Mayor of Kingstown Season 3 TV Review

Jeremy Renner returns for his first role since his traumatic accident in Taylor Sheridan’s crime drama.

Mayor of Kingstown season 3 review

PLOT: In season three, a series of explosions rock Kingstown and its citizens, as a new face of the Russian mob sets up shop in the city, and a drug war rages inside and outside prison walls. The pressure is on Mike McLusky (Renner) to end the war but things get complicated when a familiar face from his incarcerated past threatens to undermine the Mayor’s attempts to keep the peace among all factions.

REVIEW: Twelve months after his near-fatal accident, Jeremy Renner began production on the third season of Mayor of Kingstown. Seeing the Avengers star back on his feet and in character as Mike McLusky is an impressive sight as he slips back into his character’s rumpled suit and takes charge of the various factions, criminal and non, in the Michigan city. Renner is a testament to perseverance. As great as it is to see him on screen again, Mayor of Kingstown continues to plod through lackluster narratives and storylines that fail to be as engaging as any of the other series that bear Taylor Sheridan’s name. Trying to replicate the success of Yellowstone’s blend of soapy drama, sex, and crime, this series remains the weakest of Sheridan’s productions. Mayor of Kingstown adds some new villains to the mix but not much else in this series’s third consecutive subpar run.

At the end of the second season, Mayor of Kingstown saw the death of gangster Milo Sunter (Aiden Gillen) in an explosion and the shooting of Mirian McLusky. While the McLusky matriarch being rushed into the emergency room was filmed to leave a cliffhanger, Dianne Wiest vocally declaring she was leaving the series left little room for suspense. Season three opens with Miriam’s family and friends mourning her passing as her funeral is interrupted by a car bomb. In typical Kingstown fashion, the cops and Mike head out for revenge, setting the overarching narrative for this season in motion. Coming in to replace Milo is Constantine, an even worse Russian gangster who spares no one who may go against his best interests. We also have Aryan prisoner Merle Callahan (Richard Brake) posing a new threat within the prison, adding to the headache for new warden Kareem Moore (Michael Beach).

The first three episodes of Mayor of Kingstown‘s third season were made available for this review, and they do not miss a beat in returning to the tried and true formula that this series has employed since the pilot. Most of each episode features Jeremy Renner in a car, driving from home to the office or to a crime scene, where he meets with detectives Ian Ferguson (Hugh Dillon) and his brother Kyle (Taylor Handley) before making phone calls to resolve the situation. Mike also interacts with Iris (Emma Laird) and Assistant District Attorney Evelyn Foley (Necar Zadegan), with whom he is sleeping with. Mike also meets with drug dealer Bunny (Tobi Bamtefa), who serves as a go-between for McLuskey and the inmates at the prison. These same interactions repeat over each episode with a few twists, like tainted drugs and the arrival of Anna Fletcher (Deadwoods Paula Malcomson), who may have ulterior motives for meeting with Mike.

Mayor of Kingstown season 3 review

While the tenor of the first episodes begins with an aura of vengeance as Mike wants to find out who killed his mother, the series quickly returns to formula, with each episode doing the same thing over and over again. Taylor Sheridan has experience with series focused on criminal culture and spent years acting in Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy, which echoes much of the prison setting of this series. But, something is missing here as there is very little reason to like or care about any of these characters. Some hand-to-hand combat and fiery monologues are nowhere near enough to make this series as interesting as it thinks it is. While Emma Laird was an intriguing presence in the first seasons, she has become background here with the scene-stealing belonging to supporting players like Michael Beach and Richard Brake.

Christoph Schrewe directed the first two episodes of the season, and Nina-Lopez Corrado helmed the third. Dave Erickson, Regina Corrado, and Wendy Riss wrote the scripts, with Hugh Dillon and Taylor Sheridan receiving no credits to open the season. Regina Corrado and Dave Erickson penned episodes in season two, with Erickson sharing credit on the prior season premiere alongside Taylor Sheridan. Still, the fact that neither of the series creators has direct involvement in scripting this season shows. Dillon is involved as an actor, but the drop in quality from season to season echoes Sheridan and Dillon’s reduced roles in the story elements of the series. I cannot tell if the new directors and writers this season indicate a desire to try and reset the series creatively or just normal staff evolution due to last year’s strikes, but it does not help this series in any way.

Mayor of Kingstown has always been the weakest of Taylor Sheridan’s library of shows. As great as Jeremy Renner is capable of being, he is not given the material to elevate Mike McLuskey beyond a two-dimensional creation. While the actors are all good, they are limited by a weak story and not enough to warrant investing in. Mayor of Kingstown continues to be a bleak and depressing mirror version of Yellowstone without the soapy entertainment value that we all tune in for. Instead, this is a series that you could miss an entire batch of episodes and still tune in without missing a beat. What is the point in even watching if characters are not developing or changing? Maybe there is an intriguing series buried underneath, but after three seasons of trying to show it, I am not investing much hope we will ever see it.

The third season of Mayor of Kingstown premieres on June 4th on Paramount+.



About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.