and is later visited by two FBI agents whom Mitch worked for. Milo has instructions for Josef on how to get closer to Mike.
A lone bird chirps on the ground as it eats a worm coming out of dirt, Mike sits alone. A little further in the distance, Kyle is putting his wife inside the car, and then looks at his older brother still sitting down after the funeral. The bird flies off, and it then begins to rain heavily. Eventually, Mike gets up and walks away.
At the memorial service, one of the cops asks Kyle if Mike is keeping office now that Mitch is gone. Another cop asks out loud if Mike will keep Rebecca on as the secretary. Eventually, one of the other police officers offers his condolences to Kyle. But the youngest of the McLusky brothers waves off the apology; saying how he doesn’t expect everyone to be talking about what a great guy Mitch was. He understands that in a place like Kingstown, they likely are talking about their mortgage rate, or when Kingstown is going to get a country club. In the end, everybody misses everybody. Ian for his part agrees with that sentiment; saying how they have been to way too many of these memorial services. He then states that this isn’t the place in which you miss a guy, but rather you gotta do it on your own.
Eventually, a drenched Mike arrives at the McLusky home and is greeted by the other cops. Stevie, one of the Kingstown police officers then asks Mike if he is going to keep the “mayor” job going. Mike admits that he doesn’t know if he will. Later, Mike asks Ed what happened with the inmate. Ed responds by saying that Sam’s story is that the guy attacked him. Ed then mentions how Sam’s face is a wreck, so he thinks this officer might be telling the truth. The inmate is on a ventilator though as a result, and the entire prison is on lockdown for the foreseeable future. Ed tries to minimize the gravity of the situation, by saying that no one is going to miss this particular inmate. But Mike says that the Crips will miss him though. Ed admits that he just tried to help Sam out. Mike suggests that they have to be smart about this whole situation, and move some chess pieces around because at the end of the day they aren’t the prisoners.
Later, the McLuskys put away the plates and leftover food from Mitch’s memorial service. Eventually, as they are getting ready for bed, Kyle admits to his wife that he doesn’t feel sad. He loved his older brother but doesn’t feel sad now that he is gone. His wife comforts him by saying that he doesn’t have to feel anything, as there are no rules for how to grieve a person. His wife just asks him to not waste a moment of them together because Mitch is proof that one minute you are here, and the next, just gone.
At Mitch’s office, Mike sets fire to the safe, as the fire alarm beeps. Later, the Kingstown Fire Captain arrives at the scene and sarcastically points out that the insurance company is going to love Mike. Outside, Kyle points out how ridiculous it was of Mike to set fire to his office to clean it rather than moving to a new one. Kyle then points out how Mike is not married, and thus has nothing tying him down to Kingstown. He also doesn’t owe anybody anything, which means Mike has no real reason to take on being the new mayor. All Mike says is that he is simply tyin’ up some loose ends because Mitch left behind a lot of them. All Kyle says to his brother is to not let weeks become years because he won’t get them back.
The next day, Mike is in his office telling a Latina woman that what she is asking him to help her with, is not something he can help out with. He mentions how the officers have moved him to another place closer to the chambers, that there’s video surveillance and they have in turn assigned a guard to watch her brother until they remove him for execution. Thus, she is better off talking to her brother's attorneys, than waste her time talking to him. The young woman mentions how his brother has no more appeals left. Thus, there’s nothing more they can do, and according to her, the next day, she is to just sit there and watch her brother be executed. Mikes tries to comfort the young woman by saying that he knows her mom is distraught over her son being put down like a dog, and that this is going to break her. But unfortunately, it is happening no matter what, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Thus, Mike suggests that the best thing she can do is to look her brother in the eye and let her smile be the last thing he sees.
Afterward, Mike’s cell phone rings, and he picks up. On the other side of the phone call, Bunny gives his condolences, and mentions how he feels bad for him, and that he is sure everybody is going to miss his brother. Later, Mike drives right through the fence and forces Bunny to write a letter and have it on his desk by the end of the day to get back the power he lost inside the prison. Once he gets the letter, he gives a call for things to go back to normal inside the prison and drives off.
Later, Mike is asking for advice about his bear problem at his cabin, but the guy he is talking to tells him that while the bear isn’t a problem, if he keeps eating, then in a few months, he will be a big bear that isn’t scared of Mike anymore. Mike then asks what bears like to eat, to which the man says that they like whatever humans like from bagels to bacon, etc. At his cabin, Mike pours out the 40lbs bag of french fries he bought and pours some bacon grease on them. He then sits on his porch waiting for the bear to show up. But instead, a raccoon shows up, and despite shooting two arrows at it with the crossbow he purchased, he fails to land either one. At night, the black bear finally shows up, and Mike simply watches him eat the food he threw on the ground.
The next day, Mike arrives at work and is greeted by Agent Perry and Agent Aldrich at his office parking lot. They eventually cut to the chase and ask if Mike has any idea why his brother was targeted. Mike then states that Mitch wasn’t targeted; he was robbed. Agent Aldrich then asks Mike if he knew of the connection between his brother and Vera Sunter. Mike avoids answering the question and instead asks the two agents if they even read the file on his brother’s death. The two agents say they have, but they’d rather hear it from Mike instead. Mike then explains how Mitch helped arrange the surrender of Milo Sunter after an armored car heist. In which two armed guards were killed. Thus, as part of the deal, Milo was able to keep and hide some of the money he stole, which would be returned to him upon his release. Unfortunately, Milo was sentenced to life. Not long after, Agent Aldrich tells Mike that they had an arrangement with Mitch. They state that they came in today to see if they should make the same arrangement with Mike. Agent Perry states that Mitch used to receive $2,500 a month to be a paid informant. She asks if Mike was aware of it, to which Mike says that he was.
Eventually, the two agents ask Mike point blank about why he detonated a concussion grenade and brandished a firearm in the Commons where Bunny and his gang reside. Mike calmly says that he has a CCO. Agent Aldrich then points out how it wasn’t exactly legal that a convicted felon such as Mike is able to walk around with a concealed carry permit. In a matter of seconds, the two agents offer Mike the contract, and he eagerly signs it. He then asks if they have check for him. Upon receiving it, he explains how he will do things. For one, he doesn’t do stings, nor does he wear a wire, and if someone asks him if he is on their payroll, he will tell them the truth. Mike then explains to the two agents that what he does here in Kingstown, and with the people in this town, stays here.
At the prison, Joseph the Russian visits his boss Milo and tells him how Mike warned them that if Milo ever threatens him again he will make them pay. However, Joseph believes that Mike does not have the guts to go through with his threat. Milo says that is because Mike is different from his brother; that he is more like them. Milo says to Joseph to not threaten Mike again. Instead, they need to send someone else. When Joseph asks who that could be. Milo explains that it needs to be someone like Vera. That for a guy like Mike, that’s the only way they will get through to him. Milo then asks Joseph where Iris is, to which his employee states that she is currently in New York. Milo then orders Joseph to send her into Kingstown to get the job done.
In New York, Iris gets dressed and puts her bra back on. She then tells the older man on the bed that she has got to go. She then gets a call from Joseph saying to come to Kingstown because he told her to.
Back in Kingstown, Juan's mother and sister along with a few other folks arrive for Juan’s execution. One of the officers there explains how the seats everyone picked are theirs until the end of the proceedings. But also warns everyone to not stand up, nor approach the glass. Moreover, the people present should only address members of your party. In addition, no one should speak above a whisper. If anyone does any of the things he mentioned, they violate state code 442-48, which is punishable by up to six months in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000. Thus if anyone needs to be excused, they must raise their hand, and wait for a corrections officer to escort them from the premises.
The lights are dimmed down, and Mike explains to the young woman that the warden will now be reading the sentence to the gallery. The warden is then heard through the intercom stating that Juan Jesus Garcia was found guilty of capital murder, and has been sentenced to death by lethal injection. Juan is then brought in and strapped to the chair. Mike then tells the woman that her brother is already gone. That isn’t him, and that she should remember the best of him. Juan’s mother breaks one of the rules and yells out in Spanish for her son to look at her. On the other side of the glass, her voice is muffled. Juan then tells his mom that he is sorry and that he loves her in Spanish. Then he addresses one of the victim’s family members and apologizes for what he did. Eventually, his last rites are performed. In the gallery, Mike explains that the doctors are stating an IV on Juan, to administer the lethal injection. Eventually, the injection is slowly administered, and Mike suggests to the young woman to have her mom look down for this next part. The monitors begin to beep, as Juan goes into cardiac arrest, and foams at the mouth. Eventually going motionless.
Later that night, Mike arrives and gives Bunny a new chair as an apology for the one he broke. The two sit down and have a couple of beers. Mike then vents to Bunny about the execution he was at earlier that day. Bunny admits that he has never seen an execution. He admits that there are worse ways one could go. Mike isn’t so sure. Bunny then mentions how in all thirty-seven years, he has never celebrated Christmas in his life. He then points out how you’re born, you suffer, and then you die. Sometimes you even die young. He tells Mike he is just like him and the other criminals because once you’ve been in the jaws of the beast, someday, he is going to finish his meal.
Cast and characters
- Jeremy Renner as Mike McLusky
- Dianne Wiest as Mariam McLusky
- Hugh Dillon as Ian
- Tobi Bamtefa as Bunny
- Taylor Handley as Kyle McLusky
- Emma Laird as Iris
- Derek Webster as Stevie
- Hamish Allan-Headley as Robert
- Pha'rez Lass as P-Dog
- Nishi Munshi as Tracy
- Nichole Galicia as Rebecca
- James Jordan as Ed
- Ryan Rosery as Latrell
- George Tchortov as Joseph the Russian
- Lombardo Boyar as Jimmy
- David McNally as Vic
- Zoé Doyle as Agent Perry
- Adam Clark as Warden Mills
- Lindsay Owen Pierre as Doctor
- Joel Rinzler as Fire Captain
- Rolando Alvarez Giacoman as Chaplain
- Ivan Lopez as Juan
- Jai Jai Jones as Tony
- Justin Landry as Burger Joint Owner
- Luke Marty as Corrections Officer
- Ryan Turner as Guard
- Michael Koras as Guard #2
- Terry Belleville as Senator
- Maia Jae Bastidas as Young Woman
- Sandra Aguilar as Juan's Mother
- Along with The Mayor of Kingstown, the series had a double-episode premiere.
- During the Sunday night debut in the US, which was simulcast on cable as a means of promotion, the crime thriller reportedly pulled in 2.6 million viewers linearly – and many more digitally. The numbers make it Paramount Network's most-watched scripted premiere since 2018.