BOSS – Sn 2 Episode 6 – Backflash – Recap

It’s not so much that this episode was confusing because it really wasn’t. But the overriding sense was that it was difficult to watch because so much of it was a display of Mayor Tom Kane’s thoughts and/or hallucinations – both auditory and visual. While difficult to watch – these were very informative.

We received information about a younger Kane paying off a woman with a child, and about Kane feuding with Mayor Rutledge who is Kane’s wife Meredith’s father. Read on.

Long ago while Rome burned, according to popular legend, Emperor Nero fiddled. In the following days, other reports hinted that Nero may have set the fires himself – to clear our a dreary part of the city and then reuse the land for a new imperial palace. Was this the first case of urban renewal without compensation? The evidence is inconclusive. Plausible of course, but unproven unless you consider that Nero took his own life rather than face an assassin’s sword.

In the present, in the starz Original Series – Boss – Chicago burned, and the Mayor of Chicago, Tom Kane, well, he sizzled. In the dark of the night, Kane, accompanied only by the hallucination of Ezra Stone, made for Toronto, and the experimental treatment for his disease.

I used the term sizzled, maybe I should have said fried, because part of the treatment involved electro shock so maybe the word sizzle was mainly rhetorical.

Where is the Mayor?

In other events – while the Mayor was missing, his wife Meredith Kane managed to put the assassination behind her, and she climbed right out of her recovery bed in the Kane home. She made straight for City Hall, where she stepped in and picked up the Mayoral reigns. Something had to be done. The fiasco of the Lennox Gardens had sent the city over the edge and straight into chaos. You will tend to have an unhappy citizenry on your hands when forced evictions occur.

The Mayor is safe in an undisclosed location …

But things got real nasty after the Chicago Police Department went over and beyond SOP in their methods to evict some of the Lennox Gardens people. People were protesting their ouster from Lennox Gardens, while in nearby neighborhoods, other people were protesting that the Lennox Gardens people were allowed to move in to foreclosed properties.

The police are about to force their way in with guns drawn

While there were the ugly confrontations between police and angry citizens in Lennox Gardens and environs, Alderman Ross turned loose Trey Rogers and his goons who did all they could to fan the flames if not start some fires themselves. Storefronts had their windows shattered, which led to looting. In short, the city had exploded, and Mayor Kane was not anywhere in sight.

Either you come out or we’re going in …

Quick thinking Meredith Kane invented a plausible lie that Kane was at a secret (and safe) location under the care and protection of the FBI because new facts had been uncovered about the assassination attempt. And everyone knew that the FBI did not share information with other agencies. So Meredith had bought some time. When the Chief of Police attempted to demur about spreading information that he knew was false, Meredith Kane, suggested that if he didn’t go along with what she requested, he might have to start to be concerned about keeping his job.

In Toronto, Tom Kane handed himself over to the medics, and was not particularly pleasant about how he handled himself. No doubt this was because he was having trouble dealing with the now almost constant barrage of hallucinations, and flashbacks.

These were particularly informative. We saw (in the flashbacks) Kane paying a woman cash while a small boy watched (is this the young Ian Todd – we aren’t given solid evidence – but you can make your own conclusions). Kane fighting with old man Rutledge and threatening to take the old man down with him if necessary. A tearful and younger Meredith Kane telling Kane that her father has suffered a severe stroke. And the incessant cacophony of Ezra Stone’s voice echoed, and repeated, and reverberated endlessly. This was very difficult to watch and hear – and we were only watching Kane in his hallucination – just imagine this happening to you!

Ben Zajac would find himself totally alone. His last staffer first announced he was going to lunch, then changed his mind and said he was going home. This left Zajac’s campaign headquarters barren of any human life except Zajac himself.

Kane, at the Toronto facility, was subjected to Q&A’s, psychological tests like describe the picture before you, MRI’s, and other scans, and was asked various questions all for the purpose of getting a better handle on the necessary treatments. Leaving the verbal parts aside – Kane was given meds, underwent a spinal injection, and ultimately received electric shock.

Back in Chicago – Senator Walsh announced that she was moving her campaign headquarters from Springfield to Chicago, and that Kitty O’Neill would be in charge. But Kitty had more on her plate than just Walsh. She and Sam Miller reached unspoken agreements – both professionally, physically, and philosophically. Miller was still pursuing the idea of bringing Kane down, Kitty might be helpful in that – especially.

Zajac joins the protest and hopes his arrest will gain him votes

Zajac showed up in the midst of some ugly confrontation between neighborhood residents, the Lennox Gardens people attempting to move in, and the police. Zajac was not dressed as a politician – he wore just a tee-shirt and jeans. The stand-off got ugly and physical. Zajac got in the middle of some rough stuff and just about that time – a TV news camera truck arrived.

Mona Fredericks and Ian Todd were unsettled by the fact that Meredith Kane had swooped in with the regal bearing of a mayor. In fact she acted as if she was the mayor. She had the skill sets necessary but her name had never been on the ballot – so you understand the dilemma that Mona and Ian felt.

Get me Governor Cullen …

But there was more maneuvering and shocks to come. A phone call from Meredith Kane to Governor Cullen resulted in the National Guard being called in. Meredith didn’t want to make the call herself, so she got Cullen to do it. He figured that it could only help.

The biggest shock came regarding Emma Kane. She, being under house arrest, required drug testing. You will recall that in the previous episode. Emma had visited her grandfather, the former Mayor – old man Rutledge, the stroke victim. While there, she had volunteered to change the Old man’s waste collection bag. We didn’t think anything of it last week, but Emma had a plan. She would steal some of the old man’s urine, and use that in her drug testing. She expected Darius to bring her drugs. Only he had refused to go along with Trey Rogers who wanted him to join the goons and bust up the neighborhoods. Darius was now homeless, without any income, or means to acquire drugs for Emma.

But Emma’s plan blew up in her face. The drug tester had the shocking news for Emma. The urine sample contain a startling amount of a certain drug – one that guaranteed that the individual who had ingested it would remain in a stupor. So the tester knew that this was NOT Emma’s urine. The thought that now surged to the forefront was this. Did old man Rutledge ever recover from his stroke, and who is responsible for keeping the old man in a stupor and why.

At the end of the episode we see that Tom Kane has come out of the experimental treatment. He isn’t having the hallucinations, he seems lucid, and the questions are what will happen when he returns to Chicago? Will the treatment hold, and what will he do when he regains his office. As the episode closed, the city was still a powder keg, and Babe McGantry was going to have an impact in the next episode.

5 thoughts on “BOSS – Sn 2 Episode 6 – Backflash – Recap

  1. Since it was the week before the Fall TV season begins, there was nothing else to watch last Friday night, so I finally caught an episode of Boss. After an hour of watching Kelsy Grammer twist and moan, I was glad I hadn’t seen the rest of this series. As always on TV dramas, political protest looks like a bunch of extras shuffling around with placards making predictably banal comments to the press. Why can’t TV writers make up one angry, complicated, thoughtful protester. Even Mitt Romney has a better idea why 47% of Americans aren’t buying his message. Concerning the main storyline and the principal characters, I don’t know what I missed, but after seeing one episode, I do know that I don’t care. These days, our domestic politics often seems like bad theater. On Boss, the politicos are far less entertaining.

    • This was the 6th episode this year, the second season of Boss. Since it was your first time seeing the show here’s what you missed:

      The gradual inroads that Kane’s disease has made beginning from a slight tremor to full blown hallucinations.
      The political strategies utilized by Kane, Cullen, Zajac, and Mrs Kane.
      The back-room deals that were made and those that weren’t made.
      The vantage point from a newspaper reporter who was made editor.
      The way politicians are when the cameras aren’t in front of them.

      In any event it was a difficult place to start the series. Had you watched the series from its inception your reactions would be markedly different. What you saw was Kane in his absolutely worst states both physically and mentally – and you’ve seen nothing of him at his best.

      As for the protests – they weren’t organized – they were ad hoc and specifically local – they were anything but the media circuses that planned and organized protests usually become.

      • I agree coming in mid-season of season 2 was ill-advised and probably adversely affected my experience. I will watch 2-3 of the earlier episodes in the order they aired and see if my opinion of the show improves. One thing that will not improve is my remarks about protesters in tv dramas, which are almost always portrayed as under-motivated, easily manipulated, buffoons. With rare exception, I get the impression that the writers neither understand or care about the real issues and try to convince viewers that there are no grounds for legitimate protests. In real-world politics, and movies as well as network tv dramas, the media dismisses political protest because it is easier than capturing the complex rationale behind the demonstrations.

      • And once again I suggest that organized protests are one thing and what was displayed in Boss 2/6 was something else. A police presence will bring onlookers, and amongst those are people who shout out stuff that they’ve not considered. The so-called safety in numbers. Others react, and soon pushing and shoving occurs which can escalate.

        What Boss showed was not an official organized protest. Instead it was property owners reacting to something happening right then and there on the block they lived on.

        Lumping an ad hoc mob with organized protests is also ill-advised. The whole point of it was how quickly it spun out of control. This was not a march, or a rally, or something planned. These were angry people who within seconds were throwing punches rather than talking civilly.

        As for getting a feel for the series – start with Sn 1 Episode 1 and watch the first three episodes.

  2. I’ll watch the first three episodes as you suggest, but please understand my comments had nothing to do with whether a protest is organized or not. The media initially supports the staus quo whether it’s an ad-hoc tenant protest in Chicago or a anti-American riot in Libya. My remarks are based on watching fictional conflicts as depicted in TV and movies and news coverage of historical events going back to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Mainstream journalists and drama writers rarely dig below the surface. Protests are covered like concert events, not legitimate grievances by political minorities. If the Boston Tea Party occurred today, the evening news would show a clip in which a rabble dressed like Indians dumped tea overboard. An interviewed bystander would say things had gotten out of control. And a talking head commentator would look puzzled, bored, or both. My point is, there are reasons why people take to the street and TV consistently ignores those reasons. The result is weak-tea drama and watered down news. Only the best drama writers and journalists know how to take an event and turn it into a meaningful story. I know The Boss writers were focused elsewhere, but using a cliche-ridden plot device doesn’t make me receptive to whaatever their real agenda may have been.

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