Major spoilers for Episode 2 of Mayor of Kingstown’s second season ahead.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned watching Mayor of Kingstown it’s that no matter how intense the storylines get, they can, and will, almost always get more extreme. This is especially true for Taylor Handley’s character Kyle McLusky, who is just trying to have a normal, not-so-dangerous day job. However, at the end of the second episode, his new job with the Michigan State Police proved to be just as deadly as his last job in Kingstown. In the season ahead, Kyle will likely be impacted by his actions at the end of the latest episode, and Handley is here to break down his character’s breaking point.
For some context, during Season 1 of Kingstown, Kyle was a detective in the town. However, his family wanted him to leave and take a different, safer job. Following the finale’s destructive prison riot, he did leave and joined the state police. However, that job proved to be extremely dangerous too, especially after his partner was shot after pulling a car over, and Kyle shot the two adults in the vehicle. While talking with CinemaBlend, Handley broke down what his character went through in the first two episodes, saying:
But this is the worst situation that Kyle could be in at this point. You've seen the end of the prison riots, Season 2 picks up three to four weeks after the prison riots. Kyle’s working for the Michigan State Police, he pulls over the maple syrup boat, and he's coming in hot…
Handley actually posted some behind-the-scenes footage on his Instagram from the maple syrup boat, and you can see how tense his character is in that moment. While it turned out to really only be syrup smugglers, his character was still on edge, especially in the aftermath of the riot. Handley continued his breakdown saying:
He's on red alert, just cellularly, he's on red alert, because he hasn't thoroughly unpacked what's just happened to him weeks before, which was a very traumatic event. And then in episode two, he gets into a situation where he has to unload his sidearm, his partner gets shot, he has to, you know, take down the assailants, and then there's a baby in the car. I mean, that's, that's a knockout for this guy. And yet, he doesn't stop.
Clearly, there is a lot of trauma for Kyle to unpack, because things keep getting worse for him. However, Handley explained that he doesn't think his character is capable of dealing with his past:
If Kyle stops, and starts to unpack all this trauma, he might just physically implode. It’s a lot, and when you have that much hanging over your head, and you're just deferring, deferring, deferring to just let a little bit of that out, it's all going to come rushing in. And so the last thing Kyle wants to do is to even examine any of that. So the way for him to do that is to just stay busy, and keep busy.
So, as Aiden Gillen’s big bad starts to make a bigger impact on the show and Kyle's brother, who is played by Jeremy Renner, tries to make peace with the prisoners, Kyle will be staying busy by dealing with the ramifications of shooting these two people that had a baby in the car.
On top of Kyle’s intense storyline, the show’s co-creator Hugh Dillon explained that he and Taylor Sheridan are starting to think about Season 3 of the show, pending renewal, and Jeremy Renner recovering from a snow plow accident as new episodes of Season 2 air. So, while Renner heals after breaking dozens of bones, it sounds like the creatives behind the show will be creating even more complex stories for the characters of Kingstown, including Kyle.
With all that being said, be sure to stay tuned to the 2023 TV schedule, and get your Paramount+ subscription in order because we’ll be learning more about what happens to Kyle after this breaking point as Season 2 of Mayor of Kingstown progresses.
New episodes of Mayor of Kingstown drop every Sunday on Paramount+.