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Review of Boss ‘Stasis’ – Season 1, episode 7

Samuel Breen

boss 300x225 Review of Boss Stasis   Season 1, episode 7

(Channel 4)

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 7, season 1 of ‘Boss’

This series began with a diagnosis. The nurse who administered it has gone AWOL. So here we greet the penultimate episode with another and this time, despite being purely political, turns up the same result, “If people think you’re dying Tom,” says his advisor Ezra Stone, “you’re as good as dead.” Will Kane bow out gracefully? He has been given a window of a day to make his judgement and within that time he has wrecked havoc, subdued his opponents and come out as a good guy. There is a reason this series is called Boss, and it is for moments like this.

Meredith’s offer to help Zajac and maintain the status quo for her political patron comes good. She finds the slippery candidate’s confidence and he turns to her in a moment of need. Savvily he has realised that she is more powerful than any of the union leaders combined. Curiously, however, it appears that she has her own discrepancies. That it is not political standing that she favours, rather the protection of her own “indulgences”. What could she possibly be hiding? Is she embezzling money? Is she covering up for someone? Is she protecting her father’s legacy over her husband’s? Indeed in her little quip there the plot to another series – which I suspect may be the case.

News that his wife is in league with Zajac is heard with a malicious assault on his enemies. Tom holds them hostage with the photos of their infidelity and brings them to their knees – literally, as he instructs Zajac to kneel before him. The most terrifying element to his revenge is in its foresight. That he was prepared to crush Zajac before he promoted him.

However, the most fearful act in the episode is in shopping his daughter to the police. Exposing her involvement in illegally procured prescriptive narcotics, including ones she procured for Tom. He explains to the press that she was attempting to do good work, only becoming caught up in the Gomorrah. In sacrificing his daughter’s livelihood for in order to sustain his political career no fluffing is required, the act speaks for itself.

The drama of the episode’s final act overshadows the set up by quite some scale. However through Stasis the pressing question is ‘what’s Kitty’s motivation to betray Kane?’ Kane reminds her in the most passive aggressive speech possible that her commitment has been unrelenting for eight years “only last week you were putting up fake ‘for sale’ signs around Bensonville.” Such is her loyalty. Indeed her core motivation is that she has become love drunk, unintentionally pregnant, and out of control. Then, to compound problems she continues her spate of flippancy irrespective of the relationship. She confides in Meredith Kane, then betrays her, returns to Kane and latches on to a dying mayor. “I am going to ask you again, ‘do you know who I am?’”

Once Kane exacts his revenge, punches his chest out and thumps menacingly on it, Kitty is broken. As her punishment she is forced to post the damning photos to her lover Zajac’s wife. Tom hands her the executioner’s sword for Zajac and his campaign. She’s broken and in tears mindful that she has played her hand poorly.

Then there’s a rather unusual moment where Zajac meets Ross in a Grant Park by the Agora statues. The bronze, headless warriors have provoked mixed opinion and Zajac is apparently not a fan. It’s rare we are shown character through their interpretation of art, mainly because it is such a loaded way to paint a person, but here it works. It’s cute. The other cute thing is the pastel colouring of the show. It has been a joy to watch a programme that is so kind on the eyes. Whether it is the mayor’s tie or Meredith’s dress, even the palatial apartment of Meredith’s money man.

Looking towards next week it’s hard to know what to expect. An epilogue perhaps or another twist? Tom appears to be in rude health so there’s probably a change to come there before the final curtain, but equally there needs to be some leg work done to resolve the domestic situation. Curious.

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