Episode 2 of ABC’s “The Mayor” begins with an unlikely question: “What’s more unprofessional — getting an in-office haircut [or] getting an in-office haircut from your mom?”
According to the mayor’s chief of staff, Valentina Barella, neither option is acceptable for an elected official.
Courtney Rose doesn’t care; he’s already turned City Hall into a makeshift barber shop. “I gotta look good for today,” he explains. “It’s my first mayoral appearance at Fort Grey Elementary.”
A few seconds later, we see Rose — and his new haircut — surrounded by kids and sitting on the floor of a music classroom. It’s the same classroom where Rose discovered his own love for music.
“I would be nowhere if it wasn’t for the lessons I picked up right here,” he tells the kids. “Music taught me that no matter who you are, you have something to bring to the band.”
Pretty soon, Rose is leading the kids in a jam session. That’s when he notices that some of the instruments are in poor condition. Rose promises to update the classroom, starting with a new piano and digital sound system. Unfortunately, it might be a promise he can’t keep; the City Council has yet to approve the necessary budget.
Flash-forward a few scenes and Rose is standing before his former opponent, Ed Gunt, as he votes to cut the music program. Rose vetoes the budget, but he’s overruled.
“I promised the kids Disneyland and I dropped them off at a condemned playground,” Rose says. But all hope is not yet lost. “I’m not gonna let the music program that changed my life go down without a fight,” he says.
If Rose can delay the vote, Barella might have time to adjust the budget. All they need now is a plan. Jermaine’s idea? Stage a bomb scare.
Yeah, OK Jermaine.
Rose decides to go with Plan B: filibuster. In effect, that means recounting laundry detergent commercials in front of City Council. Meanwhile, Barella finds ways to cut corners in the budget, starting with a limitation on police Segways.
Despite their efforts, Rose is forced to yield the floor without the money he need to continue the music program.
Feeling defeated, Rose and Barella take a seat outside the council. “I don’t see how anyone can look at those kids faces and not want to give them what I had,” Rose says. Cue an imaginary light bulb going off above their heads.
Barella brings the kids from Fort Grey Elementary to City Council. As the students play their instruments, Rose raps: “Yo, what up City Council? Been talking all day, yup I said a mouth full. Uh, yeah, really tryna stall. All we want is music and justice for all.”
They might not be his most clever lyrics but they’re enough to get the job done; once a video of the performance goes viral, Gunt gets a phone call that makes him call back the vote. The music program will continue after all.
“Well,” says Rose, “that was pretty dope.”