(Dennis P. Mong Jr./Paramount+)

'Mayor of Kingstown' Finale Recap & Ending Explained: The Art of the Fake Out


Episode 10, entitled "Little Green Ant," concludes an uneven second season of Mayor of Kingstown, and although this week's finale can't compare to Season 1's ambitious prison riot climax, there's much to be celebrated -- and litigated. What is Milo's endgame? Is Mike's downfall inevitable? In a jam-packed season ending, Jeremy Renner manages to slip some new shades of sensitivity and genuine fear into his long-toiling mayor, and Aidan Gillen's all-knowing Russian mobster chews up the scenery. It's unknown whether Mayor of Kingstown will be renewed for a third season, but one thing is certain: There's a lot of meat left on the bone after this week's finale. Read on for a rundown of remaining mysteries and a few thoughts on how another season might play out.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for 'Mayor of Kingstown' Season 2, Episode 10, "Little Green Ant."

AB Ambushes Mike

Dennis P. Mong Jr./Paramount+

The episode opens with Mike staring dismally into Robert's hospital room. He's on life support, and Mike hasn't told anyone that Bunny put him there. "He's got a lot of enemies, inside and out," says Ian (Hugh Dillon). Mike remembers that his all-important meeting with Milo is in twenty minutes, so he speeds off to make the exchange. His car is stopped at the train tracks when an SUV ambushes him. Mike is outnumbered three to one in the ensuing shootout, but he manages to grab a gun from the glove compartment and pick them off one by one. Mike can tell from their tattoos that his attackers were AB Whites. He leaves his shot-up Cadillac at the tracks and jumps in his assailants' SUV. 

Mariam (Dianne Wiest) is half asleep on the couch when she hears a noise in the backyard. She grabs a pistol from the dining room hutch (serious bad grandma vibes) and heads out back, where Iris (Emma Laird) emerges from one of Kyle's mental-breakdown sheds. "I didn't know where else to go," she says. We cut to Kareem (Michael Beach) sitting at his kitchen table with a faraway look. "Maybe that was the dead guy," he muses, referring to his functional, pre-riot self. "Maybe this is what waking up looks like." Mike calls with the news of Robert's hospitalization and his own attempted murder, but Kareem refuses to get involved. Instead, Mike enlists Ian to clean up the crime scene at the train tracks. 


Mike storms onto Bunny's (Tobi Bamtefa) rooftop pointing a gun at his one-time BFF, who's just declared war with Kingstown PD by targeting Robert. "We been under siege from birth, Mike," Bunny says, having wised up to the fact that no one -- not even Mike -- can truly be on his side. Kingstown left him no other path than that of gang violence, and after feeling the full force of a corrupt system at Anchor Bay, he's committing to his role as the Crip boss now more than ever. Both men are on the verge of tears as Bunny draws a line in the sand. He has "love" for Mike, but, he says, "If it come a time when you got me in a f****** corner and you're the only thing standing between me and my air, know this, Mike: I will run right through you." 

Mariam Is at Milo's Mercy

'Mayor of Kingstown' Season 2, Episode 10 Mariam still

Dennis P. Mong Jr./Paramount+

Devastated about his break with Bunny, Mike gets a chilling call from Mariam. Milo's taken her and Iris hostage at the house, and he's waiting for Mike to deliver the bonds. It's a worst-nightmare scenario, and Mike calls in the cavalry. Kyle (Taylor Handley) and Ian meet him at the house, and Mike realizes he forgot to retrieve the bonds (rookie mistake), which are in his busted-up Cadillac still parked at the tracks. 

Mike enters the house unarmed to find Mariam and Iris safe and sound. He spots the blood on Iris, and Milo (Aidan Gillen) tells him about her victory over Joseph. Mike claims that the bonds are in a car out front, but Milo thinks this was all part of Mike's plan. Why else would Iris kill Joseph and retreat to Mariam's the very night of the exchange? Just then, Ian and Kyle bust in, guns blazing. Milo makes it out of the house with Iris in tow, and Mariam shelters in a corner as the men take out the rest of Milo's goons. When the gunfire ceases, they realize that Mariam was shot in the stomach, and due to the direction of the shot, Kyle knows the bullet came from his own gun. In a devastating scene, the three men wheel Mariam through the hospital on a stretcher. 

We cut to Mike, Kyle, and Ian in the waiting room as Mariam undergoes surgery. The bullet lodged near her spine, but likely didn't puncture her lung or heart -- good news. Kyle is beside himself, but Mike encourages him not to crack. "You have a child coming," he says. "You have a life, so you can't go waving this around like a badge of honor 'cause it will define you." In a much-needed moment of levity, he jokes that when Mariam is out of the woods, Kyle's going to be "grounded like forever." Milo was the indirect cause of their brother Mitch's death, and with Mariam now implicated, Mike is determined to put the Russian mobster out of their life for good.


Milo Goes Out With a Bang

'Mayor of Kingstown' Season 2, Episode 10 Mike and Ian still

Dennis P. Mong Jr./Paramount+

Mike and Ian head to the club, where they threaten Tati (Gratiela Brancusi) into calling her boss. Milo reschedules their exchange for later that night at the harbor, and this time, Mike must arrive unaccompanied. Next up on Mike's clean-up list: AB. The mayor instructs Carney (Lane Garrison) to go through with some plan for "resetting the table" at Anchor Bay, so he opens AB leader Gunner's cell door. In a Crip-Blood alliance, Raphael (D Smoke) and his generals stab Gunner (Dylan Kenin), saying they have a "message from the mayor." We cut to Milo and Iris at a docked yacht awaiting Mike's arrival. "I think, maybe, Mike sees God in you," Milo tells her. "I think he sees his own salvation in saving you. Makes me want to end you. End his inevitable suffering when he realizes what you really are." It's a running theme with Iris. Joseph and Milo have always maintained that she's a black widow who feigns vulnerability to get the upper hand. 

Mike shows up to the harbor unaccompanied, kinda. Ian is in the bushes acting as a sniper. He boards the yacht and hands over the duffle bag of bonds. With that, Milo pushes Iris towards him to complete the deal, but, of course, the Russian mobster won't bid bon voyage without serving up some word salad. "This fight you're fighting, you can't win," he says, echoing something Mariam told her ne'er do well son in Season 1. "Thinking you can stop the bad thing from happening, that's ego, Mike." Milo's yacht speeds off, leaving behind two goons to escort Mike and Iris from the dock. Out of nowhere, the yacht explodes in the distance, and Ian and Iris each shoot and kill the remaining henchmen. 

In the final moments of the episode, Mike waxes poetic in voiceover as he and Iris watch the blaze from the dock -- a parallel to the season premiere that suggests that, despite all the trouble, we're right back where we started. "If failure of society could be distilled into one city, this would be the city, and misery's our fruit," Renner intones to shots of Robert in the hospital and Bunny staring up at the stars, just as he did with Mike. A mixed-bag season ends with a shocking twist, as Milo tells Tati over the phone, "Everything went fine. I'm on my way back." The house always wins!

Unanswered Questions and Predictions

'Mayor of Kingstown' Season 2, Episode 10 Tati with her son still

Dennis P. Mong Jr./Paramount+

This episode was a wallop. Mike nearly died, Mariam suffered a maybe-fatal wound at Kyle's hand, Bunny broke bad, the Bloods and Crips took over Anchor Bay, and Milo got away...again. (Big co-dependent Joker v. Batman stuff going on between the mobster and the mayor.) Paramount+ has not renewed Mayor of Kingstown for a third season, and Jeremy Renner's recent injuries complicate the show's production, but the story is far from over. Here's what we learned (and what remains a mystery) this episode, plus where another installment could take the Kingstown players. 

  • Why did Milo fake his own death? Ian mentioned a prisoner alert early on in the episode, meaning Milo's escape from Kingstown Pen last season has finally gone public. Obviously, the mobster faked his own death to get the authorities off his tail, but does he really think that Mike will buy it? Who is supposed to have bombed his yacht? Tati? Mike was naive enough to think Tati was Milo's victim and not his accomplice, so maybe he'll take the bait. But it's doubtful. 
  • Milo, not Joseph, is the father of Tati's child. Tati joined Milo in criticizing Joseph in Episode 8, which is one hint that the late henchman's paternity was a front. Plus, take the image we're left with after this finale: Tati, cradling her baby, gets a call from Milo that his master plan worked out. I'll bet that child is Milo's reason for staying in Kingstown. Hey, maybe Tati, not Joseph, was Milo's true sidekick all along. Nothing disarms your enemy like a mother and child. Even Mike believed that Tati was a hapless single mom at the mercy of a kingpin. 
  • Mariam will survive, but not without damage. The bullet lodged near her spine, so the injury could paralyze her. Even if she comes away unscathed, how will her philosophy on Kingstown change? Will she urge her sons to leave, or will she view everything Kingstown has taken from her and her family as a sunk cost? What's the point of leaving when you've already lost so much?
  • Will Robert survive? Whatever the outcome, the damage to Mike is done. Whether or not Robert lives to recall that his attackers wore Crip blue, Bunny's involvement will come to light. Once the cops learn that Mike covered for him, they'll turn against the mayor. 
  • If Season 3 happens, it'll be Mike and Iris as the lone wolf and cub. With Bunny and Kingstown PD against him, Mike will be short many an ally and confidante. Iris will fill that void. She's no longer a helpless "bird," as Milo called her. Remember, it was Iris who took out the last Russian goon on the dock, not Mike. She can hold her own, and Mike could use a right-hand man with her skills of deception. 

Who knows whether we'll get more Mayor of Kingstown. In the meantime, catch Jeremy Renner's new reality series Rennervations on Disney+, premiering April 12. Emma Laird is set to star in Kenneth Branagh's next Agatha Christie adaptation A Haunting in Venice, slated to premiere this fall. The star-studded film counts Kelly Reilly (Beth Dutton herself!) and Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh among its cast.

All episodes of Mayor of Kingstown are now streaming on Paramount+

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