Why Was Mike McLusky in Prison in Mayor of Kingstown, Explained

Created by Taylor Sheridan and Hugh Dillon, Paramount+’s ‘Mayor of Kingstown‘ is a crime drama series revolving around Mike McLusky. After an unfortunate incident, Mike becomes the “Mayor” of the titular town and works as a power broker to maintain peace inside and outside the prison. However, as the narrative progresses, viewers learn more about Mike’s life and past. One of the most shocking revelations about Mike is his time in the Kingstown prison. If you are looking for details about why Mike McLusky went to prison in ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Why Did Mike McLusky Go to Prison in Mayor of Kingstown?

Mike McLusky first appears in the series premiere episode, titled ‘The Mayor of Kingstown.’ He is the middle child of Miriam McLusky (Dianne Wiest), the matriarch of the McLusky brothers. Mike is the younger brother of Mitch McLusky (Kyle Chandler), the Mayor of Kingstown at the start of the series, who dies in the first episode. Mike has a younger brother, Kyle McLusky (Taylor Handley), a dedicated police officer. After the death of his brother, Mike takes on the mantle of “Mayor.”

In the series, actor Jeremy Renner portrays the role of Mike McLusky. Renner rose to prominence with an Academy Award-nominated performance in the 2008 war drama film ‘The Hurt Locker.’ His performance in the 2017 Western drama ‘Wind River’ also gained him major recognition. However, Renner is arguably best known for essaying Clint Barton/Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially in the ‘Avengers‘ films.

Renner’s Mike McLusky is the focal point of ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’ as the series showcases him dealing with several morally complex issues in the titular town. In the series, Mike’s father was the original “Mayor” of Kingstown, a position used to broker power within the criminal gangs inside and outside the town’s prisons. After the passing of Mike’s father, Mitch inherits the role, with Mike acting as his brother’s right-hand man. Eventually, the responsibility falls to Mike, and he becomes the Mayor.

However, as the narrative progresses, viewers learn that Mike McLusky is not the white-collared, blunt power broker we believe him to be. Mike’s childhood best friend, Deverin “Bunny” Washington (Tobi Bamtefa), is the leader of the Crips, a local gang. Meanwhile, Mike also shares a history with Duke, the leader of a White Supremacist Gang. Duke controls the gang from the prison and is essentially the gang’s “shot caller.” Likewise, Mike is on a first-name basis with most gang leaders and notorious criminals in the Kingstown prison.

Eventually, it is revealed that Mike was once imprisoned in the same jail that he helps to control from the outside. Viewers learn that Mike was a part of the White Supremacist Gang during his time in prison and served as their “shot caller.” However, not much is revealed about MIke’s past in jail during the first season.

Nonetheless, it explains Mike’s lack of career prospects like his brother Kyle. Moreover, it would also provide insight into his complicated relationship with his mother, Miriam. Ultimately, the series is yet to reveal the exact reason for Mike’s imprisonment. However, some scenes of the first season imply that Mike was in bad company when he was young. Therefore, it is likely that Mike was caught up in a drug bust that landed him in prison.

It is also possible that Mike was rebellious and sent to jail by his father to teach him a lesson. Similarly, Mike could have been sent to prison to help control a situation as a part of his brother’s power-brokerage schemes. Whatever the reason, the revelation of Mike spending time in prison adds a new layer to his character and redefines his role as the Mayor of Kingstown. Hopefully, we will learn more about Mike’s imprisonment in the show’s second season.

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