‘Boss’ Season 2 Finale Review

Published 3 years ago by

Kelsey Grammer and Kathleen Robertson Boss True Enough Boss Season 2 Finale Review

In last week’s recap of Boss it was briefly suggested that ‘Clinch’ could have very well been the finale for season 2. Despite being reminiscent of the season 1 finale, the episode was decisive, well plotted and wrapped up a great deal of the season’s overarching plotline, and the promise of more largely made up for the been-there-done-that issues with the resolution. So, with the majority of the season’s issues handled, there was the expectation that the finale would have something worthwhile to propel the series into the future. Sadly, by the time ‘True Enough’ ends, there is no sense of such progression.

‘True Enough’ rides in on momentum created by ‘Clinch,’ and the idea that the crusade against Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) by Chicago Sentinel Editor in Chief Sam Miller (Troy Garity), and the apparent alliance of Kitty O’Neill (Kathleen Robertson) and State’s Attorney Jeff Doyle (John Hoogenakker) could potentially end Kane’s reign of power.

For the most part, Kitty poses the larger threat; she’s seen inside the machine and knows how it works, so if anyone would be able to weaken it, it would be her. Kitty also had proven a keen, ambitious adversary, someone with the right mix of political killer instinct and humanity – as seen in her near-destruction of Ben Zajac (Jeff Hephner) at the town hall debate, and her reluctance to allow Patty the intern (Kallie Miller) to debase herself by claiming involvement in yet another Zajac sex scandal. She had all but secured Walsh (Amy Morton) as the next governor; only to see it all slip away because Kane has zero compunction about killing.

Kelsey Grammer and Jonathan Groff in Boss True Enough Boss Season 2 Finale Review

It’s all set up as a kind of desperate attempt by Doyle to insert Kitty into Kane’s office, and use her to his advantage. So when it’s revealed that Kitty is actually seeking to partner again with her old boss – in effect siding against Doyle, Zajac and even Miller – the outlook is decidedly bleak. There’s the chance that Kitty allied herself with Kane in part because she feared reprisal – which is a sentiment displayed by Miller’s reporter friend Jackie (Mary Hollis Inboden) – but Kitty’s never been portrayed as cowardly, so the next logical conclusion is that despite knowing Kane killed Ezra (Martin Donovan), Walsh’s assistant and orchestrated the assassination attempt that went awry, she still feels like Kane’s office is the place for her. That paints a pretty clear picture of the character, and the series as a whole. For Boss, corruption is an absolute, and those who stand in the way are simply delivered to death’s door, or ruined completely.

This is seconded with the destruction of Sam Miller, who is first undermined by Kane pinning the murder of Ezra on Meredith’s shooter, and then dealt a deathblow when it’s made public that he paid a dirty cop for an exclusive. Sam is dispatched with such ease, and in such a manufactured manner, that any apprehension related to his actions winds up being largely deflated – up to and including sending Jackie to deliver the footage of Kane’s trembling hand as evidence of his illness. Certainly there is some irony in Miller being dispatched through proof of his corruption, and that speaks to the larger essence of Boss, which is: power corrupts absolutely, but essentially, all of that season-long build-up and investigation by Miller just fell flat.

The same can be said for the storyline of Mona Fredricks (Sanaa Lathan), and especially the one involving Kane’s children, Emma (Hannah Ware) and Ian Todd (Jonathan Groff). When confronted by Emma about who he really is, Ian asks, “Does it matter?” The sad fact is: no, apparently not.

Troy Garity and Kelsey Grammer in Boss True Enough Boss Season 2 Finale Review

The problem with ‘True Enough,’ and now Boss (if it continues) is the remorseless Tom Kane and his continued triumphs. Conflict makes drama, and while seeing someone triumph, or live to threaten others and maintain an iron grip on corruption for another day may be superficially appealing to the audience, it has to come from a place where that triumph means something. Where is the satisfaction in watching the same resolution time and again? It becomes difficult to invest in characters or their situations when the outcome seems unlikely to ever change.

This is reminiscent of another show with allusions to Shakespearian tragedy. Characters meet violent deaths, allegiances change, but everything else pretty much stays the same. The basic tenet of the plot never seems to move beyond what the series had to begin with. There is no sense of progression. With Boss, one gets the feeling that the writers have written themselves into a corner with Kane’s illness. Even though the show has proven itself capable of something more compelling, they appear determined to funnel a potentially larger story into a very narrow, preset ending.

Kathleen Robertson and Kelsey Grammer in Boss True Enough Boss Season 2 Finale Review

As always, there were still plenty of good elements at play, and even a few flashes of brilliance like the way the scenes are framed and filmed, and, of course the stellar cast the show has assembled. Kelsey Grammer continues to be luminous in the role of Tom Kane. His statement to Meredith (Connie Nielsen) at the end of the episode is as powerful as it is bleak. Meanwhile, the show’s supporting cast remains largely flawless, but it feels like excellence such as this deserves a payoff that is equally gripping.

If it seems like this is harsh, it’s because season 2 of Boss started off with a great deal of promise, making Kane’s affliction both the consequence of his corruption and a guide to his redemption – not a mere means to an end. Despite its shortcomings, ‘True Enough’ didn’t completely derail season 2; it simply failed to carry over any of the momentum that ‘Clinch’ established, and deliver on the promise of the season’s stellar, almost lyrical opening. In the end, the finale left the season with a sense of lackadaisical repetition, a shuffling of the pieces, instead of decisively pushing them forward.


Screen Rant will have information regarding the future of Boss as it is made available.

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  1. The season finale of Boss was anti-climactic and did not leave me wanting more. I am disappointed and am indifferent regarding whether Boss returns for a 3rd season.

    • I thinks it’s anti-climactic because stories were tied up and dealt with so that the overall show can move on (hopefully season 3) – not common in shows these day as nearly every show on the cusp of renewel leave stories unfinished to try and get renewed. Knowing this I am happy with it being so.

  2. Good recap and anal. Season 2 was so much better than Season 1. Yes, I would like to see Kane get his comeuppance but we’ve had dirty politicians who’ve thrived their entire careers and gotten away with almost everything. Of course, I can’t name a politician who approved murders and pimped their wives and spawned demon seeds, but they are probably out there.

    I think the true perspective of Kane came from Mona–”are you a motherf’in lunatic?”

    • “Mortality is inevitable. But yours will forever be tied to mine.”

  3. Great recaps all season and I agree w/ some of the points in this review specifically.

    However, BOSS is still great tv and the finale exceeded my expectations as an average viewer. There is a great deal of satisfaction derived from Kane’s ability survive his inevitable demise. Although Kane is beyond evil, there is still a redemptive quality about this character that makes you want him to survive. Yeah it may be superficial but Kane’s survival is the ultimate triumph. At times, he seemed like the underdog and his political obituary had been written. Painting a character as perverse as Kane as an underdog is no easy task and writers should be commended.

    I am rarely compelled to follow television series but Boss has been an exception for two seasons. I’m rooting for a 3rd season and hope Starz green lights it and promotes the show a little better. Every person I’ve recommended the show to absolutely loves it.


  5. Loved the season two finale and the entire season. The recap was very harsh. It’s good TV with great acting.

  6. I truly enjoyed the finale and agree with others that the recap is overly critical; there is so much useless TV available these days–I’m particulary grateful for a show as well written and acted as this one is… I do agree that Mona Fredricks’ storyline ended a little flat, but I believe that was the creator’s attempt to include this character in the finale in some way, since the role had a crucial part in the season… Regardless of whether it returns, the show is above par in many respects.

  7. Probably the best show on TV right now. Wonderful writing and acting. There is so much bulls*it on TV…and even though this finale wasn’t as good as it could, it was still over the level. You can’t compare Boss to any current TV series (except Boardwalk empire…).

    • I agree. So far a better a drama than Homeland and lesser dramas. Hope season 2 of Boss get golden globe and emmy wins. It deserves them!

      • ^^Would be a massive joke if snubbed.

  8. Best show on tv period. Please bring back season 3. I felt that the finale was on par with the season so far. Agree with the reviewer that some things were wrapped up a little quickly–McGantry for instance but still best writing and acting I have seen since the Sopranos.


      • I agree 100%

  9. Just renew it. This reminds me of watching The Wire with every season not knowing. Starz will make bucket loads with box set sales like The Wire from late cult bandwaggon followers (that claim to have watched it from the start<that annoys me(I just pretend I don't like it to avoid talking about it to people that do that).

  10. Kitty at this point is evil. Remains to be seen. I love this show. The review was harsh, however I think we all just wanted Kane to get some kind of punishment for us to hang on to until next season. He came out on top at every turn. Meredith needs to break loose and maybe Vacaro can save her. Will be interesting to see what the “two evil spawn” end up doing. At least Emma did not have too many lines in this finale so was not as painful having to listen to her. Would like to see Zajac as governor and Doyle as Mayor and see how it plays out as Kane looking in from the outside.

  11. Honestly I don’t know why this show gets such bad reviews and low ratings. Given starz history of canceling shows before they really get a chance to shine ie Party Down makes me think that there might not be a third season since the viewership is very low compare to their main even Spartacus. Kitty is by far the most interesting in this show. Here’s hoping for a season 3. Ill admit some of the writing we sloppy this season but overall it’s an incredibly awesome show compared to most of the garbage on television these days. I give the finale a B-. All in all though this an amazing show and should be given another season or two at least

  12. I love this show. Kane corrupt as he is, he is more sympathetic than some of the other characters, like Daniel Travanti’s character for example. It’s one of the great shows on television! I loved the finale, though the reviewer here did a great write up and made some great points. As far as Kane’s illness, I don’t know whether this specific affliction really exists or was dreamed up by the writers, the Canadian clinic brought new life for the last few episodes, because as Kanes illness progressed, obviously he wasn’t going to be able to act as the lead role much longer! Unless something was done. I’d like it, if the writers found a way to take Kane’s fatal illness and come up with a sudden miracle treatment, to take the focus off Kanes illness, and then maybe the show can run four or five seasons. With only ten episodes per season on cable shows, we need at least four or five seasons to get enough episodes for reruns. When more people learn about this show (Not everyone has Starz) this show will be regarded as a classic. I hope to God it runs at least through season three. This show will be regarded as a classic like Patrick Mcgoohan in the Prisoner.

  13. Boss needs to come back for season 3, the BEST SHOW ON AIR PERIOD…..

  14. Growing up in Chicago and then moving away and coming back after 35 years,it is great to see this. Looking forward to season 3.

  15. Definitely needs a third season… Maybe even a fourth and fifth… I love this show

  16. Kelsey Grammer is absolutely amazing. Season 2 kept me kept me waiting for more every week. Not to pick up this show for season three will do Starz a disservice. The writers are brilliant. The actors are amazingly convincing. The season ends to fast it should be on longer I found myself going back to make sure it was the finale. If the comments mean anything then please pick this up for another season this is GOOD TV

  17. BOSS is one of the best shows on Television. If you take it off I hope everyone joins in and cancel there Starz subscription.

    • I agree with you. I will consider cancelling. I watch every rerun they still have on. Loved this show and angry we have to give it up.

  18. If one takes the WHOLE review into consideration, you’d have to admit that the author is spot on (well more or less). The reviewer acknowledged the originality and elements that go into making BOSS an overall good show. However, a redundancy in the resolutions to Kane’s near collapses has become a bit predictable. The 18 episodes have always involved a colossal threat to Kane’s career. The threats are resolved more or less the same way – kill them or buy them. Nevertheless, “Boss” was ummm a BOSS tv series :D. I can say ‘was’ because it has been cancelled.
    And that, is the most upsetting thing above all.

  19. I agree with many of the comments. We need another season, at least. Kane can’t simply continue to thrive as a slime ball … there has to be some resolve. That final line … wow. Left me speechless. Fabulous writing. Only criticism? Way too much nakedness. I’m not a prude. But some filmmakers allow audiences to infer. I’m reminded of the brilliance of ‘Intelligence’ on CBC, axed way too soon. Haddock had a way of “showing” murder and mayhem withOUT showing it. Far more powerful to the mind. I like to be forced to think through some TV, not have it delivered on a platter for pure titillation (see ‘Boardwalk’…). Overall, brilliant series. Missing it already.

  20. Well done cancelling one of the most riveting TV shows of all time Starz, you have no right surviving as a network GFY. I`m cancelling my subscription!

  21. Good analysis. I love the show. I thought first season lost its way. You need corruption but you need a method to the madness, I always felt a show without the brain disease would be great. Given you have that storyline, they need to fix it and the finale gave me hope. Kitty is perfect…she by now recognizes what’s wrong with Kane and from here on out, she should use him and hs paranoia for her gain. That’s a story…