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Boss Recap: Episode 7 - "Stasis"

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 5, 2011 8:00PM

Image via Starz Website
"If people think you're dying, you're as good as dead," top aide Ezra stone tells Mayor Tom Kane at the beginning of episode seven of the Starz series Boss. Stone is absolutely right. With Kane's approval ratings in the toilet due to a chemical contamination scandal in Bensenville, and a myriad of plots against him from some of Chicago's top politicos, Kane is struggling just to keep the city running.

At the moment most of the city's wheels are at a standstill since the City Council refuses to meet until they feel Kane is more capable to preside. Now, with the threat of a complete government shutdown, Kane is more vulnerable and broken then ever. Because of Kane's obvious uncertain reign, plots that began in previous episodes start to become even more potent as they rise to the surface.

In a combative measure Kane has the owner of the Chicago Sentinel offer Kane's top antagonist, Sam Miller, a position as the paper's editor in exchange for his temporary silence. Miller, who has been quite avid in his campaign against Kane and was one of the key players in exposing his role in the connection to toxic chemicals in Bensenville, and the cancer-ridden children who reside there, takes the bait and becomes the publication's editor.

In a private meeting Kane tells his aid Kitty O'Neil that due to the recent events which have threatened his standing as mayor, he is considering stepping down from his post and retiring. Kitty, who's allegiance is divided between Kane and Ben Zajac — Kane's approved candidate for mayor who is considering running against Kane and stepping away from his campaign for governor — begins to worry about her station in the mayor's office and immediately calls Zajac to tell him about Kane's tentative plans. Though she is pretty thorough in her account of Kane's current state she does forget to mention one tiny detail: She is pregnant with Zajac's baby.

Zajac immediately informs both Alderman Ross and Kane's wife Meredith (both complicit in the plan to overthrow Kane) of his next possible step. Meredith, being the daughter of the former mayor and the wife of the current mayor, has a vested interest in her station in Chicago's government. Zajac is emphatic that he no longer wants to be a puppet of Kane nor the current administration surrounding him. In order to evade his place as a pawn in this highly dangerous game Meredith suggests a three-prong strategy, "money, muscle and neutralization of one's enemies." Since the money portion of Zajac's campaign is pretty secure at this point, Meredith decides she will handle muscling Kane out of office. To neutralize key players in the scheme, Zajac will get Alderman Ross's continued support, regardless of whether Kane is extricated from office or he steps down.

After Ross pledges his allegiance to Zajac he immediately meets with Ezra Stone, offering him a place in the post-Kane kingdom. After Stone informs Kane of the incident Kane immediately knows his aide O'Neil is to blame for the leak, or as we find out, the trap that Kane set. Kane then meets with her and is able to rattle her enough to get all of the players in the conspiracy to get him out of office, including his wife Meredith.
Kane now knows he had to pull out the big guns in order to regain his rule.

After seeing his daughter Emma and her lover Darius together at the free clinic she manages in the previous episode, he knows something is awry. He finds the connection between her, him and the illegal drug trade that is providing medication to patients at the clinic. He has her, Darius and all the involved parties arrested and immediately announces the arrests in a press conference at City Hall, thus regaining his reign as Chicago's biggest heavy.

After the dust clears from the arrests and press conference Kane then makes O'Neil send illicit pictures of Zajac and Alderman Ross's wife to both Zajac's wife and Ross. When Zajac's wife learns of the photos she insists he go to Kane, get on his knees and beg for mercy. Zajac does so with no compassion what so ever from Kane. When Ross sees the photos of Zajac and his wife he holds his cards close to his chest saying nothing to his wife.

In the final shot we see Kane returning home, leaving us uncertain how he pans to deal with his own wife's betrayal. Considering his vengeful state of mood we don't expect her to fare any better than Zajac, Ross or O'Neil.