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'The Mayor' recap: A meeting with the governor

For The Baltimore Sun

Let’s get into the recap of this week’s episode of “The Mayor,” which is titled “Here Comes the Governor.”

The Problem: The governor of California, whom Rose refers to as “The Falucc,” calls City Hall to say that he’s coming to Fort Grey. That’s good news for Rose because, according to him, “Friendship with the governor means connection to the most powerful guy in California. … With one snap of a finger, this guy can help fix every busted-up street in Fort Grey.”

Rose wants to show Governor Fillucci around the city so that he can see, first hand, some of the areas that need fixing. Rose and his team meet to plan the tour route. Their ideas include Gladys’ All Day Cafe (“world famous amongst Fort Greyans”), the chess tables at Douglas Park (“the perfect combination of depressing and scary”) and the decommissioned train yard (“with a little love from the gov it could be the recommissioned train yard”).

But then, Governor Fillucci calls back with other plans. Turns out, rather than go on a tour of Fort Grey, he wants to take Rose skeet shooting at a sports club 40 miles outside of the city.

Right off the bat, Jermaine and T.K. don’t think it’s a good idea. “How do you get authentic Fort Grey if you’re not in Fort Grey?” Jermaine asks.

The Solution: A few scenes later, Rose arrives at the sports club dressed in a bright orange vest and navy hat, reading “re-elect Fillucci.” Both were given to him by the governor.

“I know how this looks and it’s not exactly the city tour we had in mind,” Rose says to his team. “But if I can get the Falucc to fix one run-down building or fish one beer can out of our river then it’s worth it.”

Jermaine and T.K. still aren’t convinced, but Barella does her best to reassure them. “You guys, it’s called playing the game,” she says.

Just then, the governor arrives, and after posing for some photographs, he and Rose start skeet shooting. Rose makes his first shot. And his second. According to Fillucci, “the kid’s a natural.”

After a celebratory handshake, they head to the steam room, where Rose asks the governor for some funding. At first, he seems hesitant, but eventually, Governor Fillucci admits that his office is about to kick off a program of Urban Renewal grants. “Consider Fort Grey taken care of,” he tells Rose.

The Second Problem: Just as Rose and his team pop open some victory champagne, their celebration is cut short by a news report that doesn’t reflect well on Rose. Apparently, when they were 18, Rose and his friends published a music video in which explicit lyrics and “don’t vote” are rapped repeatedly. In response, Governor Fillucci is quoted saying, “I found Mayor Rose’s song highly offensive. If he wants any support from me for the people of Fort Grey, he’ll apologize and make it clear he doesn’t endorse the message in those vile lyrics.”

The message is received differently among the members of Rose’s team. According to Jermaine, “Courtney is not gonna apologize for an autobiographical rap.” T.K. agrees. “Apologize for what?” he asks. “He was in high school.” But, per usual, Barella disagrees, “You apologize, we move on,” she says.

Although he does appear conflicted, Courtney seems to side with Barella. He calls a press conference for the next day.

The Second Solution: Before the conference begins, however, T.K and Jermaine take Rose on a trip downtown. At first, Rose thinks they’ve gone to get waffles, but T.K explains the trip’s true purpose. “What you need is to see the real Fort Grey,” he says. “We have to show you who you are and where you came from, because the old Courtney Rose would have never even considered apologizing for his lyrics.”

He and Jermaine take Rose by an old Resource Center that the city promised to finish while they were in high school, but it’s still only a faded sign above a vacant lot. “If you apologize for this song, you are denying that this problem still exists today,” T.K. says.

A few scenes later, at the press conference, Rose admits that initially he did intend to apologize for the video. But now, he’s “not gonna do that.” According to Rose, he and his friends “wrote that song because at the time it expressed what [they] felt ... that the system [had] let [them] down….If [he] apologizes for that, then [he’s] like any other politician that’s pretending things aren’t the way that they are.”

Afterward, Barella surprises Rose with some unexpected praise. “I loved [your speech] and I’m proud of you,” she says. “And if the governor hates it, then screw him.”

But, in fact, the governor didn’t hate it. Instead, he again calls Rose “a natural.”

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