Billy Oduory on season 3 of Mayor of Kingstown…
“If failure of society could be distilled in to one city, this would be the city,” Mike McLusky (Jeremy Renner) said in the closing credits of the second season of Mayor of Kingstown. His words served more like the promise of a more entertaining third season after the plot twist at the end of the season finale revealed that his arch-nemesis, Milo (Aidan Gillen), could still be alive. With the city on the brink of war, the McLusky family in shambles, and Milo on the loose, the second season’s ending set the stage for an epic thriller, which is why the renewal of Mayor of Kingstown for a third season was never in question.
Despite being one of Paramount’s most highly anticipated shows, many behind-the-scenes events, including Jeremy Renner’s horrific accident and the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes, almost put the show in jeopardy. Fortunately, Renner made a full recovery while the strikes were resolved. Paramount confirmed the show’s renewal for a third season in November 2023, putting it on the map for a summer 2024 release. The lead actor, Jeremy Renner, himself took to social media on the first day of production to give fans the long-awaited news.
The third season of Mayor of Kingstown is expected to bring some answers to the many questions about the troubled city of Kingstown, including what happened to Mariam McLusky. Fans also witnessed a deteriorating relationship between Mike and Bunny, which could be catastrophic for the city when the gang war starts. However, the most important question is why Milo and Mike hate each other so much, and whether Mike McLusky will be able to outsmart Milo in the upcoming season.
What happened in Mayor of Kingstown Season 2?
The second season of Mayor of Kingstown focuses on the aftermath of the riots at the Kingstown Men’s Prison in the first season which left hundreds of inmates and 33 prison guards dead. The riots affected almost everyone in the city, as families still struggle to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones and gangs want revenge for their members who were killed by COs and SWAT. Most of the surviving guards including Kareem are seen struggling with the trauma of sexual and physical assaults they endured at the hands of inmates.
The leadership of gangs in Kingstown prisons was also destabilized when some of the leaders were killed, and with no command structure in place, chaos erupt and even spill over onto the streets. To restore calm, Mike McLusky has to send the gang leaders on the outside into the prisons to restore order by choosing new leaders for their gangs on the inside. Unfortunately, Mike can’t get all of the leaders out of the prisons as he promised because the DA betrays him, causing a strained relationship between him and the gangs.
Most importantly, the second season reveals that Milo Sunter, the leader of the Russian mafia, used the riots to stage his prison break. According to Mike McLusky, Kingstown will never be peaceful when a dangerous man like Milo is on the loose. All of Mike’s plans to kill Milo fail in the second season, so the third season opens while Milo has the upper hand because he faked his death in the season 2 finale and Mike doesn’t know that yet.
Mike’s losses also mount in the second season when his mother is shot while his friend Robert Sawyer is severely beaten by Bunny’s gang as part of their revenge plot against SWAT. Bunny and his gang also rob a gun store to arm themselves for their upcoming war against the Aryan Brotherhood and the police officers, meaning Kingstown could look like a war zone in season 3, unless “The Mayor” does something about it.
What to Expect in Mayor of Kingstown Season 3
— Jeremy Renner (@JeremyRenner) January 10, 2024
With the high stakes, Mike McLusky will have to make tough calls to maintain any semblance of peace in Kingstown. While his war with Milo will dominate the plot, his first cause of action will have to be getting Bunny and his gang to stop their assault on SWAT. KPD will also be out for blood as they seek to avenge Robert Sawyer, but Mike will have to call them off as well to prevent a bloodbath.
The focus then shifts to the looming gang war between Bunny’s Crips and the Aryan Brotherhood, in which the ABs have the upper hand since corrupt and sympathetic law enforcement officers support them. The ABs also tried to kill Mike towards the end of the second season, which means they will be the hardest to negotiate with.
Mike killed Duke, the leader of the ABs, for abusing Iris, and Davidson, the AB-allied CO, when he tried to kill him, meaning the ABs will still be after him in the third season. ABs are also allied with Milo, which makes them Mike’s greatest threat, and his best chance of beating them will have to involve teaming up with Bunny. Mike will therefore have to give in to some of Bunny’s demands in the third season, which means the Crips will get a better deal both in prison and on the streets.
Milo remains Mike’s greatest threat, but, with Iris on his side, he now has a better chance of understanding Milo’s network. Iris has been enslaved by Milo for many years, from her days in New York when he used her to blackmail judges and politicians. The second season of Mayor of Kingstown showed Iris’ evolution into a strong and independent-minded person with a strong desire for vengeance as seen when she killed Joseph. Her growth will come in handy in the third season as she finally breaks free from Milo’s control and teams up with Mike to bring Milo down.
Iris will therefore be Mike’s best weapon against Milo because Milo underestimates her strength. Milo will likely try to escape Kingstown with Tatiana’s help, having secured his bonds and faked his death in season 2. However, Tatiana probably isn’t the angel that Milo thinks she is, because she betrayed him once by sleeping with Joseph and having his baby while Milo was in prison, and she could do it again.
We believe Tatiana won’t put her baby in danger just to save Milo, and that is why his elaborate plan to escape Kingstown could unravel. Teaming up with Bunny, Iris, and SWAT, Mike has a better chance of taking down Milo for good in the third season of Mayor of Kingstown, but the details remain to be seen when the episodes are released.
Has Dianne Wiest Left Mayor of Kingstown?
While there is no official confirmation of Dianne Wiest’s exit from Mayor of Kingstown, rumors of her departure started appearing even before the season 2 finale aired. Deadline confirmed in September 2023 that Wiest was indeed leaving the show after two seasons. No shots of her have been seen in the set photos for the filming of season 3 either. Her exit is a big blow to the show because her performance turned Mariam McLusky into one of the most important characters in the show. Mariam remains the symbol of sanity in the city where inequality, racism, violence, and corruption are commonplace.
Despite the important role her character has in the show, Wiest, who is also a human rights activist, was apparently not comfortable with the direction of the story. Her character, a college professor who is also a volunteer teacher at the female prison, gets drawn closer to the deep in the second season as the city gets crazier. Her exit was, therefore, known to the creators before the end of the second season, which explains her character seemingly being written out of the show.
In Mayor of Kingstown season 2, Mariam McLusky is accidentally shot by Kyle in the season 2 finale during the shootout with Milo and his men. Although she doesn’t die from the shot, she remains in a coma even after surgery. It is still unclear what happens to her afterward, but we believe she could die, or leave Kingstown after her recovery because she was never comfortable in the city and only stayed behind because of Kyle.
Apart from Dianne Wiest, there has been no news of any more exits from the cast of Mayor of Kingstown, so we expect most of the cast to return alongside other new faces. Emma Laird, who plays Iris, already confirmed on her Instagram that she would be joining Jeremy Renner on set, making her an obvious returnee. Laird’s character has a bigger role to play in the third season in Mike’s war against Milo.
The production team, led by Taylor Sheridan and Hugh Dillon also makes a full return, which is good for the continuation of the addictive storyline. Other fan favorites, including Tobi Bamtefa (Bunny), Hamish Allan-Headley (Robert Sawyer), and Taylor Handley (Kyle) are also expected to return for the third season.
Where is Mayor of Kingstown Season 3 Filmed?
The third season of Mayor of Kingstown is filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where most of the production was moved after the first season, which was filmed in Ontario, Canada. In the storyline, all prisoners were moved out of the Kingstown Men’s Prison after the riots, allowing for a change in the filming location. The former Kingston Penitentiary in Kinston, Canada was used as the location of the Kingstown Men’s Prison where the riots occurred.
In the second season, the prisoners were moved to the temporary, Tent City prison, which was filmed in the defunct Carrie Blast Furnaces in Swissvale Borough, just nine miles East of Pittsburgh. The Anchor Bay Maximum Prison, where Bunny and the other gang leaders are moved after Tent City was filmed at the Old Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh.
The filming of the third season is also based in Pittsburgh, as confirmed by the set photos shared on social media by Emma Laird and Jeremy Renner. The third season will, therefore, retain most of the main locations from the second season.
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