The low Mayor Kane (Kelsey Grammer) experiences following the emotional high of ‘Ablution‘ has its roots in those around him not being nearly as exuberant about the supposed changes being made as the mayor is. Boss has been running Kane toward some sort of redemption since the season premiere, so naturally, the consequences of the mayor’s past betrayals come in the form of doubt and apathy amongst those he’s most eager to share recent victories with.
Of course, everyone knows that change is hard, but forgiveness is even harder – in fact, sometimes there just isn’t enough strength left in a person to muster up something as simple as absolution. For what seems like the first time in a long time, Kane is denied a pardon from those by which he’d most like to receive one, or at least, for the first time in a long time Mayor Tom Kane cares what someone else thinks of him.
All this newfangled sentimentality has got everyone up in arms, and Meredith (Connie Nielsen) calling foul. Having returned home from the hospital, she’s doing remarkably well – or well enough to insist that her estranged husband’s sudden desire to have a family is not only a side effect of his condition, but an undesirable one at that. Emma (Hannah Ware), when she’s not pilfering her mother’s pain medication, seconds the notion that her father has absolutely zero goodwill with anyone in the house and no amount of late game pleasantries is going to earn him a way back into their hearts.
Although those who should be closest to Kane reject his attempt at kindness and civility, the people who may have once mattered even less to him seem to be more forgiving. Kane’s been able to utilize his wife’s near-death experience for a modicum of goodwill with the people of Chicago, pushing forward with not only the O’Hare expansion, but the Lennox Gardens redevelopment as well. Now that word has gotten out that a suspect in the failed assassination attempt has been arrested, Kane is seemingly awash in public favor. But like all good things on Boss, there’s something murky and untrustworthy in the apprehension of the suspect.
Chad Langley, a former sniper and current sufferer of paranoid and racist delusions apparently has been caught with enough evidence to move for an indictment, but Kane seems unsure of Langley’s involvement. All but certain the suspect is a patsy, intended to get the State Attorney back into the mayor’s good graces – or at least in good standing with the public – Kane lets slip Langley’s name to Kitty (Kathleen Robertson), likely knowing that to be the fastest way for the information to travel.
For her part, Kitty’s certainly bounced back. Heading up the Walsh (Amy Morton) campaign, she seems to be playing her candidate as much on Kane’s supposed complacency as Walsh’s actual qualifications. Meanwhile, she walks into the proverbial lion’s den by meeting with Maggie Zajac (Nicole Forester) at the Zajac campaign headquarters to discuss the upcoming debate. The meeting is as terse as one might expect between political rivals, but after Kitty appears to play hardball Maggie drops knowledge of the affair on her, and seems to get exactly what she wanted. It’s only after Ben (Jeff Hephner) finds out Kitty acquiesced to his wife’s demands that he begins to wonder what game his former flame is actually playing. Messing with Ben’s head is only the beginning as Kitty’s next move becomes handing over the identity of the shooter to a clearly smitten Sam Miller (Troy Garity). Miller’s none to clear on the game’s rules either, but at least he has a reason not to care.
Miller’s not the only one seemingly infatuated by a woman with a newfound purpose. Kane’s invasion into the private life of Mona Fredricks (Sanaa Lathan) has him doing what he can to appease and help her. Though his first move is sending Mona out in an effort to explain the relocation process of those living in Lennox Gardens, Kane soon comes to realize that part of rebuilding that trust he so desperately wants to reclaim means making an appearance in the very neighborhood he abandoned decades earlier. After Mona comes back with news that Alderman Ross’ (James Vincent Meredith) ward boss, Kenya Taylor (James T. Alfred), is roughing up Lennox Gardens residents to propagate a class action lawsuit that would effectively tie up the redevelopment for years, Kane makes a personal appeal to the Gardens’ residents, assuring them that past mistakes will be corrected.
‘Redemption’ has plenty more of those past mistakes ready to come out of the woodwork it seems. The most damning comes after a brief glimpse into the apartment of Ian Todd (Jonathan Groff) suggests one of Kane’s past encounters (during his less follicley challenged days) may have resulted in an unknown child. If that’s the case, then Todd should be working for the mayor for free – or at least some sort of reasonable weekly allowance, as long as the takes the trash out.
Not content to leave the potentially earth-shattering revelations at bastard children, Boss takes a nice moment between Mona and her boss and turns it tawdry, as Kane leans in for a hallucinated kiss following an imagined declaration of love. Thankfully, the delusion that is Ezra Stone (Martin Donovan) is still hanging out to ask the man who had him killed just what it is he thinks he’s doing. Trouble (possibly in the form of a sexual harassment lawsuit) is likely on the horizon for Mayor Tom Kane.
Boss continues next Friday with ‘Mania’ @9pm on Starz.