Mayor Of Kingstown Co-Creator Breaks Down Iris’ Big Decisions And Why It Was A True ‘Taylor Sheridan Moment’

 Emma Laird as Iris standing with a backpack in a church on Mayor of Kingstown.
Emma Laird as Iris standing with a backpack in a church on Mayor of Kingstown.

Massive spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of Mayor of Kingstown ahead. 

When the second episode of Mayor of Kingstown's second season ended, it was clear power moves had been made, and shocking moments happened that I assume will 100% impact the rest of the season. One of these moments was when Iris, played by Emma Laird, decided to leave protective custody and go back to the devilish crime boss who is the reason she ended up in such a bad situation in the first place. I know my jaw was on the floor when she walked into the church to meet Aidan Gillen’s character Milo, and as the show’s co-creator Hugh Dillon broke down, this decision is truly a “Taylor Sheridan moment.”

To recap, throughout the second episode of Mayor of Kingstown Jeremy Renner’s character, Mike, is trying to help Iris find a safe place to stay. He ends up taking her to his mom’s house, which is a fairly safe place for her to hide. However, because of Iris’ trauma from the previous season, she seems to not trust anyone, even Mike who she deeply cares for. So, instead of staying with his mom, she ends up going back to Milo, her old boss. Iris walks into the church where the infamous criminal is hiding and says: “I have nowhere to go. I have no home.” The scene ends with Milo saying: “You’re home now.”

To put it lightly, I was shocked by this moment, and so was Hugh Dillon, who broke down the scene, and his co-creator Taylor Sheridan’s thought process behind it with CinemaBlend, saying:

That is Taylor Sheridan moment. That was a script, where we all kind of knew where we're going, him and I have talked about what we're doing this season. And then that was on the page, because what happens is he gets into this, and I've written with him, so I've seen him sit down and fall into that trance-like thing. He's in the world in all of it. And so what I've learned more than anything is to trust him. Because at first, I'm like a fan. I'm like, ‘oh, no!’ and ‘what's happening!’ And then by the time it's unraveled, because he sees, he's like a master chess player, he sees 10 steps ahead. And I'm a good chess player. So I see maybe six.

Throughout Taylor Sheridan’s movies and shows viewers have become accustomed to his complex and shocking choices, like the one that just happened in Kingstown. From massive reveals on Yellowstone to full-fledged projects that have brought in actors like Nicole Kidman and Harrison Ford (among many others) the expectation for quality entertainment from Sheridan is high, and this moment shows that he's still delivering.

Emma Laird told Collider that she dropped everything to play Iris because she wanted to work with the writer-creator. So, with the shocking decisions she made in Episode 2 of the Jeremy Renner-led show, it’s clear that her decision to join Kingstown  paid off, and Sheridan proved once again that he can create stories that none of us see coming.

Dillon continued to break down this game-changing decision Iris made, and Sheridan’s writing, explaining:

And so, it’s so unpredictable, and even that you, you know, are asking that question, it just is crazy to see it. But underneath that he knows that character, and he knows that broken personality, and that darkness and that vulnerability, and that you make bad decisions. And that's what's beautiful about his writing. It's like he will go there, and it is uncomfortable. And that is why it's so real.

The team of this show really isn’t afraid to “go there,” and this moment really proved that once again. As the 2023 TV schedule continues, and Mayor of Kingstown keeps releasing new episodes, it will be interesting to see what happens to Iris next, now that Iris is back with the show’s big bad.

New episodes of Mayor of Kingstown drop on Sunday, and they are available with a Paramount+ subscription.